[Acts 13: 4-5] ” 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
To be Holy is an ontological transformation that takes place within if a person was a Temple of God while alive! [1 Corinthians 3: 16] Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God”?
1) It is a Greek Orthodox Monastic Tradition worldwide, to exhume the monks’ bodies 5 years after their death. Their remains are then placed in special charnel houses and at the same time, the Monastery monks are given the chance to establish first hand if their brother monk brings signs of Holiness on his remain. In reality, what they are looking to ascertain is:
2) Whether the remain (the bones) have acquired a honey- gold color,
3) Ascertain if a distinct beautiful scent (aroma) ascends from the monk’s relic.
4) In some cases (that are not rare) like in the case of Saint Demetrios the “fragrant”
who lived the 3rd century, His Holy Remains gush out a semi-liquid aromatic unction
that looks like honey. Every year the 3rd of November, the delegation of His Temple in Thessalonica Greece, opens His reliquary (that is permanently located in the Church), in order to gather from the Holy Remain His unction on cotton balls, so that the faithful ones can keep them as a special blessing.
5) It is well known among Christians of the Orthodox Church, that the Holy Remains
(and the unction) are known to cure even the most incurable diseases and illnesses.
The Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church explain that the Gold and Aromatic Remains of a monk are signs of holiness, that are begotten as a result of an actual physical transformation or a metamorphosis that is ontological that takes place during the monk’s natural life. The Holy Fathers explain that this metamorphosis constitutes the needed proof that during the monk’s natural life that he managed to become a “vessel” of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Fathers resemble the transformed Holy Remains of the monk with a rod iron that has become incandescent (transformed) after being put to the fire. Even though the iron returns to what it seems to be its natural form and shape after being placed in the fire, a close examination reveals a change of color and the presence of powder like a residue. This is the reason why the term Saint is not a moral (ethical) term in Orthodoxy, but an ontological (physical) one.
The glory found on holy remains is a prefiguration of this new glorified way of being of the body.
The honor that is attributed to them by God in the Orthodox Church is another testimony of the Orthodox faith that points out to the total glorification of man. (A Thesall 5:23-24) 23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24. “Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it”.
The Grace of God that sanctifies the holy remains with aroma is mentioned in the Holy Bible in [2 Corinthians 2: 14-15] 14.”We owe thanks to God, because while he wins and while being triumphant, he always carries us all about in his triumph as deacons of his victory that takes place for Christ and his gospel”. 15. “Because we the apostles and the preachers of the gospel are indeed the scent of Christ that is pleasing to God˙ a scent amongst those who are saved and also amongst those who are sentenced to eternal loss”.
The same Grace is known to be transmitted through various objects (f.i. clothing and other objects) that come into contact with the bodies of Saints resulting in miracle-making. (Matthew 20-22) 20. “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind [him], and touched the hem of his garment”: 21. “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole”. 22 “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour”. They also removed demons and they cured them by anointing them with oil. [Mark 6:13] “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].” We also witness the fact that they cured the ill by using handkerchiefs or aprons. [Acts 19:12] “So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”
God, in His infinite wisdom in order to protect the monk from arrogance while alive, and from other people that might want to harm him because of jealousy, allows the rest of us to see this metamorphosis (signs of Sainthood) after death and after we exhume the body.
In this here part please allow me to point out in a humble way and with brotherly love that, all these wonderful things which you are reading, that are happening, can become a part of the lives of ALL people that would like to take the Orthodox Baptism in order to be able to strive to achieve high, in this Graceful endeavor).
It is very important to become aware of the fact that this method of determining Sainthood can only work with Divine intervention. This Divine “selected” method is man proof, meaning it is impossible for any person to tamper with Remains before the day of their removal from the grave without their actions first being noticed. (The grave will be disturbed). It is also impossible to add or remove the honey gold color or the aroma from the transformed Holy Remains. The relatives of the monks are usually present when the Orthodox Church is exhuming a monk’s body.
This Orthodox Tradition began in the early years of Christianity, as early as the time the twelve Apostles were preaching Christianity to the world. The fact that the Orthodox Church is the custodian today of the Holy Remains of many of the Apostles verifies not only the authenticity (validity) but also the “age” of this Church Tradition.
At the beginning of Christianity, the first Christian families used to exhume the bodies of their loved ones and then exhibited their Remains with pride in a visible part of their house, in order for friends and relatives to silently establish holiness. This Holy Ecclesiastic Tradition was practiced in early Christianity when most of the people in the cities and the villages would obey the Church and would live a way of life in and out of the Church that was pleasing to God, the correct way of life that could lead to the Heavenly Kingdom. As time went by, the people in the cities started to deviate from the demanding way of life that leads to Salvation and the Heavenly Kingdom.
It was decided then by a few Christians to move away from the cities to remote areas where they were able to practice alone and undisturbed the “Life-giving” Traditions and Practices passed down to them by the Apostles that would lead them to Theosis/Salvation. Because they lived far away and they were alone they were known as (μοναχόs =alone) monks. Today’s Orthodox Monks that live in faraway places are in pursuit of the same spiritual life and have the same spiritual objectives as the Apostles and their Saints forefathers. Any Holy Remains found outside the Greek Orthodox Church today are Holy Remains belonging to Saints of the Church as created by the Holy Spirit the day of Pentecost before the schism in 1054 AC at which time the WILL of God for the Salvation of man was replaced by the will of man! The words Salvation and Holiness have an unbreakable bond in Orthodoxy especially if we are referring to the Heavenly Kingdom.
The purpose of the godlike beings is one: to become gradually perfect as God the Father to become “a god by Grace” , to attain Theosis, Deification, Christificication , Trinification.