Pimen the Great
Holy Martyr Phanurius
Anthousa the Martyr
Poimen of Palestine
Hosisos the Confessor
Liverios, Pope of Rome
Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Ποιμένος καί τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Φανουρίου τοῦ νεοφανοῦς καί Ἀνθούσης.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 8:7-15
BRETHREN, as you excel in everything in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us see that you excel in this gracious work also.
I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not. I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality. As it is written, "He who gathered much has nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack."
Πρὸς Κορινθίους β' 8:7-15
Ἀδελφοί, ὥσπερ ἐν παντὶ περισσεύετε, πίστει, καὶ λόγῳ, καὶ γνώσει, καὶ πάσῃ σπουδῇ, καὶ τῇ ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμῖν ἀγάπῃ, ἵνα καὶ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ χάριτι περισσεύητε. Οὐ κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν λέγω, ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἑτέρων σπουδῆς καὶ τὸ τῆς ὑμετέρας ἀγάπης γνήσιον δοκιμάζων. Γινώσκετε γὰρ τὴν χάριν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅτι διʼ ὑμᾶς ἐπτώχευσεν, πλούσιος ὤν, ἵνα ὑμεῖς τῇ ἐκείνου πτωχείᾳ πλουτήσητε. Καὶ γνώμην ἐν τούτῳ δίδωμι· τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν συμφέρει, οἵτινες οὐ μόνον τὸ ποιῆσαι ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ θέλειν προενήρξασθε ἀπὸ πέρυσι. νυνὶ δὲ καὶ τὸ ποιῆσαι ἐπιτελέσατε, ὅπως, καθάπερ ἡ προθυμία τοῦ θέλειν, οὕτως καὶ τὸ ἐπιτελέσαι ἐκ τοῦ ἔχειν. Εἰ γὰρ ἡ προθυμία πρόκειται, καθὸ ἐὰν ἔχῃ τις, εὐπρόσδεκτος, οὐ καθὸ οὐκ ἔχει. Οὐ γὰρ ἵνα ἄλλοις ἄνεσις, ὑμῖν δὲ θλίψις· ἀλλʼ ἐξ ἰσότητος, ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ τὸ ὑμῶν περίσσευμα εἰς τὸ ἐκείνων ὑστέρημα, ἵνα καὶ τὸ ἐκείνων περίσσευμα γένηται εἰς τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα· ὅπως γένηται ἰσότης, καθὼς γέγραπται, Ὁ τὸ πολύ, οὐκ ἐπλεόνασεν· καὶ ὁ τὸ ὀλίγον, οὐκ ἠλαττόνησεν.
The Reading is from Mark 3:6-12
At that time, the Pharisees held counsel with the Herodians against Jesus, how to destroy him. Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 3.6-12
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἐξελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι εὐθέως μετὰ τῶν ῾Ηρῳδιανῶν συμβούλιον ἐποίουν κατ᾿ αὐτοῦ, ὅπως αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσι. Καὶ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀνεχώρησε μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν· καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας καὶ ἀπὸ ῾Ιεροσολύμων καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ιδουμαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου καὶ οἱ περὶ Τύρον καὶ Σιδῶνα, πλῆθος πολύ, ἀκούσαντες ὅσα ἐποίει, ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ εἶπε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ἵνα πλοιάριον προσκαρτερῇ αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον, ἵνα μὴ θλίβωσιν αὐτόν· πολλοὺς γὰρ ἐθεράπευσεν, ὥστε ἐπιπίπτειν αὐτῷ ἵνα αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται ὅσοι εἶχον μάστιγας· καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα, ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν, προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ. καὶ πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσι.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΚΖ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ποιμένος.
Ὡς ἐκ λύκου χαίνοντος ἡρπάγη βίου,
Ποιμήν, τὸ θρέμμα τοῦ μεγίστου ποιμένος.
Ποιμένα εἰς μέγαν ἑβδόμῃ εἰκάδι ᾤχετο Ποιμήν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ Ὁμολογητοῦ Λιβερίου Πάππα Ῥώμης.
Τὸν πλοῦτον ἀντλεῖν Λιβέριος νῦν ἔχει,
Ὃν οὐρανοῖς ἦν ἐμφρόνως θησαυρίσας.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ὁσίου, Ἐπισκόπου Κουδρούβης.
Τὴν κλῆσιν εἰπὼν Ὅσιε τὴν σὴν μόνην
Πληρῶ θανόντι ἔπαινὸν σοι τὸ χρέος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἁγίου Φιλίππου βαπτίσεως τοῦ Αἰθίοπος Εὐνούχου.
Ἀνὴρ ἐλέγχει τὴν παροιμίαν Σπάδων.
