A selection of online pearls…
Below I present to you my valuable collection of the lives of the saints in order of the most recently reposed. It includes canonized and others too who demonstrated undoubted holiness and are worthy of great emulation. I will constantly update this collection as I find more.
Most resources below are written articles on the internet, if not specified otherwise. This collection of resources is a follow on article to “The nuts and bolts of reading the lives of the saints” I wrote before. Please try to read it before this one!
I highly recommend you read this important article titled “The place of the lives of the saints in the spiritual life” before you read anything below. It will help you approach the reading of the lives of the saints in a correct manner.
Fr Angelos El Antoni ( – present)
Apparently this man is saintly, alive and public. If you can read Arabic, you can follow him on these two facebook pages. They love posting regular videos of him!
Fr Fanous El Anba Paul (1929 – 2016)
This monk lead a highly ascetic life in the monastery of St Paul. This article contains stories of him. One story tells of a drug addicted youth who was forced on a bus to St Paul’s monastery. Fr Fanous somehow knew of his coming, evidenced by his awaiting his arrival at the entry of the monastery. The latter took him in, and through some sort of interaction of divine grace from the elder the youth was healed. Being touched by his love, he even became a monk in that very monastery!
Fr Antonios El Sorianni (1948 – 2016)
A kind, loving, cheerful and clairvoyant monk. He was a skilled spiritual father who lived in the Sorianni monastery. Not too new fashioned that he didn’t lose his holiness to the horrible addictions with technology that people have nowadays, he did possess a flip-phone at the least. The author of this short account details his personal interactions with him.
Tunt Samira Doherty of California (1941 – 2015)
Towards the end of her life, this woman – one of your typical elderly ladies you see at church all the time – used to pray often till 3 am, eat simple foods and open locked church doors with her prayers. Pope Kyrillos visited her on many occasions. She is the first very holy person I’ve heard about outside Egypt. And she wasn’t a monastic either … big bonus.
> The life of Samira: an audio account of her life by members of her Coptic Californian parish
Anba Mikhial of Assiut (1921 – 2014)
During times of hardship, hordes of people would rush to this blessed metropolitan seeking reassurance of Divine Providence. This article narrates, “Jesus knows, Jesus knows,” he was often heard to say “all your suffering, troubles, and needs. He answers in His way at His right time. The words might seem commonplace for a Christian cleric, but the strength and authority with which they were uttered assured people these were no ‘mere’ words.
Pope Shenouda III (1932 – 2012)
Listed as one of “the most attended funerals in the world”, Pope Shenouda’s funeral was attended by over one million mourners. Thus he undoubtedly won over an innumerable number of hearts of his Coptic flock. For over 40 years, this righteous patriarch tirelessly delivered love, comfort and edification through thousands of weekly sermons and over 101 book publications. Here are some great resources about him…
- Foriegner for the world: documentary: this is the best english resource I have found for Pope Shenouda. It’s a 1 hr long video. Me and my family watched it on his feast day, we loved it and it gave birth to interesting discussion about this golden man.
- Auto-biographical video interviews Part 1 and Part 2: very insightful, edifying and joy-producing video.
- My typed up summary notes of the above videos are here.
- Two biographies: 1 and 2.
Fr Faltaous El Sorianni (1922 – 2010)
This monk was an anchorite living in the Sorianni monastery. A countless number of people were touched by love, his light heartedness and his miraculous assistance.
> Find links to his movie over here.
> Miracles: contains a few accounts. The first one is one of the best miracles I’ve ever read about.
Mother Erini – Abbess of St Abu Seifein convent (1936 – 2006)
Probably the most famous female Coptic figure of modern-times. The innumerable count of her miracles can somewhat compare to those of Pope Kyrillos VI. One of the recipients of her grace writes, “My life has totally changed after having read the valuable life story of Tamav Erene. Beforehand, I was only interested in whatever was worldly. However, from the moment I read this book, Tamav’s life touched mine. I cried bitterly….” (Taken from book 2)
Here is a big extract from the first book about her, a story of her miraculous visit to Mt Athos and two other sources: 1 and 2. There are 6 books about her in English and you can typically find a few of them at your local Coptic Orthodox church. Otherwise check here.
Bishop Makarios of Qena (1923 – 1991)
This bishop is widely known as the bishop who passed away whilst he was praying the liturgy. It is said that at the precise moment of his death, the oblation bread levitated from his hand and sat itself back onto the plate. Here are some resources about him.
Here are pdf versions of his life: Life & Miracles of the late Bishop Makarios of Qena (book 1) and Miracles of the late Bishop Makarios of Qena (book 2). You can also find book 1 as a hardcopy in some local Coptic Orthodox churches.
Fr Pishoy Kamel (1931 – 1979)
Fr Pishoy was a very popular and saintly priest from Alexandria Egypt who reposed in 1979. He touched the hearts of tens of thousands of Egyptians – Muslims and Christians alike. He spent two decades of priestly service performing unbelievable acts of love, charity and kindness. His wife still lives to this very day. Here are some links to his life: 1, 2, a detailed study of his life and a collection of short stories.
Fr Yostos El Antoni (1910 – 1976)
His life story is found in the book The Garden of Abba Antony: The monastery of abba anthony at the red sea. The book tells the life story and deeds of 2 otther modern-day saints – Fr Tadros El antoni and Fr Abeshkhairon Al-Antony. All were great ascetics.
