Lives of all saints commemorated on June 9

Postfeast of Pentecost — Day of the Holy Spirit

On the day after every Great Feast, the Orthodox Church honors the one through whom the Feast is made possible. On the day following the Nativity of the Lord, for example, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). On the day after Theophany, we commemorate Saint John the Baptist (January 7), and so on.

Today we honor the all-Holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, Who descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost in the form of fiery tongues in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to send the Comforter to His disciples (JN 14:16). That same Holy Spirit remains within the Church throughout the ages, guiding it “into all truth” (JN 16:13).

One of the hymns at Vespers on Saturday evening tells us that the Holy Spirit “provides all things. He gushes forth prophecy, He perfects the priesthood, ... He holds together the whole institution of the Church.”

At Vespers on the day of Pentecost, we hear that the Holy Spirit is “the Fountain of goodness, through Whom the Father is known, and the Son is glorified.” He is “the living Fountain of spiritual gifts” Who “purifies us from our sins.” It is by the Holy Spirit that “the prophets, divine Apostles, and martyrs are crowned.” He is the source of life and of sanctification.

In the services of this day, we sing the same hymns as on Pentecost, except the Canon of the Holy Spirit, which is sung at Compline. The Vigil is not prescribed for the eve of today’s feast. We sing the Great Doxology at Matins, but not the Polyeleos. The Irmos of the Ninth Ode (“Hail, O Queen, glory of mothers and virgins...”) is sung in place of the Song of the Theotokos (“My soul magnifies the Lord...”).

At the Liturgy, the priest or deacon chants the Entrance Verse (“Be exalted in Thy strength, O Lord. We will sing and praise Thy power.”) as on the day of Pentecost. “Holy God” replaces “As many as have been baptized....” The dismissal of Pentecost is also used.

This whole week is fast-free, and the Leave-taking of Pentecost occurs on Saturday.

Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria

Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, a distinguished champion of Orthodoxy and a great teacher of the Church, came from an illustrious and pious Christian family. He studied the secular sciences, including philosophy, but most of all he strove to acquire knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and the truths of the Christian Faith. In his youth Cyril entered the monastery of Macarius in the Nitreia hills, where he stayed for six years. Theophilus (385-412), the Patriarch of Alexandria, ordained him as a deacon, numbered him among the clergy and entrusted him to preach.

Upon the death of Patriarch Theophilus, Cyril was unanimously chosen to the patriarchal throne of the Alexandrian Church. He led the struggle against the spread of the Novatian heresy in Alexandria, which taught that any Christian who had fallen away from the Church during a time of persecution, could not be received back into it.

Cyril, seeing the futility of admonishing the heretics, sought their expulsion from Alexandria. The Jews appeared a greater danger for the Church, repeatedly causing riots, accompanied by the brutal killing of Christians. The saint long contended with them. In order to wipe out the remnants of paganism, the saint cast out devils from an ancient pagan temple and built a church on the spot, and the relics of the Holy Unmercenaries Cyrus and John were transferred into it. A more difficult struggle awaited the saint with the emergence of the Nestorian heresy.

Nestorius, a presbyter of the Antiochian Church, was chosen in 428 to the see of Constantinople and there he was able to spread his heretical teaching against the dogma about the uncommingled union of two natures in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nestorius called the Mother of God not the Theotokos, but rather Christotokos or “Birth-giver of Christ,” implying that she gave birth not to God, but only to the man Christ. The holy Patriarch Cyril repeatedly wrote to Nestorius and pointed out his error, but Nestorius continued to persevere in it. Then the saint sent out epistles against Nestorianism to the clergy of Constantinople and to the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450), denouncing the heresy. Cyril wrote also to other Churches, to Pope Celestine and to the other Patriarchs, and even to monks of several monasteries, warning of the emergence of a dangerous heresy.

Nestorius started an open persecution against the Orthodox. In his presence one of his partisans, Bishop Dorotheus, pronounced an anathema against anyone who would call the Most Holy Virgin Mary the Theotokos.

