February 19, 2020

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Raboulas

St. Raboulas of Samosata (Feast Day - February 19)


Raboulas' flame made the designs of the demons unsuccessful,
By the design of God he departed thither.

Our Holy Father Raboulas lived during the reign of Emperor Zeno (476-491), and was born in the city known as Samosata. which is now commonly known as Samsat, and can be found in Syria, which is honored with an episcopal throne under the Metropolitan of Edessa. Having been educated by a very glorious man named Barypsabas, he learned the Syrian language. Because he conducted himself in every virtue while still a youth in age, he became a monk. Therefore he went to dwell alone in the mountains and caves, far away from people, just as the great Elijah and John the Baptist lived alone. After a few years he went to Phoenicia together with others. Because his virtues shined even more there, he became apparent to all even against his will.

With the cooperation of Emperor Zeno and Bishop John of Beirut, he established a monastery in the middle of a mountain. At that time the divine Raboulas and those with him were in the midst of idolaters, just like Paul and Barnabas were in the midst of Jews, as well as Peter and John. Hence sometimes he would rebuke them, and sometimes he would admonish them. By this nearly all the Greeks there received the knowledge of God. This was the first and most exciting work blessed Raboulas achieved.

After the death of Zeno, his successor as emperor was Anastasios I Dikoros in the year 491, with whose cooperation Venerable Raboulas built another monastery in Constantinople, which is called by his name Raboula. The Saint was in all things careful and sober, apt at teaching, incapable of anger, sympathetic, had love for his brothers, and was compassionate towards all. When the wicked devil was unable to tempt him with any passion, he opposed that passion with a verse from the Holy Scriptures, and thus he banished him by his words, for he was full of verses from the Old and New Testaments.

The Saint lived until the reign of Emperor Justinian, who built the Temple of Hagia Sophia, and ruled from 527. When he became an old man of eighty and some years, he heard a voice from above that said: "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." After a short sickness, he departed to the Lord.