The Philokalia is a collection of texts written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. First published in Greek in 1782, translated into Slavonic and later into Russian, The Philokalia has exercised an influence far greater than that of any book other than the Bible in the recent history of the Orthodox Church.
The complete Philokalia covers the period from the fourth to the fifteenth century. Volume One, from which all excerpts published on the site will be taken, takes us up to the eighth century and is thus the common heritage of Orthodox and Catholics.
St. Mark the Ascetic
Little can be affirmed with confidence about the life of St. Mark the Ascetic, also known as Mark the Monk or Mark the Hermit. St. Nikodimos dates him to the early fifth century, and this seems to be correct. Like his contemporary St. Neilos, he may have been a disciple of St. John Chrysostom.
Postings beginning May 3, 1998 will be excerpts from his manuscript "On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts". Subsequent postings will be excerpted from his manuscript "On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works: Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Texts".
Evagrious the Solitary
Evagrios Pontikos was born in 345 or 346, probably at Ibora in Pontus. A disciple of the Cappodocian Fathers, he was ordained reader by St. Basil the Great and he accompanied St Gregory the Theologian to the Council of Constantinople in 381. He draws upon the living experience of the Desert Fathers of Egypt, mainly Copts, among whom he spent the last years of his life.
Postings beginning June 30, 1999 will be excerpts from his manuscript "On Prayer".
St. Hesychios the Priest
St. Hesychios was abbot of the Monastery of the Mother of God of the Burning Bush (Vatos) at Sinai. He possibly lived in the eighth or ninth century. St Nikodimos commends the work of St. Hesychios especially for its teaching on watchfulness, inner attentiveness and the guarding of the heart.
Postings beginning December 11, 1999 will be excerpts from his manuscript "On Watchfulness and Holiness".
St. Diadochos of Photiki
St. Diadochos, who was born around 400 and died before 486, was bishop of Photiki in Epirus (North Greece); he wrote against the Monophysites and supported the Council of Chalcedon (451).
Postings beginning October 12, 2000 will be excerpts from his manuscript "On Spiritual Knowledge".
St. John of Karpathos
St. Nikodimos says that he has little information about St. John of Karpathos, and little additional information is available today. Some speculate that he may be identical with a bishop John of the island 'Karpathion' who signed the acts of the sixth Ecumenical Council (680-1).
Postings beginning June 7, 2001 will be excerpts from his manuscript "One Hundred Texts".
The translation utilized for the postings is:
translated by G.E. H. Palmer et al (1979)
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