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Orthodox Books
Optina Hermitage
Optina Hermitage
Optina Hermitage

On this page, you will find some very fine Orthodox material.  We will offer books and audio to help you in your spiritual walk.

Featured Books
Give Me A Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers

BRAND NEW from St. Vladimir Seminary Press!!

When Christians first began living as monks in the Egyptian desert at the beginning of the fourth century, they had few books and almost no learning. As they gained experience, they concentrated that experience in the form of an oral tradition of tales and sayings (apophthegmata). Apart from the Scriptures (also learned by heart) this was the only training manual they had. Consequently, when the onslaught of barbarians drove many monks out of Egypt early in the following century, they found it better to preserve their oral tradition in writing.

Thus, towards the end of the fifth century there eventually emerged a codification of this monastic lore. It was in two parts: one in which the items were arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the monk who either authored the saying or was characterized in the tale; the other in which all the remaining “anonymous” material was arranged under various heads. The present volume is an attempt to provide the reader with a readable translation of the first of those parts.

Trans by John Wortley, 5 x 7.25" paperback, 327 pgs.

Paperback:  $26.00
The Watchful Mind: Teachings on the Prayer of the Heart

BRAND NEW from St. Vladimir Seminary Press!!!!

Written by an anonymous priest-monk living in asceticism on the Holy Mountain of Athos, The Watchful Mind is the fruit of a life of deep prayer. The unknown writer was a hesychast—a practitioner of stillness and the Jesus Prayer—and in these pages he shares with readers his hidden life, a life filled with spiritual struggles, ecstatic experiences, and mystical revelations. Moved by a burning love for Christ, the author does not give us a neatly composed reflection on the spiritual life, but rather an account of his own passionate search. This deeply personal book is an account of one holy man’s unique journey in the life of contemplation. It touches on many aspects of the spiritual and ascetic life, particularly the hesychastic themes of watchfulness, spiritual warfare, and the prayer of the heart.

8.5" x 5.5" 237 pgs, paperback

This profound book written in 1851 and preserved in the library of our Sacred Monastery of Saint Xenophon represents the fruit of holy and spiritual revelations, painful struggles, and divine experiences and ascents of this humble, unknown ascetic of the Holy Mountain.

paperback:  $22.00
The Winter Pascha

By Fr. Thomas Hopko

When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate a "splendid three-day Pascha."

Thus Father Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ's birth. In the style of his popular book for the paschal fasting season, The Lenten Spring, the author again draws on the biblical readings and liturgical hymns and verses of the season to illumine the way for believers to follow the Church's days of preparation and celebration for the Coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in human flesh. Many references are made to the writings of the saints and Church Fathers, as well as to contemporary Christian teachers and spiritual guides. All those who love the Lord's Coming will find comfort and strength, as well as enlightenment and instruction, for having passed through the Winter Pascha with this book as their companion.

5.5 x 8.5", Paperback, 183 pgs.

Paperback:  $18.00
The Venerable Cyril & Maria: Life, Service and Akathist

WAS $17 . . . ON SALE . . . $7 off   ONLY 1 left!!

The Venerable Cyril and Maria, the parents of St. Sergius of Radonezh, present a model of pious living which is instructive and inspiring for monastics and laypeople alike. Here is their Life, Service, and Akathist, together with a history of the Hotkovo Monastery where they labored in old age. Published in 2008 by the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Hotkovo Monastery.

trans. by Reader Isaac Lambertsen
100 pp, printed on heavy paper, full color w. illustrations, paperback 4.5 x 6.5 in.
pp color:  $10.00
Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose
Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works

This epic biography of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose tells the unique story of a man who, having grown up in a typical American home in southern California, became one of the greatest teachers of Orthodox Christianity in our times, loved and revered throughout Russia and Eastern Europe.

    Quoting at length from his letters, journals, manuscripts, recorded lectures and published writings, this book traces Fr. Seraphim’s intense search for truth and his philosophical development, setting forth his message and offering a glimpse into the soul of a man who lived, even while on this earth, in the otherworldly Kingdom of God.

    “We who are given the fullness of true Christianity are obliged to be working on ourselves, to be watching the signs of the times, and to be extremely joyful, as St. Paul is constantly saying: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say: Rejoice!’ (Phil. 4:4). We rejoice because we have something which all the death and corruption of this world cannot take away, that is, the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ.”

—Fr. Seraphim Rose, 1979, from the new book

    A greatly revised version of Not of This World, this new Life of Fr. Seraphim incorporates years of new research and includes much additional material. Because it deals closely with events in the recent history of Orthodoxy in America, the book has been reviewed prior to publication by clergy, monastics and laypeople from most of the Orthodox jurisdictions represented in this country.

• New, previously unpublished material by Fr. Seraphim.
• New reminiscences by those who knew Fr. Seraphim.
• 63 new photographs.
• Expanded and updated bibliography and source notes.

1160 pages, 234 illustrations, paperback,
Smyth-sewn binding for greater durability

    "THIS is the Fr. Seraphim I remember, and how wonderful it was to read this biography and relive it all. Fr. Damascene’s work is a fine reconstruction of the Platina Years’ that affected so many of us in a positive way. But most important of all, Fr. Seraphim lives again in these pages—just as I recall him—a warm, clear-thinking advocate of that which we need so badly these days: a suffering Orthodoxy of the heart.… This is a truly exceptional book, worthy of the noble and righteous Fr. Seraphim!”

—Hieromonk Ambrose (formerly Fr. Alexey Young), author of Letters from Father Seraphim

    "The Light of Christ, shining through Fr. Seraphim, illumines the path of faith and encourages us who attempt to follow in the way. Hieromonk Damascene presents this light-filled life in words so clear and inviting that the reader eagerly follows, page after page.”

—Frederica Mathewes-Green, National Public Radio commentator, author of At the Corner of East and Now and The Illumined Heart

    "This new biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose is an outstanding portrait of an American convert to Orthodoxy, who, having found the fulfillment of his life in the Orthodox Church, paved the way for thousands of others to follow him. This excellent book is both a challenge and an inspiration to all who are searching for intellectual and spiritual integrity, not only in word and thought, but as a whole way of life.”

—Hieromonk Jonah, Abbot of the Monastery of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, editor of Divine Ascent

    "In this new account of the life of Fr. Seraphim, Fr. Damascene has given a great gift to the Church—he has revealed to us the true life and ministry of an American-born saint. Here Fr. Seraphim speaks as an authentic witness, a true ‘martyrios’ and ‘confessor.’ To those who are afflicted with doubt, out of his own doubt he bears witness to the Truth. To those who are wrestling with passion, out of his own struggle he bears witness to Dispassion. And to those who are suffering, out of his own intense pain he bears witness to joy.”

—Fr. John Mack, author of Ascending the Heights and Preserve Them, O Lord

    "Fr. Seraphim Rose was a lover of tradition who was also far ahead of his time. His inspiring life and thought deserve to be more widely appreciated.”

—Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial and The Wedge of Truth

smyth-sewn paperback:  $29.99
God's Revelation to the Human Heart

“When conversion takes place, the process of revelation occurs in a very simple way—a person is in need, he suffers, and then somehow the other world opens up. The more you are in suffering and difficulties and are ‘desperate’ for God, the more He is going to come to your aid, reveal Who He is and show you the way out.…”

—Fr. Seraphim Rose

What does man seek in religion, and what should he seek in it? How does God reveal Himself in order to bring man to a knowledge of the Truth? How does suffering help this revelation to occur? Fr. Seraphim Rose addressed these and other issues during a lecture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1981. GOD’S REVELATION TO THE HUMAN HEART is a transcription of that lecture, together with the question-and-answer session that followed between Fr. Seraphim and the university students.

“Why is the truth, it would seem, revealed to some and not to others? Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God? Yes, though usually we close it and do not let it open up: God’s revelation is given to something called a loving heart.”


Drawing upon a wealth of sources—the Holy Scriptures, patristic writings, the Lives of ancient and modern saints, and accounts of persecuted Christians in today’s world—Fr. Seraphim leads the audience to the core of all Christian life: the conversion of the heart of man, which begins to burn with love for Christ and transforms one into a new being.

48 pages, illustrated, full-color cover, paperback

paperback:  $6.00
Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future

   The psychic phenomena of today are symptoms of the emergence of a new spirituality that is molding the world religion of the future—phenomena such as Yoga, Zen, Tantra, Transcendental Meditation, Guru Maharaj-ji, Hare Krishna, UFO’s, the Charismatic Movement, and Jonestown.

    “None of these by itself … has a crucial significance in the spiritual makeup of contemporary man; but each one in its own way typifies the striving of men today to find a new spiritual path, distinct from the Christianity of yesterday, and the sum of them together reveals a frightening unity of purpose whose final end seems just now to be looming above the horizon.”

–Fr. Seraphim Rose

    This work is a concise and unequivocal Orthodox statement on contemporary trends; its urgent message rings loud and clear. Viewed from the foundation of patristic teaching, many of the spiritual movements of today are seen to be spiritual deceptions which have existed since the beginning of the Church—and not achievements of a “new religious consciousness.” Addressing soberly and directly the trends of pseudo-spirituality which appear enticing today, ORTHODOXY AND THE RELIGION OF THE FUTURE provides a beacon of discernment in these times of widespread deception.

    ORTHODOXY AND THE RELIGION OF THE FUTURE examines a broad spectrum of issues facing modern Christians—each from the perspective of the early Church Fathers. As the “New Age” is becoming a household concept and is moving into wider acceptance by mainstream society, the “new religious consciousness” can be seen progressing precisely along the lines described by the late Fr. Seraphim. Included in this edition is an epilogue that chronicles the signs of the religion of the future that have made their appearance since this book was first published.

252 pages, full-color cover, paperback

Paperback :  $10.00
The First-Created Man

THE FIRST-CREATED MAN is a collection of seven homilies which deal with Adam’s fall and our redemption by Jesus Christ.

    A knowledge of the beginning and end of all things is essential for us to understand the purpose of our existence here on this earth, and what lies beyond it. For a true interpretation of the first and last things, we must turn to those teachers who beheld the beginning and end in a state of divine vision. Among these great seers was St. Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022): he speaks of the mysteries of the beginning and end precisely because he has seen them.

    St. Symeon’s profound homilies on Adam and the future age give the theological foundation for the Christian life of struggle. The original state of man from which Adam fell tells of our deepest nature, of which our present fallen nature is a corruption that is to be overcome; and the future state of blessedness is the goal to which our Christian struggle is aimed, and to which we can attain, by God’s grace, despite our fallen state.

    “Adam did not wish to say, ‘I sinned,’ but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for transgression upon God Who created everything ‘very good,’ saying to Him, ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.’ And after him, she placed the blame on the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and beg forgiveness of Him.”

—St. Symeon, Homily 45

    These homilies of St. Symeon have been selected, translated, and introduced by Fr. Seraphim Rose with the aim of reconnecting modern man with the ancient understanding of the true purpose of life.

124 pages, illustrated, full-color cover, paperback

124 pgs. paperback :  $8.00
The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church

When Fr. Seraphim learned that the early Western Father, Blessed Augustine of Hippo, was being attacked in contemporary Eastern Orthodox circles, then he—himself a Western convert to Orthodoxy—rose in his defense. This book is the outcome. Fr. Seraphim said he wrote it in the hope that it would help remove Augustine as a scapegoat for today’s academic theologians, and thus “help free us all to see his and our own weaknesses in a little closer light—for his weaknesses, to a surprising degree, are indeed close to our own.”

    “Narrow is the mansion of my soul; enlarge Thou it, that Thou mayest enter in … for without Thee what am I to myself except a guide to my own downfall?”

—Blessed Augustine of Hippo

    After discussing Blessed Augustine’s strengths and weaknesses, Fr. Seraphim examines the views of other Holy Fathers concerning him. “His main benefit to us today,” he writes, “is probably precisely as a Father of Orthodox piety—something with which he was filled to overflowing.… Here he is one with the simple Orthodox faithful, as well as with all the Holy Fathers of East and West who, whatever their various failings and differences in theoretical points of doctrine, had a single deeply Christian heart and soul. It is this that makes him unquestionably an Orthodox Father.”

    This new edition of THE PLACE OF BLESSED AUGUSTINE IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH contains letters written by Fr. Seraphim concerning Augustine, passages from Augustine’s Confessions which Fr. Seraphim found especially moving, and an Orthodox service to Blessed Augustine, commissioned by St. John Maximovitch.

144 pages, illustrated, full-color cover, paperback

143 pgs paperback :  $10.00
Orthodox Books
Christ: The Alpha and Omega


Bishop Athanasius Yevtich The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America is pleased to announce the publication of an outstanding book by Bishop Athanasius Yevtich, a disciple of the great twentieth-century theologian Archimandrite Justin Popovich. Bishop Athanasius' thought combines adherence to the teachings of the Church Fathers with a vibrant faith and a profound experience of Christ in the Church.

Christ, The Alpha and Omega is the first of a planned collection of works of contemporary Serbian theologians. It is an anthology of Bishop Athanasius' articles which have appeared in Serbian, Greek, French, English and Russian. Focusing on themes central to Christian patristic Triadology, Ecclesiology and Anthropology, the book reveals the ultimate purpose of man and the universe, and speaks of how each of us can realize this purpose within the divine-human community of the Orthodox Church. Bishop Athanasius reminds us that the God-man Jesus Christ is the Beginning and the End of all things, and that we must seek our own end, goal, and fulfillment in Him.