Λευκαίνεται γάρ, καὶ πεφυκὼς Αἰθίοψ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ἁγία Ἀνθοῦσα ἡ Νέα, τρίχινον ῥάκος ἐνδυθεῖσα καὶ εἰς φρέαρ ῥιφθεῖσα, τελειοῦται.
Ὁ μανδύας σοι πῖλος, ἡ πόρπη πέτρα·
Μεθ' ὧν ὑπῆλθες, Ἀνθοῦσα, βαθὺ φρέαρ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου μάρτυρος Φανουρίου ἀναφανέντος ἐν ἔτει 1500.
Φανούριος φῶς πᾶσι πιστοῖς παρέχει,
Κἂν εἰς σκότος ἔκειτο τῆς γαίας μέγα.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις Χριστέ, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Saint Pimen was from Egypt and shone forth in the ascetical life in Scete in the fourth century; he was renowned for his discretion. Many of his sayings and deeds are preserved in the Paradise of the Fathers and the Sayings of the Fathers.
Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Ταίς τών δακρύων σου ροαίς, τής ερήμου τό άγονον εγεώργησας, καί τοίς εκ βάθους στεναγμοίς, εις εκατόν τούς πόνους εκαρποφόρησας, καί γέγονας φωστήρ, τή οικουμένη λάμπων τοίς θαύμασι, Ποιμήν Πατήρ ημών, Όσιε, Πρέσβευε Χριστώ τώ Θεώ, σωθήναι τάς ψυχάς ημών.
With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Poimen, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Τών λαμπρών αγώνων σου, Όσιε Πάτερ, η αγία σήμερον, επέστη μνήμη τάς ψυχάς, τών ευσεβών κατευφραίνουσα, Ποιμήν θεόφρον, Πατήρ ημών Όσιε.
The holy memory, O righteous Father, of the many valiant deeds is come today and maketh glad the souls of pious and godly folk, our righteous Father, great Pimen of godly mind.
Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanurius, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church on Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called "the Newly Revealed." The faithful pray to Saint Phanurius especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking a Phaneropita ("Phanurius-Cake") as a thanks-offering.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
A heavenly song of praise is brightly sung on the earth; * the hosts of the Angels keep an earthly festival now in splendor and radiant joy; * from on high, they praise with hymns the suff'rings and struggles; * and below, the Church doth laud the heavenly glory * thou foundest by thy contests and pains, O glorious Phanurius.
Kontakion in the Third Tone
Ιερείς διέσωσας, αιχμαλωσίας αθέου, καί δεσμά συνέθλασας, δυνάμει θεία θεόφρον, ήσχυνας, τυράννων θράση γενναιοφρόνως, ηύφρανας, Αγγέλων τάξεις Μεγαλομάρτυς, δία τούτό σε τιμώμεν, θείε οπλίτα, Φανούριε ένδοξε.
From a vile captivity, thou didst deliver the Lord's priests, and, O godly-minded one, didst break their bonds by divine might; thou didst bravely shame the tyrants' audacious madness, giving joy unto the Angels, O thou Great Martyr. O Phanurius most glorious, we all revere thee as a true warrior of God.
Εις τα ιερά Ευαγγέλια είναι ένας λόγος του Ιησού Χριστού, που σκανδαλίζει εκείνους, που δεν έμαθαν να διαβάζουν την Αγία γραφή και να βαθαίνουν στα νοήματά της. Κάποτε, εκεί που εδίδασκεν ο Ιησούς Χριστός, πήγαν και του είπαν· "Η μητέρα σου και τα αδέλφια σου σε ζητούν". Εκείνος εκύτταξε αυτούς που κάθονταν γύρω του και είπε· "ίδε η μήτηρ μου και οι αδελφοί μου...". Το ίδιο σκανδαλίζονται όσοι διαβάζουν τον βίο του οσίου Ποιμένος, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Υπάρχουν κάποιες απαντήσεις του Οσίου προς την μητέρα και την αδελφή του, που μοιάζουν με την απάντηση του Ιησού Χριστού. Πώς γίνεται ο Χριστός και οι Άγιοι να μιλούν έτσι για την μητέρα τους; Κι όμως ούτε ο Χριστός ούτε ο όσιος Ποιμήν αρνήθηκαν και δεν πόνεσαν την μητέρα τους, μόνο που παραπάνω από το φυσικό αίσθημα τοποθέτησαν την αγάπη του Θεού, την αφοσίωση στο ιερό τους έργο. Μαζί με τους δικούς των αγκάλιασαν κι όλους τους ξένους.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ποιμὴν
