March 18

From the Prologue

Aninus was born in Chalcedon. He was of short stature as was Zacchaeus of old but great in spirit and faith. He withdrew from the world in his fifteenth year and settled in a hut near the Euphrates river where he prayed to God and atoned for his sins, at first with his teacher Mayum and, after his death, alone. Through the power of his prayers, he replenished a dry well with water, healed the sick of various maladies and tamed wild beasts. A trained lion accompanied him and was at his service at all times. He discerned the future. When Pionius, a stylite, was attacked and badly beaten by robbers some distance away from Aninus, Pionius decided to descend from the pillar and proceed to complain to the judges. St. Aninus "discerned the soul" of this stylite and his intention. He sent a letter to Pionius, by his lion, counseling him to abandon his intention, to forgive his assailants and to continue in his asceticism. His charity was inexpressible. The bishop of Neo-Caesarea presented him with a donkey in order to ease the burden of carrying water from the river, but he gave the donkey to a needy man who had complained to him about his poverty. The bishop presented him with another donkey and he gave that one away. Finally, the bishop gave him a third donkey, not only to serve as a water-carrier but one that Aninus was to care for and to return. Before his death Aninus saw Moses, Aaron and Or [Egyptian Ascetic] approaching him, and they called out to him, "Aninus, the Lord is calling you, arise and come with us." He revealed this to his disciples and gave up his soul to the Lord, Whom he faithfully served. He was one-hundred ten years old when his earthly life was ended.



A large sanctuary light glows before the Altar,

And a small sanctuary light with a smaller flame,

But one and the other gives off the same light

And before the same God, they shine with a glow.

Both, great saints and lesser saints

With the same flame of Christ set on fire.

Among the great saints, a large sanctuary lamp,

Holy Church numbers Saint Cyril.

The Faith, he explained and confirmed,

Whatever he said in words, he confirmed by his life.

His word was of the Holy Spirit,

And his life, a reflection of the flame of heaven.

Arius he shamed and Julian he crushed,

And to many ailing souls he was a balm.

From word to word, he believed Christ

Therefore his word resounds as gold;

And continues today, the weak and those of little faith,

He encourages and makes joyful the right-believers in Christ.

That is why the Church glorifies and honors Cyril,

Throughout the centuries, the name of Cyril echoes.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas