February 23

From the Prologue

Damian, a monk of the Monastery of Esphigmenou on Mt. Athos, was a contemporary and companion of the great Cosmos of Zographou. He lived a life of asceticism on Mount Samareia between Esphigmenou and Hilendar. He died peacefully in the year 1280 A.D. When he died, a pleasant and sweet-smelling aroma emitted from his body for forty days.



His holy ones, God preserves

That until their appointed time, they do not perish,

Until they complete their task, they perish not.

The Elder Polycarp and saint of God

With his deacon, journeyed,

In a road inn, spent the night.

The Elder prays while the deacon sleeps.

Until an angel of God appeared to the Elder

And commanded that they immediately arise,

And from this road inn to depart,

For the inn is soon to be destroyed.

The young deacon, the Elder awakes,

But the deacon fatigued, slept on.

In that, the angel appeared again,

And again, the same warning gave,

Again, the Elder, his deacon awakes,

But, a heavy sleep, the deacon, overpowered

One moment he awakes, the next moment he is drowned in sleep.

And a third time, the angel appeared,

And a warning he issues for the third time.

That this was not a deceit, the Elder perceived,

But a warning from God, verily.

The saint jumped and the deacon he lifted,

And from the road inn, walked out.

And as soon as they walked out from the inn,

To the foundation, the entire house was destroyed,

All who were in it perished

Because of certain kinds of secret transgressions.

With fright, the young deacon was filled,

But in prayer, the saint was silent.

To the Most High God, they offered thanks,

They continued their way, under the stars.

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