Μαζὶ μὲ τὰ ἄλλα ἀδέλφια του ἔκαναν μικρὴ μοναχικὴ ἀδελφότητα σὲ μία μικρὴ σκήτη στὴν Αἴγυπτο. Ἡγούμενος αὐτῆς τῆς ἀδελφότητας ἦταν ὁ Ποιμήν, ποὺ εἶχε ὅλα τὰ προσόντα πραγματικοῦ ποιμένα ψυχῶν. Ἡ φήμη του εἶχε φθάσει σὲ μακρινὲς περιοχὲς καὶ πολὺς κόσμος ἐρχόταν νὰ τὸν δεῖ καὶ νὰ τὸν συμβουλευθεῖ. Αὐτός, ὅμως, δεχόταν μόνο τοὺς μικροὺς καὶ ταπεινούς. Ὅσοι ἔρχονταν ἀπὸ περιέργεια, δὲν τοὺς δεχόταν, ἔστω καὶ ἂν ἦταν ἄρχοντες. Κάποτε ἕνας ἀπ᾿ αὐτοὺς θύμωσε ποὺ δὲν τὸν δέχθηκε. Καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἦταν δικαστής, συνέλαβε τὸ μοναχογιὸ τῆς ἀδελφῆς τοῦ ὁσίου, μὲ τὴν ἰδέα ὅτι τώρα θὰ ἐρχόταν ὁ ἴδιος ὁ Ποιμὴν σ᾿ αὐτόν. Ὁ ὅσιος, ὅμως, ἔγραψε πρὸς αὐτόν: «Ἐξέτασον τὸν ἀνεψιόν μου κατὰ τοὺς νόμους. Εἶναι ἔνοχος; Τιμώρησέ τον. Ἐὰν ὅμως δὲν εἶναι, κᾶμε ὅπως θέλεις». Ὁ δικαστὴς θαύμασε τὰ γραφόμενα τοῦ ὁσίου καὶ ἀμέσως ἀπέλυσε τὸν ἀνεψιό του. Ὅλα αὐτά, βέβαια, τὰ κατάφερνε ὁ Ποιμήν, διότι καλλιεργοῦσε τὸ θεμέλιο τῶν ἀρετῶν, τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνη. Συχνὰ μάλιστα ἔλεγε: «Ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἔχει ἀνάγκη ἀπὸ τὴν ταπείνωσιν, ὅσην ἀπὸ τὸν ἀέρα τὸν ὁποῖον εἰσπνέει. Ἡ ταπεινοφροσύνη τοῦ πνεύματος εἶναι ἡ ζωὴ τῆς ψυχῆς». Ὁ Ὅσιος Ποιμὴν πέθανε εἰρηνικά, προκύπτοντας σὲ ὅλες τὶς χριστιανικὲς ἀρετές.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Λιβέριος ὁ Ὁμολογητής, Πάπας Ρώμης
Διαδέχτηκε στὸν ἐπισκοπικὸ θρόνο τῆς Ρώμης τὸν Πάπα Ἰούλιο. Ὅπως αὐτὸς ἔτσι καὶ ὁ Αἰθέριος, ἦταν συνήγορος τοῦ Ἀθανασίου τοῦ Μεγάλου στοὺς ἀγῶνες, ποὺ ὁ πρόμαχος ἐκεῖνος τῆς ὀρθοδοξίας διεξήγαγε κατὰ τοῦ Ἀρειανισμοῦ καὶ ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ὀρθοδόξου Συμβόλου. Ἀκόμα, ὁ Αἰθέριος προστάτεψε τὸν Ἀρχιεπίσκοπο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Παῦλο τὸν Α´, ὅταν ὁ αὐτοκράτορας Κωνστάντιος (337 μ.Χ.) ἐπανειλημμένα καταδίωξε γιὰ τὴν ὀρθόδοξη συμπεριφορά του. Καὶ ὅταν ὁ Πάπας Λιβέριος ἦλθε τὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ διαφώνησε στὰ ἐκκλησιαστικὰ ζητήματα μὲ τὸν προστάτη τοῦ Ἀρειανισμοῦ αὐτοκράτορα Κωνστάντιο, αὐτὸς τὸν ἐξόρισε στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη. Κατόπιν ὅμως ἐπανῆλθε στὸ θρόνο του, καὶ ὁ θάνατος τὸν βρῆκε νὰ ποιμαίνει πάντοτε θεάρεστα τὴν ἐκκλησία του. Ὁ δὲ Σ. Εὐστρατιάδης, γιὰ τὸν ἅγιο Αἰθέριο, ἀναφέρει ὅτι ἦταν «ἐκ τῶν ὀρθοδόξων παπῶν τῆς Ρώμης, τῶν πολεμησάντων τὸν Ἀρειανισμόν. Ἀπὸ τοῦ 352 ἐπίσκοπος τῆς Ρώμης, συνετέλεσε νὰ καταλάβωσι τοὺς οἰκείους θρόνους οἱ πρὸς αὐτὸν καταφυγόντες Ἀλεξανδρείας Ἀθανάσιος καὶ Παῦλος ὁ ὁμολογητής· ἀλλ᾿ ὁ Ἀρειανὸς αὐτοκράτωρ Κωνστάντιος μετὰ τὸν θάνατον τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ Κώνσταντος, μετεκάλεσεν αὐτὸν εἰς Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ προσεπάθησε νὰ τὸν ἑλκύση εἰς τὴν αἵρεσιν τοῦ Ἀρείου, καὶ μὴ πεισθέντα ἐξώρισεν εἰς Θρᾴκην (354) ἐπανῆλθεν εἰς τὸν θρόνον τῷ 358, τῇ ἀξιώσει τῶν χριστιανῶν τῆς Ρώμης, καὶ ἀπέθανεν ἐν εἰρήνῃ τῷ 365 (κατ᾿ ἄλλους τὸ 366)».
