Our Holy Father Pachomius the Great
He was an Egyptian by birth and was a pagan in his youth. As a soldier, he took part in the Emperor Constantine's war against Maxentius. After that, learning from Christians about the one God and seeing their devout life, Pachomius was baptised and went to the Tabennisiot desert, to the famous ascetic Palamon, with whom he lived in asceticism for ten years. Then an angel appeared to him in the robes of a monk of the Great Habit at the place called Tabennisi and gave him a tablet on which was written the rule of a cenobitic monastery, commanding him to found such a monastery in that place and prophesying to him that many monks would come to it seeking the salvation of their souls. Obeying the angel of God, Pachomius began building many cells, although there was no-one in that place but himself and his brother John. When his brother grumbled at him for doing this unnecessary building, Pachomius simply told him that he was following God's command, without explaining who would live there, or when. But many men soon assembled in that place, moved by the Spirit of God, and began to live in asceticism under the rule that Pachomius had received from the angel. When the number of monks had increased greatly, Pachomius, step by step, founded six further monasteries. The number of his disciples grew to seven thousand. St Antony is regarded as the founder of the eremitic life, and St Pachomius of the monastic, communal life. The humility, love of toil and abstinence of this holy father were and remain a rare example for the imitation of monks. St Pachomius performed innumerable miracles, and also endured innumerable temptations from demons and men. And he served men as both father and brother. He roused many to set out on the way of salvation, and brought many into the way of truth. He was and remains a great light in the Church and a great witness to the truth and righteousness of Christ. He entered peacefully into rest in 346, at the age of sixty. The Church has raised many of his followers to the ranks of the saints: Theodore, Job, Paphnutius, Pecusius, Athenodorus, Eponichus, Soutus, Psois, Dionysius, Petronius and others.
St Achillius, Bishop of Larissa
This great hierarch and wonderworker was born in Cappadocia. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council, at which he put the heretics to shame and, both by his great learning and his great purity, gave cause for much wonder. Taking up a stone, Achillius called to the Arians: 'If Christ is a creature of God, as you say, tell oil to flow from this stone.' The heretics kept silent, amazed at this demand by St Achillius. Then the saint continued: 'And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, then let oil flow from this stone.' And oil flowed out, to the amazement of all. St Achillius entered peacefully into rest in Larissa in the year 330. Samuel, King of Macedonia, when he conquered Thessaly, translated the relics of Achillius to Prespa, to an island in a lake that was named, and is called to this day, Achillius or Ailus.
Our Holy Father Silvanus
He was at first a comedian, mimicking each and all, but then, inflamed by the love of Christ, he became a disciple of St Pachomius. 'I would be ready to give my life,' he said, 'to receive the forgiveness of my sins.'
Saint Isaiah, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1090)
Commemorated on May 15, September 28 and on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent The Monk Isaiah was among the other Kievo-Pechersk Saints that asceticised during the XI and beginning XII Centuries. His basic exploit in life was his quietness and his unflagging toil, for which he is named a "lover-of-work". The holy ascetic died in the year 1115, and his relics are in the Nearer Caves of the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra. The celebration of the Monk Isaiah is made on 15 May, 28 September and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.
Venerable Euphrosynus (Eleazar), abbot, wonderworker of Pskov (1481),
The Monk Evphrosyn of Pskov, in the world Eleazar, was born in about the year 1386 in the village of Videlebo, near Pskov, – the same village where also had been born the Monk Nikandr of Pskov (Comm. 24 September). His parents wanted that Eleazar would enter into marriage, but secretly he withdrew to the Snetogorsk monastery (on the Snyatni hill, now in Pskov itself) and there accepted tonsure...
St. Barbaras the Myrrh-gusher of Greece (9th c.)
Venerable Isaiah, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1115)
Saint Serapion (1480)
He was born in (what is now) Lithuania, but entered monastic life in the Pskov district. His spiritual father was St Euphrosynus (May 15), under whose care he lived for more than fifty-five years. He became known for his exceptional humility and asceticism. He tried never to be idle, giving any free moment to prayer and reading of Scripture. He emphasized the importance of the common prayer of the Church, saying that reciting the entire Twelve Psalm rule in one's cell was not worth one Kyrie Eleison chanted by the brethren assembled together in church. His knowledge of Lithuanian and Finnish allowed him to strengthen the faith among the peoples of those lands. When he died, at the age of ninety, his clothing was so threadbare that no one wanted it. Soon after his repose, a blind man recovered his sight at St Serapion's tomb, which has been the site of many miracles ever since.
St. Andrew the hermit and wonderworker
The slain Crown Prince Demetrius of Moscow (1591)
He was murdered at the age of eight by the evil designs of Boris Godunov, in the town of Uglich. After his death he appeared to a monk and accurately foretold Boris Godunov's death. Countless miracles were worked at the grave of the Tsarevich. When his tomb was opened fifteen years after his death, his relics were found whole and incorrupt, and were solemnly buried in the Church of the Archangel Michael in Moscow...
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