While You Were Sleeping



The latest buried news from the cursed fig tree that is the west. No worries though. This is just the latest in the western model of destroy and conditionally loan, now more recognizable among western citizens.

Aid is needed here.

To You, Champion Leader and Lord, the Vanquisher of hell, I, Your creature and servant, offer a song of praise, for You have delivered me from eternal death. But as You have ineffable loving kindness, deliver me from all dangers, that I may cry out to You:

Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!

First Kontakion

Akathist Hymn to our Sweetest Lord and Savior


Closing the Circle of Understanding on the “Pandemic” and How Western Monetization Works

This post attempts to close the circle of understanding from some of the more recent posts, both on economics and a currency, taxes of a nation (1,2), and the current pandemic (3,4,5) (although referencing those prior posts is not necessary to follow this post).  As discussed in the last post, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that some things are just too complicated for average people to understand. Rather, if something is supposed to be common ( e.g. money or health), it should be understandable by common people, and using common sense. We make several simple points that any average person can understand, to help us understand what is going on. The points can tie things together for us and the conclusions should be reasonable.

POINT # 1.

There is something that can occur with taxes called the misallocation capital. To use a crazy example, we know that in the winter people need to pay for heat. Suppose a government however  imposes a winter tax on people, and uses that tax money to support businesses that build air-conditioners during winter season instead. So the money that could be used to pay heating bills is taken away and used for something contrary to what the people need. The point here is that a government tax can allocate money wrongly. People of course can use money wrongly also, but in this case the damage is limited to the person that makes the wrong decision. Not the whole country. And why would a government ever appropriate money away from what people need? Maybe we can figure that one out.

POINT # 2.

We all hear about how governments are in debt. This means that there must be a lending institution or bank that is loaning money to the government. This lending provides the currency to be used for the exchange of goods and services for that country. Bank loans at different rates defines their business, a commercial enterprise. It should come as no surprise then that taxes people pay could be paying interest.  If a country’s currency and liquidity are defined in this way, then the country becomes exactly that: a commercial enterprise. Note that at this point if you are a person or institution that does not pay taxes, such as the apostolic churches in the west, you may not care about this and may even discourage people to read on.


We now look at a remarkable coincidence (or not) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The observation centers on the so called overnight repo interest rate. This source describes what this rate is but there are other sources. From the link:

“Overnight repo rate is the interest rate at which different market participants swap treasuries for cash to cover short-term cash needs. The repo rate is helping to ensure banks have the liquidity to meet their daily operational needs and maintain sufficient reserves. The repo rate usually trades in line with the Federal Reserve’s target interest rate.”

The distilled point from this definition for the sake of this article is that the rate  provides the means of liquidity (cash) for banks to meet their daily operational needs. So if these means are not met, people’s money would be in jeopardy.  The daily commercial lives of people would have to be limited somehow and the banks would have to set a cap on withdrawals. A cap on the exchange of capital.  But is there another way to do this? Is there another way to shut down the economy? Look at the figure from the link:

There is a point in October 2019 when the control over the rate seems to have been lost briefly. Also the inflection where the graph flattens to near zero near the end coincides exactly with start of the COVID-19 pandemic or at least when the attention to the virus started.

One could say this is a coincidence. Or one could say that the rate was adjusted because of the pandemic. The virus is after all real. But if you want to define your country as a commercial enterprise, where its very existence, its very soul, is defined by a loan, then could we not expect at least some manipulation of reality based on interest rates?

POINT # 4.

