SAINT SOPHRONIUS

March 11

From the Prologue

Sophronius was born in Damascus of distinguished parents. Having acquired worldly wisdom, he was, nevertheless, not satisfied but went to seek and acquire spiritual wisdom. In the monastery [Lavra] of St. Theodosius, he found himself in the company of a monk, John Moschus, whom he choose for his teacher, and together with him traveled about and visisted monasteries and those ascetics in Egypt who were practicing the life of asceticism. His watch word was "Each day learn more about spiritual wisdom." All that they had learned they wrote down and later published two books under the title, "Spiritual Meadow." Later on, they traveled to Rome, where Moschus died leaving a testament to Sophronius to have his body taken, either to Sinai or to the Monastery of St. Theodosius. Sophronius fulfilled the desires and wishes of his teacher and translated his body to the Monastery of St. Theodosius and thereafter remained in Jerusalem which, at that time, was liberated from the Persians. He was present at the Translation of the Honorable Cross from Persia which the Emperor Heraclius carried on his shoulders into the Holy City. The aged Patriarch Zacharias, who had also returned from bondage, did not live long thereafter when he took up habitation in the other world. Patriarch Zacharias was replaced by Modestus who died in 634 A.D. Modestus was replaced by Blessed Sophronius. He governed the Church for ten years with exceptional wisdom and zeal. He rose up in defense of Orthodoxy against the heresy of Monotheletism which he condemned at his Council in Jerusalem before it was condemned at the Sixth Ecumenical Council [Constantinople, 680 A.D.]. He wrote The Life of St. Mary the Egyptian, complied The Order of the Greater Blessing of Water, and introduced several new hymns and songs in the various liturgical services. When the Arab Caliph captured Jerusalem, Sophronius begged him to spare the lives of the Christians which Omar insincerely promised. When Omar immediately began to plunder and maltreat the Christians in Jerusalem, Sophronius, with lamentation, prayed to God to take him from among the living on earth, so that he would not witness the desecration of the Holy Shrines. God heard his prayer and took Sophronius to Himself into His heavenly mansion in the year 644 A.D.





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