July 28

From the Prologue

Paul was the son of Emperor Michael Cyropalates. With an excellent education, with rare wisdom and at the same time combined with meekness, Procopius (as he was earlier called) was in his youthful years a subject of astonishment to all of Constantinople. In one of his charters, Emperor Roman the Elder, calls him "the greatest of all the philosophers." Being afraid that his soul would become proud, and that it not perish because of human glory, this handsome youth one day dressed in the rags of a beggar and came to Holy Mount Athos where he received the monastic tonsure from the illustrious Saint Cosmas. After enduring mortification of solitude, he restored the Monastery Xeropotamou and shortly after that build a new monastery of Saint Paul where he died in old age. When this monastery was consecrated, Emperor Roman sent a large portion of the Holy and Venerable Cross as a gift, which is preserved there even today. It is said of this saint, that he preached the Holy Gospel in Macedonia and in Serbia. He endured much torment from the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian, the Iconoclast, and reposed in the year 820 A.D. Before his death, St. Paul said to the brethren: "Behold the hour comes which my soul has always desired and which my body has always feared."

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas