Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saint Timothy of the Monastery of Symboloi

St. Timothy of Symboloi (Feast Day - February 21)

Our venerable father Timothy was an Italian by descent and became a monk at an early age. He is said to have lived an ascetic life at the Monastery of Symboloi (Symbola) at Mount Olympus. There Saint Timothy was the disciple of Monk Theoktistos together with his fellow pupil Saint Plato, who went on to become the abbot of the neighboring Sakkoudion Monastery (Apr. 4).

Saint Timothy was known for abiding in desolate places, which is why he came to be known as the "wilderness-dweller". There he mortified his flesh and the impulses of the passions with great discipline and intense prayer. He was a pure vessel of the Holy Spirit, who never wished to even gaze at a woman's face lest he should suffer harm therefrom. For his purity and faith he was accounted worthy to receive the gift of working miraculous cures of every disease, and was given the grace to dispel demons from people.

Despite his isolation from people, Saint Timothy loved people. By means of prayer he healed a woman troubled with barrenness. He gave alms, protected the orphans, defended the widows, showed kindness to strangers, and bestowed food and clothing to the needy. Throughout his life he strove and achieved the summit of goodness, purity and innocence.

Having struggled in the time of Iconoclasm, Saint Timothy was also a defender and sufferer for Orthodoxy, confessing before the impious his veneration of Holy Icons. Saint Theophanes chants in the Canon he composed in honor of Saint Timothy, that he "underwent the trial of scourges of those who denied the dispensation of Christ towards us."

Having attained spiritual perfection, he reposed in peace in deep old age (c. 795). Saint Theophanes reports that Saint Timothy's "honorable reliquary pours forth a torrent of healings." His relics likely rested in the Monastery of Symboloi.

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