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ὅσιος ἐπίσκοπος Κορδούης τῆς Ἱσπανίας
Ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Μεγάλου Κωνσταντίνου καὶ διακρίθηκε γιὰ τὴν ἀρετὴ καὶ τὴν γενναία συμμετοχή του στοὺς ἀγῶνες ὑπὲρ τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας. Πῆρε μέρος στὴν Α´ Οἰκ. Σύνοδο, ποὺ ἔγινε στὴ Νίκαια, καθὼς καὶ σ᾿ αὐτὴ τῆς Σαρδικῆς τὸ ἔτος 347. Ἐπίσης συνέπραξε στὸ ν᾿ ἀθῳωθεῖ ὁ Μέγας Ἀθανάσιος ἀπὸ τὶς ἐναντίον του κατηγορίες ἐκ μέρους τῶν Ἀρειανῶν. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐπειδὴ ὁ αὐτοκράτορας Κωνστάντιος καταδίωκε ἀμείλικτα τὸν Ἀθανάσιο, τὸ ἴδιο ἔκανε καὶ στὸν Ἱεράρχη τῆς Κορδούης Ὅσιο, ποὺ ὑπέβαλε σὲ πολλὲς ἐξορίες καὶ κακοπάθειες. Ὁ Ὅσιος ὅμως, κράτησε ὄρθιο τὸ ὀρθόδοξο φρόνημά του μέχρι τέλους. Δίκαια λοιπὸν τὸν ἐγκωμιάζει γι᾿ αὐτὰ ὁ Θεοδώρητος, ὁ δὲ Μέγας Ἀθανάσιος τὸν τιτλοφορεῖ πατέρα τῶν Ἐπισκόπων.
Βάπτιση τοῦ Αἰθίοπα Εὐνούχου, ἀπὸ τὸν Ἅγιο Φίλιππο
Βλέπε Η´ Κεφάλαιο τῶν Πράξεων τῶν Ἀποστόλων, στίχοι 5 ἕως 12.
Ἡ Ἁγία Ἀνθοῦσα ἡ νέα
Μαρτύρησε, ἀφοῦ τῆς ἔβαλαν τρίχινο κουρέλι καὶ μία μεγάλη πέτρα στὸ λαιμὸ καὶ τὴν ἔριξαν μέσα σ᾿ ἕνα πηγάδι.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Φανούριος ὁ Νεοφανής, ὁ Μεγαλομάρτυρας
Ἄγνωστος στοὺς ἀρχαίους Συναξαριστές. Ἔγινε γνωστὸς ἀπὸ τυχαία εὕρεση τῆς εἰκονας του τὸν 14ο αἰῶνα στὴ Ρόδο, ὅταν ἔσκαβαν παλιὰ σπίτια στὸ νότιο μέρος τοῦ παλιοῦ τείχους. Ἐκεῖ βρέθηκε ἀρχαῖος ναὸς μὲ πολλὲς κατεστραμμένες εἰκόνες καὶ μεταξὺ αὐτῶν καὶ ἡ καλὰ διατηρημένη εἰκόνα ἐπὶ τῆς ὁποίας ὁ τότε μητροπολίτης Ρόδου Νεῖλος ὁ Β´ ὁ Διασπωρινός(;) (1355-1369) διάβασε τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Ἁγίου «ὁ ἅγιος Φανῶ». Ὁ Ἅγιος παριστανόταν σὰν νεαρὸς στρατιώτης, κρατώντας στὸ δεξιό του χέρι σταυρό, πάνω στὸν ὁποῖο ἦταν λαμπάδα ἀναμμένη, γύρω δὲ ἀπὸ τὴν εἰκόνα τὰ 12 μαρτύρια του. Τὸν ἀρχαῖο αὐτὸ ναὸ ἀνοικοδόμησε ὁ Νεῖλος καὶ τὸν ἀφιέρωσε στὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ἁγίου Φανουρίου, ποὺ ὅπως φαίνεται συνέταξε καὶ τὴν Ἀκολουθία του. (Ἡ ἀναφορὰ στὸ Νέο Λειμωνάριο ὅτι ἡ εἰκόνα τοῦ Ἁγίου βρέθηκε τὸ 1500, εἶναι λανθασμένη. Διότι ὁ ἐπίσκοπος Ρόδου Νεῖλος ἔζησε τὸν 14ο αἰῶνα).
