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Cato and the History of the Staurofilakes
The True Cross of the Holy Christian Church was discovered by St. Helen in 326.
For 17 centuries, a brotherhood known as the Staurofilakes (of which Dante Alighieri was one among many other notables throughout history) formed in 341 to protect the Holy Cross at all costs.
Cato is the title taken by the revered leader of this ancient brotherhood. Much like the term Cesar was taken on by Roman leaders as a title of which symbolized power, Cato was taken by the enlightened as a title of Truth.
After maintaining a revered and public place in the History of the Church, the Staurofilakes were forced into hiding after they successfully retrieved the Holy Cross from Infidel hands, just after the Crusades.
The last chronicle entry of Cato LXXVI, written in 1195, describes the initiation ritual still in practice today, meant to separate those who are worthy of becoming guardians of the Sacred Cross, and those who are not. For 17 centuries, a brotherhood known as the Staurofilakes (of which Dante Alighieri was one among many other notables throughout history) formed in 341 to protect the Holy Cross at all costs.
The chronicle reads:
So that their souls arrive pure to the True Cross of the Savior and are worthy of prostrating themselves before it, they must purge themselves of all their faults until they are free of all stain.
The expiation of the seven deadly sins will take place in the seven cities that boast the terrible distinction of being known to practice them perversely: Rome for its pride; Ravenna, for its envy; Jerusalem, for its wrath; Athens, for its sloth; Constantinople, for its greed; Alexandria, for its gluttony and Antioch, for its lust.
In each one of these cities, as if they were an earthly purgatory, an aspirant will suffer for his faults in order to enter the secret place we Staurofilakes will call Earthly Paradise. So the brothers of one city know what happened in the previous cities, upon finishing each step, the supplicant’s flesh will be marked with a Cross, one for each deadly sin erased from his soul, as a souvenir of his expiation. The crosses will match those on the wall of the monastery of St. Catherine, in the Holy Place of Sinai, where Moses received from God the Tablets of the Law. If the supplicant arrives at the Earthly Paradise with seven crosses, he will be admitted as one of us, and he will always display on his body the Chrismon and the sacred word that gives meaning to our lives.
If he does not, may God have mercy on his soul.
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