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August 31, 2021

Testimony of a Miracle of the Holy Zoni from Monk Hesychios of Konstamonitou

When Monk Hesychios of Konstamonitou (+ 1979), who was then named George, first came to the Holy Mountain from Prousa during the population exchange with the Turks at the age of 18, he had no spiritual guidance, only spoke Turkish, and slowly learned Greek while at the Monastery of Konstamonitou, but he was inspired by the life of Saint Anthony the Great to imitate his example as a hermit with extreme ascetic practices in order to attain sanctification. He did not light a stove in his cell despite the humid climate, he would fast austerely and keep vigil. This led to his nervous system being shaken, he lost his strength and as a result he could not speak, eat or sleep. He was on the verge of going mad.

A revered monk named Dositheos took George to the various monasteries of the Holy Mountain in order to find healing for him. At Vatopaidi Monastery, George venerated the Honorable Zoni of the Theotokos and became perfectly well. He himself testifies of his healing as follows:

"When I venerated the case with the Holy Zoni of the Lady Theotokos which was brought out by the prosmonarios, it was as if the case became stuck to me. That is, I bent down, kissed it, and as I was getting up the case, which was four or five kilos, was coming up with me! The prosmonarios pulled at it, Elder Dositheos pulled at it, nothing! At that moment I came back to my senses and was able to speak! I was healed. With joy I returned to our monastery. I became a Great Schema Monk. From George I was named Hesychios."
Returning to Konstamonitou Monastery, he was obedient to the rule established for him by his spiritual father. He was to fast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by eating nothing until after sunset. Then he would get his food and eat it in the reception area, where he served his duty to the monastery for a number of years. Only on feasts did he eat in the common dining room. From his portion of food he ate a little and fed the rest to the birds.  
He also had the office of bell ringer permanently. No one knew about his asceticism, because he was a man of few words. His whole behavior was unknown (being idiorrhythmic), thus he hid his struggle and his spiritual work. He reposed trying to light the lamp at the entrance to the Monastery. Despite never bathing, his body did not emit a stench, and in his empty cell no second change of clothes for his funeral was found.