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀρκάδιος ὁ βασιλιάς
Κανεὶς ἀπὸ τοὺς Συναξαριστὲς δὲν ἀναφέρει τὸν βασιλιὰ Ἄρκαδιο (395-408) σὰν Ἅγιο. Συναντᾶται ἡ μνήμη του μόνο στὸ Ἱεροσολυμιτικὸ Κανονάριο (σελ. 105 ἔκδ. Καλλίστου ἀρχιμ.) μαζὶ μὲ τὸν ἅγιο Μαρτύριο. Ἴσως ἡ Ἐκκλησία τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων νὰ εἶχε κάποιους σημαντικοὺς λόγους νὰ τὸν κατατάξει μεταξὺ τῶν Ἁγίων της.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεόκλητος
Ἄγνωστος στοὺς Συναξαριστές. Συναντᾶται στὸν Πατμιακὸ Κώδικα 266 ὡς ἑξῆς: «Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ ὁσίου Θεοκλήτου. Οὗτος ἦν ἀπὸ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, ἀξίαν ἔχων μαγίστρου, καὶ καταλιπῶν τὸν κόσμον ἀνῆλθεν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τοῦ Ὀλύμπου, κακεῖσε ἀποταξάμενος καὶ ἀσκήσας ἔτεσι πλείστοις ἐκοιμήθη».
Our Holy Father Poemen (Pimen) the Great (450)
"He was an Egyptian by birth and a great Egyptian ascetic. As a boy, he visited various spiritual teachers and gathered proven experience as a bee gathers honey from flowers. Pimen once begged the elder Paul to take him to St Païsius. Seeing him, Païsius said: 'This child will save many; the hand of God is on him.' In time, Pimen became a monk and drew two of his brothers to monasticism. Their mother once came to see her sons, but Pimen would not allow her in, asking through the door: 'Which do you want more: to see us here and now, or in the other world in eternity?' Their mother went away joy-fully, saying: 'If I will see you for certain there, I don't need to see you here.' In the monastery of these three brothers, governed by the eldest, Abba Anoub, the rule was as follows: at night, four hours were passed in manual work, four hours in sleep and four in reading the Psalter. The day was passed, from morning to noon, in alternate work and prayer, from mid-day to Vespers in reading and after Vespers they prepared their meal, the only one in the twenty--four hours, and this usually of some sort of cabbage. Pimen himself said about their life: 'We ate what was to hand. No-one ever said: "Give me something else", or "I won't eat that". In that way, we spent our whole life in silence and peace.' He lived in the fifth century, and entered peacefully into rest in great old age." (Prologue)
His name means "shepherd". Many of his words can be found in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
Great-martyr Phanurius the Newly Appeared of Rhodes
"Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanurius, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church on Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called "the Newly-Revealed." The faithful pray to Saint Phanurius especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking the Phaneropita ('Phanarius-Cake') as a thank-offering." (Great Horologion)
There is a tradition that his mother was a great sinner, and that he was unable to convert her in her lifetime. After her death he prayed more for her salvation than for his own. As he was being stoned to death, he prayed: 'For the sake of these my sufferings, Lord, help all those who will pray to Thee for the salvation of Phanurius' sinful mother.' So, in Egypt, where he is much revered, many Christians pray 'O Lord, save Phanurius' mother and help me, a sinner.'
The Monk Pimen the Great was born in about the year 340 in Egypt. With his two brothers, Anubias and Paisias, he went into one of the Egyptian monasteries, and all three accepted monastic tonsure. The brothers were such strict ascetics, that when their mother came to the monastery to see her children, they did not come out to her from their cells. The mother stood there for a long time and wept. Then the Monk Pimen said to her through the closed door of the cell: "If thou bearest with the temporal parting from us now, then in the future life wilt thou see us, since we do hope upon God the Lover-of-Mankind!". The mother was humbled and returned home.
