Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Remembrances for September – 2023


Dear friends, if you have time, please pray for these members of the Southern family on the day they reposed.  Many thanks.

But one may ask:  ‘What good does it do to pray for the departed?’  An answer is offered here:  https://orthochristian.com/130608.html

Along with prayers and hymns for the departed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6je5axPodI

4 September

General John Hunt Morgan, a very effective Kentucky cavalry leader in the War, doing much to disrupt Yankee supply lines and making an incursion deep into Northern territory.  Killed in battle in 1864.



4 Sept.

Judge Spencer Roane, one of the best judges of his day, and an unsung hero for local authority.





9 Sept.

Bill Monroe, one of the pioneers of the Bluegrass genre of music.


9 Sept.

Stand Watie, a Cherokee leader who became a general in the Confederate Army.  He was one of the last to surrender to the Yankees in the War.




15 Sept.

Robert Penn Warren, ‘at home in all the major genres–poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism–though poetry was his dominant mode. Warren was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, a number unmatched by any other writer: one for his novel All The King’s Men (1947) and two for the poetry collections Promises (1958) and Now and Then (1978). He also received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters awarded him its Gold Medal for Poetry in 1985. In 1986 he was named poet laureate, the first in the United States to be given that title.’



16 Sept.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr (aka Robert Jordan), the writer of a renowned series of fantasy books, The Wheel of Time, amongst other works.


17 Sept.

Gov Pedro Menendez, the first Spanish governor of Florida who founded the first permanent European settlement in the South (the city of St Augustine).  A good military commander (though a little too quick to shed blood), he negotiated with the Native Americans to trade peacefully and worked to evangelize them as well.


20 Sept.

Richard Rowland Kirkland, the famous ‘Angel of Marye’s Heights’, he tended to the Yankee wounded after the Battle of Fredericksburg.



24 Sept.

William ‘Singing Billy’ Walker, he helped popularize shape note/Sacred Harp singing in the South.





27 Sept.

Gen. Braxton Bragg, a gifted commander in certain ways, but his ornery personality usually wound up antagonizing those around him.


28 Sept.

Sen. Thomas Bayard, Sr, a staunch defender of the South against Radical Reconstructionists.



Also, to celebrate some of the saints of September from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands, use these links:




Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘Monasteries are Gardens and Guardians of Culture’


The importance of Christian monasteries for the preservation of a nation’s identity is often overlooked these days in the West, but even a brief look into the relationship between the two in various countries of Christendom confirms the help that the former give to the latter.

The oldest organized European monastery was established in Bulgaria in 344 A.D., making that an appropriate place to begin.  The recovery of Bulgarian independence from the Ottoman Turks was aided greatly by the building of a monastery in the 19th century:


The Arapovo Monastery of Saint Nedelya located southeast of the town of Asenovgrad is the only Bulgarian monastery built during the Ottoman rule. In the period of Bulgaria’s National Revival, it played an important role in the spiritual and cultural awakening of the Bulgarian nation.


The monastery came to life in 1856 when a monastic dormitory was created near the gushing holy spring in the area, called in Bulgarian “ayazmo”. The construction of the monastery complex lasted several years and ended in 1859. Contributing to this deed was Archimandrite Sophronius, who became the first abbot of the newly created monastery. The chief master builder was Stoyan Buradzhitski (aka Usta Stoyu) from the village of Yogovo as the Plovdiv-based Bulgarian Church Municipality which was formed in the late 1850s during the national and church struggle for Bulgarian independence also played a role in the construction.


“In 1867 a Bulgarian school was opened in the Arapovo Monastery”, explains the monastery's acting abbot, Father Dobromir Kostov. “It had prominent enlightenment figures involved in the National Liberation Movement as teachers. According to the newspaper “Macedonia” published in Tsarigrad in this period, 60 children from the surrounding villages and about 40 poor children from Plovdiv were studying at the monastery at that time. In 1872, the Metropolitan of Plovdiv Panaret, who was also the first Bulgarian bishop appointed by the Bulgarian Exarchate, emphasized in a speech he gave that the great role of the Arapovo Monastery in the preservation of the Orthodox faith and the Bulgarian identity was its educational activity. It had a beneficial effect on the local population and helped people withstand pagan customs and superstitions. At that time, a printing workshop began to operate in the monastery, in which icons and lithographs were printed, some of them reaching as far as the towns of Prilep and Veles in Macedonia. Although it emerged late in the Bulgarian Revival period, the Arapovo Monastery of Saint Nedelya occupied a significant place in the three major lines of the Bulgarian Renaissance – new Bulgarian education, church independence, national liberation”.

For Serbia, the Hilandar Monastery on Mt Athos has been at the center of Serbian culture for hundreds of years:


Hilandar`s heritage is out of time and space. Chilandar Monastery is the first Serbian university and one of the oldest in the world. In terms of literature, religion, the study of nature, medicine, according to all of the criteria was a real university, who is trained by the best experts in these areas at this time. The monastery keeps the largest collection of Serbian charters, relics, relics of saints, old icons. Hilandar has the largest collection of miraculous icons in the world, even eight of which are the most valuable and most respected in the cristian world: the icon of the Virgin with three hands (Bogorodica Trojeručica)the icon of Christ Pantocrator, which is the most beautiful icon of Christ on the planet and icons of Holy Virgin- Odigitria, which is considered the greatest masterpiece of Byzantine art of the thirteenth century. Here is the largest library of manuscripts of the Serbian people, the largest collection of coppercut and copperwrite plates, old textiles of worship, old church plates, woodcarving works, porcelain, gold objects, crosses and the most beautiful church on Mount Athos in the judgment of Byzantine. In Hilandar was founded Serbian literacy, translation and copying activities, there is conceived Serbian medieval state of law and diplomacy, and established one of the first Serbian hospital. A place where Moravian architecture reaches its peak, through which during the last eight centuries greatest artists of icon painting and frescoes. Chilandar to the fifteenth century possessed over 30 major land`s properties – Metochia`s in Europe and Asia with over 360 villages and vast spiritual, human and material resources which can measure the power of the state.

One of the founders of Hilandar was the great St Sava.  He epitomizes the blessings that can arise from monasteries for an ethnos:


 . . . To all, he was a source of unity, healing, wisdom, joy, and spiritual strength, uniting the various tribes of Serbs into a cohesive nation of Orthodox believers. . . .


As time passed, the tremendous legacy of holy leadership on the part of the great Sava kept the Serbian people united under one flag: the royal kingdom of Serbia which avowed Orthodoxy and the way of Christ. He was the sole person who was responsible for the transformation of the Serbian people into a people of God. And their allegiance to the way in which he lived was to the Serbs the only true model and expression of religious, political and cultural life. Hence, as in the case of every great human being who inspires generations after him to even greater heights of civilized life, so too was it with Sava, for his ideal motivated the people of Orthodox Serbia to become, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, one of the most resplendent kingdoms the world has ever known. Religious life peaked as the monasteries in Serbia, the most beautiful being based upon the Byzantine style, were crowded with monastics who led an austere life, inspiring the Serbian people to greater heights of humility, while also leading them to exhibit the trait they were (and are to this day) most recognized for—hospitality. And, as mentioned, due to the astute ecclesiastical wisdom on the part of Sava in 1219 in Nicea, the Serbian Church was able, in 1346, to obtain her own autocephaly, i.e., her own Patriarch. Political and economic life also flourished, following the example of the Christ-like Sava, in the centuries following his repose in the Lord. A unity among the Serbs, based on their adherence to Orthodoxy and maintenance of the political ideals of their beloved St. Sava, allowed them to develop into a Balkan power to the point that in 1346 the Serbian King Dushan the Powerful was given the title of "Emperor of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgars and Albanians."


In sum, after his death St. Sava was to the Serbs a type of ideal and measuring rod of what it meant to be a true Serb, which is, to be fully committed to Jesus Christ and the way of Orthodoxy. Religiously, Sava was thought of as an equal to St. Nicholas, the ideal and standard of bishops; as a humane politician, Sava was considered an equal to St. Constantine the Great, the founder of the Byzantine Empire; and, as a Great Martyr later in 1595, Sava was considered an equal to the humble St. Polycarp of Smyrna, the first Great Martyr to be burned to death (see April 27th, Burning of the Relics of St. Sava). Bless the Lord God! All these Christian traits and attainments manifested in one person! During the two centuries following his death, the person of St. Sava became the brightest star ever known to the Serbs, inspiring them to a way of life which succeeding generations have as yet been unable to recapture or match [via an essay by Fr Daniel Rogich—W.G.].

