General Information: The Veneration of Saints & Their Relics

"We carry about these clean and holy bones, O king, because we attest in due form our love of those marvelous men to whom they belong: and because we would bring ourselves to remember their wrestlings and lovely conversation, to rouse up ourselves to the like zeal; and because we would catch some vision of the rest and felicity wherein they now live, and thus, as we call them blessed, and provoke one another to emulate them, strive to follow their footsteps: because, moreover, we find thereby that the thought of death, which is right profitable, lends wings of zeal to our religious exercises; and lastly, because we derive sanctification from their touch."

—St. John Damascene, The Precious Pearl: The Lives of Sts. Barlaam and Joseph, p. 248

A Few Remarks on the Traditional Procedure for the Recognition of Saints in Orthodoxy, by Archimandrite Cyprian.

On the Veneration of the Saints, by Fr. Georges Florovsky.

Is There An Invisible Church?, by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky. This is much more an article on the Orthodox teaching concerning the Invisible Church and the Communion of Saints than a defense of the Visible Church.

On the Veneration of the Holy Relics and Remains of the Saints, by Archpriest Vasily Demidov. Orthodox Life, 1980.

The Place of Holy Relics in the Orthodox Church, by the Blessed Father Justin (Popovich) of Chelije

Veneration of the Virgin Mary, by Protopresbyter Michael Polsky.

The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, the Birthgiver of God, by St. John Maximovitch.


Then the superior [of the monastery] was taken ill, and the saint appeared to him and said: "Why are you not lighting the lamp on my grave? Know that the light of your candles is not needful to me, because God has made me worthy of His eternal, heavenly light, but it is needful for you. When you burn a light on my grave, you urge me to pray to the Lord for you." From this it is clear that the goal of our veneration of the saints is to remind them, who are worthier than we, to pray to God for us and for our salvation.

—St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ochrid, Volume III, p. 18.