February 24

From the Prologue

Erasmus was a monk in the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. He inherited great wealth from his parents and spent all on adoring churches, especially on silver-plating and gilding icons. When he had become impoverished and remained without anything, he was despised by all. The devil whispered to him that he squandered his estate in vain; instead of distributing his wealth among the poor, he gave it for the adornment of churches. Erasmus succumbed to this temptation and believed it for which he despised himself and fell into a state of despair and began to live aimlessly and lawlessly. When the hour of his death approached the brethren assembled around him and discussed his sins which he himself was not conscious of. All at once, he straightened up in bed and said: "Fathers and brothers, it is as you say; I am sinful and unrepentant, but behold St. Anthony and St. Theodosius appeared to me and after that, the All-Holy Mother of God told me that the Lord gave me more time for repentance." The Mother of God also spoke these encouraging words to him: "The poor you have with you in every place and my churches you do not." Erasmus lived for three more days, repented and fell asleep in the Lord. This teaches us that zeal for the Church and adornment of the churches is a task pleasing to God. St. Erasmus died in the year 1160 A.D.



To John, let us pray,

The Baptizer, glorious

Of the Savior, the trumpet,

Of the Creator, the servant,

By God, sent,

To help us

How he can.

To John, let us pray,

Awesome and holy,

Through him, so that,

God the Most High, would help us.

Help us O John

Wherever danger threatens!

The Faith to be preserved

O John, help us,

And for us to be bread

In all days and to the end,

That in every sheaf, we may see,

In every sheaf, the footstep of God!

When night falls, let it dawn

O John, help us,

Sinners, that we may repent,

Before the end, we reach

Before the Day of Judgment dawns

O John, help us(*)

(*) Traditional Serbian toast honoring St. John the Baptist.

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