June 20

From the Prologue

As a disciple of Gregory Sinaite, Kallistos lived a life of asceticism for twenty-eight years on Mt. Athos in the Scete of Magoula at the monastery Philotheou. He later founded the monastery of St. Mamas. He was elected patriarch of Constantinople in the year 1350 A.D. After four years he withdrew from the patriarchal throne and again returned to Mt. Athos. During the reign of John Paleologus, he was again returned to the throne where, as patriarch, he remained until his death. He died in the year 1368 A.D. enroute to Serres where he traveled to meet the Servian Empress Helena who came to seek help against the Turks. In the company of Ignatius, he complied a beautiful guide [manual] for ascetics. In addition to this, he wrote the hagiography of St. Gregory Sinaite and St. Theodosius of Trnovo as well as numerous homilies. It is interesting to note how St. Maximus of Kapsokalyvia prophesied the death of Patriarch Kallistos. On his way to Serbia, Kallistos traveled through the Holy Mountain. Seeing him, St. Maximus said: "This elder will never see his flock again for behind him is heard the funeral chant: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way' " (Psalm 119:1).

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas