Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Saint Who Walked on Southern Soil

‘Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints’ - Ps. 116:15 KJV.

‘ . . . behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation’ - II Cor. 6:2 KJV.

‘"Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous merit the enjoyment of blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but rather such a height of righteousness that men are filled with the grace of God to the extent that it flows from them upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness; it proceeds from personal experience of the Glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men's needs, and upon their supplication they appear also as intercessors and defenders for them before God." — St. John Maximovitch’, http://abbamoses.com/

Now does the South begin to be fully herself.

Now are the firstfruits of Southern holiness offered to God.

Now is the fulness of the life in Christ found in the Holy Orthodox Church made manifest in the Southland.

For a true son of the Souð, born Robert Royster in Teague, Texas, and falling asleep in the Lord as the Most Reverend Dmitri, Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, has been found to have incorrupt relics by the holiness of the life he lived.

Above is an image taken today of the incorrupt body of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas. He died in the summer of 2011, and was buried unembalmed, according to Orthodox tradition. On Friday his body was disinterred for transferral to his new tomb in St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, which was his own. When the cemetery personnel opened his coffin, they found Vladyka Dmitri incorrupt.

That is to say, his body had not decayed. He has been buried for four and a half years under the Texas ground, and his body looks like it did the day he died.

This is a miracle. In Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity, it is seen as a sign that the deceased was, and is, a saint. If you read The Brothers Karamazov, you may remember that whether or not the deceased Elder Zosima was incorruptible was a feature of the narrative.

 . . .

Source:  Rod Dreher, ‘Dallas Has a Saint’, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/91243.htm

 . . . In the early morning of March 4, when Restland employees opened the concrete vault that contained Vladika’s wooden coffin, I was ready to see all these horrible things I was told about.

To our amazement, Vladika’s coffin was found intact amidst the wet atmosphere of the sealed vault and was easily opened.

The Funeral Director, who was present there in a complete haz-mat mask, stated that she had never seen a non-embalmed body in such a condition after 5 years in the grave, and that she believes it is a miracle.

 . . .

Source:  Vladimir Grigorenko, ‘PHOTOS: Personal Testimony to Archbishop Dimitri’s Incorrupt Relics’, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/91288.htm

For more about Saint Dmitri’s life and the events surrounding the uncovering of his relics, please follow these paths:


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Thanks be to God, the South has now fully re-established her bond with the Faith of her Orthodox forebears of Western Europe and Africa by bearing a saint.  For this is what the Church does in all ages:  She makes saints.  Salvation is not merely a legal declaration that we are righteous in God’s sight and that we will escape hellfire, while we remain the slave of our fallen passions to the grave.  Ræther, it is to be truly filled with God’s holiness, His outflowing energies, His own Life, that we might become new creations by assimilating that Grace into our souls and bodies.  This is what St Dmitri did, and what we are called to do, by living the life of the Lord Jesus Christ in this world.

The South still has a long way to go before a true Southern Orthodox culture arises in the same manner as the Orthodox cultures of Rome, Africa, England, etc. before the dark times of heresy and schism set in, but she has a taken a step forward nevertheless, a very big step forward. 

Now, let us say everyday with warmth of heart to our new intercessor before the throne of the All-Holy Trinity, who has joined there Dixie’s patron saint Alfred the Great and the other holy saints of our European and African forefathers who continually ask for God’s blessing upon us:

‘Holy Saint Dmitri, pray to God for us sinners at the South!’

Glory to God for all things!

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