February 18, 2020

Saint Kosmas of Yakhrom (+ 1492)

St. Kosmas of Yakhrom (Feast Day - February 18)

In his youth Saint Kosmas of Yakhrom, due to the lack of material means from his parents, was unable to receive a full education, so he was put in service to a God-fearing nobleman, who educated him. During a prolonged illness of the nobleman he would read books to him.

And so, traveling from city to city in search of a doctor to find a cure, they happened to stop at the River Yakhroma. Here in the woods an icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to Kosmas in a tree covered in a heavenly light, and he heard a voice commanding him to become a monk and to build a monastery. His sick master then received healing from the icon, and Kosmas, having completed his service, went to the Kiev Caves Lavra.

At the Kiev Caves Lavra, the abbot hesitated to receive him, since he was still very young, and the abbot feared he would not be able to bear all the difficulties and burdens of the ascetic life; however, because of the insistence of the lad, the abbot granted his request. Soon he amazed everyone with his exploits, even the elders, devoting himself to unceasing prayer and fasting.

After many years he received a vision of a luminous youth who instructed him to return to Yakhrom with the icon of the Mother of God, 40 versts from the city of Vladimir, and construct a temple in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos with the help of some good Christians. Brethren began to gather around the monk, and a monastery was formed. Saint Kosmas was chosen as abbot.

During this time, word of the monk’s ascetic struggles reached even the Great Prince. Saint Kosmas died at an advanced old age on February 18, 1492 (or as early as the 1420's), and was buried in the monastery he founded. His memory is celebrated also on October 14, the day that the Yakhrom Icon of the Mother of God is commemorated.

Many of the healings performed from the relics marked the holiness of the Saint of God. But only two of them are recorded.

One of the inhabitants of the village of Zernevo suffered greatly from dullness of mind; sometimes he reached such a frenzy that he could not recognize his near and dear ones. His disease developed more and more; unclean spirits in various terrible forms even began to appear to him. The unfortunate one was in such a difficult situation for quite some time and was close to death. Then his relatives decided to ask for help from Saint Kosmas and for this purpose led him to the relics of the Saint of God. For four days they fervently prayed for the healing of the unfortunate sufferer. Their earnest prayer was answered. On the fifth day of his stay at the tomb of the Saint, he was completely healed of the disease and returned to his house completely healthy.

Another time, it happened that the lad Stephen, the son of a worker who lived at the monastery, fell into a coma and lay on his bed without moving for so long that he was ready for death. The parents of the patient, firmly believing in the power of the prayer and intercession of the Monk Kosmas, brought their son to his relics. After earnest prayer, the youth received perfect healing of his illness.