The Holy Fire Miracle


If I recall, after hearing about this from a Greek Orthodox co-worker back in the day, there is a big spectacle about making sure that there are no “tricks” up the sleeve on this one. I asked him if he’d ever seen a magic act where the magician goes through painstakingly elaborate steps to show the audience that there’s nothing “rigged” about the act. He never did get the reason why the demonstrations of such are so elaborate; that it takes the audience’s attention away from other things that are going on. Never seen it in person, but seems really fishy just from the standpoint of the exaggerated attempts to make people believe that it’s not a trick. It’s a case of he/she doth protest too much.


If babies do not inherit original sin, why are they baptized? Why not wait until they are older and have committed personal sins?


Because there is no salvation outside the Church, and that’s what Baptism does.


I doubt you are comparing Stalin to St. Mark of Ephesus, and the Church obviously expects people to use their God-given senses of prudence and judgment when they are praying to people and not to be praying to Stalin, Hitler, Charles Manson, etc. who have committed mass murders on the earth.

However, where are you getting this “for Roman Catholics, venerating an icon of St. Mark of Ephesus would be disrespectful to the Roman Catholic Church”? Did someone like a priest tell you this, or did you read it somewhere, or is this your opinion? It’s my understanding that St. Mark of Ephesus is honored by the Melkites and they are in full communion with Rome, aren’t they?

When the Vatican is putting out a stamp honoring Martin Luther, I sincerely doubt that there is going to be some huge problem with a person’s private veneration of an icon of St. Mark of Ephesus. Obviously his icon is not going to be hung in a Roman Catholic church soon but that is a different matter than what you are saying.


The EO hierarchy know it’s phony.

It’s basically a gimmick to attract tourists and make money… in fact, IMO it borders on simony/blasphemy.


St. Mark of Ephesus is a saint I routinely venerate, as well as St. Photius the Great and St. Gregory Palamas.

They may have erred in their views of the Papacy or certain Roman customs, but overall they were graced enough to be Glorified by the Church.

And I am de jure a Roman Rite Catholic Christian - although I’m de facto an Ukrainian Catholic as well as a Roman Catholic.

I will venerate St. Mark of Ephesus simultaneously with St. Robert Bellarmine.

But then again I’m quite ecumenical - I sometimes ask for St. Gautama Buddha or St. Martin Luther King Jr to pray for me as well.

Interesting tidbit - did you know the Church has venerated the Buddha as a Saint for several centuries?

Look up Sts. Barlaam and Josaphat - Barlaam and Josaphat are corruptions of Buddha and Gautama.

So it is perfectly catholic and orthodox to say “St. Gautama Buddha, pray for us”


I don’t know about Buddha, but there is a statue of MLK Jr. in the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit alongside Blessed Oscar Romero, Jean Donovan, Dorothy Day, etc. I think it’s supposed to honor people who loved their neighbor or something like that.


Look up Sts. Barlaam and Josaphat

The Church has been venerating Buddha for centuries - just not calling him Buddha.

But for every time a Catholic over those hundreds of years prayed to Sts. Barlaam and Josaphat, it was the Buddha who was hearing the prayers.


Josef Stalin is not a glorified Saint.

Saint Mark of Ephesus is.

Therein lies the difference.

Also, Josef Stalin is not someone who is technically not a saint but universally recognized as an example of true piety and heroic virtue - say like Gandhi or MLK.


Grainy pixelated youtube video.

Irrefutable evidence. I must journey to Jerusalem to venerate this sacred flame!


Ahhh, there’s hyperdox hermon.

So sure of himself and so proud to be orthodox. Let me follow in my Masters footsteps and put a parable to you.

"Two Christians walked into the Cathedral to pray"
One stood and prayed with himself (after making 77 signs of the Cross and zemnoy poklons):

“Lord, I thank you that I am not like others who believe in Immaculate Conceptions and purgatory, or even like this heretic catholic - I fast every Friday on bread and wine, and I observe all the orthodox Byzantine traditions.”

Yet the “heretic” catholic stood at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but rather beat his breast and prayed “God, be merciful to me a sinner”

Tell me @Livenotonevil which one of these two went away justified before God?

St. Spyridon the Thaumaturge, pray for us
St. Seraphim of Sarov, pray for us
St. Mark of Ephesus, pray for us
St. Josaphat, pray for us
St. Pope John Paul the Great, pray for us
St. Pope Shenouda III, pray for us
O most Holy Theotokos, save us!


One more question for you @Livenotonevil - the schismatical monks of Esphigmenou on the Holy Mount - are these orthodox warriors fighting the good fight, or are they hyperdox schismatics filled with prelest and in direct disobedience to their God-appointed Patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew I?


It’s my own objective opinion (not based on subjective “feelings,” but based on the idea that - from the Roman perspective, Mark of Ephesus betrayed the Roman Church and he literally caused the Council of Florence to not be completely recognized by the Eastern Churches). Venerating his icon, from the Roman perspective, would be akin to me praying to Arius or Nestorius.

Would it be sinful to kiss an icon of Arius?


For the Monks on Mount Athos,

“It remains that we severally declare our opinion on this same subject, judging no
one, nor depriving any one of his right of communion, if he differ from us. For no one
setteth himself up as a Bishop of Bishops, or by tyrannical terror forceth his
Colleagues to a necessity of obeying; inasmuch as every Bishop, in the free use of
his liberty and power, has the right of forming his own judgment, and can no more be
judged by another than he can himself judge another. But we must all await the
judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who alone has the power of both setting us in the
government of His Church, and of judging of our acts therein.”

