Deeds of the Saints as Examples for Christian Youth

Deeds of the Saints as Examples for Christian Youth

“The Venerable John the Hermit… John was the son of Juliana, a Christian woman in Armenia. As a young boy, he left his mother and withdrew into the wilderness… Afterwards, the young John distanced himself and withdrew into solitude. He lowered himself into a dry well where he spent ten years in fasting, prayer and vigils… After ten years of difficult mortification in the well, St. John presented himself to the Lord.” (March 29)
“The Venerable John of the Old Caves… Finally, he settled in the Caves of Chariton, where he gave himself to rigorous asceticism spending days and years in fasting, prayer, vigils, continuously meditating on death, and teaching himself humility.” (April 19)
“The Venerable Nilus of Stolbensk… He dug a grave for himself close to his cell and wept over it every day.”
“The Venerable Athanasius Recluse of the Monastery of the Kiev Caves… This holy man died after a long life of asceticism and was bathed, clothed and prepared for burial by his brethren. Athanasius lay dead for two days and suddenly came to life. When they came to bury him, they found him sitting up and crying. After that, he closed himself in his cell and lived for twelve more years on bread and water, not speaking a word to anyone.” (December 2)
Our sarcastic tour of The Lives of the Saints naturally would be incomplete without addressing our beautiful Serbian daughters – girls and women – who think they should aspire to become like the ancient Orthodox saints who deceive themselves in thinking that they truly please God:
“Many of them (e.g., the saints – the monks and nuns) believed that physical obstacles hindered their purity of devotion. The virgin Silvia refused to wash any body part except for her fingers. In a convent of 130 nuns, no one ever bathed nor washed their feet. However, towards the end of the fourth century the monks were given access to water. The abbot Abbe Alexander despised the decadence and with nostalgia recalled the time when priests ‘never ever washed their faces.’”

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