Greek Hermit Saints

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The name Greek Orthodox Church (Monotonic Greek: Ελληνορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, Polytonic: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἑκκλησία, IPA: [elinorˈθoðoksi ekliˈsia]) is a term referring to the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament. Today, several of these Churches conduct their services in Arabic, the common language of most of their faithful, while at the same time maintaining elements of Greek cultural tradition. The current territory of the Greek Orthodox Churches more or less covers the areas in the Eastern Mediterranean that used to be a part of the Byzantine Empire. The origins of the Orthodox Church can be traced back to the churches which the Apostles founded in the Balkans and the Middle East during the first century A.D., and it maintains many traditions practiced in the ancient Church. Among these traditions are the use of incense, Liturgical Worship, Priesthood, making the sign of the cross, etc. Greek Orthodox Churches, unlike the Catholic Church, have no Bishopric head, such as a Pope, and hold the belief that Christ is the head of the Church. However, they are each governed by a committee of Bishops, called the Holy Synod, with one central Bishop holding the honorary title of “first among equals.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_Orthodox_Church

+ Alypius the Stylite
alpius
Saint Alypius the Stylite (Αλύπιος ο Στυλίτης) was a seventh-century ascetic saint. He is revered as a monastic founder, an intercessor for the infertile, and a protector of children. During his lifetime he was a much sought after starets (guide in the Christian spiritual life).
Alypius was born in the city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia. His mother, who had been widowed early, was very pious. She sent her son to be educated by the bishop Theodore, gave all of her livelihood to the poor, and herself became a deaconess and lived an ascetic life. Alypius built a church in honour of the Great Martyr Saint Euphemia the All-Praised on the site of a dilapidated pagan temple. He erected a pillar beside the church and lived atop it for the majority of his adult life. Two monasteries were built beside his pillar, one for monks and one for nuns, and Saint Alypius served as spiritual director of both. According to his hagiography for the last fourteen years of his life he was unable to stand, and had to lie on his side. He died in 640, at the age of 118. He is recognised as one of the three great stylite ascetics along with Simeon Stylites the Elder and Daniel the Stylite.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alypius_the_Stylite

See also http://oca.org/saints/all-lives/2013/11/26
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.religion.christian.east-orthodox/TewCJXLhhzA

+ David the Dendrite
davd the dendrite
David the Dendrite (died 540), also known as David the tree-dweller and David of Thessalonika, is a patron saint of Thessaloniki and a renowned holy fool. Originally from Mesopotamia, David became a monk at the Monastery of Saints Merkourios and Theodore outside Thessaloniki. Famed for his sound advice, crowds would hound him for words of wisdom and prayer. Wishing a quiet, contemplative life, David fled to the seclusion of an almond tree, where he lived for three years. He left the tree to petition the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great in Constantinople to send soldiers to defend Thessaloniki from attack. David died in 540 as his ship was in route to Macedonia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_the_Dendrite

See also http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/06/righteous-david-dendrite-of.html
http://orthodoxwiki.org/David_of_Thessalonica

On Fools for Christ, see: http://www.shepherdsguild.org/id60.html
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/more-about-holy-fool
dendrite
For the Dendrites generally, see: http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol12No1/HV12N1Smith.pdf
dendrites book
Constantine P. Charalampidis “The Dendrites in Pre-Christian and Christian Historical-Literary Tradition and Iconography” (Rome, 1995)

+ Gerasimus of Kefalonia
Gerasimos_of_Kephalonia
Saint Gerasimos of Kefalonia (Greek: Άγιος Γεράσιμος) is the patron saint of the island of Kefalonia in Greece. Gerasimos (1506–1579) came from the aristocratic and wealthy Notaras family. He was ordained a Monk at Mount Athos, went to Jerusalem for 12 years, spent some time in Crete and Zakynthos and in 1555 arrived on Kefalonia. He spent his first 5 years in a cave in the area known as Lassi. He subsequently cultivated the area where the monastery of Saint Gerasimos now exists near Valsamata. The monastery which he established cared for the poor and became a center for charity.
Saint Gerasimos is believed by natives of Kefalonia to protect them and to also heal them of illness. Many natives of the island name their children after Saint Gerasimos as a tribute to the saint who protects them.
gerasimos body
The body of Saint Gerasimos is guarded and protected in a glass casement at the monastery as it has never decomposed. After his death, his body was buried twice and exhumed intact, thus leading the church to ordain him as a saint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerasimus_of_Kefalonia

See also http://www.kefaloniainfo.com/kefaloniaenglish/kefaloniaisland/kefaloniaislandsaintgerasimos/index.html
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/10/st-gerasimos-of-kefallonia-and-demon.html
http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/st-gerasimos-of-cephalonia.html

+ John the Silent
john the silent
Saint John the Silent (January 8, 454 – May 13, 558), also known as St John the Hesychast (Greek: Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Ἡσυχαστής), was a Christian saint known for living alone for seventy-six years. He was given the surname because he loved recollection and silence. John was born in 454 AD in Nicopolis, Armenia. He came from a family of mainly generals and governors. His parents died when he was eighteen and he built a monastery where he stayed with ten young monks. Under John’s direction, they led a life of hard work and devotion. He obtained a reputation for leadership and sanctity, which led the archbishop of Sebaste to consecrate him bishop of Colonia in Armenia. John was only twenty-eight at the time and had no desire to be bishop. John was bishop for nine years then decided to stop due to his desire for secluded life and inability to stop certain evils. Uncertain of his future vocation, he went to Jerusalem.
His biographer says that while John was praying one night, he saw a bright cross form in the air, and heard a voice say to him, “If thou desirest to be saved, follow this light.” He saw it move and point out to the Laura (monastery) of St. Sabas. At thirty-eight years old he joined the monastery, which held one hundred and fifty monks. After some tests, St. Sabas let John have a separate hermitage for uninterrupted contemplation. For five days a week he fasted and never left his cell but on Saturdays and Sundays he went to public mass. After three years of this he was made the steward of the Laura.
John had never told anyone he had been bishop so after four years, St. Sabas thought John was worthy to become a priest and presented him to the patriarch Elias of Jerusalem. They traveled to Calvary for the ordination but upon their arrival John requested a private audience with the patriarch. John said, “Holy Father, I have something to impart to you in private; after which, if you judge me worthy, I will receive holy orders.” They spoke in private after a promise of secrecy. “Father, I have been ordained bishop; but on account of the multitude of my sins have fled, and am come into this desert to wait the visit of the Lord.” The patriarch was startled but told St. Sabas, “I desire to be excused from ordaining this man, on account of some particulars he has discovered to me.” St. Sabas was afraid John had committed a crime and after he prayed, God revealed the truth to him. He complained to John about keeping it from him and John, finding himself discovered, wanted to leave the monastery. St. Sabas convinced him to stay by promising to keep his secret. John stayed in his cell for four years, speaking to no one except the person who brought him necessities.
sabas
In 503 AD., certain turbulent disciples forced St. Sabas to leave his Laura. St. John went into a neighboring wilderness, where he spent six years in silence, conversing only with God and eating only the wild roots and herbs which the desert provided. When St. Sabas was brought back to his community, he found John in the desert and convinced him to return. John had become used to speaking only with God and found only bitterness and emptiness in anything else. He treasured obscurity and humility so he wanted to live unknown to men but, he was unable to do so. He returned with St. Sabas and lived in his cell for forty years. During this time, he did not turn people away who desired his instruction. One of these people was Cyril of Scythopolis who wrote about John’s life. The two men first met when John was ninety and Cyril was sixteen. Cyril had asked him what to do with his life. John recommended he join the Laura of St. Euthymius but Cyril did not listen. Instead, he went to a small monastery on Jordan’s banks. He fell ill there and deeply regretted not listening to John. While there, John appeared to him in a dream and after scolding him for not obeying said that if he returned to St. Euthymius’ monastery, he would get well and find his salvation. The next day he did so and was well again. John died in 558 AD at the age of one hundred and four. He lived in solitude for seventy-six years interrupted only for the nine years he was bishop.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Silent

See also http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/JOHNSIL.htm
http://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/12/03/103468-st-john-the-silent-of-st-sabbas-monastery
http://orthodoxwiki.org/John_the_Silent

+ Theoctiste of Lesbos
theoctiste
Theoctiste of Lesbos is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. Born on the island of Lesbos, Theoctiste was orphaned as a child. The saint’s relations brought her to a monastery where she was raised in great joy until her 18th year, at which time Theoctiste barely evaded capture by Saracen slavers. She was taken captive with her sister and other local villagers of Lesbos and brought to the island of Paros. Once on Paros Theoctiste was able to escape. She found refuge in an island church dedicated to the Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary and dwelt there, as a hermit, for the next 35 years of her life. Numerous miraculous events are associated with her life and her relics. Saint Theoctiste of Lesbos died in the late 9th century.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoctiste_of_Lesbos

See also http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theoctiste_of_Lesbos
http://www.antiochian.org/node/16869
http://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/11/09/103261-venerable-theoctiste-of-the-isle-of-lesbos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Greek_hermits

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