Fame about the deeds and virtues of the Monk Pimen spread throughout all the land. One time the governor of the district wanted to see him. The Monk Pimen, shunning fame, reasoned thus: "If dignitaries begin coming to me with respect, then also many of the people will start coming to me and disturb my quiet, and I shalt be deprived of the grace of humility, which I have found only with the help of God". And so he relayed a refusal to the messenger. For many of the monks, the Monk Pimen was a spiritual guide and instructor. And they wrote down his answers to serve to the edification of others besides themselves. A certain monk asked: "Ought one to veil over with silence the sin of a transgressing brother, if perchance one see him?" The elder answered: "If we reproach the sins of brothers, then God will reproach our sins, and if thou seest a brother sinning, believe not thine eyes and know, that thine own sin is like a wood-beam, but the sin of thy brother is like a wood-splinter, and then thou wilt not come into distress and temptation". Another monk turned to the saint, saying: "I have grievously sinned and I want to spend three years at repentance. Is such a length of time sufficient?" The elder answered: "That is a long time". The monk continued to ask, how long a period of repentance did the saint reckon necessary for him -- a year or forty days? The elder answered: "I think, that if a man repenteth from the depths of his heart and posits a firm intent to return no more to the sin, then God would accept also a three-day repentance". To the question, as to how to be rid of persistent evil thoughts, the saint answered: "If a man has on one side of him fire, and on the other side a vessel with water, then if he starts burning from the fire, he takes water from the vessel and extinguishes the fire. Like to this are the evil thoughts, suggested by the enemy of our salvation, which like a spark can enkindle sinful desires within man. It is necessary to put out these sparks with the water, which is prayer and the yearning of the soul for God".
The Monk Pimen was strict at fasting and did not partake of food for the space of a week or more. But others he advised to eat every day, only but without eating one's fill. For a certain monk, permitting himself to partake of food only on the seventh day but being angry with a brother, the saint said: "Thou wouldst learn to fast over six days, yet cannot abstain from anger for even a single day". To the question, which is better -- to speak or be silent, the elder said: "Whoso doth speak on account of God, doeth well, and whoso is silent on account of God -- that one doth act well". And moreover: "It may be, that a man seems to be silent, but if his heart doth judge others, then always is he speaking. But there are also those, who all the day long speak with their tongue, but within themself they do keep silence, since they judge no one".
The saint said: "For a man it is necessary to observe three primary rules: to fear God, to pray often and to do good for people". "Malice in turn never wipes out malice. If someone doeth thee bad, do them good, and thine good will conquer their bad". One time, when the monk with his students arrived at an Egyptian wilderness-monastery (since he had the habit to go about from place to place, so as to shun glory from men), it became known to him, that the elder living there was annoyed at his arrival and also was jealous of him. In order to overcome the malice of the hermit, the saint set off to him with his brethren, taking along with them food as a present. The elder refused to come out to them. Thereupon the Monk Pimen said: "We shall not depart from here, until we are granted to see and pay respect to the holy elder", -- and he remained standing in the bright heat at the door of the cell. Seeing such perseverance and lack of malice on the part of the Monk Pimen, the elder received him graciously and said: "It is right what I have heard about you, but I see in you the good deeds and an hundred times even moreso". Thus did the Monk Pimen know how to extinguish malice and provide good example to others. He possessed such great humility, that often with a sigh he said: "I shalt be cast down to that place, whither was cast down Satan!"
One time there came to the saint a monk from afar, to get his guidance. He began to speak about sublime matters difficult to grasp. The saint turned away from him and was silent. To the bewildered monk they explained, that the saint did not like to speak about lofty matters. Then the monk began to ask him about the struggle with passions of soul. The saint turned to him with a joyful face: "Here now thou well hath spoken, and I mustneeds answer", -- and for a long while he provided instruction, as to how one ought to struggle with the passions and conquer them.
The Monk Pimen died at age 110, in about the year 450. Soon after his death he was acknowledged as a saint pleasing to God and received the title "the Great" -- as a sign of his great humility, modesty, uprightness and self-denying service to God.
The PriestMartyr Kuksha and the Monk Pimen the Faster died after the year 1114. Sainted Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal' (XII Century, Comm. 10 May), in a missive to the Monk Polykarp, Archimandrite of Pechersk (+ 1182, Comm. 24 July), wrote thus about the Monk Kuksha: "How can I worthily proclaim the glory of those saintly men, dwelling in the holy Pechersk monastery, in which pagans were baptised and became monks, and Jews accepted the holy faith? But I cannot keep silent about the Blessed PriestMartyr and Black-Robed Kuksha of this monastery, about whom everyone doth know, that he cast out devils, baptised the Vyatichi, caused it to rain, dried up a lake, did many other miracles, and after many torments was killed together with his disciple Nikon". The death of the PriestMartyr Kuksha was discerned by the Monk Pimen the Faster. Standing amidst the Pechersk Great church, he loudly exclaimed: "Our brother Kuksha was killed at dawn".
The Vyatichi, among whom the PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha preached and died, lived along the River Oka, and they occupied the locale of the Orlov and Kaluzh districts. They were pagans. The Monk Nestor the Chronicler (Comm. 27 October), writing about the Vyatichi, was shocked by their brutal customs and he added, that they thus live "furthermore only for the present day", remaining unacquainted with the Law of God and instead making their own law. The PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha preached to the Vyatichi during the era of Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Chernigov (1113-1123, Comm. 5 August). He was buried thus, as was the Monk Pimen the Faster, in the Nearer Caves (Comm. of Monks of the Nearer Caves is 28 September).