Nestorius hated Cyril and brought out against him every kind of slander and fabrication, calling him a heretic. The saint continued to defend Orthodoxy with all his powers. The situation became so aggravated, that it became necessary to call an Ecumenical Council, which convened in the city of Ephesus in the year 431. At the Council 200 bishops arrived from all the Christian Churches. Nestorius, awaiting the arrival of Bishop John of Antioch and other Syrian bishops, did not agree to the opening of the Council. But the Fathers of the Council began the sessions with Cyril presiding. Having examined the teaching of Nestorius, the Council condemned him as a heretic. Nestorius did not submit to the Council, and Bishop John opened a “robber council”, which decreed Cyril a heretic. The unrest increased. By order of the emperor, Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria and Archbishop Memnon of Ephesus were locked in prison, and Nestorius was deposed.

Soon Saints Cyril and Memnon were freed, and the sessions of the Council continued. Nestorius, not submitting himself to the determinations of the Council, was deprived of priestly rank. By order of the emperor he was sent to the faraway place Sasim in the Libyan wilderness, where he died in grievous torments. His tongue, having blasphemed the Mother of God, was overtaken by punishment -- in it there developed worms. Even Bishop John of Antioch and the remaining Syrian bishops signed the decrees of the Council of Ephesus.

Cyril guided the Alexandrian Church for 32 years, and towards the end of his life the flock was cleansed of heretics. Gently and cautiously Cyril approached anyone, who by their own simpleness and lack of knowledge, fell into false wisdom. There was a certain Elder, an ascetic of profound life, who incorrectly considered the Old Testament Priest Melchizedek to be the Son of God. Cyril prayed for the Lord to reveal to the Elder the correct way to view the righteous one. After three days the Elder came to Cyril and said that the Lord had revealed to him that Melchizedek was a mere man.

Cyril learned to overcome his prejudice against the memory of the great John Chrysostom (November 13). Theophilus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and uncle of Cyril, was an antagonist of John, and presided in a council in judgment of him. Cyril thus found himself in a circle antagonistic to John Chrysostom, and involuntarily acquired a prejudice against him. Isidore of Pelusium (February 4) repeatedly wrote to Cyril and urged him to include the name of the great Father of the Church into the diptychs of the saints, but Cyril would not agree.

Once in a dream he saw a wondrous temple, in which the Mother of God was surrounded by a host of angels and saints, in whose number was John Chrysostom. When Cyril wanted to approach the All-Holy Lady and venerate her, John Chrysostom would not let him. The Theotokos asked John to forgive Cyril for having sinned against him through ignorance. Seeing that John hesitated, the Mother of God said, “Forgive him for my sake, since he has labored much for my honor, and has glorified me among the people calling me Theotokos.” John answered, “By your intercession, Lady, I do forgive him,” and then he embraced Cyril with love.

Cyril repented that he had maintained anger against the great saint of God. Having convened all the Egyptian bishops, he celebrated a solemn feast in honor of John Chrysostom.

Cyril died in the year 444, leaving behind many works. In particular, the following ought to be mentioned: commentaries On the Gospel of Luke, On the Gospel of John, On the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians and to the Hebrews; also an Apologia in Defense of Christianity against the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Of vast significance are his Five Books against Nestorius; a work on the Most Holy Trinity under the title Thesaurus, written against Arius and Eunomios. Also two dogmatic compositions on the Most Holy Trinity, distinguished by a precise exposition of the Orthodox teaching on the Procession of the Holy Spirit. Cyril wrote Against Anthropomorphism for several Egyptians, who through ignorance depicted God in human form. Among Cyril’s works are also the Discussions, among which is the moving and edifying Discourse on the Exodus of the Soul, inserted in the Slavonic “Following Psalter”.

Today we commemorate the repose of this great Father of the Church. He is also remembered on January 18, the date of his flight from Alexandria.

Venerable Cyril, Abbot of White Lake

Saint Cyril, Igumen of White Lake, (in the world Cosmas) was born in Moscow of pious parents. In his youth he was left an orphan and lived with his kinsman, the boyar (nobleman) Timothy Vasil’evich Vel’yaminov, in the surroundings of the court of the Great Prince Demetrius Donskoy (1363-1389). Secular life bored the youth. At the request of Stephen of Makhra (July 14), Cosmas was dismissed to the Simonov monastery, where he took vows under Theodore (November 28) with the name Cyril.

Cyril fulfilled his monastic obediences under the guidance of the Elder Michael, who afterwards was Bishop of Smolensk. By night the Elder read the Psalter, and Cyril bowed making prostrations, but at the first ringing of the bell he went to Matins.

