He was a great prophet of the bible who foretold the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the 5th and 6th century BC and was one of the Jewish youths taken into Babylonian captivity and raised at the throne of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. The other youths were Ananias, Azarias and Misael. They lived in luxury and lacked nothing, but faced a no less formidable task of keeping their loyalty to God than the rest of the Jews, doing hard labour as prisoners of the King.
When King Nebuchadnezzar was into the second year of his reign, he had a vision. He could not remember what it was when he woke up in the morning, yet he summoned all his sages, fortune-tellers and soothsayers of his court to tell him what the dream was and what it meant. His courtiers were perplexed, and could not answer anything, so the king ordered them to be put to death. When the news of the king's order reached Daniel, he asked the king to halt the execution and let him try to interpret his vision for him. He prayed to God with fervour and narrated to the Babylonian King the details and meaning of his dream as revealed to him by God. He foretold the decline of his kingdom during the reign of his two successors and the eventual arrival of an everlasting kingdom of the God of heaven, of which it would become a part forever.s
Impressed, King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the truth of the God of Israel. He put Daniel at the head of the sages of Babylon and the other three youths as rulers of the Babylonian provinces. After some time, however, the king erected an idol of gold and ordered his subjects to bow to it. All obeyed, except Daniel and the three youths. Enraged, the king ordered the three to be bound thrown into a furnace so hot that the guards who threw them fell dead from the heat at its door. But the three youths remained unharmed, demonstrating to the king God's greatness and power.
These and other narratives in the book of the Prophet Daniel convey several important messages that remain relevant to this day. He reminds us that God will never step away from His people who trust Him despite their sins. He also teaches us that the Lord will provide all of His men and women with the means to remain faithful to Him under all circumstances, even the most difficult ones. Lastly, he forewarns us that the Lord holds the key to all the world's events and will triumph in the end.
He taught that fighting the devil to the end is a duty of every Christian. "Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The spiritual message of the icon revealed itself with time. It promises eventual forgiveness to the Russian people and the return of the supreme power from the Holy Theotokos after a long period of suffering and repentance.
On the 1st August, we glorify with great spiritual awe and affection the memory of Saint Seraphim of Sarov and pay tribute to his angelic life, which showed to many the path towards salvation.
In 1923, the future martyr was only 26 years old. Seeing the unfolding persecution of the Church, he was ordained priest with the words, "We need to protect the faith". Priest Valerian Novitsky was arrested and executed in 1930.
Saint Nicholas continues to teach us valuable lessons and has many more in store for the people today, and for generations to come. He lived a long time ago yet today he is still one of the most widely known and revered Christian Saints.
Should we make compromises even in situations when this may appear as a concession to evil? In which Christian commandments should we take our guidance? We find answers in the life of Saint John the merciful.
"There is only one thing to say about this remarkable monastic: the sweetest of souls! One conversation with Father Silouan was enough to make anyone grow fond of him."