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July 7, 2010

Saint Thomas of Mount Maleon in Peloponnesos

St. Thomas of Mount Maleon (Feast Day - July 7)


Spreading your wings, as Moses said, O Father,
As an eagle you fly off towards the heavens.
On the seventh Thomas was seized from the sensible darkness of death.

Saint Thomas of Mount Maleon was a successful military commander before he became a monk. Strong and brave, he had participated in many battles, and brought victory to his countrymen, for which he gained glory and esteem. But, striving with all his heart towards God, Thomas abandoned the world and its honors, and he took monastic vows.

With great humility he visited monastic Elders, asking for guidance in the spiritual life. After several years Thomas received the blessing for solitary wilderness life and, led by a pillar of fire at night by the holy Prophet Elias, whom he imitated in his way of life and zeal, he settled on Mount Maleon (Akra Maleas or Kavo Malias or Cape Maleas in southern Lakonia of the Peloponnese, otherwise known as the "Small Holy Mountain", with Mount Athos being the larger Holy Mountain). Dwelling in complete seclusion, Thomas fought with invisible enemies with as much courage as he had displayed against the visible enemies of his country.

On Mount Maleon Thomas lived a life of austerity, with prayer and vigils, and this caused him to become a light that vanquished the darkness of sin. The life and deeds of Thomas could not be concealed from the surrounding area. People began to flock to him seeking spiritual guidance, and even those suffering from sicknesses, since he received from God the blessing to heal infirmities.

By divine grace he wrought wonders, cast out demons, gave sight to the blind, caused springs of water to gush forth, healed many, and while in prayer appeared as a pillar of fire. The century in which he lived is not exactly known, though it is believed to have been the tenth century.

Many believers received help through the prayers of the holy monk. Even after his death, he does not cease to heal those who seek his aid, from every passion and sickness.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O God of our Fathers,always act with kindness towards us; take not Your mercy from us, but guide our lives in peace, through the prayers of Saints Thomas and Akakios.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Thomas, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Leaving the army that is earthly and corruptible, thou didst ascend into the mountain of unceasing prayer, joining battle with the spirits of nether darkness. And since thou didst overcome thy fleshless enemies, thou was brought to thine eternal King in victory; hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Thomas of godly mind.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Inflamed with divine love, you courageously showed us a great victory; you spurned the mortal king and all earthly beauty. You completed your worldly sojourn on Mount Maleon, from where you went up to Heaven to the King of kings. Unceasingly pray for us all, O Thomas.