This last point delves into some speculation but is based on another fact of banks: they are instruments for investments. And since the currencies of nations come into existence by loans, we should expect countries to do what banks ask them to do.   It’s nothing personal. Just business.  And the way some banks operate today, existing loans are used as “assets” to solicit new loans and business. This could explains how leaders seem empty, almost soul-less, with no personality, and scripted, while knowing exactly “what needs to be done”. They are employees of a new venture.  So if a solicitor of business, such as the vaccine industry or other entity, provided the cash for an investment idea, a stimulus may be offered to support the investment.  For example: providing billions of dollars to consolidate and even exaggerate the diagnosis and death rates of COVID-19 to hospitals now on the verge of bankruptcy, financing press releases disguised as news, financing studies that downplay alternative treatments, or making state bail-outs conditional on lock-downs.  And if the venture includes air-conditioner manufacturers, the government can also include laws that require their purchase in the middle of winter.

There is much literature on the nature of a currency and purpose of money that blames “fiat” currency for our problems. That money comes into existence out of nothing and that those that print money in this way are the problem. These critics say that money should be gold or silver based. But a country still needs liquidity, or some kind of means to adjust the amount of money supply to support the exchange of goods and services of her people. Wouldn’t it be easier to just stop defining countries as commercial enterprises? Just stop defining the currency by a loan. That is what BitCoin is . A currency without a loan price. But BitCoin lacks something. The supply cannot be adjusted according to the needs of the market.[1]

Look again at the curve above. The rate is almost at zero. Why not keep it there for good and let the supply of money continue as needed. Leave interest rates to the realm of commercial banks and borrowers in the free market. The currency supply could be adjusted on the value of gold or silver, or some other resource. How about on the number of families, babies, or small businesses? Just stop basing it on interest, because the loaner will always think that money is really theirs.

Update 6/11/21. Sine the death rate from the COVID vaccines so far exceed norms, the marketed pandemic can not only be about shutting down the economy to continue unsustainable interest-based liquidity, but also to reduce the population for those same reasons.

[1]BitCoin lacks other essential elements of a currency. It can’t be issued in a form you can hide under your pillow. Cash. The hallmark of a public’s trust of a currency. It also cannot be used to pay a tax, the mark of an official currency.

The Fundamentally Flawed Industry (Science 301).

We live in an age where the Hippocratic oath is not operational. One of the weapons doctors can use to help do no harm in this age is educate themselves about treatments using concepts that are understandable, to communicate the concepts behind treatments in very simple terms so that the average person can understand them.  I have tried to do this with my patients so they can actually understand when a treatment is of little benefit or worse, hurtful. This way there is no hiding behind authorities, policies, marketing, technical terms, fancy names, stock quotes or statistics. Statistics is a sometimes abused field where a link between nonsense and rubbish can be made to look impressive. Things have to make sense, common sense, and in the field of health this means associations and questions have to have biological plausibility.

The following is on the nature and complications of viruses and vaccines and presents well-know concepts followed by questions that are logical, based on the underlying understanding. An average person should be able to come up with the questions. There are no links, because the concepts are well established and can be easily searched. The questions put the burden for answers on the vaccine industry, not me, nor the public. They are natural questions that arise from the understanding of the process. The simple concepts are not an invitation for attack by experts in the field. The burden of teaching concepts for the common person falls also on the industry. Remember: biological plausibility.

Viruses are non-living infecting agents that come “alive” only in our cells. In our cells, the viruses reproduce the proteins to make up the virus itself which then can be released to infect other cells. The damage is done when our immune system goes after the cells infected resulting in inflammation. This damage can be mild or can kill a person.

Antibodies are binding proteins we generate in response to the infection that can trap the virus and hold them for breakdown by our bodies. They are produced by the initial infection and saved for the next infection. They are our defense but they also bring along an inflammation response.

Vaccines are pieces of viruses we introduce to stimulate the production of antibodies, to protect us from future infections. So when we get infected, we are ready this time. The antibodies bind and our bodies clean up (with inflammation as a result). The infection is gone. Or is it? Remember we said that virus are non-living proteins. In the case of a bacterial infection, antibodies will bind and the bacteria are killed, along with the other treatments we use for bacterial infections. Bacteria are living organisms, now dead. Gone. The proteins and protein pieces that make up a virus, as well as those protein pieces that come from vaccines, may linger within or as part of our cells even after the infection and inflammation have subsided.