He asked the Elder permission to partake of food every second or third day. The experienced Elder did not allow this, but blessed him instead to eat with the brethren, only not to the extent of satiety. Cyril carried out his obedience in the bakery: he carried water, chopped firewood, and distributed bread. When Saint Sergius of Radonezh came to the Simonov monastery to see his nephew Theodore, he would seek Cyril in the bakery and converse with him about spiritual matters before seeing anyone else.

They transferred Cyril from the bakery to the kitchen. He gazed into the burning fire and told himself, “Beware, Cyril, lest you fall into fire eternal”. Cyril toiled for nine years in the kitchen and God granted him such tender emotion, that he was not able to eat the bread he baked without tears, blessing the Lord.

Fleeing the glory of man, he began to act as a fool-for-Christ. As punishment for transgressing against propriety, the Superior of the monastery placed him on bread and water for forty days. Cyril underwent this punishment with joy. But the saint could not conceal his spirituality, and the experienced Elders understood him. Against his will they compelled him to accept ordination to the priesthood. When he was not serving in church, Cyril occupied himself with heavy work. When Theodore was made Archbishop of Rostov, the brethren chose Cyril as archimandrite of the monastery in 1388.

Rich and important people began to visit the monk to hear his guidance. This disturbed the humble spirit of the saint. Despite the entreaties of the brethren, he would not remain as abbot, but secluded himself in his former cell. Even here frequent visitors disturbed him, and he crossed over to old Simonovo.

Saint Cyril’s soul yearned for solitude, and he asked the Mother of God to show him a place conducive for salvation. One night he was reading an Akathist in his cell before the Hodigitria icon of the Mother of God, and had just reached the eighth Kontakion, “Seeing the strange Nativity, let us become strangers to the world and transport our minds to heaven.” Then he heard a voice say, “Go to White Lake (Belozersk), where I have prepared a place for you.”

There at the desolate and sparsely populated White Lake, he found the place which he had seen in the vision. Saint Cyril and his companion Saint Therapon of White Lake and Mozhaisk (May 27), set up a cross and dug a cell in the ground near Mount Myaura at Siversk Lake.

Saint Therapon soon went to another place, and Saint Cyril remained where he was. However, he was not able to live in his underground cell for even one year.

Once Cyril, troubled by a strange dream, lay down to sleep under a pine tree, but just as he closed his eyes, he heard a voice cry, “Run, Cyril!” Cyril only just managed to jump away as the pine tree came crashing down. From this pine tree the ascetic made a cross.

Another time Cyril nearly perished from flames and smoke when he cleared away the forest, but God preserved His saint. A certain peasant attempted to burn down the cell of the monk, but as much as he tried, he did not succeed. Then having repented with tears, he confessed his sin to Cyril, who tonsured him into monasticism.

Two monks Cyril loved, Zebediah and Dionysius, came to him from Simonov monastery, and then Nathanael, who afterwards was steward of the monastery. Many began to come to the monk seeking to be tonsured. The holy Elder perceived that his time of silence was ended. In the year 1397 he constructed a temple in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

When the number of brethren had multiplied, the monk gave the monastery a Rule of cenobitic life, which he sanctified by the example of his own life. Thus, no one could talk in church, and no one could leave before the end of services. They also came to venerate the Gospel according to seniority. At meals they sat each at their own place, and there was silence. From the trapeza, each went quietly to his own cell. No one was able to receive either letters or gifts without having shown them to Cyril, nor did anyone write a letter without his blessing.

Money was kept in the monastery treasury, and no one had any personal possessions. They went to the trapeza even to drink water. The cells were not locked, and nothing was kept in them but icons and books. In the final years of Cyril’s life, the boyar (nobleman) Roman decided to give the monastery a village and sent the deed. Cyril knew that if the monastery came to possess a village, the brethren would become concerned about the land and settlements would disrupt the monastic solitude, so he refused the gift.

The Lord rewarded His saint with the gift of clairvoyance and healing. A certain Theodore desired to enter the monastery, but the Enemy of mankind instilled in him such hatred for Cyril that he could not look at the saint, nor listen to the sound of his voice. He approached Cyril’s cell and, seeing his grey hair, he was not able to say a word from shame. The saint said to him, “Don’t be sad, my brother, for all are mistaken about me. You alone know the truth and my unworthiness. I am actually a worthless sinner.” Then Cyril blessed Theodore, promising that he would not be troubled by such thoughts in the future. From that time Theodore lived at peace in the monastery.

