VENERABLE NIPHON

June 14

From the Prologue

Niphon was born in the region of Argyrokastron in the village of Lukov. He was the son of a priest. From his youth he was attracted to solitude and prayer. That desire finally led him to Mt. Athos where he lived a life of asceticism, at first in the cave of St. Peter the Athonite and, after that, in the wilderness of St. Anne. He did not even want to eat bread but fed on vegetation and roots. Some envious ones accused him of loathing bread and from this accusation he easily and quickly justified himself. Finally, he became associated with St. Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. Because of his sincere love for God, Niphon was endowed with the gift of miracle-working and discernment. He healed the sick by his prayer and by anointing with oil and discerned events which had occurred and which will take place. About himself he prophesied that he would die during the Fast of Saint Peter [This fast precedes the feast of Saints Peter and Paul]. When the day of his death dawned, he said to the brethren assembled around him: "Do not weep, rather rejoice, for in me you will have an intercessor before God for your salvation." Finally, he said: "It is time for me to depart" and he gave up his holy soul to God on June 14, 1330 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE

THE PROPHET ELISHA AND COMMANDER NAAMAN (2 KINGS 5)

What do riches and this beautiful world help,

What all authority and power, when a man is leprous?

But the commander Naaman covered with leprosy,

From leprosy, completely white as though molded from pus.

But the commander, to the man of God hurries,

Only from him, just hoping for a cure,

With his entire caravan of clothes and gold,

This, for the man of God, let it be a reward!

Elisha said to him: to the Jordan go,

And in the water, seven times to bathe.

In his misfortune Naaman became angry:

A river more clear and larger, do we not have?

And quickly to his home, wanted to return,

But from that, his wise servant dissuaded him.

O Master he said: do not give up quickly,

Behold, Jordan is nearby; go and bathe!

Naaman hearkened to him and hastened toward Jordan

And in the river, seven times immersed.

Naaman became whole and the leprosy disappeared,

Naaman became whole and pure as a child,

God is One, the God of Israel, he cried out,

He performs glorious miracles in abundance!





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