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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Holy Abba Sisinnius of Cappadocia

Holy Abba Sisinnius of Cappadocia (Feast Day - July 6)

By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

(Lausiac History, Ch. 63)

There was a disciple of Elpidius called Sisinnius, a Cappadocian by race, a slave by birth though a free man in faith. It is important for the glory of Christ to mention his origins, for it is Christ who exalts us from our origins, leading us to the truly blessed nobility which is indeed the Kingdom of Heaven. He spent a long time with the blessed Elpidius, a keen athlete in the way he trained himself in all the virtues. He learned the virtues of Elpidius for seven years, and he at length shut himself in a grave for three years, and he endured such privations therein that neither by day nor by night did he sit or lie down, and he never went out from there. And this man was held to be worthy of possessing the gift of authority over the demons.

He has now gone back to his native land where he has been honored with the gift of the priesthood and has collected around him a company of both men and women. He bears witness to the virtue of developing the powers of endurance by the honesty of the way his life is lived, in that by practicing strict continence he has expelled from himself both masculine lust and feminine pliability, so fulfilling the Scripture, "In Christ there is neither male nor female, bond nor free" (Gal. 3:28). And he was also a great lover of strangers and of voluntary poverty, which was a reproach unto those who were rich and miserly.

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