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July 6, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Sisoes the Great

On the sixth of this month [July], we commemorate our Holy Father Sisoes the Great.


Sisoes died in God is written on the tablet,
The tablet of the Spirit.
On the sixth Sisoes advanced blamelessly from the earth to Heaven.

This blessed man of God, because he loved God from infancy, bore on his shoulders the Cross of Christ, and followed Him. Wherefore he rejoiced to move forward in the trench of the much labor of asceticism, and he defeated the invisible demonic enemies that fought against him. Having become extremely humble, he received grace from the Lord to raise the dead. Therefore having angelically behaved on earth like an Angel, and in the flesh lived as if he had no flesh, he departed for the immaterial life, where the Saints dwell, and there is eternal brightness, interceding to Christ, beseeching Him on our behalf.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the Fifth Tone
From thy childhood thou didst follow the angelic life, and wast therefore filled with many godly gifts. O Sisoes, emulator of Angels, thou didst shine resplendently like a sun in the hour of thy going forth, and so didst reveal thy glory and illuminate our souls.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou wast an earthly angel in asceticism, and didst divinely illumine the thoughts of the faithful. Wherefore we acclaim thee with faith, O Venerable Father Sisoes.

Life By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Sisoes was an Egyptian by birth and a disciple of St. Anthony. Following the death of his great teacher, St. Sisoes settled on a mountain in the wilderness called St. Anthony's Mount where Anthony lived a life of asceticism earlier. Imposing difficult labors on himself, he humbled himself so much that he became meek and guileless as a lamb. For this God endowed Sisoes with abundant grace so that he was able to heal the sick, drive out unclean spirits and resurrect the dead.

Sisoes lived a life of austere mortification in the wilderness for sixty years and was a source of living wisdom for all monks and laymen who came to him for counsel and advice. Before death, his face shone as the sun. The monks stood around him and were astonished at this manifestation. When this Saint gave up his soul, the entire room was filled with a sweet-smelling savor. Sisoes died in extreme old age in the year 429 A.D.

St. Sisoes taught the monks: "Regardless in what way temptation comes to man, a man should give himself to the will of God and to recognize that temptation occurred because of his sins. If something good happens, it should be said that it happened according to God's Providence."

One monk asked Sisoes: "How can I please God and be saved?" The Saint answered: "If you wish to please God, withdraw from the world, separate yourself from the earth, put aside creation, draw near to the Creator, unite yourself to God with prayers and tears and then you will find rest in this time and in the future."

The monk asked Sisoes: "How can I attain humility?" The Saint replied: "When a person learns to recognize every man as being better than himself, with that he attains humility."

Ammon complained to Sisoes that he could not memorize the wise sayings that he read in order to repeat them in conversation with men. The Saint replied to him: "That is not necessary. It is necessary to attain purity of mind and speak from that purity placing your hope in God."