BLESSED ISIDORE

May 14

From the Prologue

Isidore was a German by descent. Having come to Rostov, he fell in love with the Orthodox Faith and, not only became a communicant of the Orthodox Church, but assumed the difficult life of asceticism as a "Fool for Christ." He walked around completely in rags. Pretending insanity through his madness, he spent the entire day teaching men and at night, he spent in prayer. He spent nights in a hut made of branches which he had built in a muddy terrain. Great and awesome were the miracles which this saint performed both during life and after death. To a merchant, who was thrown from a boat and was drowning in the sea, Isidore appeared walking upon the water and led him to the shore. When the servants of the Prince of Rostov refused Isidore a glass of water that he asked for and drove him away from the door, then all the vessels with wine dried up. When Isidore died in his hut on May 14, 1484 A.D., the whole of Rostov smelled from a wonderful aroma. The merchant whom the Blessed Isidore saved from the sea, erected a church in his honor over the spot where his hut was located.

HYMN OF PRAISE

BLESSED ISIDORE, FOOL FOR CHRIST

Blessed Isidore wrestled with himself

Until passionless, as a withered tree, he became,

But even a withered tree, the bees with honey fill,

And from the dry cliff, a spring sometimes erupts.

The body of the blessed, with the Spirit filled

With the honey of Grace, the heart sweetened.

In the foolish body, the fountain of God's power,

In wretched garments, hidden treasure,

Wonderful Isidore, on the garbage heap lay,

On the streets cried out, leaped and fled,

Without roof and bread and without friends,

But under the watchful eye of his Creator

To vain men, he was an "instruction"

And to those beastly bound to the earth, a reproach;

He, by his life, as though he wanted to say:

Men, to misfortune your cares lead.

He is not fortunate, who from God steals,

But who alone possesses God as a treasure.





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