The vaccines are also grown in animal cells, introducing virus and host proteins that come from whatever species was used to develop the vaccine.  The antibodies that are generated from these other proteins are never talked about. So along with the viruses that could linger,  the antibodies we generate, with all the potentially cross-reactivity with our own tissue, are always available from that point on. Both are like a code that linger for the next trigger.

QUESTIONS #1: Since these proteins could linger in different tissues in our bodies after an infection or after a vaccine, can’t they resurface at some point? Can the antibodies that have been generated actually attack our cells even when there is no threat?  Could this be a cause of the so called auto-immune and chronic inflammatory diseases that some people get? There are multiple diseases people can get after a viral infection (e.g. acute disseminated myelitis).  Why then should we not expect the same after vaccines?  If Chicken pox can result in a reactivation decades later (shingles-note that this is a different and potentially more severe disease) why can’t a vaccine? If a person can generate antibodies to a kidney transplant, why wouldn’t they generate antibodies to a vaccine’s accessory proteins introduced from their development using human and other mammalian cell lines? Could repeated vaccines, especially those related to each other or a prior related viral infection burden the immune system of those who are not sick?   Do you think these are reasons enough that we should limit the number of related vaccines? This brings up a strange concept that has been introduced into our culture that related vaccines need to be taken more than once in a lifetime. Like the yearly flu shot. More on this at the end.

One of the defenses viruses have against our immune system is that they can mutate, or change protein codes to evade the antibodies we have made to eliminate them. RNA viruses, such as H1N1 (the flu) or coronaviruses generally have high mutation rates compared to DNA viruses. One of the ways viruses can change is via genome recombination when there are at least two viral genomes present in the host cell. Genetic recombination can be thought of as an exchange of traits between two viruses. This is similar to how a baby gets characteristics from both father and mother in their genetic code. Genetic recombination also can occur between viruses and vaccines, which are the weakened versions of the virus. Even without genetic recombination, continually treating something that is never completely eliminated is a know mechanism for break-through mutations.

QUESTIONS #2: Since genetic recombination can occur between viruses and vaccines, effectively producing a mutation, could the use of repeated related vaccinations increase the mutation rate in humans so that we actual become incubators for mutations? Could this be another reason we should limit the number of related vaccines?

QUESTION #3:  Given certain viruses, like COVID-19, have no or mild symptoms in the majority of people to begin with, and have pharmaceutical cures, is a vaccine even worth it, let alone a mandatory vaccine for all, given that

  • Some inflammation can be started by the vaccine itself?
  • There is a risk of disturbing the peace to cause antibodies to attack the host?
  • The specific immune response may distract and even burden the body from other needed defenses?
  • There is a risk of mutations?

Once upon a time vaccines were designed to be done deals [1]. Get them once and you are protected for life, maybe with a booster or two. How we got to the point of accepting a yearly vaccine, I am not sure of. But to make the absurdity of the notion hit home, consider how one day appendectomies could be limited to just snipping off the end of the appendix so that we could have yearly appendectomies, for the rest of our life. Providing sustainable income for the health industry for years to come. Not the best analogy but I’m sure you can get the point. Welcome to the world without the Hippocratic oath.

[1] Although the vaccine industry staked its proofs in the early 20th Century, their “proofs” never corrected for the emergence and coming of age of general public hygiene and increased medical and surgical knowledge , which could have accounted for much of the improved health of the public.

Update-4/17/21. This “side effect” of introducing foreign proteins in our body is much more explicit in the new generation of so-called mRNA “vaccines”.

