Chrysostom Press is not currently taking orders.
Chrysostom Press has communicated with St. Kosmas Homeschool Association that they will be taking orders again in a few months, at which time they hope to also have the newly-translated May volume available for sale.
- originally written/compiled by Saint Demetrius of Rostov (born 1651; reposed 1709; canonized 1757) in Slavonic and published in Kiev
- Russian edition (translated from the original Slavonic) was first published in 1914 by the Christian Printshop of the Transfiguration Almshouse in Moscow.
- English edition (translated by Fr. Thomas Marretta) is published by Chrysostom Press.
Reviews of St. Demetrius of Rostov's Great Collection:
Review by Seraphim Larsen:
We frequently listened to an audio version of the English translation of Saint Demetrius of Rostov's Lives of the Saints of September when our oldest children were very young. We took many road trips in those days, and this was the favorite way to pass the time. Our oldest daughter, who is now 23, still remembers listening to these lives, and still remembers many details – they have provided examples and inspiration for all of us. The book includes wonderful saints as Saint John the Theologian, Saint Symeon the Stylite, Saint Eustathius, Saints Faith, Hope, and Love, Saint Euphrosynos the Cook, Saint Michael of Chernigov, and so many others. The stories are presented in a straightforward manner, with many interesting details. Saint Demetrius, the author, often referred to original texts when compiling these lives. For example, he cites large sections of the court records of some of the early martyrs, presenting the actual dialogue as recorded by the court clerks. The writing is of a high level, but clear and understandable to children. Many of these saints were unknown to us, but now they feel like dear friends. We always look forward to September, because this audio series made these lives so readily available to us. We see this collection as essential reading and are so thankful to Chrysostom Press for their decades-long labors in translating these works.
Review by Christine Hall:
The Great Collection by St. Demetrius of Rostov is the best literature available for young Orthodox children. It is written in the form of a story, in a way that is very engaging for elementary age readers. Some accounts of saints' lives intended for children are "dumbed-down" either in content or language, or both. Other collections of saints' lives for adults are written in a style more like an encyclopedia, which generally does not hold the interest of young children. The stories in this collection convey profound truths of our faith while still being accessible and captivating to the minds and hearts of young children. This is the brilliance of St. Demetrius' writing. It has the ability to form children in Truth and in the phronema of the Church from a very young age, and to instill in them what it truly means to live for Christ.
This resource can easily be incorporated into the history and literature curriculum of Orthodox parochial and home schools. Children who are avid readers from a young age can read this entire collection by the end of 4th grade. In my experience, this helps children approach worldly knowledge with a stronger Orthodox worldview, helps them to distinguish truth from falsehood, and gives them an increased appetite for spiritual reading in grades 5-12. If children are not able to read this collection themselves in early elementary, parents can cultivate their children's academic and spiritual development by reading to them from it every day until the children are able to read it on their own.
Some people prefer to skip around and pick out selections for the saint of the day, or to use selections for a historical time period they are studying. While it certainly can be used that way, I think it offers the most benefit – as a catechism tool and as a full picture of the Body of Christ – if it is read straight through from cover to cover. Aside from giving children an Orthodox translation of the Gospel, there is no other book or set of books that I recommend more than this one.
Review by Shawna Mary Jackson:
My husband and I attended a homeschool conference presentation that emphasized the benefits of incorporating into our daily program The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints written by Saint Demetrius Rostov. We purchased these volumes and have begun to read them aloud to our children. The kids love them and after two weeks my eight-year-old told me that he had decided to pray more so that he could draw closer to Christ. This experience has helped our family to refocus our purpose in homeschooling.