July 18

From the Prologue

John was a recluse in the Monastery of the Caves of St. Anthony in Kiev. Throughout thirty years of his life he was tortured by lustful passions, which he ceaselessly struggled against until finally he conquered them with God's help and by touching the relics of St. Moses the Ugrian (July 26). Being victorious over impure passion, St. John was surrounded by an internal heavenly light by which he could see at night as though it were day.



The monks asked Pambo the Blessed:

"Is it good to praise your neighbor?"

Then Pambo was silent and to the brethren replied:

"It is good to praise but it is better to remain silent."

And still, they asked Pambo: "And who is perfect?"

"For the sake of the will of God, one who denies his own."

The monks remained silent while one will say:

"Yet one more reply, do not deny us:

And what kind of garment should a monk have?"

"The kind you throw away and no one takes."

Thus the saint spoke and closed his mouth,

For he protected his tongue in order not to speak unnecessarily.

Pambo, all radiant at the hour of his death

Questioned about his life, he uttered:

"Undeserving bread, I never did taste,

Neither for a word, my soul repented."

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas