Moscow, February 3, 2017
The True Significance of Sacred Tradition and Its Great Worth: A Nineteenth-Century Orthodox Response to Roman Catholic and Protestant Missionaries in the East, is now available for the first time in English.
The site of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America notes that St. Raphael wrote the thesis while a student at the Theological School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Halki. The saint is much loved in America as a great missionary, becoming the first Orthodox bishop consecrated in North America. He founded numerous parishes and struggled to raise the level of parochial education in America, to keep the faithful within the saving enclosure of the Church.
Orthodox Christians of St. Raphael’s time (1860–1915) in the Ottoman Empire were constantly exposed to the proselytization efforts of Catholic and Protestant missionaries. St. Raphael’s thesis is a response to their efforts and claims and represents “an interesting and active dialogue with Western Christianity.”
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew writes in his foreword:
Much of the cause for our personal delight in receiving and reading this book derives from the wonderful and moving insights that it provides in returning our memory and heart to a time when this unique Theological School still vibrantly functioned, when the value of learning classical and foreign languages was held in high regard, and students of theology engaged with sources both inside and outside of their traditions.
The volume, translated from Greek by Fr. Patrick Viscuso, also includes the seminary’s 1874 regulations and a contemporary account of life at the school.
St. Raphael was canonized in 2000 at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Waymart, PA.