Monday, December 1, 2014

Saint Theoklitos, Archbishop of Lacedaemon

St. Theoklitos of Lacedaemon (Feast Day - December 1)

Saint Theoklitos was born in the early ninth century. His homeland was Kastoreio, a town of the province of Lacedaemon. From a young age Theoklitos preferred to live with God and connect with those who were sanctified and dedicated to Him, namely monastics and ascetics, to learn from them and acquire their virtues. Thus he became a monastic.

In his monastic life he purified his soul with divine teachings and all-night prayers. Indeed, he gave himself over to long and rigorous fasts, and while isolated from people he had the company of angels and the companionship of God. Daily he exercised patience in pain, in prayer and in fasting, despising the vanities of life.

Living such an austere ascetic and monastic life, God called this earthly angel and elevated him to the Archepiscopal throne of Lacedaemon, to radiate from this position the height of his virtues, not only for his spiritual children, but for all the people of Lacedaemon and the Peloponnese. As Archbishop of Lacedaemon, Saint Theoklitos was a flower of virtue, the precise rule for the priesthood, and the jewel of the Church of Christ. He was a supporter of the faithful, an advocate and defender of the wronged, a feeder of the poor and a consolation and protector of widows and orphans. The youth he led on the right path with his advice and admonitions, so that they were not dragged along by evil desires, depravities and pleasures, but at the same time to be sober and prudent. He also taught the elders to not do anything that does not conform to their age, but to be respectable and wise and an example to the youth.

Saint Theoklitos was endowed by the All-Good God with the gift of wonderworking. Once, according to his biographer, locusts threatened to destroy the crops. Then the residents approached and begged the Holy Hierarch to help them, and he lifted his rod, dissolving the cloud of locusts.

Another time a woman from Laconia, having married a poor man, was tested with the calamity of early widowhood. She endured with fortitude the ordeal and was working alone to live. But the devil envied her who endured with such fortitude this test and he completely destroyed her right hand. Then she, desperate and weeping, fled to Saint Theoklitos and asked for help. Immediately the Saint prayed to God and just touched the necrotic and paralyzed hand, and it became as good as it was before.

Saint Theoklitos, when the fullness of time came, full of days and God-pleasing in works, left this world and reached the celestial kingdom of God.

His memory is honored by our Church on December 1st.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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