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November 10, 2018

Life and Sayings of the Holy Abba Milesios

Saint Milos and his two disciples are commemorated together in the Orthodox Church on November 10th. In the Synaxarion of Constantinople, Sozomen (Eccl. Hist. 2:14) and in their Acts, there are both differences and similarities than what is recorded about them in the Paradise of the Fathers. Though his name is usually recorded as Milos, here he is known as Milesios. He was also a Bishop in Persia who sought to spread the Christian faith, and suffered for it. The martyrdom accounts, however, are very similar despite differences, confirming that they are not two different people, but these are two accounts with different yet similar traditions. Thus, in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, the following two sayings are given for him.


1. While traveling through a certain region, Abba Milesios saw a monk whom someone had seized under the pretext that he had committed a murder. The old man went and questioned the brothers. Learning that he had been wrongly accused, he said to those who were holding him, ‘Where is the man who has been killed?’ They showed him to him. Telling them all to pray, he went up to the dead man. While he was stretching his hands towards heaven, the dead man stood up. He said to him in front of everyone, ‘Tell us who killed you.’ The man said, ‘As I was going into the church, I gave some money to the priest. He stood up and killed me; then he took me and threw me into the abba’s monastery. Therefore I beseech you to take the money and give it to my children.’ Then the old man said to him, ‘Go, and rest until the Lord comes and awakens you.’

2. Another time, when he was living with two disciples on the borders of Persia, two of the king’s sons, brothers by blood, went to hunt according to their custom. They spread nets around a wide area; at least forty miles, so as to be able to hunt and shoot everything that was found inside the nets. Now the old man happened to be there with his two disciples. Seeing him, all hairy and like a wild man, they were struck with amazement and said to him, ‘Tell us if you are a man or a spirit?’ He said to them, ‘I am a sinful man, and I have come away to weep for my sins, and I adore Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ They said to him, ‘There is no god save the sun, the fire, and the water’ (which they worshiped). ‘Therefore, come and make a sacrifice in their honor.’ He said to them, ‘They are creatures and you are wrong. But I implore you to be converted and to acknowledge the true God, the Creator of all these things.’ They said to him, ‘You say that the man who was condemned and crucified is the true God?’ The old man said, ‘He who has crucified sin and killed death, is He whom I say is the true God.’ But they tortured him and the brothers, to compel them to offer sacrifice. After many torments, they beheaded the two brothers, but they tortured the old man for many days. Finally they used a different procedure, and placing him between them, they shot arrows at him, one in front and the other behind. But he said to them, ‘Since you have agreed about shedding innocent blood, at the same time, tomorrow, at the same hour, your mother will no longer have you as sons, and will be deprived of your love and by your own arrows you will shed each other’s blood.’ They scorned his words and went to hunt the next day. A hart ran close to them. They spurred their horses and galloped after it. They threw their javelins at it, and they pierced each other’s hearts, as the old man had said when he warned them. An so they died.