More recently from Serbia is St Peter of Cetinje, another example of the positive role monastics have in a country’s life (our thanks to Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson for mentioning him in one of his podcasts in years past):

 . . .

The rest is at https://identitydixie.com/2023/06/12/monasteries-are-gardens-and-guardians-of-culture/.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘The Martial Spirit and Monasticism’


In giving his overview of the general lifecycle of a nation/ethnos, Kaisar made the observation that

In more ways than one, it would be best if a nation-state could remain within the Age of Conquests for as long as feasible. This is the best stage for sustainment, decent lives for the citizens, decent morality, with struggle (but of a nature that is not as difficult as the struggles of the founding or decadence), but no weakening of the men.

In other words, the Age of Conquests is where almost all dissidents would like to be. It is where a sustainable system needs to reside. We cannot remove the struggle aspect from life or we will enter the downward spiral to collapse. We must remain in the “hard times”, but in the best stage of the hard times. This does not mean we need to constantly be in military conflict, but we do need to constantly be in some form of a struggle for national betterment and dominance in some discipline, alongside a proper focus and culture. Only the Age of Conquests can give us that.

Recognizing how destructive unnecessary wars are for a people, how can Dixie or any other keep from falling into the decadence the comes with peace and affluence without warfare?  The answer is found in the Christian Faith, in the asceticism to which the Church calls all of her children to keep vigilantly while living in the world, and particularly in monasticism, which is a heightened practice of Christian asceticism.

Prof. Georgios Mantzarides elaborates:

St [John] Chrysostom is particularly emphatic on this point: "You greatly delude yourself and err, if you think that one thing is demanded from the layman and another from the monk; since the difference between them is in that whether one is married or not, while in everything else they have the same responsibilities... Because all must rise to the same height; and what has turned the world upside down is that we think only the monk must live rigorously, while the rest are allowed to live a life of indolence" 7. Referring to the observance of particular commandments in the Gospels, he says: "Whoever is angry with his brother without cause, regardless of whether he is a layman or a monk, opposes God in the same way. And whoever looks at a woman lustfully, regardless of his status, commits the same sin". In general, he observes that in giving His commandments Christ does not make distinction between people: "A man is not defined by whether he is a layman or a monk, but by the way he thinks" 8.

Christ's commandments demand strictness of life that we often expect only from monks. The requirements of decent and sober behaviour, the condemnation of wealth and adoption of frugality 9, the avoidance of idle talk and the call to show selfless love are not given only for monks, but for all the faithful.

Therefore, the rejection of worldly thinking is the duty not only of monks, but of all Christians. The faithful must not have a worldly mind, but sojourn as strangers and travellers with their minds fixed on God. Their home is not on earth, but in the kingdom of heaven: "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come" 10. The Church can be seen as a community in exodus. The world is its temporary home but the Church is bound for the kingdom of God. Just as the Israelites, freed from bondage in Egypt, journeyed towards Jerusalem through many trials and tribulations, so Christians, freed from the bondage of sin, journey through many trials and tribulations towards the kingdom of heaven.

Despite the similarities between the married and the monastics, the monastic longs for something more – for the full enjoyment of the Kingdom of Heaven, the undistracted pursuit of Christ.  Mother Ephrosynia of Lesna, France, provides this quotation to illustrate the depth of the monk’s or nun’s desire in her essay on monasticism:

Some people are very single-minded by nature. And there are ideas that permeate the lives of such people down to the very last detail. Everything is beautiful, joyous and of consolation, but this life is overshadowed for them by the memory of one thing, by a single thought: that of Christ Crucified. No matter how bright the sun might be, how beautiful nature, God’s creation is, how tempting far-away places might seem, they remember that Christ was crucified, and everything is dim in comparison. We might hear the most beautiful music, the most inspired speeches, but these souls hear one thing: Christ was crucified, and what can ever drown out the sound of the nails being hammered into His flesh? Describe to them the happiness of a family life, of a beloved husband or wife, of children, but Christ was crucified, and how can we not show the Lord that He isn’t alone, we haven’t deserted Him. There are those that are willing to forget everything in the world so as to stand by His Cross, suffer His suffering and wonder at His Sacrifice. For them the world is empty, and only Christ Crucified speaks to their hearts. And only they know what sweetness they taste still on this earth by sharing in the eternal mystery of the Cross, and only they hear what He says to them when they come to Him after a life full of incomprehensible hardships and inexplicable joy.