One time there was no wine for Divine Liturgy, and the priest told the saint about this. Cyril ordered a monk to bring him the empty wine vessel, which he opened full of wine. During a time of famine Cyril distributed bread to all the needy and he did not stop, even though the normal reserves hardly sufficed for the brethren. Despite this, the more bread was distributed, the more it increased. The monks then realized that God would provide for their needs, through the prayers of Cyril.

The saint calmed a storm on the lake which threatened the fishermen. He predicted that none of the brethren would die until after his death, despite a plague that would rage. Then many would follow after him.

The saint served his final Divine Liturgy on the day of Pentecost. Having giving final instructions to the brethren to preserve love among themselves, Cyril reposed in the ninetieth year of his life on June 9, 1427 on the Feast day of his namesake Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria. Within a year after the saint’s death, more than thirty of the fifty-three brethren died. The monk often appeared to the survivors in dreams to offer advice and guidance.

Cyril loved spiritual enlightenment and he instilled this love in his disciples. In 1635 there were more than two thousand books in the monastery, including sixteen “of the Wonderworker Cyril.” Three letters of the monk to Russian princes survive down to our time. They are remarkable specimens of his spiritual instruction and guidance, love, love of peace and consolation.

The veneration of the holy ascetic began not later than 1447-1448. The Life of Saint Cyril was commissioned by Metropolitan Theodosius and Great Prince Basil the Dark. It was written by the Athonite monk Pachomius the Logothete, who dwelt at the Cyrilov monastery in 1462 and met with many eyewitnesses and disciples of Cyril. He learned the most from Martinian (January 12), who had lived with the saint from his youth.

Venerable Alexander, Abbot of Kushta, Vologda

Saint Alexander, Hegoumen of Kushta Monastery in Vologda, was born about the year 1371, and his name in the world was Alexei. He was tonsured at the Savior-Stone (Spaso-Kamen) monastery by Hegoumen Dionysios of the Holy Mountain, who brought the Athonite Rule to the monastery. Later, he became the Archbishop of Rostov. Here Saint Alexander went through all the phases of obedience and strict fasting, and was ordained as a Hieromonk. He was constantly at work or at prayer. The brethren looked upon him as upon an angel of God, and this troubled Saint Alexander. He left the monastery secretly by night and came to the River Syazhem, where there was a thick forest and lake. Here he built a cell and lived his life in prayer and austere abstinence. Little by little, people started coming to him.

Saint Alexander went from this place to the shore of Lake Kuben, at the mouth of the River Kushta. At that time Saint Euthymios (April 11) was living there. Saint Alexander offered to exchange cells with him, and Saint Euthymios agreed to this. When they parted, he gave Saint Alexander his cross as a blessing. The quiet wilderness was very dear to Saint Alexander. Going to the lake, he immersed the cross in the water and prayed to God, asking that he might gather in this place those who were zealous for the way of the Cross. After some time, a certain Elder came to Saint Alexander, with whom he dwelt for five years. When a third brother arrived, Saint Alexander decided to build a church in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. The saint journeyed to Rostov to see his former Hegoumen, Archbishop Dionysios (1418-1425), who blessed the construction of the temple.

One day, Tatars came when Prince Demetrios of Zaozersk was away, and five of them galloped up to the Kushta monastery. Saint Alexander met them calmly and he blessed them with the cross. The Tatars fell down as if they were dead; and they lay senseless for several hours, after which Saint Alexander roused them from their torpor in the name of the Life-creating Trinity.

When Prince Demetrios reposed, his widow, Princess Maria, who had great respect for Saint Alexander, offered a village for the support of the monastery in remembrance of her husband. Once she came to the monastery and went into the church, where Saint Alexander was reading the Psalter, while insects attacked his bare chest. The monk was distressed by her visit and said, “It is not necessary, O Princess, for you to observe our misery.” The princess humbly asked for pardon. The monk blessed her, but said, “Feed your poverty at home.” When she reached her home, the princess fell sick and asked him to pray for the recovery of her health. Saint Alexander foresaw her end and said, “Let her prepare for that life.” Princess Maria died twenty days later.

