November 6, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Luke of Taormina (+ 820)

St. Luke of Taormina (Feast Day - November 6)


Luke pleased God the Word by his actions,
Dying well-pleasing he shared in a new state of being.

Blessed Luke was from the city of Taormina, which is on the island of Sicily. When he was a young man of eighteen years, he took care to frequent the churches of God, and not only did he listen intelligently to the divine words, but he put them into practice as well. Because his parents sought to have him marry, by night he withdrew to an untrodden place, where he dwelt together with the beasts. Having passed forty days in fasting, he was made worthy of a divine and angelic visitation. Therefore he went to a monastery, and was dressed in the angelic schema of the monks. From then on he lived a much more austere life. Eighteen months passed, when all he ate was bread, and all he drank was water, and these only every three or four days, without taking any physical rest.

From there he withdrew and went to Mount Etna together with another monk, where he had as food only the plants of the mountain. He slept little, had one monastic garment, and was without shoes. He had a rule to not go outside of his cell, unless he first read the entire Psalter. Then he read the Third Hour, and after this went about his handiwork and labored until the sixth hour, and after the sixth hour he ate the little food he had, and did the rest of the services. Struggling in this manner, the renowned one was made worthy of the greatest grace of God, and solved hard to understand words of the divine Scriptures, leaving some to wonder about him: "How can it be that he knows letters, not having learned them?" After this he went to another place, led by divine revelation, and there he assembled twelve disciples. He then went to Byzantium. After traveling to the cells of the monks, and revealing to the Fathers there his thoughts, he withdrew and went to Corinth in the Peloponnese. Dwelling in a village there for seven months, he reposed in peace.