Saints2 – John Climacus

EpiLadder_of_Divine_Ascent_(Russia)sode Fifteen in The Lives of the SaintsSecond Series was uploaded to the Web last week.  It celebrates the life of St. John Climacus, 7th C. abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, and includes many colorful illustrations on the author of The Ladder of Divine Ascent, one of the most important books of the early church in the realm of Christian Spirituality.

Not generally well-known in the Western Church tradition, The Ladder, is quite famous in the Eastern Church. The episode includes a reading of St. John’s text on the 30th step on the ladder.  The illustration is a Russian Orthodox icon of unknown date.and which is in the public domain.

Watch Episode Fifteen      Listen to the Podcast

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  Glory be to God for all things!  Amen!

St. Thomas Aquinas & St. Gregory the Great

Thomas_Aquinas-Detail-Gentile da FabrianoI got a little behind in my production schedule and neglected to upload two new episodes in The Lives of the Saints – Second Series.  The first is focused on St. Thomas Aquinas, whose Feast Day is March 8th.  The episode includes five illustrations, from the 15th, 17th and 20th Centuries.  St. Thomas is best known for his Summa Theologica.  In the series I avoided comment on whether systematic theology has been a plus or a minus for Christianity.

The illustration at left is one of nine scenes in the Valle Romita polyptych in tempera and gold on panel by the Renaissance artist Gentile da Fabriano from the collection of the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy, painted circa 1400 A.D.  In the original, there are eight scenes in two rows surrounding a larger ninth central image of the Blessed Virgin and Holy Child.   St. Thomas appears in the far right side of the top row.

Watch Episode 13       Listen to Episode 13


The second presentation celebrates the life of St. Gregory the Great,

Detail, 19th C stained glass.  Image copyright Jorisvo|

Bishop of Rome, 590-604 A.D.   I include three illustrations, one of which is a 19th C. stained glass window at Stabroek, Belgium.  Gregory’s accomplishments are almost legendary in scope: ambassador to Constantinople; first monastic to be Pope; sponsor of revised liturgies, including the Presanctified Gifts still in use; founder of monastery; author of one of the earliest lists of Christian virtues in the Western Church; and advocate of the style of chanting of the Psalms at Alexandria, now known as the Gregorian chant.  The illustration is the top section of the 19th C. stained glass window referenced above, showing the Holy Spirit, depicted as a dove, whispering into Gregory’s ear as the wrote his Dialogues.  The image is based on the contemporary account by Deacon Peter of Rome.

Watch Episode 14       Listen to Episode 14

The next episode in the series, Episode 15, celebrating St. John Climacus, whose Feast Day is March 30th, will be uploaded next week.   The newest AIC Bookstore publication, The Writing Prophets of the Old Testament is now available in both paperback and Kindle editions.  Use the Virtual Bookstore links at the bottom of our Home Page at

As always, thank you for your intestest and support.

The Writing Prophets of the Old Testament

WPOT-Cover.inddThe newest AIC Bookstore Publication, The Writing Prophets of the Old Testament, is now available through our Virtual Bookstore at and, by special order, from retail bookstores.  A Kindle edition will be available in the coming weeks.

The finished version includes 128 pages in soft cover, 8.5″ x 8.5″ format.  There are 62 full-color illustrations from the 3rd through the 21st Centuries, including manuscripts, icons, mosaics, frescoes, stained glass windows, paintings, photographs, and engravings from the artistic and religious traditions of both the Eastern and Western Churches.

Order your copy now   100% of all book royalties are contributed to the AIC ministry.

In Part I, I discuss the traditional division of the Old Testament into the Books of Moses, or Pentateuch; the Histories; the Poetic Books; and the Prophets.  In Part II are separate chapters on each of the four “major” prophets (depicted on the cover, from the left, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) and on each of the twelve “minor” prophets.  For each books, I offer a brief history as well as a summary of the major themes, followed by a series of selected major quotations.   The Scripture text uses the New King James Version, except for select quotations from the King James Version which appear in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  All cross references to the Book of Psalms use the prayer book text, which is based on the version used in the Great Bible of 1539 A.D.

As a bonus feature for readers unfamiliar with the Septuagint text of the Old Testament, I have included at the end of the chapter on Daniel the full text of five Deuterocanonical works.  These are Susanna, the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Children, Bel and the Dragon, plus Daniel and Habakkuk in the Lion’s Den.    The text is based upon either the St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary Septuagint (SAAS) or older, online translations identified in the text.

In the commentary, special text boxes demonstrate the influence of many of these sixteen prophets on the Christian worship tradition, especially as practiced by Anglicans using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and also their influence upon the development of Christian theology.   The AIC’s Service Book edition of the prayer book is also available through;

The publication of The Writing Prophets of the Old Testament concludes our series of Christian Education Study Publications, Prayers Collections, and Other Publications which have been produced by the AIC since 2014 A.D.  I hope readers will find them useful in broadening their knowledge of and understanding of traditional Christian doctrine and worship.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God bless you in all that you do in His Name.  Glory be to God for all things!  Amen!