December 21, 2018

Saint Procopius of Vyatka, Fool for Christ (+ 1627)

St. Procopius of Vyatka (Feast Day - December 21)

Saint Procopius of Vyatka, the son of devout peasants, first feigned madness at the age of twenty to escape a marriage that was being urged on him. Secretly he had fled to the city of Khlynov where he took upon himself the feat of foolishness.

He spent his life in the streets half-naked, slept wherever night overtook him and would never accept the shelter of a house. He used signs to make himself understood and never spoke a word, except to his spiritual father, with whom he would converse normally as a man in possession of all his faculties.

When he was given an article of clothing, he wore it for a while out of obedience and then give it away to someone poor. When he visited the sick, he set fire to the beds of those who were going to get better, and rolled up in their sheets those who were going to die.

The Lord glorified him with the gift of clairvoyance and prophecy. He made many predictions, often by means of disconcerting prophetic signs, whose meaning became clear with the event.

He spent thirty years in foolishness for Christ and, having foretold his death, fell asleep in peace at the age of forty-nine in 1627.