The Pandemic and the Intellect Don’t Mix (Science 201)

This post is a follow-up to a prior, Science 101, and is written on Easter Sunday April 12, 2020. The marketed nightmare for the Corona virus COVID-19 rages on, promoting the cancellation of public Easter Liturgies all over the world. Bishop after bishop cancels Masses based on the reaction of “authorities” without any attempt of a creative solution or compromise to extend the Eternal to mankind, something armies and tyrants could never do to this extent. To understand the degree of this deception, try imagining every news post or article about the Corona virus, substitute the word “Common cold” instead and you will know. At worst this is a virulent strain of the common cold, engineered in a lab or not, while the statistics have still not broken from prior morbidities of Corona viruses and still not reached the levels of morbidity of the flu (Influenza A – H1N1). What is most virulent is the marketing campaign and the contagion of reaction, symptoms of sick society without any grounding. Coronaviruses have been around 100’s years, with known treatment. Are we to expect a maintained PR campaign for the same?  Can we at least use the knowledge we already have about Coronavirus? With all the afflictions of society ignored, including the mass slaughter of thousands of the unborn a day, the time was ripe I suppose.

And what of the intellect? With an ounce of intellect and a measure of time, anyone can realize that the mass media will lie about what you know to be true at some point, if it has enough funding and is in the interest of some “authority”. This is simply the age we live in. This is the nature of “uncountries”. Remember the relentless media campaign to invade the wrong country after 9/11?  Now the media will admit their mistake but say it is too late to do anything about  it. Too late to withdraw the troops. So it will be  with the new measures coming to handle the “pandemic”.

Here is a reminder to “authorities”. The scientific method was not born yesterday. It was not born with Descartes. The method to recognize the natural world has always been around with humans. It is the background needed to recognize a miracle. And almost 2000 years ago a collection of manuscripts were compiled by peer review. They are called the Gospels and Christ was risen from dead.

He is indeed risen, Hallelujah.

Addendum:  Please watch and pass on this video. Send the video link to your Bishop. While we can hope that they will use their intellect to understand what is going on, they would a least know that there are those out there who are.


Please sign the petition.

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy powerful name (and image), which is the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying.

Coronaviruses and Science 101

The following is information from a textbook of medicine from the 1980’s, referenced at the end.  This can be used to supplement the information from the Centers for Disease Control (of your life). The CDC is a not any official branch of the government, but a member of the sandbox of tax-exempt cult-like organizations open to the highest bidder.

Coronaviruses are the second most common class of viruses that cause the common cold after the rhinoviruses. They typically have peaks of activity every 2-4 years. Most cases are mild. Severe cases typically occur in 3-8% of people.   Treatment has been available years. These statistics are consistent with worst current data on COVID-19. Current data of most hit regions, such as in Italy, show deaths only occur with co-morbid conditions.

This new strain could have a predilection for lung involvement when severe, but this predilection has not increased the chance of severe cases so far compared to the 1980’s data. The statistics for COVID-19 still have not hit the levels for Influenza (the flu) according to the CDC.

Coincidently, when the flu is severe and involves the lungs, the presentation is bilateral with peripheral infiltrates.  This is how the presumed COVID-19 pneumonias are being described.

Cecil Textbook of Medicine, Part XIX, Section 3, 325/326 “The Common Cold”. 17th Edition, WB Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA 1985.

Invoking the Image

The Eternal Truth of the Holy Trinity, the true nature of God has been explicitly declared by the Apostolic Churches and Holy Scripture. It has been reinforced by the Churches and is reinforced every time we make the sign of the cross.  But when was it first declared?

It was declared in a person first. Her existence will always declare it without a word uttered about it.  It will always be declared by her image, also without a word said.   Because when the Angel declared the virginal conception of her Son in her, a creature of God the Father became the Mother of God the Son who had to have been conceived in her by God the Holy Spirit. Her image will always declare the Holy Trinity, without a word said.

The Church of Italy?

