Still a Useful Guide for Christian Security
In addition to showing to youth models for living, The Lives also instruct the Serbian nation on how to treat criminals. The Serbian Orthodox Church alleges that Serbia is a nation that was baptized one thousand years ago, which means that all Serbs are Christians. By their logic, it is certain that the saints are examples by whom everyone should lead their lives. By the way, our fiscal budget would be greatly relieved because it would not have to pay the salaries of the police – for they would have no reason to exist:
“Returning once from the path to his cell, Macarius the Great saw a certain thief removing his belongings from his cell and loading them onto a donkey. Macarius did not say anything to him but rather began to assist him to comfortably load all the things on the donkey, saying to himself, ‘For we brought nothing into the world.’ (I Timothy 6:7). Another elder, when the thieves stole everything from his cell, looked around, noticed that they did not take a bundle with money which lay hidden somewhere, and immediately took this bundle, called out to the thieves and gave that to them also. Again, a third elder came across thieves as they were robbing his cell and cried out to them: ‘Hurry, hurry before the brothers come that they may not prevent me to fulfill the commandments of Christ.’ ‘From the one who takes what is yours, do not demand it back.’ (St. Luke 6:30).”
What can we say to conclude this chapter? The Lives of the Saints is an established collection of very strange narratives about the bizarre behavior of people whom the Orthodox venerate as saints. Along with the great educator of the Serbs (Obradovic), I hope that such Orthodox literature and its actors can vouch for the veracity of these “saintly lives”. As we also saw, The Lives of the Saints abounds with many legends about the miracles of the saints and stories about events that most certainly never happened, even in spite of the claims of the Church that it is “the pillar of truth”.
Furthermore, even the Eastern Orthodox historian Eusebius Popovic admits that the saints could not possibly have performed all the miracles ascribed to them in The Lives of the Saints. The historian comments on the multitude of saintly miracles (resurrection from the dead, killing the dragon, healing the sick, exorcising demons, fasting for several months, visits to the “Venerable Ones” by Christ and other biblical figures, etc.).
“It is impossible that the miracles attributed by the hagiographies to the saints during their lifetimes or after their death could even have come close to what occurred in reality.”
It is time to conclude this section. The next argument concerns the veneration shown by the Eastern Orthodox Church on behalf of the saints.