EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis):  One of the most beautiful traditions of Orthodoxy is very alive in Russia in the midst of a very cold winter… We have noted many times the deep faith the Russian people have displayed through the centuries.  Seventy years of communism were not enough to extinguish it.  Instead, their Orthodox faith came back stronger… Russian President Vladimir Putin led the way back to Orthodoxy and he is known to have visited Mt.Athos several times officially and also incognito some other times.

Yes, we Greeks are very deeply faithful too… After all, we had to face the Sea for thousands of years and all the risks that come with it.  And so many other catastrophes: invaders one after the other, earthquakes constantly… All seamen are faithful – it comes with the “territory”…  But we also differ from the other Orthodox faithful in one very significant way I believe: We kept our ancient Greek traditions to some extent and we tend to humanize “our Gods”.  And so we curse at them occasionally and we forget their sacred deity… “Νη τον Δία”, ancient Greeks said almost daily, in every other word, cursing Zeus,- and they did the same to all other Gods…  I am not going to mention here what the modern Greeks do – it’s well known… 


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