This longing gave rise to organized monasticism:

The monastic life, with its physical withdrawal from the world to the desert, began about the middle of the third century. This flight of Christians to the desert was partly caused by the harsh Roman persecutions of the time. The growth of monasticism, however, which began in the time of Constantine the Great, was largely due to the refusal of many Christians to adapt to the more worldly character of the now established Church, and their desire to lead a strictly Christian life. Thus monasticism developed simultaneously in various places in the southeast Mediterranean, Egypt, Palestine, Sinai, Syria and Cyprus, and soon after reached Asia Minor and finally Europe (Mantzarides).

And it is within the monastic way of life that the multitudes of the nations can experience the hardships necessary for a healthy society to exist without resorting to military warfare with other countries:

 . . .

The rest is at https://identitydixie.com/2023/06/06/the-martial-spirit-and-monasticism/.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘Dixie’s Church’


Father Dabney put his finger on the crucial issue for the South (and for any people):  There must be religious unity for a people to survive and flourish.  He writes,


In what I found to be a fluid disposition, Rebecca Dillingham makes the argument, and I would agree on principle, that the South has been crippled by our denominational diversity. Although I do not agree with her conclusion that Orthodoxy is the cure, myself being more in favor of a blend of Southern Presbyterian theology and Anglican liturgy (I attend such a church); I absolutely agree that stability in the churches of the South must be addressed.

In saying this, however, he also reveals one of the main reasons why there isn’t religious unity in Dixie, although we don’t think he meant to:  Folks treating religion as a DIY project.  That’s what his solution for the religion question for the South boils down to, a preference for a new combination of recent arrivals in Christian history – ‘a blend of Southern Presbyterian theology and Anglican liturgy’.

One may discern immediately that something is amiss with this formulation according to the principle of ‘lex orandi, lex credendi’, which translates roughly to ‘The law of worship is the law of belief’ (see p. 19 of this essay).  There is a contradiction in blending Presbyterian theology with Anglican worship forms, as theology and worship form an integrated whole.  Presbyterian forms of worship and Presbyterian theology cannot be separated, cannot be spliced together with other Protestant, Catholic, etc., theologies and forms of worship.  They are mutually exclusive of one another.  Such experimental religious combinations will not fare any better than the genetic splicing together of different plant and animal species that scientists have been madly going about lately.

New-fangled denominational mishmashes will not be able to withstand the attacks of the enemy over the long haul.  What is needed is to find the Church that Christ established (not the one that man concocted), the one He promised that the ‘gates of hell shall not prevail against’ (St Matthew’s Gospel 16:18).

A central question we may ask, therefore, is – Which Church received its form of worship from God Himself, and still uses that same order of worship?  This can only be said of the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church.  The priest Fr George Mastrantonis says concerning this,


The Divine Liturgy is considered the most significant ancient Christian service, not so much for its phrasing and words as for its meaning. In fact, the Divine Liturgy was in practice right after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples of Christ on the 50th day after His Resurrection, as the sacred writer of the Acts of the Apostles records (Acts 2:46 ff).  . . .  The Divine Liturgy as such was the center of the inspiration of the first Christians in their communion with God and with one another.


In upper rooms and catacombs the Apostles and later the Presbyters and Bishops of the primitive Christian Church offered the Divine Liturgy for its sacred Mysteries. It seems that relics and reminiscences of that time were preserved in the Divine Liturgies of the 2nd century and especially of the 4th century when the Liturgies took their final form. But whatever were the various forms of the Divine Liturgy of the primitive Church, as well as of the Church of the final formation of the Divine Liturgy, the meaning given to it by both the celebrants and the communicants was one and the same; that is, the belief of the awesome change of the sacred Species of the Bread and Wine into the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lord.

The three most well-known versions of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, with their ancient, apostolic lineages, are listed and described by Fr George:

 . . .

The rest is at https://identitydixie.com/2023/05/28/dixies-church/.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!