Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Massacre of the Innocents" (a silent film from the 1910's)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christ at the Castle: Papadiamantis’ Tale Captures the Genuine Spirit of Christmas

Literary companionship with “the saint of Greek literature” Alexandros Papadiamantis is always a good idea, but especially beneficial during the holidays. Of course, the pious “kyr-Alexandros” covers all the holidays in the Orthodox calendar, but his Christmas stories offer a particularly seminal contribution towards recapturing the true meaning of the Nativity – “the metropolis of feasts” according to St. John Chrysostom.

Papadiamantis’ short stories do a masterful job of recounting the traditional Greek Orthodox ethos associated with this blessed feast, putting him on par with Dickens when it comes to extolling the virtues of Christmas. And while today’s world is still filled with plenty of Ebenezer Scrooges, it is increasingly hard to pinpoint some of Papadiamantis’ classic characters.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" as a Reimagining of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable recorded in Luke 16 that Jesus tells in response to the Pharisees, who were self-righteous and wealthy. Lazarus is a beggar who sits by the gate of a rich man’s estate. The rich man walks by Lazarus day after day, ignoring his plight.

Lazarus dies and is carried away by angels to be with Father Abraham. The rich man also dies and is in torment in Hades. He looks up, and sees Abraham and Lazarus far off, on the other side of a chasm that cannot be crossed. He calls out to Abraham to send Lazarus to bring him something to quench his thirst.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Orthodoxy of Maria Callas: 12 Facts

By John Sanidopoulos

While vacationing in Paris back in 2016, on my last full day before returning home, I decided to visit the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, where you can visit many of the elaborate graves of well-known personalities from the past who died in Paris. Among the dozen or so that I eagerly wanted to see was that of Maria Callas, the renowned Greek-American opera singer. With map in hand, I visited each grave that I could locate, and the last on my list was that of Maria Callas. Hers was the most difficult to find, taking me about a good 45-minutes of searching. I finally found someone to ask, who pointed me to the location. I was told however that her body is not here, though it was originally, and what is merely left is a memorial. When I inquired as to what happened to her body, I was informed that she was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Aegean Sea. Since cremation is typically frowned upon in the Greek Orthodox Church, it got me thinking as to whether or not she died an Orthodox Christian. That night in my hotel room I did a brief search on the internet about this, and found some interesting things scattered in various sources. I found it interesting enough to write something about it when I returned home.