St. Innocent Press Publishes Two New Books

Just in time to increase options for Great Lenten spiritual readings, St. Innocent Press has released the first book about St. Gabriel of Georgia in English and an engaging work of historical fiction.

Great Art Thou, O Lord! The Life and Preaching of St. Gabriel (Urgebadze), Confessor and Fool for Christ, paints a fascinating portrait of this great saint of our days. Published with the blessing of Patriarch Ilia of Georgia, the story of his life is told through stories and recollections of his family members and close acquaintances. From his sister, Julietta Jigityan-Variani we learn that St. Gabriel venerated Tsar-martyr Nicholas as a saint in 1950. The Georgian Metropolitan Daniel relates how as a young monk, St. Gabriel would awaken the community in the middle of the night saying, “Why are you sleeping? What are you doing? How can you? Georgia lies in sin and unbelief!” As he understood it, St. Gabriel was doing his part to shape the young generation of Georgian clergy, nuns, monks, and laymen.

In addition to detailed accounts of miracles he worked while alive and since his repose in 1995, an entire section contains his sayings and instructions on various topics. He taught, for example, this wisdom about love: “How does one learn to love? The Lord God reveals the unhappiness of others so that we might learn not to be indifferent to the pain of our neighbor. If you can help him, do so. If you cannot help him by deeds, at least support, encourage, and pray for him. Prayer offered up with love is of tremendous significance. By it we are instructed in love and learn to love.” The book was translated by Fr. Nathan Williams, a cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky parish in Maine.

Numerous photos of St. Gabriel and of places associated with his life enrich the text. Additionally, an icon of St. Gabriel by Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski is included in the book, along with the troparion of the saint. St. Innocent Press sells these icons mounted on wood in a variety of sizes, either individually or as a bundle with the book, which is available for 5% off the regular retail price.

The second book just published is the historical fiction novel, The Saint Outside the Gate by Fr. David Smith. Drawn from the lives of Orthodox saints and dramatic pages of Byzantine history in the near East, this book weaves the reality of first-millennium Christians living in the Eastern Roman Empire with enduring spiritual questions. It tells the story of a young woman named Helena who pursues a life of asceticism after a series of personal crises.  Though set 1,500 years ago, this page-turner illumines mature issues ever-present in the modern world with the light of faith.

An afterword by Hieromonk Macarius (Ruegemer) on The Mystery of Suffering provides a theological framework to examine the themes covered in the novel, making this an ideal text for a book club.

Both of these works and the icon of St. Gabriel are available for retail purchase through the St. Innocent Press website: Wholesale purchases for parish bookstores receive a 40% discount on books as well as a 20% discount on icons and can be placed by emailing


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