June 3, 2019

Synaxarion of the Venerable Athanasios the Wonderworker

Venerable Athanasios the Wonderworker (Feast Day - June 3)


Athanasios is with an immortal crown,
For his venerableness and miracles.

Our Holy Father Athanasios, who filled the Monastery of Traianou with miracles, was from Cibyrrha and of common parents, according to their race and wealth. When he was of age, having become disgusted with the world, he went into the wilderness, having only one tunic as the Gospel says. Hastening from one place to another, he met spiritual men, and like a sponge he absorbed their virtues.

A monk, who was once the chief magistrate of the proconsul's of the royal senate, had his own monastery at the Sagaris River, where there were hardened and disobedient monks. Revolted by them, he departed the monastery, and went to a far away place. There he met the Venerable Athanasios, and he conversed with him with such reverence, that he thought that the Venerable one was sent by God. He therefore took him to his monastery. Because the blessed Athanasios was full of every virtue, and every spiritual state, he instilled in those hardened monks the fear of God, some being helped merely by seeing his form, while others by entreating them with his words and teachings.

When Saint Athanasios went to the Monastery of Traianou, he took the Great Schema and became a Priest. Therefore his work was to perform the sacred rites of the divine Mystagogy, as well as calligraphy, and to fast every day until nighttime. His obedience and the confession of his hidden thoughts was pure, which is why he was liberated from the passions, and arrived at dispassion. Because he wrote many books, his eyes became damaged. He was therefore shut in a narrow cell, and entreated the Lord, saying: "Lord, if I am worthy, grant unto me the light of sight, as I once had, and I was able to write as much as I wanted, strengthened by Your grace, and may all I receive from them, be devoured by the hungry and the poor." He was thus granted his request. Thus all the books he wrote over the course of twenty-eight years, and more, and the money he received from this handiwork, he gave to the poor over the course of the twenty-eight years, giving to the poor in all nine hundred florins.

The Saint always stayed in his hut, never going out, neither seeing nor speaking with people, and would go out only on Saturday and Sunday. When he attained deep old age he departed to the Lord, accompanied to the Heavens by Andrew and John the sacred Apostles, as seen by a spiritual and clairvoyant Saint.* For he had beheld two awesome men like lightning come from the inner chambers of the Master Christ, who ordered these Apostles, to return to this man's monastery whom they guided, namely the one who beheld this vision, and instead to receive Venerable Athanasios, Abbot of the Monastery of Traianou. Therefore the one who beheld this vision, sent someone to the Monastery of Traianou (which was located nearby), and found that the blessed Athanasios had died, whom he had beheld. Not only this, but while alive Venerable Athanasios foretold various prophecies, of which all took place by his works, and even after death he performed innumerable miracles, to the glory of the philanthropic God, who is wondrous in His Saints.


* This is Monk Kosmas, abbot of a monastery at the Sagaris River, who beheld this vision; he is commemorated on October 5th.