January 13, 2018

The Scholar Who Doubted the Lives and Martyrdoms of the Saints

By Hieromonk Nephon
(Biographer of Saint Maximos the Kavsokalyvites)

A learned and intelligent scholar once came from Constantinople to the holy Lavra. In fact, he had much doubt in his mind in this regard, namely that the saints, at the time they lived, did almost nothing, but that those who wrote about those things made these additions to their Lives and to the accounts of their martyrdom.

So one day he got up and came to the blessed father [Maximos]. And when Maximos saw him, he told that man what he had been thinking about what was written about the saints. And when the man heard this, he was totally astounded and was astonished by the words issuing from Maximos's mouth; and he rejoiced in his spirit at his divinely inspired words.

And again when the man was leaving, Maximos said other even better things to him, of a kind the man had never heard before, and he returned to the holy Lavra and told Abba Ignatios the Hesychast all about the blessed one, testifying that he was an earthly angel and a heavenly man, glorifying God and praising the blessed one for his wondrous words and teachings.