Wheat was gathered on the floor of the monastery; and a certain peasant decided to steal a sack, but he was not able to lift it. The saint happened upon him and said, “My son, it is in vain that you try to lift what is beyond your strength.” The astounded thief threw himself at the feet of the venerable one, asking his forgiveness, but Saint Alexander ordered him to add more wheat to the sack. After admonishing him not to steal from others in future, he blessed him to take the sack and to go with God. The peasant easily carried the burden which was blessed, and thanked the generous Elder.

Sensing that the time of his death was near, Saint Alexander said to those dwelling with him, “I am growing weak, but I urge you to endure in this place, preserving humility and mutual love.” On Sunday he served the Divine Liturgy, and partook of the Holy Mysteries. Then he prayed on his knees for himself and for his monastery, and at age of sixty-eight, he peacefully surrendered his soul to the Lord on June 9, 1439.

According to Saint Alexander’s last instructions in his will, his body was placed at the south side of the altar. A year afterward, a Rowen-berry tree grew up over his grave. Once, on the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, a peasant child broke off a branch from this tree and suddenly his hand began to hurt. His parents prayed and brought their son to the saint’s grave, and he was healed. From that time people began to pick berries from this tree for healing purposes. His disciples built a heated church in honor of Saint Nicholas over the saint’s grave and it was dedicated on the anniversary of his repose. Many of the sick who were brought to the church said that they saw Saint Alexander and Saint Nicholas praying together, or censing the temple. Many of the sick received healing at Saint Alexander’s grave.

Five Nuns beheaded in Persia: Martyrs Thecla, Mariamne, Martha, Mary, and Ennatha

During the time of the Persian king Saphor II (ca. 330 A.D.), a priest by the name of Paul was living near the village of Aza. He was wealthy and a lover of money, and he had with him five women who had consecrated their virginity to God. Saints Thekla, Mariamne, Martha, Maria, and Ennatha were adorned with the splendor of virtues. They were wealthy, and they entrusted their Spiritual Father with all their money. The greedy man prayed and chanted the Psalms with them, but he kept their money for himself.

When they learned that the priest Paul was rich, the Persians threatened to kill him and the five virgins if he did not deny Christ and give them some of his treasure. Since he preferred earthly riches, he accepted the Persian religion. The holy virgins said that they would rather suffer torture and death than deny Christ. Paul beheaded the women with a sword when they refused to follow his treacherous example. He did not enjoy his wealth for very long, however. The Persians drowned him the following evening in order to obtain all of the money. The holy virgins received their incorruptible crowns of glory from Christ in the year 346.

The five Virgin Martyrs are also commemorated on September 26.

Saint Columba of Iona, Enlightener of Scotland

No information available at this time.

Saint John of Shavta-Gelati

The great Georgian hymnographer, philosopher, and orator Saint John of Shavta labored in the 12th and 13th centuries, during the reign of the holy queen Tamar. Few details of his life have been preserved, but we know that he received his education at Gelati Academy, where he studied theology, ancient and Arabic history, philosophy, and literature. He was later tonsured a monk and labored at Vardzia Monastery.

When the Georgian army under the command of Queen Tamar’s husband, Davit Soslan, entered into battle [The Battle of Basiani (ca. 1203)] with the sultan Rukn al-Din, Queen Tamar journeyed to Odzrkhe Monastery to pray for help. Catholicos Tevdore of Kartli and many hierarchs and monastics accompanied her there. Among them, Saint John of Shavta stood out as a wise theologian and philosopher and a brilliant hymnographer.

During the Liturgy at Odzrkhe Monastery a miracle occurred: endowed by God with the gift of prophecy, Saint Eulogius the Fool for-Christ fell to his knees, lifted his hands to the heavens and cried out: “Glory to God! Almighty Christ!...Do not fear the Persians, but rather depart in peace, for the mercy of God has descended upon the house of Tamar!”

Eulogius’s words were clearly a divine revelation. Saint John of Shavta turned to Queen Tamar, rejoicing, “Your Highness! The Almighty has made known to us our victory in the war from the lips of a fool-for-Christ!” Eulogius confided his secret to Saint John: disguised as a fool, he had been concealing his God-given gift. But now it seemed that the gift would become apparent to all, so Eulogius quickly disappeared out of sight to escape the people’s attention.

Saint John of Shavta composed his “Hymns to the Theotokos of Vardzia” in thanksgiving for Georgia’s victory in the Battle of Basiani. He is also recognized as the composer of “Abdul-Messiah,” (Abdul-Messiah: servant of Christ) a famous ode to the holy queen Tamar.