The book is adorned with striking illustrations by Fr. Stamatis Skliris, a parish priest in Athens who is renowned as an iconographer and as a writer and lecturer on Byzantine iconography.

Softcover 256 pgs

softcover:  $20.00
Father Herman - Alaska's Saint

By F.A. Golder  (Papercut illistrations by Nikki McClure)

In 1794 a group of Russian missionaries from Valaam Monastery arrived in Kodiak, Alaska. For the next forty years one member of their party would remain, enduring hunger, cold, and mockery. Today he is universally recognized as a Saint of the Orthodox Church: St. Herman of Alaska.


St. Herman's love for the Kodiak natives manifested itself in his service to them throughout his life. He was the protector of the persecuted, a nurse to the sick, and a father to orphans. As a hermit on Spruce Island, he was a friend of God and of angels. Even today the natives of Alaska refer to him as their father, a connection that has never been broken.


In 1914, F.A. Golder, a leading scholar on the American Northwest at the turn of the century, spent two weeks at Valaam Monastery located on Lake Ladoga (between present-day Russia and Finland). Golder went to Valaam to learn of this missionary monk who was sent to America to bring the Orthodox Faith to the natives of the land.


The present volume contains Golder's Life of St. Herman and a collection of the Saint's miracles, spanning from the time of his repose to our own times. Included is a contemporary pilgrim's description of Spruce Island, the site of St. Herman's labors, miracles, and repose.


72 pages, illustrated with paper-cut illustrations, paperback, St Herman’s Press
72 pgs paperback, illustrated :  $8.00
Guidance Toward Spiritual Life
By Saints Barsanuphius and John

Translated by Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina.

With the practical aim of guiding the brothers at his monastery in the wilderness of northern California, Fr. Seraphim Rose set out to select and translate these counsels of Saints Barsanuphius the Great and John the Prophet, Desert Fathers of 6th-century Palestine. He found that many of the questions posed to Saints Barsanuphius and John were not unlike those asked by Christian strugglers of today. The answers of the saints expose the nature of the vices, and show how to overcome them and acquire virtue.

GUIDANCE TOWARD SPIRITUAL LIFE includes the Life of Saints Barsanuphius and John by Saint Nicodemus of Mount Athos, as well as selected passages from the Spiritual Homilies of St. Macarius the Great of Egypt.

182 pages,illustrated, full-color cover, paperback.
Paperback :  $12.00
Reflections of a Humble Heart


A fifteenth-century text on the spiritual life - adapted and translated into Russian by Archimandrite Ambrose Pogodin, English translation by Mary Mansur

When entreated for words of wisdom, the author of this text, an unknown "elder of blessed memory," begins by declaring, "There is nothing eternal under the sun except the human soul." He goes on to elucidate with penetrating simplicity the central facts of human existence: the creation and fall of man and his restoration in the God-Man Jesus Christ. Speaking with rare authority born of experience in the authentic Christian life, the elder urges his listener towards spiritual vigilance: "Heed the signs, and do not relax your trust in God." His own profound love for God and neighbor suffuses these reflections with warmth and joy, evidence of "what blessedness it is to be a slave of Christ."

"Earthly life," the elder reminds us, "is short, insecure, mutable. O Man, seek what is everlasting, eternal, and trustworthy. And what is eternal and trustworthy can be found only in God." Here is a brief work of enduring value, a text that speaks directly and convincingly to those seeking not only to know but to attain that which is eternal.

Nikodemus Orthodox Publication Society - Softcover, 99 pgs.

paperback:  $5.00
Repentance and Confession

Only 2 copies left

Confession is the life-saving medicine for society because it is capable of saving many souls from destruction...Confession from a moral standpoint is the greatest benefaction of the Church to society. The spiritual father is the moral physician of society. He alone is capable of intercepting all the bad things that afflict society today...This is what confession is from a moral standpoint, which we unfortunately have not realized and have abandoned. This is why many bad things exist, which afflict society. - St. Nektarios. The countless miracles performed by Saint Nektarios - which have become know throughout the entire Orthodox world - have overshadowed the Hierarchs wealth of teachings and writings. This initial volume entitled "Repentance and Confession" is the first of any of Saint Nektarios works to be translated into English. It is vital for every Orthodox Christian who is concerned about the salvation of his soul to read this theological yet concise and easily understood study on a much-neglected commandment of God.

62 pp Paperback:  $12.00


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