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The Kollyvades

April 10, 2010

On the Saturday of Bright Week our Church honours the Kollyvades Fathers. These are monastic saints of the 18th and 19th Century, although we could include some fathers of the 20th Century, who fought to bring genuine Orthodox spiritual life back to the fore.   It started with disputes with other Athonite monks who supported having memorial services, that were traditionally held on a Saturday, on a Sunday instead. The Kollyvades opposed this, as Sunday is the day of Resurrection and Saturday is a fitting day for memorials. The dispute spread into one about frequency of communion, something the Kollyvades advocated. They got called Kollyvades after the ‘Kolyva” or boiled wheat that is used in memorial services. This name was originally intended as an insult, but became a badge of honour.

The Kollyvades fought to unite the Orthodox of their age with the rest of the sacred ascetic Tradition of the Orthodox Church, not just because it was correct to celebrate memorial services on Saturday, and for Christians to have frequent communion, but because in general the whole hesychastic tradition of the Church had been sidelined.This is the reason why the Kollyvades, continually pointed out the stance of St. Gregory Palamas on these matters. Of course, in the same way that St. Gregory Palamas was misunderstood in his time, the Kollyvades were often misunderstood in theirs. They were attacked and persecuted in their battle for truth. Their great legacy to the Church is the Philokalia and the tradition that it gives us. We should give honour to these saints by living out this great tradition within the Church in our own lives, if we truly want to be united with our great tradition of spiritual life.
Some of the saints in the Kollyvades movement include:

St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, St. Makarios (Notaras) of Corinth, St. Nektarios of Pentapolis, St. Kosmas Aitolos, St. Sabbas of Kalymnos, St. Athanasius of Paros, St. Paisios Velitchovsky, St. Nicholas Planas, and many more.

see also

The inner unity of the Philokalia and its influence in East and West

The Neptic and Hesychastic Character of Athonite Monasticism

Mount Athos.Gr: Kollyvades

Orthowiki: Kollyvades Movement

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