The Church of Rome is the second and last place the first bishop Peter reigned after Antioch. From here the Latin Catholic Church began her proliferation across the world, crossing national boundaries while preserving national identity for peoples. How can this happen? What religion could accomplish this? We explain in two other posts (The Evangelization of Celibacy, The Fulcrum of the Kingdom of God) that this has everything to do with celibacy.  The other Churches that came out of Antioch did not so emphasize celibacy for priests, religious, and laity and evolved into Churches of national associations but with intact Sacraments. Sources of sacramental graces for millions of peoples and families but with a limited international reach compared to the Latin Church, except when those families migrated.

The premise in western cultures that sexual activity is some sort of necessary evil with only marginal potential for something of beauty has many origins but one can point out the writings of Sigmund Freud, a drug addict and pervert, as one source. The foundation of every psychology department all over the world. We have no control over these urges. Some sort of compromise has to be worked out with our sexuality. But this is not so.  This has been permanently changed with the eternal work of Jesus, God and man, and His mother, the Mother of God. The Hearts of the new nature of mankind has been established. The particulars of this eternal event are wholly dependent on you and I.

So worked out for us here, celibacy not only becomes an attainable option, but the practical means for the evangelization of peoples. Without it, the Church of Rome will be reduced to the Church of Italy, or some other geographic boundary.

“Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better that what is admitted to be good.”

Saint John Chrysostom, De virginitatae

The Holiness of Restraint and Privacy

The devil cannot read our thoughts. For the devil’s craving to fill our mind with temptation and distraction, God designed a protection from satan’s plan for each of us through our will. Privacy, discretion, and prayer. So that each of us become like a portal to and from Heaven while living in a corrupt world. In our early years, it is the family that is supposed to protect our mind for lack of will. Protected in these ways we become invisible to satan.

Once our thoughts take on concrete word or action however, they become visible to satan. He then can show up. Look only how Jesus lived hidden from the world most of His life beginning with His conception in the womb of the Virgin. Even the angels of God did not know the exact moment of His conception, but could only announce it beforehand.

“The angel announces the birth to the virgin not after the conception, lest she should be thereby troubled, but before the conception he addresses her…”

St. John Chrysostom

“…the virginity of Mary was meant to baffle the prince of the world, who, when he perceived her espoused to a man, could cast no suspicion on her offspring.”

St. Ambrose

Satan showed up however once Jesus was directed to become public by the Virgin mother at the wedding feast of Cana. There was no temptation of Jesus in the wilderness before that. There was no visibility. When Jesus attempted to become public as a youth by teaching at the temple, He was whisked away by His mother and stepfather. Zeal is not a sin but timing is everything. With this invisibility, Satan’s only option are indiscriminate attacks, like the mass killings by King Herod, triggered by a moment of indiscretion by the three wise men. Note also, for later discussion, the context of the Nativity, which was the call to government census.

So are our holy thoughts to remain in us, never manifesting into action or word? Of course not. This is the realm of Holy prudence, discretion, patience and restraint. Designed to protect us from the devil and enemies. There is an incubation period needed. A formation. Charity can always manifest however in invisibility and can even enhance it, so do not restrain that. But charity can be imprudent and presumptuous sometimes. In phony cultures, the government deems charity must be public, such as for tax exemption, but that is not the way God works (Matthew 6:3).  In fact, most of God’s work is hidden from the world (John 21:25).

We can also act without speaking first to maintain invisibility. Not everything needs to be announced. God is the important witness of our acts.

How can we know more about when to act or speak? By God of course. But who protected and directed God the Son? The Virgin Mother. And who protected and directed her? Only God could have done that. The whole story of Jesus, from His conception to His crucifixion cries out that she must have been prefigured without sin. The devil may be in the details but the details of God are in the Virgin Mother.  Christianity without the Virgin Mother is unrestrained, even reckless.

In our understanding of all this, what can we make of our culture’s and government’s obsession with records, data, details of your life, notoriety, and fame. How can it be for any good? Can it really be for our protections or is it a framework for satan and our enemies. God certainly does not need it for our sanctity.  Take pornography for example:  If the  very act that creates us is public domain, then you have the guarantee that your life will be public domain from conception to grave. A corporation or government that spies on citizens has gone beyond their definitions. One that does the same while professing to be Christian is quite a distortion. But let’s restrain ourselves there.

