Saint Cosmas the Aetolian and Our Mission Work in Eastern Carolina

Please see the following article by Father Anastasios written for the Eastern Carolina Orthodox blog, which discusses how Saint Cosmas the Aetolian is a model of domestic mission work.

When we hear the word “missionary,” we often think of one being sent to preach in a far-away land. Certainly, Christianity has a rich history of such people being sent away from the comforts of their homeland in order to work for the salvation of others. However, there is an equally great need, especially in today’s modern Western world, to conduct such efforts at home. There are a great number of people whom we might describe as “post-Christian,” who have been raised in a “Christianesque” culture. Such people have a familiarity with the Christian faith, often attended Church when they were younger, and either reject the Gospel outright, or give lip service to Christian faith while not actually living it day-to-day.

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Saint Cosmas (1714-1779) lived at a time when Orthodoxy was on the decline in what is now Greece and Albania. After the Turkish conquest of the area in the 15th century, various pressures led to conversions to Islam, and restrictions on the practice of the Orthodox faith among those who remained Christian. Education suffered, and in many areas, people ceased to have a connection to the Greek language, which had a detrimental effect on understanding the faith. By the time of Saint Cosmas, there were countless adults in the northern regions of Greece who were unbaptized and completely uncatechized.

Read More: Saint Cosmas the Aetolian: A Patron of Domestic Missionary Work