THE VENERABLE SERAPION

May 14

From the Prologue

Sindon means "linen cloth" in which the bodies of the dead were wrapped. Serapion was called the Sindonite because he covered his naked body with a single linen cloth. He carried a Book of the Gospels in his hand. Serapion lived like a bird without a roof and without any worries moving from place to place. He gave his sindon to a needy person who was shivering from the frost and remained completely naked. When someone asked him: "Serapion, who uncovered you?" He pointed to the Holy Gospels and said: "This!" After that he even gave the Book of the Gospels away as a ransom for a man in debt whose lender was threatening him with prison for this debt. Once in Athens, he did not eat anything for four days because he had nothing available and began to cry out from hunger. When the Athenian philosophers asked him why he was crying out so, Serapion replied: "I was indebted to three; two of which I have satisfied but the third one is still tormenting me. The first lender is carnal lust which tormented me from my youth; the second lender is avarice and the third lender is the stomach. Those two have left me, but the third one still torments me." The philosophers gave him a gold coin to purchase bread. He went to a baker, purchased only one loaf of bread, left the gold coin and departed. In his old age, he presented himself peacefully to the Lord in the fifth century.





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