“But still more has it baffled the prince of this world, for the malice of devils soon detects even hidden things, while they who are occupied in worldly vanities, cannot know the things of God.”

St. Ambrose


When a family starts, parents immediately start investing in their children. This investment is multifaceted but includes financial investment and is balanced with the cost of maintaining the home. The financial investment for the children is based on the number and each child’s potential. Each child has a potential that the parents gauge and develop and the financial investment is proportional to that potential. This determines the amount of money that becomes available. The child is meant to produce and their “return” on this investment is the honor and love back to the parents. If there is no such return, parents chalk it up. They did their job. If they are stingy with their investment, the child’s development may be stunted. If the financial investment is disproportional to their potential, they run the risk of spoiling the child. Producing a brat. Both parents might then be considered bad parents. What would be worse however would be if the parents put a price on their money. Charging interest. In addition, these bad parents may even demand a return on their money, principal and interest. One would have then to wonder what kind of parents these are and whether they are even worthy of the title. We could call them an “unfamily”.

The family can be considered the fractal of society. A fractal is a unit object, a building block, whose shape resembles the whole it makes up. So then one would expect the larger units to resemble the shape and function of its unit parts. This is how countries are defined. Originally it was the propagation of individual races that kept this shape but there is no reason why countries with multiple races cannot preserve this form and function. To preserve their definition as a country.

Countries, like families, also have the the obligation to provide a currency to maintain themselves and to provide a means for her citizens to exchange goods and services. This is the purpose of money. It is the birthright of nations. If the country cares for her citizens, the currency would be produced and volume gauged for the potential of her resources, citizens, her families, and communities. This determines the amount of money that becomes available. The citizen is meant to produce and the country’s “return” on this investment is the honor and love back to the country. If there is no such return, the county chalks it up. They did their job. If they are stingy with their investment, the country’s development may be stunted. If the financial creation is disproportional to their potential, they run the risk of becoming a country with little productivity.  This country might then be considered a bad one to live in. What would be worse however would be if the country put a price on their money. Charging interest. This is different from individuals, companies, and  private banks charging interest, which is their choice and the choice of the borrower. We are talking about the country putting a price on its money. Charging interest for money to come into existence. With each baby born.  Why do people even care about fiat currency? What about fiat currency with interest?  Why do people care about leveraging assets for liquidity when leveraging based on the “asset” of a loan is much worse? If all that has been done in recent history could be done with such a system, couldn’t it be done without charging interest?  What exactly is point of charging interest?

In addition, such an odd country may even demand a return on their money, principal and interest, hidden in the form of taxes. This is while they have the power to issue currency to pay for its services and maintenance to begin with and without a tax since they are providing liquidity for their existence anyway.  One would have then to wonder what kind of country that is and whether they are even worthy of the title. We could even call that an “uncountry”.  And what type of citizenry would warrant such power to decide interest rates for allowing money into existence?  This is the key point. If the medium of exchange of a country is based on a loan, then there will always be a perception that the money really belongs to the loaning institution and not the country.  It doesn’t. Laws like Glass-Steagal are meant to keep a lid on that perception, but that has not been brought back and the better solution is to issue a currency without interest.

Can a country become more disfigured than this?  Yes. There is one more iteration of this degradation. The worst of the bad is if the “uncountry” so disfigured exports its currency to other countries. Or simply persuades other countries to similarly put a price on their currency or by issuing them a loan so that even their taxes go to paying interest.  Thereby making them into “uncountries” and exporting all that comes with that disfigurement.

Nehemiah 5:7
I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!”

