January 28, 2017

Saint Palladios the Anchorite

St. Palladios the Anchorite (Feast Day - January 28)


You were mighty against the leaps of the flesh,
Leap now Palladios to the celestial realm.

By Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus in Syria

1. The celebrated Palladios was of the same date and way of life as Symeon [the Ancient (Jan. 24)], and his familiar and friend; in frequenting each other, it is said, they enjoyed mutual benefit, stimulating and stirring each other on to holy contest. He was immured in a cell near a large and well-populated village which has the name Imma.1 The man's endurance, fasting, vigils, and perpetual prayer I think superfluous to narrate, since in them he bore the same yoke as the godly Symeon.

2. But I have judged it useful to relate the miracle, still celebrated today, that occurred by means of his voice and hand. There was a gathering for a fair in the foresaid village, drawing traders from all around and attracting an innumerable throng. At this fair was a trader who, having sold what he had brought and amassed money, decided to depart during the night. A murderer, seeing the money that had been collected, and filled with some onset of frenzy, drove sleep from his eyelids and watched for this man's departure. At cockcrow he set off in good heart; the other, who had set out in advance and reached a spot suitable for an ambush, made a sudden attack, delivered the blow and perpetrated the murder. To this crime he added a further impiety: taking the money, he dumped the dead body at the door of the great Palladios.

3. When day came and the news circulated and the whole fair talked of the event, all hastened together, broke down the door and called on the godly Palladios to answer for the murder; one of those who did this was the actual perpetrator of the murder. Surrounded by such a crowd, the wonderful man, looking up to heaven and passing beyond it in his thought, besought the Master to expose the falsehood of the calumny and make the hidden truth manifest. After this prayer, he took the right hand of the outstretched man: 'Tell us, young man,' he said, 'who struck you this blow? Point out the perpetrator of the crime and free the innocent from this wicked calumny.' Word responded to word, gesture to gesture: the man sat up, looked round the people present, and pointed with his finger at the murderer. A cry went up from everyone, astounded at the miracle and deploring the calumny that had been committed; stripping the murderer, they even found the knife, still red with blood, and also the money that had caused the murder. The godly Palladios, who was already remarkable, naturally became, as a result of this, still more remarkable, for the miracle was sufficient to show the man's familiar access to God.

4. Of the same company was the wonderful Abraham, who, while dwelling in a place called Paratomos, emitted flashes of virtue in every direction.2 To the splendor of his life bear witness the miracles performed after his death: even today his tomb pours forth cures of every kind - the witnesses are those who through faith draw them forth in abundance there. May I too share in assistance from these men, having sanctified my tongue by recalling them.


1. Palladios was a hermit near Imma, a large village twenty-five miles to the east of Antioch. His friendship with Symeon, and listing in Theodoret, Eccl. Hist. IV.28(25), establish the 370s and 380s as his flourishing.

2. Abraham is listed with Palladios in Eccl. Hist. IV.28(25), under the reign of Valens (364-378). His being 'of the same company' as Palladios does not imply that they ever lived together in a coenobitic community, but simply that they were both hermits at the same time and in the same region.

From the History of the Monks of Syria.