On Orthodoxy
September 25, 2023

Navigating the Orthodox Faith: The Best Books on Saints and Fasting for Every Devotee

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In the course of our research for the Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints & Fasting Calendar, we often run across stories that constantly amaze us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

In our rapidly evolving world, brimming with novel ideologies and spiritual movements, it can be both enlightening and reassuring to explore ancient faith systems. Orthodox Christianity, for instance, is one of the world's oldest religious institutions, offering a deep well of wisdom and tranquillity that can be drawn upon through the diligent study and practice of its teachings.

Understanding Orthodox Christianity

Orthodox Christianity's rich tapestry has been woven over the span of many centuries, resulting in a faith steeped in traditions and customs. Central to these traditions are the veneration of saints and the practice of fasting, both deeply symbolic in their interpretations and application. An understanding of these key aspects not only facilitates a closer connection with the faith but also uncovers a profound wisdom that often transcends the limits of temporal existence.

Why Read Books on Saints and Fasting

To Deepen Your Faith

The cornerstone of any faith lies in the bedrock of knowledge. The greater your knowledge about a faith, the more nuances and intricacies you understand, leading to a more profound and intimate connection with your beliefs. Orthodox Christianity, with its depth and breadth of spiritual wisdom, offers much to learn and understand. Reading books on saints and fasting, key aspects of Orthodox Christianity, helps one decipher this wisdom, enabling a more profound and personalized interpretation of faith.

For Spiritual Growth

Books are more than mere vessels of information. They serve as mirrors reflecting the wisdom of ages, lessons learnt over millennia, and reflections borne from deep contemplation. As we delve into books written by spiritual leaders and saints, we find ourselves on a journey of spiritual growth. Each page turned takes us one step further, bringing us closer to understanding our faith, our spiritual selves, and our place in the grand tapestry of existence.

The Best Books on Saints

The Lives of the Saints

A Synopsis

"The Lives of the Saints" is more than just a catalog of saints' biographies. It is a curated compilation of their lives, providing detailed narratives about the saints' virtues, struggles, and miracles. The book immerses readers into the divine lives of these saints, bridging the gap between historical accounts and contemporary interpretations.

Why It's a Must-Read

"The Lives of the Saints" offers readers an intimate glimpse into the lives of holy men and women from different eras. Through their lives, we can learn about their virtues and spiritual strength, gaining insights into how we can apply these lessons to our own lives. This book serves as an inspiration to live our faith more authentically and meaningfully.

The Prologue of Ohrid

A Synopsis

"The Prologue of Ohrid", authored by St. Nikolai Velimirovic, stands as a spiritual powerhouse combining the lives of the saints, homilies, and contemplations. It serves as a profound spiritual guide, enlightening readers with its insightful content every day.

Why It's a Must-Read

This book is more than just a read; it's a companion for personal reflection and prayer. It provides daily readings that stimulate introspection and spiritual contemplation, helping you imbibe wisdom and transform your perspective towards faith and spirituality.

Wisdom of the Divine Philosophers

A Synopsis

"Wisdom of the Divine Philosophers" is a monumental work that collects the philosophical insights and spiritual wisdom of some of the most revered saints and scholars of Orthodox Christianity. This book provides a deep dive into the minds of these spiritual philosophers, outlining their contemplative reflections on faith, God, humanity, and existence.

Why It's a Must-Read

"Wisdom of the Divine Philosophers" offers a precious opportunity to tap into the profound wisdom that has illuminated the path for countless devotees in their spiritual journey. The book enriches one's understanding of Orthodox Christianity by presenting philosophical perspectives that encourage readers to think more deeply about their faith. This isn't just a book for the religious; it's a treasure trove for anyone seeking to explore the nexus of philosophy, spirituality, and humanity.

There are three volumes available: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3

The Best Books on Fasting

The Ladder of Divine Ascent

A Synopsis

"The Ladder of Divine Ascent", penned by St. John Climacus, is an ascetical treatise that delves into spiritual life, including the discipline of fasting. It serves as a comprehensive guide that inspires readers to journey towards spiritual enlightenment.

Why It's a Must-Read

This age-old classic provides deep insights into the spiritual practice of fasting. It encourages readers to engage in this holy practice with a renewed perspective and understanding, enhancing spiritual growth, and leading to self-transcendence.

The Lives of the Saints Calendar

A Synopsis

"The Lives of the Saints Calendar" is a unique literary and spiritual resource that provides a daily account of the saints and their lives, based on the Church's liturgical calendar. The book is structured in a calendar format, providing readers with daily readings and reflections on the life of a saint whose feast is celebrated on that day.

Why It's a Must-Read

This book serves as a spiritual compass guiding the faithful through the year. By associating each day with the life and teachings of a saint, it imbues everyday life with a sense of the divine. Whether you're looking for daily inspiration or aiming to cultivate a deeper connection with the saints and their teachings, "The Lives of the Saints Calendar" is an indispensable companion. It enhances your understanding of fasting within the Orthodox tradition by showcasing how saints embodied and practiced this holy discipline in their lives.

The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church

A Synopsis

"The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church" outlines the Church's guidelines on fasting, elaborating on its significance and benefits in an Orthodox believer's life.

Why It's a Must-Read

This book is an indispensable guide for anyone wishing to practice fasting in line with Orthodox traditions. By understanding the theological reasoning behind these rules, readers can immerse themselves fully into this spiritual practice.


Navigating the labyrinthine depths of Orthodox faith and its practices is akin to undertaking a spiritual odyssey. This journey requires dedication, patience, and a thirst for knowledge. The books mentioned above serve as lighthouses guiding the devout on their path, illuminating the significance of saints and fasting in Orthodox Christianity. As you embark on this journey of reading and spiritual growth, may you find the wisdom you seek and the faith you aspire to embody!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are saints venerated in Orthodox Christianity?

In Orthodox Christianity, saints are seen as role models of faith and virtue. They inspire believers to live their lives with holiness, righteousness, and unwavering devotion to God.

What is the significance of fasting in Orthodox Christianity?

‍Fasting in Orthodox Christianity is more than a dietary practice; it's a spiritual discipline meant to cleanse the soul, humble the self, and facilitate a deeper connection with the divine.

Where can I purchase these books?

‍Most religious bookstores and online marketplaces like Amazon stock these books. You can also procure them directly from the publishers.

Are these books appropriate for newcomers to Orthodox Christianity?

‍Absolutely! These books provide foundational knowledge beneficial for both novices and seasoned practitioners of Orthodox Christianity.

How can reading deepen my understanding and commitment to my faith?

‍Reading provides insights, fosters understanding, and presents perspectives that may have been hitherto unconsidered. It offers guidance in your spiritual journey, enhancing your faith and commitment.

Read more about the life of the Saint, their works and contributions to the Orthodox Faith.
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