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Holy People

‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar, and God has graciously granted you the safety of all who are sailing with you.’ The safety of all who are sailing with you" (Acts 27:24 NET Bible). In a sense, Paul’s presence protects them all. For Luke, it serves as a picture of what the Gospel does through Christ and through the one who brings the message…[and] the importance of having holy people dwell among us, for they guide us to safety according to the will of God.” (Net Bible, Acts 27:24, Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 27:41-44)


“The apostle Paul described a vision afterwards and said that those who were on the ship had been given to him by the Lord. Are we to suppose that he to whom they were given and they who were given to him were of the same merit? Ten righteous people can save a sinful city. Lot together with his daughters was delivered from the fire. His son-in-laws would also have been saved, had they been willing to leave the city. Now, there was surely a great difference between Lot and his son-in-laws. One city out of the five was saved—Zoar, a place that lay under the same sentence as Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, but [it] was preserved by the prayers of a holy man [see Gn 18:16-33]. Lot and Zoar were of different merit, but both of them escaped the fire.” (St. Jerome)


“The Prophet Samuel was one of the holiest prophets of the Old Testament. But what I find most interesting is that Samuel grew to be a holy prophet while living in the midst of a very corrupt religious and political context….I must confess that this is a profound mystery to me: not only that God allows very sinful people to function in positions of hierarchy to which very holy people submit; but what is even more mysterious to me is that God’s Grace still functions through these very broken people in positions of spiritual authority, not, I think, because of their position, but because of the holiness and purity of heart of those who come to them.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)  


“From this passage [2 Corinthians 1:8-11], we learn how important our prayers for our fellow members are, especially when they are in distress. The Almighty could, of course, take care of all our “troubles” without the prayers of the faithful. But in His mercy, God asks us to participate in His care of others. By acting in and through our prayers for others, God increases our communion with Him. And He strengthens our fellowship with one another. As we pray for one another,  our love for one another becomes stronger. We learn to depend on one another. And we have the joy of praising God together for answers to our mutual prayers.” (Fr. Basil)


“…we ask the men and women of holiness to pray that God would be magnified in our lives just as He has been magnified in theirs. The Christian understands that it is God alone who saves. By “intercessory prayer to the saints,” therefore, we mean asking the saints to pray to God on our behalf. And, because of their perfection, saints can never grant anything or answer any prayer that is in any way contrary to the will of God. Because the “christification” of the saint has been established, what the saint desires for us will always be in complete conformity with what Christ desires for us.” (Fr. John Oliver)


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