Set in the Roman Empire during the reign of the notorious persecutor of Christians, Emperor Diocletian (a.d. 303), THE PURPLE MANTLE is a moving story of faith and heroism amidst a society plagued by confusion and fear. Greek Orthodox author Aliki Kafetzopoulou (reposed on February 24, 2005) has skillfully woven a rich historical tapestry full of spiritual depth, presenting a vivid picture of the intense circumstances in which the ancient Christians lived, and a close-up, immediate view of the exploits and contests of the early martyrs, through which the Faith of Christ triumphed.
This story brings to life in vivid clarity the choices faced by people very much like ourselves—between the ephemeral comforts and grandeur of this world and the eternal joy and glory of the world to come. In a certain respect we make these choices daily even now—for example, when we choose television over spiritual reading and prayer, and when we choose the ease of material possessions and the accumulation of wealth over charity and acts of mercy. Yet, in a very literal sense, we may someday be forced to make the same choices as did many of the characters of the story, at the risk of our very lives.
“…His strength was leaving him. His life was ebbing away. This fresh flower was closing its petals before it had even had a chance to open them all the way; but it was closing them now in order to be able to open them again, refreshed, unfading and eternal, in the garden of everlasting heavenly joy….
“Then he leaned his head on the coals of fire and let his last look fall on Helianos. And his gaze stayed fixed there, until the fire went out in ashes and smoke….
“With his eyes full of tears, Helianos stared with shock. He held the young martyr’s last look inside himself with a sacred passion, indelible in the depths of his memory and heart. He felt like running toward him, putting his arms into the fire to hug and kiss him, and asking him secretly: ‘Tell me … tell me … what secrets does this faith of yours hold that you love it so much? Tell me, so I can love it too!’”
—excerpt from THE PURPLE MANTLE
Although written especially for young adults, this historical novel has enthralled people of all ages with its riveting narrative. Carefully tracing the spiritual awakening and growth of a young man and woman, it places in striking relief the essence of all Christian life.
This book is now in it's new, second edition, and includes a brief biography of the author.
Author: Aliki Kafetzopoulou (trans. Efrosyni Zisimou Robinson)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
This book is the ideal companion to the previously published Champion of Good: The Life of Father Ilarion (Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville, 2011). All who have already encountered Father Ilarion through his life will be equally engaged by his words. Those who meet him first through his preaching will want to go on to read his life. Together, they convey a potent message of the possibilities that open to the human soul that turns to God with singleness of mind and humility. The sermons are grouped by subjects. One index lists the sermons in church calendar order and the other index lists the sermons in chronological order for those who wish to see what was preached in an historical context.
Copyright Holy Trinity Monastery
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
In Father I saw a person who lived for God…. In all life’s situations, Fr Ilarion maintained a grace-imbued state of spirit, the fruits of which were love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and the other virtues that made it impossible to be near him and not feel glad just to be alive.
Many lovers of literature are familiar, through Dostoyevsky’s works, with the concept of the Russian "Staretz," or spiritual elder. This biography offers a vivid portrayal of an authentic Staretz of our own day, Father Ilarion—a monk of the renowned Glinsk hermitage in modern-day Ukraine, who spent much of his life as a parish priest in a village in the Novgorod region of Russia. His life offers a vision of a simple Christian life in the contemporary world that will captivate the reader and awaken or rekindle a desire to live a life centered on the love of God and neighbour rather than on the pursuit of material wealth.
It also presents unique insights into the Orthodox Church in Russia under communism and in the immediate post-communist period, demonstrating how the Faith was kept alive after the closure of so many churches and monasteries and the exile or execution of clergy and believers. The account of the life of the Glinsk hermitage is particularly detailed. With many first hand contributions from Father Ilarion’s spiritual children, this history also provides a glimpse into contemporary Russian culture and religious perspectives.
The book includes an eight page glossy photo insert.
Copyright Holy Trinity Publications
Throughout Scripture and patristic writings, Christians are consistently enjoined to give thanks to God in all things. But it can be easy to forget to give thanks on a daily basis, especially in times of trial. This journal contains an inspiring quotation for each day of the year, plus space to record brief thanksgivings for three years in a row. With a consistent practice of giving specific thanks to God each day of the year, you will see your life transformed.
Author: Nicole M. Roccas
Paperback: 376 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
The Life and Teachings of Elder Paisius of Sihla.
Elder Paisius (Olaru) of Sihla (1897–1990) was one of the most beloved spiritual fathers of Romania in recent times. In his youth he lived a life of prayer and service, learning from an older generation of spiritual giants. After World War II he moved to Sihăstria Monastery, where his spiritual son, Elder Cleopa, had recently become abbot. It was there that he became renowned for his spiritual wisdom and discernment, confessing the monks and laymen who came to the monastery. Eventually he moved to the nearby Sihla Skete, where he could continue his life of prayer in greater solitude.
Throughout the Communist period, Elder Paisius was a refuge and shelter for those who desired to preserve their faith in those difficult times. Professors and doctors, farmers and factory workers all came to the humble elder to hear words of consolation, encouragement, and direction. A father of love and hope, he focused the gaze of his flock on Christ and His Heavenly Kingdom, expressing the wish that the Lord grant them a “little corner of Paradise.”
Included in the present volume are the life of this remarkable elder, many of his spiritual teachings, recollections of his spiritual children, interviews conducted with him, his letters, and his poetry.
“Prayer is not a theory that one learns in school. The prayer of the heart, that is, prayer made with the awareness of the heart, is a gift of the Holy Spirit…. Whoever loves God with his whole soul, with all his strength and all his heart, will be endowed with the gift of prayer of the heart and the gift of holy tears.”
Author: Archimandrite Ioanichie (Bălan)