Is smoking a sin?

Here is an excerpt from The Life of St Parthenius of Chios (written by Archimandrite Joachim of Chios, the Jerusalemite) in which the righteous one counsels against the use of tobacco. St Parthenius reposed in 1883.


St Parthenius of Chios

St Parthenius of Chios, the only extant photograph

Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain called cigarettes “foul stinking grass,” and Saint Parthenius counseled the pilgrims not to smoke. Since it harms the body, which is “the temple of God,” he called cigarettes, and tobacco in general, “incense of the devil.” The Saint was attempting to convince people that smoking is not only ruinous and harmful to the body but also unfitting behavior for the faithful. This impropriety is especially disgraceful for a priest. When Saint Parthenius would meet a priest who smoked and tried to hide it, he would say, “I know what kind of incense you cense
with! It is better to smell incense alone or cigarettes alone, because incense and cigarettes together do not make a pleasant odor!” What the Saint meant was that smoking is not suitable for the clergy and that if a clergyman smoked it would have been better for him to remain a layman. Everyone now acknowledges the harmful consequences of smoking. May this counsel of the Saint help all who have a good volition.

-Translated and copyright by The Holy Transfiguration Monastery


This excerpt was taken from The True Vine, issue #38, which unfortunately is now out of print. If you are interested in the rich spiritual reading available from other issues of The True Vine publication, you can find more information, including a catalog of all issues published thus far here.




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