Sainted Hosia the Confessor was bishop for more than 60 years in the city of Cordova (Spain) during the IV Century. The holy emperor Saint Constantine the Great (306-337) deeply revered him and made him a privy counsellor. The saint advised that Saint Constantine should convene the First OEcumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325, and he was the first to undersign the deliberations of this Council. After the death of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Hosia firmly defended Sainted Athanasias of Alexandria (326-373, Comm. 2 May) against the emperor Constantius (337-361), an advocate of the Arian heresy. For this they sent him to prison in Sirmium. Upon his return to Cordova, Saint Hosia died in the year 359.
Sainted Liberius the Confessor, Pope of Rome, entered upon the papal throne in the year 352, after the death of Pope Julius. Saint Liberius was a fervent proponent of Orthodoxy against the Arian heresy and a defender of Saint Athanasias of Alexandria (Comm. 2 May). The emperor Constantius (337-361), inclining to side with the Arians, was not able to compel Saint Liberius to make a judgement against Saint Athanasias nor therefore against Orthodoxy. For such intransigence he was sent off to prison in Beroeia (Thrace), but was soon returned back on the insistent demands of the Roman people. Before his return, they summoned Saint Liberius to the Third Sirmian Semi-Arian Council, where they forced him to undersign the deliberations of the Council. Holy Pope Liberius afterwards deeply repented of this, and toiled much at Rome for the affirmation of Orthodoxy. He died peacefully in the year 366.
The Monk Pimen of Palestine lived during the VI Century in a cave in the Ruv wilderness. The holy fathers Sophronios and John speak about him in Chapter 167 of the book, "The Spiritual Meadow" ("Limonarion"). One time during winter the monk Agathonikes came to the Monk Pimen for guidance and remained to spend the night in an adjoining cave. In the morning he mentioned, that he had suffered much from the cold. The Monk Pimen answered, that he himself had been uncovered, but he did not feel the cold because a lion came to him and lay alongside him, warming him. "But I know, -- added the ascetic, -- that I shall be devoured by wild beasts, since when I lived in the world and shepherded sheep, a man came by my flock whom my dogs attacked and tore apart. I could have saved him, but I did not. It was later revealed to me, that I myself would die a similar death". And so it occurred: three years later it became known, that the holy Hermit Pimen of Palestine was torn apart by wild beasts. This happened at the end of the VI Century.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. VENERABLE PIMEN [POEMEN] THE GREAT
Pimen was an Egyptian by birth and a great ascetic of Egypt. As a boy, he visited the most renowned spiritual men and, from them, gathered tangible knowledge as a bee gathers honey from flowers. Pimen once begged the elder Paul to take him to St. Paisius. Seeing Pimen, Paisius said to Paul: "This child will save many; the hand of God is with him." In time, Pimen was tonsured a monk and attracted two of his brothers to the monastic life as well. Once his mother came to see her sons but Pimen did not permit her to enter but through the door asked her: "Do you desire more to see us here or there in eternity?" The mother withdrew with joy saying: "Since I will surely see you there, then I do not desire to see you here." In the monastery of these three brothers, governed by Abba Anubis, Pimen's eldest brother, this was their Rule [Typikon]: at night, they spent four hours of working with their hands, four hours of sleep and four hours of reading the Psalter. During the day, from morning until noon, they spent in alternating work and prayer; from noon until Vespers they spent reading and, in the afternoon, they prepared supper for themselves the only meal in twenty-four hours and that usually consisted of some vegetables. Concerning their life, Pimen himself speaks: "We ate that which was given to us. No one ever said: 'Give me something else or I do not want that.' In this manner, we spent our entire life in silence and peace." Pimen lived a life of mortification as an ascetic in the fifth century and died peacefully at an old age.
2. VENERABLE PIMEN [POEMEN] OF PALESTINE
Pimen lived a life of asceticism in Rouba, in the wilderness of Palestine during the time of Emperor Maurice (582-602 A.D.). In his youth, he was a shepherd. Once his dogs attacked a man and tore him to pieces and he, out of mischievousness, did not defend the man. As a result of that, it was revealed to him that he, in the end, would die from wild beasts. And thus it happened. He was devoured by wild beasts and gave up his soul to his Lord.
3.SAINT HOSIUS BISHOP OF CORDOVA
As the Bishop of Cordova, Hosius governed the Church in Spain for over sixty years. He prominently participated at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicea [325 A.D.] and presided at the local Council in Sardica in 347 A.D. So zealous was he for Orthodoxy that, before his death, he again issued an anathema against the Arian heresy.