The Greater Story of Potiphar’s Wife

In the town of Maghdouche overlooking Sidon in southern Lebanon, is where legend says the wife of Potiphar (circa 1500 BC) is buried, seductress of Joseph from the Bible, which does not name her.  Jewish, Islamic, and Persian literature have her name Zulaikha. The story in the Bible is that after Joseph’s betrayal and sale into slavery by his kin (Genesis 39), he finds favor in the eyes of Potiphar, the captain of the Egyptian palace guard.  In that household, Joseph rejects the advances and seduction of Zulaikha. In the event that led to his imprisonment,  Zulaikha grabs the garment of Joseph but he escapes naked running out of the palace. She lies to Potiphar saying that he was the instigator and Joseph is sent to prison. There, Joseph finds new and greater favor and position with the Pharaoh, ultimately becoming a source of salvation and blessings for his kin, the very people who betrayed him.

This story reminds us two recurring themes of God’s grace and mercy:

1. In being wronged and betrayed, we can become a source of grace for  people, many more people and much more grace than would have been available if the betrayal and evil had never been done.  In receiving God’s grace and mercy we bring along other people too.

2. The continuum of grace always occurs through the fulcrum of chastity.

But this story is only an early chapter, with earlier, later, and other chapters to come.

The town of Magdouche is an ancient promontory and look-out post for Sidon. During Phoenician times (peak 1200-800 BC) the promontory had the shrine to Astarte, the pagan goddess of war and sexuality. The pagan legend has Astarte bearing two sons from her brother, Eros and Lust. Astarte is likely the same pagan goddess of Sidon, Ashtoreth, who captured the heart of Solomon, son of David (1 Kings 11:5).

The shrine was taken over by Christians after the Virgin Theotokos stayed in a cave there while waiting for her Son to return from preaching in Sidon.  Jesus’ work in Sidon is referenced in many places in the new Testament (Matthew 11:21-22, Mark 3:8 and 7:31, and Luke 6:17) with even Matthew 15:21 referencing the city as a place of refuge for Jesus.

It took the convincing of St. Helena in the 4th Century by the devoted town folk for the empire to issue an icon of the Theotokos, reportedly painted by St. Luke, to the cave/Byzantine chapel: the Virgin of Mantara (the Waiting) or Virgin of Magdouche.

In the 8th Century, the cave was buried and hidden by locals to escape the detection of the local Moslem governors. Unlike the Caliph Omar who spared Jerusalem, they feared the cave would be destroyed by those leaders. Many of the region then dispersed into the higher mountains or converted to Islam. The Crusaders of the Latin Rite in Sidon of the 12th and 13th Centuries never suspected the chapel’s existence even with their own castle and chapel a stone’s throw from the hidden cave.

The cave’s legend lingered however.

Under the rule of the benevolent Druze Prince Fakhriddin II in the early 17th Century, peace and religious freedom was granted to the region. Byzantine Archbishop Euthymios Michael Saifi of Sidon (1682 – 1723) offered recognition of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Around that time, the grotto was rediscovered when a goat-herder boy went after a goat who had fallen into the cave.  The boy, we can call him Indiana Jones Jr., noticed the icon as the goat ran back into his arms.  He piled rocks to escape with his beloved goat, alerting the townsfolk of his accidental excavation. The  pilgrimages restarted.

So the worship of Astarte was replaced with love and devotion, now restarted, to the chaste and virgin Mother of God, the Living Ark of the Covenant. Her chaste and virgin Son was also wronged and betrayed, becoming a source of grace offered for all people, infinitely more than would have been available if the betrayal and evil had never been done. Lest anyone think that this is not related to the Potiphar story or that God’s hand does not sign scripture, read the evangelist Mark’s stunning account of what happened immediately after Jesus was betrayed in the garden of Gethsemane:

Mark 14:51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

The winter now is past, the rains have gone away. Arise my love, my bride from Lebanon and come. How you are beautiful my love, how you are fair. Among all women as a lily in the thorns.

Veni Sponsa Christi