Why the Saint was awarded the kidnappers and ate meat during Great lent Archpriest Alexander Ilyashenko recalls fragments of the life of Saint Spyridon, the day on which the Church celebrates on December 25.
Saint Spyridon of Trimyphunteia (fragment). Artist Alexander Shirshov (shirshovart) / livemaster.ru
- Going to us Saint Spyridon
- St Spyridon – miracles and testimonies
- The miracle of Saint Spyridon
- St Spyridon and spiritual tradition of his veneration in the Royal family of the Romanovs
- Saint Spyridon is a very good Holy
In those days the Bishop is very often lived as well as his parishioners, he was more similar to a simple rural parish priest rather than the person occupying a high position in the Church hierarchy.
Saint Spyridon lived on the island, in a small village Trimifunt, lived in poverty, had no income. Moreover, in order to feed themselves, he had, like other inhabitants, to have a flock of sheep, look after them, to feed, to get their wool, milk, sheep cheese. Then there was a solid establishment that the monks do not eat meat, but the Saint fasted very strictly and the meat is eaten rarely, only on major holidays.
That area was poor, and the fact that the night to him climbed two thieves wanted to steal the sheep. But the power of God they were stopped: suddenly found himself bound and immobile, there was nothing I could do, not what to leave. This continued up until Saint Spyridon woke up, prayed and went out into the street.
When he saw among his sheep two kidnappers, he rebuked them severely, said the monitory word, and then prayed to the Lord that He be pardoned. The Lord heard the prayers of the Holy, the attackers regained the ability to move, and the Saint Spyridon let them go in peace, before giving the sheep a reward for all our toil and sleepless night.
This here is an amazing example of the mercy and forgiving love, covering the real sins of the people with whom the Saint had to face.
The second case is also completely unexpected and amazing happened during Great lent, on Great Thursday. The St. Spyridon the house knocked the exhausted traveler, from hunger and fatigue, barely keeping on his feet, but he had a long road! Sainted Spyridon of widowed priests, he had a daughter, which the Saint asked to cook something for the guest.
But my daughter said that the house nothing but meat, which is laid up for Easter. Apparently, the daughter of the Saint fasted as strictly as her father, and the Holy week almost nothing to eat. “What to do, prepare the meat, our guest needs to snack on,” said the Bishop of Trimifunt.
When the guest saw put on the table meat, he quailed lent, meat is impossible, but he is very hungry and energy is almost gone… the Saint, seeing this, decided to support the stranger took the piece of meat and began to eat. Then the traveler, looking at the Saint, also took the meat and ate.
It is easy to imagine, that of St. Spyridon, which was easier meat do not eat, it was a feat eating this food for another, he sacrificed himself doing it. It is obvious that he was hard and totally not necessary, but he made that sacrifice so that the traveler is not weakened in the way and reached the designated places safely.
You can multiply the stories of the sanctity of Saint Spyridon, but I think these two striking episodes is enough to imagine what freedom have people who have reached the heights of Holiness. They could afford to do what an ordinary man would not no what to do. I’m not even saying that it is unlikely that the prayer of an ordinary person is able to release most of these kidnappers. But how could an ordinary person to come up with the idea for another reward of these robbers! Or to sacrifice themselves in the period of strict fasting, when Saint Spyridon and-so didn’t eat anything, even lean, and then – ate fasting food not for some pleasure, but on the contrary, in spite of his good dispensation. And to change this dispensation for the sake of the support of another person.
These are examples of amazing freedom, freedom in Christ, going beyond conventional boundaries, to do what the common man or the impossible or never coming. They show us what real Christianity.
The Apostle Paul in Galatians wrote, what will be the reward for spiritual work: “the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22, 23). First, the Apostle puts love, perfect, godlike, spiritual, spiritualized love. In second place joy. This is an amazing quality and at the same time the criterion to understand whether you are on the right path. If you’re feeling sad, it means that something is not right, you may pray and go to the temple, and even go to confession and receive Holy communion. In third place – world. The word humility comes from the word peace. It is peace, peace with God, above all, peace with ourselves, peace with others.
You can imagine how joyful was Saint Spyridon if he thieves, intending to steal his sheep, rewarded for the sleepless night, and their labors, with what was a generous soul, which gives a real and not a pretended Christian love, what amazing humility he possessed. Nothing could neither be frightened nor shake, nor deprive joyful, peaceful, calm and radiant state of mind, and his heart was always filled with love for other people.