March 30, 2021

Commemoration of the Negligent Monk who Joyfully Died Because He Did Not Condemn Anyone

In Slavic Churches there is included in the festal calendar the commemoration of an unnamed negligent monk who died joyfully because he had victoriously passed his entire life without ever condemning or judging anyone and forgiving those who wronged him in any way. His feast is on March 30th and is based on the following story as recorded by Saint Anastasios of Sinai:

A certain monk, living in a monastery, spent his days carelessly, not caring about his salvation, but indulging all his life in idleness. Having lived to his advanced years, he was approaching death. When he fell ill with a serious illness and was already at his last gasp, he was not at all afraid of death, but prepared to be parted from the body with joy, praising and glorifying God. The brothers and the abbot of that monastery who surrounded him said to him:

"We saw that you, brother, spent your life in idleness. Why are you so carefree and joyful at this terrible hour of death? Strengthened by the power of Jesus Christ our God, stand up and explain this to us, so that we too may glorify God."

The brother, getting out of bed a little, said to them:

“It is true, honorable fathers, that I spent my life carelessly. Just now the Angels of God brought to me and read before me a manuscript, on which all my evil deeds were recorded. After reading the manuscript, the Angels asked me, 'Do you remember these deeds of yours?' I answered: 'Yes, I remember exactly. But since I renounced the world, and accepted the monastic tonsure, never have I condemned anyone, nor have I been angry with anyone. Therefore I beseech you to do unto me according to the word of Christ, who said: 'Judge not, that you be not judged' (Matt. 7:1) and 'For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you' (Matt. 6:14). And as soon as I said this, immediately the holy Angels tore up the handwritten manuscript of my sins. That is why I go to God with joy and carefree."

Having said this, that brother in peace surrendered his soul to the Lord.