-Saint Cyprian


I think the stamp of Martin Luther is offensive to my eyes - it is because of this sinful heterodox man who literally married a nun that most of the West is morally relativistic.

“Let everyone on his own use the Bible to his own interpretation!”
“Down with the government!”

He is the edgiest of all liberal college students.



If Joseph Stalin is an example of true piety, than there can’t possibly be a devil - because what does it mean to commit acts of evil anymore?

I would think that the Slavic Catholics would have more resentment to him considering that he systemically starved the Ukranians to death as well as tried to kill any Christian he could find. He also was originally in Seminary, but dropped out to become a communist revolutionary.

One movie I encourage you to watch is “Repentance” from 1987 - it’s a Georgian film that is about (metaphorically) the historical nationalism and hidden evils that the Soviet government covered up about Stalin.


I also appreciate the fact that you are trying to analogize Christ’s words.

However, let me point out how flawed your argument is by using Christ’s LITERAL words.

John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew 12:30: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever gathers not with me scatters.”

John 6:53: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of the Son of Man, you cannot have eternal life.”

And the New Testament:

Acts 4:12
"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Ephesians 4:
“There is one body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”

And the Saints:

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem:
“Abhor all heretics…heed not their fair speaking or their mock humility; for they are serpents, a `brood of vipers.’”

Saint Ambrose:
“Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward.”

Saint Augustine:
“No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.”

Saint Bede:
“Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside.”

Do me a favor and at least stick to Traditional Catholic doctrine, rather than listen to the old “You are a Pharisee” Ad-Hominem argument which traitors to Christ use to justify their own wretched theological views, said argument which can be used to justify ANY immorality.

“So what if I’m living in an adulterous relationship? Who are you to be the Pharisee that judges me?”

“So what if I encouraged a woman to have an abortion? Who are you to be the Pharisee that judges me?”

“So what if I shot up a Jewish Synagogue? Who are you to be the Pharisee that judges me?”


Arius is not venerated by the Melkites, nor is he generally respected as having lived a good and saintly life.


I most certainly did NOT mean to say Stalin was a paragon of virtue. Heaven forbid if I ever said a man who was clearly one with the spirit of antichrist is pious.

I certainly think Stalin is experiencing the torment of our God who is an all consuming fire.

Also, see Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Spe Salvi - “In the hope we were saved” - he goes into some depth reconciling the Latin Churches ideas and traditions regarding heaven, purgatory, and hell, with the Eastern Churches ideas of heaven-hell-purgatory not so much as places but rather as states of experiencing God.

I reverted to the Roman Church after a year of catechesis in the Russian Orthodox Church, and I still identify as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic as well as a Roman Catholic Christian.

I’ve successfully reconciled ideas like the Dormition-Assumption, the All Immaculate Theotokos - the Immaculate Conception, the idea of heaven-hell-purgatory or heaven-hell-tollhouses/unknown, the Filioque, Papal Supremacy together with Primus Inter Pares, the Biblical Deuterocanon, Original Sin-Ancestral sin.

I’ve also reconciled the differences in disciplines - use of leavened/unleavened bread, the view of the Fathers on the Papacy and Filioque.

Basically, I view the entire EO-OO-RCC schism as a huge ploy the devil to pit peoples ignorance combined with pride, plus political, cultural and lingual divides, and used these issues to break apart the seemless robe of Christ.

I think Eastern/Oriental Orthodoxy are easily reconcilable with Roman Catholicism - liturgically, doctrinally, disciplinary - it’s simply a matter of shutting out prejudice, hatred and pride and learning about all the different beautiful forms of Christianity which have flourished - I can see Christ in the Roman Mass as much as I see him in the Syrian Qurbana, and as much as I see him in the Greco-Slavic Byzantine Liturgies.

A great website reconciling Eastern and Western Orthodoxy-Orthopraxy can be found here:

That site, combined with other sites showing pre-Schism Fathers supporting the Filique, supporting Papal supremacy, supporting the Immaculate Co Conception , combined with lots of prayer and meditation, is what ultimately led me to reject Eastern Orthodoxy in favor of my ancestral Roman Catholicism - but I don’t reject Orthodoxy, only a certain type of Orthodoxy best described as “Pharisaical hyperdoxy”.

Also, I believe if every Catholic and Eastern-Oriental Orthodox Christian on earth followed the examples of His Holiness Pope Francis, His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, I believe we would already be One and in full Communion.

The ignorant and stubborn laity, and unfortunately a lot of monastics who are filled with prelest, vehemently oppose reunion and will only accept it on unfair terms (the complete Byzantinazation of the Latin Church and every other Eastern Church - EO has a SERIOUS problem with Byzantine phyletism.


The Catholic Church has reformulated the Patristic saying, the negative form of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus - outside the Church there is no salvation".

The Church now proclaims the same in the positive form - All salvation is from the Church, the Body of Christ, through Christ the Head (don’t ask me the Latin for that! Something like Omni Salus ex Ecclesiam, Corpus Christi, et ex Christi Capitas - I’m no Latin scholar lol!)

You’d have to read relevant passages from the Catechism and Vatican II documents to see how eloquently orthodox, how beautifully blessed, how incredibly ineffible, and how consistently Catholic the Holy Spirit was when he inspired these infallible documents of True Wisdom and Faith.

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