Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Saint Andrew of Totma the Fool for Christ (+ 1673)

St. Andrew of Totma (Feast Day - October 10)

Blessed Andrew of Totma, the Fool for Christ, was born in the year 1638 in the village of Ust-Totma and chose to leave the world while still a child after being left an orphan at the age of ten. Discerning the spiritual gifts of young Andrew, Stephen, abbot of the Resurrection Monastery in Galich, encouraged Andrew to take upon himself the arduous calling of foolishness for Christ. Andrew obediently left the monastery to lead a wayfaring life, but often returned to confess to his elder. After the death of his elder, he lived at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in the city of Totma on the banks of the River Sukhona.

Walking barefoot in both winter and summer, Andrew wore tattered clothing, and ate only bread and water, and that in such a small quantity that it just barely kept him from starving. He prayed both day and night, and if anyone gave him anything, he would give it away to the poor. For his efforts and toil the Blessed Andrew acquired the gift of wonderworking.


One winter a blind man by the name of Azhibokai came to the blessed fool, asking for healing while offering him a large sum of money. But the fool fled away. Azhibokai then washed his eyes with snow from where the Saint had stood. In doing so, he was able to see.

The time of his own death was revealed to the Blessed Andrew. He made his confession, received the Holy Mysteries and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in 1673, at the age of 35. Upon his death the whole room was filled with a wonderful fragrance. Some time later, the Saint appeared to a sick woman as she slept, holding the Gospel for her to venerate and telling her to pray at his tomb. When she awoke, the woman was healed. Over his grave, where a bell-tower once stood, was built the Church of the Holy Martyr Andrew Stratelates, whose name he bore. Many miracles were witnessed at the grave of the Blessed Andrew. 


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