The Orthodox Pages




























Question 358

Hello Pater. My mum always told me off for wearing a cross with an 'ammado pedra' on a chain round my neck. she says that both together is not good. Is she right?       



Answer to Question 358


Your mum was not totally correct, because we do not wear the ammado pedra with the cross, but neither do we wear it on its own. That funny looking stone which people wear to protect themselves from the evil eye is just another sign of people’s lack of faith in God. Our faith and the sign of the Cross should be all that we need to protect us from evil influences, but because people do not have enough faith in the power of God, they live in fear of evil and embrace silly superstitions and amulets which have demonic roots. The ammado pedra has no power to protect, but can cause harm if you put your trust in it. Throw it in the bin where it belongs and cast it from your home. We are often asked if the Church believes in the evil eye because the Church has a prayer to ward against it. 


Often, when life circumstances bring one catastrophe after another, people attribute this to the evil eye known as Vaskania and when performing the service of the blessing of waters, people often ask the priest to also read them the prayer to ward off evil eyes. Vaskania has its roots in primitive times. It is believed that certain people have such powerful feelings of jealousy and envy, that when they look on some beautiful object or individual it can, unintentionally, bring about destruction.


Vaskania is recognized by the Church as the jealousy and envy of some people for things they do not possess, such as wealth, material belongings, beauty, youth, health, courage or any other blessing. This does not mean that the Church accepts that these envious people can cause a Christian harm. 


Essentially the phenomenon known as the evil eye is demonic in nature. It is a demonic influence which can affect certain people according to their belief and spiritual state. If the person has a strong faith and believes that the power of Christ will protect him from all demonic influences then he is totally protected, but if he lacks faith he leaves himself open to various demonic influences. In short, if a person believes that the envy of some people known as the evil eye can bring him harm, his faith in Christ is questionable. Demons have no power over us other than the power we give them. The evil eye is not just about what others can do to us, but also about what we draw towards ourselves. Through lack of faith in Christ, through our passions and sinful way of life we as receivers can leave ourselves without defence and vulnerable.


Because the source of the evil eye is not from human power, but an evil and satanic influence, the Church heals the effects of this spiritual weakness through prayer. The prayer for the deliverance from the evil eye is in fact a form of exorcism casting from the person afflicted every diabolical action and satanic attack. The prayer reads: " O Lord our God... thee we pray and beseech banish, expel and cast away every diabolical action, every satanic attack and every assault, every evil influence and harm from thy servant, caused by malicious and evil people. And if this has occurred because of beauty, or handsomeness, or prosperity, or jealousy, or envy or the evil eye, do thou O Master and lover of mankind, stretch forth thy mighty hand and thy powerful arm from on high and in thy watchful care look upon thy servant and send him an Angel of peace, a mighty guardian of his body and soul...


There are many people, who instead of coming to the Church for healing, go to readers or charmers who use magical rituals to overcome the evil eye. The Church strongly forbids her children from visiting these charmers and fortune tellers who in reality only take advantage of the weakness of superstitious people and destroy them spiritually and financially by playing upon their imagination. One cannot use evil to cast out evil for as Christ said: "if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" (Matth. 12:26)