St John the Silent (the Hesychast).

Commemorated December 3 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Born in Nicopolis in Armenia, he was the son of Encratius and Euphemia. He became a monk at the age of eighteen and gave himself to asceticism, thoroughly cleansing his heart with tears, prayer and fasting. After ten years, he was made Bishop of Colonia. The example of his life drew his brother, Pergamius, and his uncle, Theodore, both noted members of the court of the Emperors Zeno and Justinian, to lead lives pleasing to God. Seeing the evil and intrigues of the world and his inability to put matters right, he abandoned the episcopal throne and went to the monastery of St Sava near Jerusalem, disguised as a simple monk. He remained there a number of years quite unknown, conscientiously and capably performing whatever service the abbot gave him. Thereupon St Sava suggested to the Patriarch that he be ordained priest. When the Patriarch came to do this, John confessed that he already bore the rank of bishop. Then St John shut himself into his cell and spent year after year in silence and prayer. Afterwards, he spent nine years in the desert, sustaining himself with wild herbs, and then he returned to the monastery. He wrested the faithful away from the heresy of Origen, and made a great contribution to the struggle against that heresy and its condemnation. He was able to perceive the spiritual realm with clarity, and heal the sick. He could easily subdue demons, having already conquered himself. He entered peacefully into rest in 558 at the age of a hundred and four, being great in humility, power and godly wisdom.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK





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