Our Holy Father John of Shavta lived to an advanced age and was canonized soon after his repose.

Saint David Gareji, and Venerable Lucian, spiritual son of Saint David

Saint David of Gareji was Syrian by birth. The future ascetic became a disciple of Saint John of Zedazeni and journeyed with him to Georgia. Saint David and his spiritual son Lucian settled on a mountain above Tbilisi, the capital of Kartli.

At that time Kartli was constantly under threat of the Persian fire-worshippers. Saint David would spend entire days in prayer, beseeching the Lord for forgiveness of the sins of those who dwelt in the city. When he was finished praying for the day, he would stand on the mountain and bless the whole city. Once a week Saints David and Lucian would go down into the city to preach. A church dedicated to Saint David was later built on the mountain where he labored.

Saint David’s authority and popularity alarmed the fire-worshippers, and they accused him of adultery, in an attempt to discredit him in the eyes of the people. As a “witness” they summoned a certain expectant prostitute, who accused him of being the child’s father. Hoping in God, the holy father touched his staff to the prostitute’s womb and ordered the unborn child to declare the truth. From out of the womb the infant uttered the name of his true father.

Outraged at this slander, the bystanders savagely stoned the woman to death. Saint David pleaded with them to stop, but he was unable to placate the furious crowd. Deeply disturbed by these events, Saint David departed the region with his disciple Lucian.

The holy fathers settled in a small cave in the wilderness and began to spend all their time in prayer. They ate nothing but herbs and the bark of trees. When the herbs withered from the summer heat, the Lord sent them deer. Lucian milked them and brought the milk to Saint David, and when the elder made the sign of the Cross over the milk it was miraculously transformed into cheese.

Shaken by the holy father’s miracle, Lucian told him, “Even if my body rots and wastes away from hunger and thirst, I will not permit myself to fret over the things of this temporal life.”

The fathers kept a strict fast on Wednesdays and Fridays—they ate nothing, and even the deer did not come to them on those days.

A frightful serpent inhabited a cave not far from where they lived and attacked all the animals around it. But at Saint David’s command the serpent deserted that place.

Once local hunters were tracking the fathers’ deer, and they caught sight of Lucian milking them as they stood there quietly, as though they were sheep. The hunters paid great respect to Saint David and, having returned to their homes, reported what they had seen.

Soon the Gareji wilderness filled with people who longed to draw nearer to Christ. A monastery was founded there, and for centuries it stood fast as a center and cornerstone of faith and learning in Georgia.

After some time Saint David set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He entrusted Lucian to fulfill his responsibilities at the monastery and took some of the other brothers with him. When the pilgrims were approaching the place called the “Ridge of Grace,” from which the holy city of Jerusalem becomes visible, Saint David fell to his knees and glorified God with tears. Judging himself unworthy to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, he was satisfied to gaze upon the city from afar.

Then he stood at the city gates and prayed fervently while his companions entered the Holy City and venerated the holy places. Returning, Saint David took with him three stones from the “Ridge of Grace.” That night an angel appeared to the patriarch of Jerusalem and informed him that a certain pious man named David, who was visiting from afar, had taken with him all the holiness of Jerusalem.

The angel proceeded to tell him that the venerable one had marched through the city of Nablus, clothed in tatters and bearing on his shoulders an old sack in which he carried the three holy stones. The patriarch sent messengers after the stranger with a request that he return two of the stones and take only one for himself. Saint David returned the two stones, but he declined the patriarch’s invitation to visit him. He took the third stone back with him to the monastery, and to this day it has been full of the grace of miraculous healing.

After Saint David brought the miraculous stone from Jerusalem, the number of brothers at the monastery doubled. The venerable father ministered to all of them and encouraged them. He also visited the cells of the elder hermits to offer his solace. In accordance with his will, a monastery in the name of Saint John the Baptist was founded in the place called “Mravalmta” (the Rolling Mountains).

The Lord God informed Saint David of his imminent departure to the Kingdom of Heaven. Then he gathered the fathers of the wilderness and instructed them for the last time not to fall into confusion, but to be firm and ceaselessly entreat the Lord for the salvation of their souls.

He received Holy Communion, lifted up his hands to the Lord, and gave up his spirit.

Saint David’s holy relics have worked many miracles: approaching them, those blind from birth have received their sight. To this day, believers have been healed of every spiritual and bodily affliction at his grave.