Here is also a short biography of Fr Yostos. There is also a movie of which I’ll post a link about soon.
Fr Mikhial Ibrahim (1899 – 1975)
St Kyrillos VI (1902 – 1971)
Probably the most popular Coptic figure in modern times, perhaps soon to be succeeded by his successor. “It has been said, and most probably without exaggeration, that each and every faithful Orthodox Copt that lived in the days of St Kyrillos’ Papacy, had either witnessed or experienced a personal miracle through his prayers; those miracles continue to occur by the Grace of God till the present day.”
- The value of Pope Kyrillos VI: short article
- Spirituality accentuated with Gentle Kindness: short article
- Short biography:
- Feast of Pope Kyrillos VI: short biography.
- More resources here.
Fr Abdelmessih El Makary (1892-1963)
St Abraam – the Bishop of Fayoum (1829-1914)
- Short biography
- Three paragraph description of him
- A list of 34 miracles pre and post-death
- 48 page biography
- 10 page biography
St Shenouda the Archimandrite (333 – 466)
More to come..
- St Macarius the Great
- Fr Mettaous El Sorianni
- freedominchristianity.com: this blogger writes often about the repose of modern-day holy monks in Egypt.
St Philaret of New York (1903 – 1985)
He was a righteous bishop who served in numerous places including Australia, later become the head of the Russian church outside of Russia particularly New York and Eastern America. An extract from his life details: “One of the places in the Sacred Scriptures that the future hierarch loved best were the words of the Lord which denounced the lukewarmness of Christians in their faith. He loved to repeat that love for God, for Christ, must come in the first place: “Deny yourself and all that is close to your heart, and follow after Christ! This is the main thing!”
St John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Franciso (1896 – 1966)
Since the day he become a monk, he never slept in a bed. He ate once a day at 11 p.m and his nights he spent usually in prayer. Once when he came to administer Holy Communion to a dying man, he served it instead to a young recovered man who was ready to leave the hospital. With his gift of miraculous foresight, he explained “He will die tonight, but the other, who is seriously ill, will live yet many years.” And that’s exactly what happened.
- Extensive account 1
- Extensive account 2
- Sermon about him: this is part 1 of a 6 part series. Great to listen to it whilst travelling.
St Luke the Doctor and Archbishop of Crimea (1877 – 1961)
For those of you studying medicine, you’ll love this man. Apart from being a miracle-performing saint, he is considered the top surgeon of the 20th century in Russia. Whilst a bishop, he would spends hours of his day performing free surgeries for people. He conducted the world’s first animal to human kidney transplant and once operated on a patient by himself with only a bottle of alcohol and a knife.
St Silouan the Athonite (1866 – 1938)
St Hilarion Troitsky (1886 – 1929)
This holy martyr was an archbishop who lived during the time of Soviet Russia. An extract from this decent-sized biography of his life narrates, “The people around him later recalled his absolute monastic piety, true simplicity, humility and childlike kindness. He was always joyous, and even if something troubled him, he tried to cover it by that strength and cheer of spirit”.
St John of Kronstadt (1829 – 1908)
In my opinion, this man is the greatest and most unique saint that ever lived. Whilst a married priest, St John transformed the lives of millions of Russians who lived before the revolution. His countless achievements include:
- Performing tens of thousands of miracles,
- Writing countless deep and very clear spiritual contemplations which feeds hungry souls till today,
- Prayed 6 hr daily masses attended by over 5000 people,
- Was unbelievably charitable such that the poor began migrating to his town to live off his charity
- And much more.
St Seraphim of Sarov (1759 – 1833)
St Seraphim is perhaps the most loved and revered hermit of the last 4 centuries. He was famous for his strong promotion of the Jesus Prayer and for his teaching “Acquire a peaceful spirit and thousands around you will be saved”.
So instantly rewarded by joy via prayer, he once spent a thousand days praying the Jesus Prayer (something which is impossible for us to imitate). By the end of his life he received 2000 visitors daily, healing the sick and giving them life-changing spiritual guidance.
More to come are:
- St Jonah Atamansky
- The Optina Elders
- Fr Seraphim Rose
Elder Iakovos (1920 – 1991)
On November 27, 2017, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople glorified Elder Iakovos (Tsalikis) as a saint. Fr. Iakovos, laboring in the Monastery of St. David of Evia, was widely known already during his lifetime among the Orthodox as a man of prayer, a clairvoyant, and a healer of spiritual and bodily ailments, and not just in Greece. With the elder’s death, the miracles by his prayers only increased, and the people revered him as a saint. And now it is certified and formal. Read an account of his life here.
St Nektarios of Aegina (1846 – 1920)
I quite like this saint more than others as he seems to give off an incredibly warm vibe. Well known for his cancer cures and his abundant miracles of healing even till today, St Nektarios is a highly revered Greek saint.
Not only is he famous for his miracles, but he was also a prolific writer, theologian, philosopher, moralist, educator, poet, ascetic and mystic. During his lifetime he endure more slander and calumny against his name then compared to other saints. Here are some resources of this spiritual giant: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
More to come are:
- St Paisios of Mt Athos
- St Nektarios of Aegina
Orthochristian and pravmir are a wellspring of articles about the lives of Russian martyrs and saints (maybe some other EO saints too) who reposed in the last two centuries. They are very well written too.