Saint Thalelaues the Hermit of Syria

February 27 is the Commemoration Saint Thalelaues the Hermit of Syria
“Saint Thalelaeus lived during the fifth century. He was a native of Cilicia (Asia Minor), became a monk at the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified, and was ordained presbyter there. Later on, he moved to Syria, not far from the city of Habala, he found a dilapidated pagan temple surrounded by graves, and he settled there in a tent. This place had a rough reputation, since the unclean spirits residing there frightened travellers and caused them much harm.
Here the monk lived, praying day and night in total solitude. The demons often assailed the saint, trying to terrify him with sights and sounds. But by the power of God the saint ultimately gained victory over the power of the Enemy, after which he was troubled no more. He then intensified his efforts even more: he built a hut, so cramped that it was just possible to get into it, and only with an effort was it possible to raise his head. He lived there for about ten years.
The Lord granted to the ascetic the gift of wonderworking, and his miracles helped him to enlighten the pagan inhabitants. With the help of the inhabitants he converted to Christianity, he demolished the pagan temple, building a church where there were daily services.
St Thalelaeus died in old age in about the year 460. In the book entitled Leimonarion or Pratum [The Meadow], a composition of the Greek monk John Moschus (+ 622). St Thalelaeus is mentioned: “Abba Thalelaeus was a monk for sixty years and with tears never ceased saying, ‘Brethren, God has given us this time for repentance, and we must seek after Him’” (Ch. 59).”

“St. Thalelaeus lived in present-day Turkey in the fifth century. He lived in a small hut that was near a pagan shrine where people came to sacrifice regularly. The pagan priests tried to scare him away, but he stood his ground and converted many who came to the shrine to worship.
He was said to have lived in a barrel for a number of years as a sign of repentance, and to encourage others to turn from their sin.
He lived as a hermit for 60 years, and was known to weep constantly. In fact, he was given the name, “Epiklautos,” which means “weeping much.” He told those who visited him that time was a gift from God for us to use to repent, “and woe be to us if we neglect it.””


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