4. THE PRIESTLY-MARTYR KUKSHA AND PIMEN [POEMEN] THE FASTER
Kuksha and Pimen were both monks in the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. Kuksha, with success, preached the Gospel to the Wallachians and baptized them. One day, pagans attacked him and slew him along with his disciple. At that moment, Pimen the Faster was standing during the church service in the Monastery of the Caves and, seeing in the spirit the death of Kuksha his disciple and companion, cried out: "Today, our brother Kuksha was slain for the Holy Gospel." Saying this, he himself gave up the spirit in the year 1113 A.D.
HYMN OF PRAISE
VENERABLE PIMEN [POEMEN] THE GREAT OF PALESTINE
Venerable Pimen, depth of wisdom,
And a great torch of Christ's light,
From the time when he put the world of vanity behind him
No one does he reprimand, no one does he reproach
Once, before Pimen, the brethren quarreled
But Pimen remained silent. Some reprimanded him:
How do you listen to the quarreling and, to you, everything is the same?
Pimen replied: I have died a long time ago. -
How can I be saved someone asked of him
That my mind, after devilish slander, does not wander?
Upon boiling water, flies do not land -
And, from a warm soul, the devils flee. -
Someone else said: What is more certain:
The speech of your brethren or silence?
By one and the other, God is glorified,
For the sake of the glory of God choose one for yourself.
How can one defend himself from evil?
Evil does not permit itself to be defeated by evil
To one who is evil, strive to do something good,
That will inflame even his heart.
One does not build his home by destroying someone else's home.
There, the third one benefits, and the third one is the devil.
Two wicked passions, poison our souls,
Freedom we do not have while they suffocate us:
Pleasures of the flesh and worldly vanity,
Free from them is only the holy soul.
One who crawls up a steep mountain and scrapes with both hands and feet to take one step forward, not thinking to look back, such were the great Orthodox ascetics in the difficult climb to the Kingdom of God. Their labor and their detachment is indeed for amazement. St. Pimen did not want to see his mother when she came to visit him. A prince wanted to see Pimen but he refused. Then the prince thought of a cunning way, to force the elder to meet with him; he arrested the son of Pimen's sister and said to her that he would release her son only if Pimen himself comes to speak with him. The sister went into the wilderness and, knocking at the door, begged her brother to come out and save her son. But Pimen did not come out. Then sister began to scold and curse him. Hearing of this, the prince ordered that a letter be written to Pimen saying that if he, Pimen, would at least put in writing, (since he did not do so orally) implore the prince to release his nephew, the prince would do so. Pimen replied: "O mighty prince, command to probe well the guilt of the young man and if the guilt is such that he deserves death, let him die, so that by temporal punishment, he will escape the torments in eternity but if the guilt does not merit the penalty of death then castigate him according to the law and then release him." Reading this just and impartial judgment, the prince was greatly astonished, released the youth and his respect for Pimen increased two-fold.
To contemplate Saul's total apostasy from the one God (1 Samuel 28-31 1 Kings 28-31):
1. How he [Saul] frightened by the Philistines, turned to a pagan sorceress [the witch of Endor] to prognosticate for him;
2. How the sorceress, through prognostication, evoked a spirit who called himself Samuel and who prophesied Saul's death;
3. How Saul with his sons perished at the hands of the Philistines.
About the Day of Christ and how Isaiah prophesied it
"Therefore My people shall know in that day that I am He that does speak: behold, it is I" (Isaiah 52:6).
Brethren, our God is the God of Truth. Even on the sun there are spots of darkness but on our God, there is not a spot of untruth. Every word spoken by God through the prophets came true. When the Word [Logos] of God became incarnate in Jesus Christ our Lord, then all the prophecies which referred to Him and which, for the Jews until then were dark enigmas, were revealed as clear as the sun. In the Holy Gospel it is said: "And the Word was made flesh" (St. John 1:14), the Pre-eternal word of God, the eternal Wisdom of God and the Son of God, the Word of God made flesh, every word of prophesy is revealed in bodily form. Until the Lord Christ came in the flesh to visit mankind, the scribes and readers of Holy Scripture could think of many words of the prophets, long and long unfulfilled, that those are only the words of the prophets as men and not words from God. But God did not permit anyone to think lowly of His prophets, that is why He said that men shall know "…in that day that I am He that does speak". Therefore, God wanted to give importance to every word of the prophets and wanted to teach men patience, to patiently await "that day", that wondrous day when the manifestation of the Lord on earth in the flesh will clearly cry out in every ear: "Behold, it is I!" He who recognized the Lord Jesus as God in the flesh, that one recognized in Him, simultaneously, that one Who spoke through the prophets.
"Behold, it is I!" thus speaks Christ today. "I am He" Who speaks through all the created universe. "I am He" Who spoke through the prophets. "I am He" Who, through the lips of the body spoke the words of eternal salvation. "I am He" Who spoke through the apostles, saints and teachers. "I am He" Who speaks and Who will continue to speak through My Holy Church until the end of time. "I am He" Who speaks and "I am He" about Whom it is spoken.
O Lord, to You be glory and thanks always. Amen.