Daniil Sihastrul

Pious Daniil was born in a village not far from Rădăuţi, to righteous parents, being baptised with the name of Demetrius. Having loved spiritual life, when he was 16 years old, he left his parents’ house and joined the community of the Rădăuţi Monastery dedicated to Saint Nicholas, growing in faith, good deeds, prayer and night vigils. He was reading every day the writings of the Holy Fathers and liturgical books, showing obedience and humbleness in everything he had to do by the abbot’s decision. He became a monk as a reward for his efforts, by the name of David, but his aspiration for more severe spiritual efforts led him to Saint Leontius of Rădăuţi Monastery, close to today’s Laura village. There, he worked together with the brethren of the monastic community during the day and prayed incessantly in his cell at night. Having seen his endeavours and noticing his continuous aspiration to God, the abbot of the monastery gave him the Great Schema, advised by his father confessor, receiving the name of Daniil.
Soon after he received the Great Schema, he retired, with the blessing of his abbot, near Viţău brook, in the forests around Putna, where he dug a cell in a rock that can still be seen today, not far from Putna Monastery.
His ascetic efforts would make him known rather soon, having been visited by many faithful who wanted his advice and spiritual guidance, as well as to intercede to God for healing their spiritual and physical diseases.
Out of his many spiritual children that used to come to him rather often, one can mention Holy Ruler Prince Stephan the Great (†1504), who received spiritual advise and blessing of the pious hermit. Stephan is said to have come to the cell of the pious hermit for the first time in 1451, when his father was killed at Reuseni. Pious Daniil encouraged him and predicted he would be ruling prince. That came true after six years (1457). Following his advice, great Stephan founded Putna Monastery in 1466. After the monastery was consecrated, in 1470, the pious hermit went to live at the Eagle’s rock, near Voroneţ. Stephan the Great went to ask for his advice there too, in 1476, after he was defeated at Războieni. The hermit encouraged him to gather his army again and defend the country and Christianity against the invading pagans. The prince followed his advice and promised that after every victory he would raise a church, and so he did. Thus, besides the great prince, Venerable Daniil was also protecting Moldavia through his permanent prayers well received by God. In 1488, Stephan the Great built Voroneţ Monastery in only four months and a half.
Then, venerable Daniil came to the community over there and was elected abbot. There, he advised the monastic community and the hermits from neighbourhood, having been spiritual father of many faithful who came to him to receive spiritual benefit. God has also given him the gift to perform miracles, which the pious always tried to hide. Yet, the healing of diseases and casting out the bad spirits were signs of his holiness for which he was greatly venerated.
In 1496, pious Daniil has fallen asleep into the Lord, Whom he had served ever since he was a young man. The text on his gravestone laid by Holy Ruler Prince Stephan reads: “This is the grave of our father David, hermit Daniil”. In 1547, at the command of the metropolitan of Moldavia, Gregory Roşca (†1570), one of his disciples, his face was painted, with a saint’s halo, over the entrance door, on the southern side of the church. The parchment Pious Daniil holds in his hand reads: “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11).
On 5 March 1992, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided that Holy Venerable Daniil the Hermit be enlisted in the calendar and celebrated on 18 December.
Through his holy prayers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.”

Troparion, plagal 4 tone 8:
“In you, oh, Father, the one created in the image of God was saved, for taking up the Cross, you did follow Christ and, by your deeds, you did teach us to overlook the flesh, for it is perishable, but to be attentive to the soul since it is immortal. Therefore, oh, Pious Father Daniil, your spirit rejoices with the angels”.
“Our venerable and God-bearing Father Daniel the Hermit of Voroneţ, Sf. Daniil Sihastru de la Voroneţ in Romanian, was a 15th century monk and the spiritual father of Stephen the Great, the Voievod of Moldova. Under his guidance, Stephen the Great defended Moldova from Ottoman invasion and dedicated himself and his rule to God.
Daniel lived alone for 14 years in a cell carved from a boulder in a forested valley close to Putna Monastery, which is now used as a chapel according to the rules of Mount Athos.
His relics are housed at Voroneţ Monastery, and he was officially glorified by the Synod of the Church of Romania in 1992. He fell asleep in 1496, and his feast day is December 18.
Daniel was born into a poor family in a village close to Rădăuţi in the early years of 15th century. He was baptised with the name Dumitru but took the name David when he entered the cathedral monastery at Rădăuţi. Here he learnt to follow the monastic life, but eventually, wishing to lead a truly holy life away from the temptations of the world, he retired to the St. Laurence Skete in the community of Vicovul de Sus. Here he entered the Great Schema with the name Daniel (Daniil).
Later he went to live alone in a small cell carved from a rock in the Putna valley. Eventually, he became the spiritual father of Prince Stephen the Great of Moldova whom he advised for many years and who built, at Daniel’s urging, Putna Monastery close to the site of his cell. After the death of Metropolitan Teoctist of Moldova in 1478, he left Putna and made himself a new cell, carving it from a cliff close to the river Voroneţ. He lived here in great poverty and unceasing prayer, earning wide reknown as a monk of great spiritual wisdom, and continued to encourage the Prince in his defense of Moldova against Turkish aggression. In 1488 Stephen the Great had another monastery, Voroneţ, built close to Daniel’s new cell. On his death, Daniel was buried in this monastery.”
“Daniil Sihastrul (Romanian for “Daniel the Hesychast”; after 1400 — ca. 1482), a saint of the Romanian Orthodox Church, was born into a peasant family at the beginning of the 15th century in a village near Rădăuţi, and baptised under the name Dumitru. He was given the name David when he entered Bogdana Monastery as a youth. Desiring a more eremitical life, he moved to Saint Laurence Monastery near Vicovu de Sus, where he became Daniil. However, he left for a mountain cave hermitage that he dug in a rock, where many came for confession and spiritual guidance. One of his visitors was the young prince Stephen III of Moldavia, who on Daniil’s advice began Putna Monastery nearby in 1466. However, when Stephen wished to make Daniil the metropolitan, the monk withdrew to Voroneţ in 1470. Six years later, when Stephen was about to cede the region to the Turks to avoid more bloodshed after his defeat at Războieni, Daniil prophesied that he would eventually be victorious, which proved to be the case. This visit was the subject of a poem by Dimitrie Bolintineanu. In 1488, after Daniil’s death, Stephen built a monastery at Voroneţ in honour of his victory; the monk was buried there. Long venerated locally, the church canonised him formally on 20 July 1992; his feast day is 18 December.”

See also: https://citydesert.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/daniil-sihastrul-hermit-and-hesychast/


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