Venerable Cosmas the Bulgarian of Zographou, Mount Athos

Saint Cosmas was born in Bulgaria toward the end of the thirteenth century, and entered the Zographou Monastery when he was young.

Distinguishing himself by his ascetical life, he also acquired the virtues of humility and obedience. After a time, Saint Cosmas satisfied his superiors that he had attained a level of experience and perfection in monasticism which would permit him to live in solitude without danger. Saint John of the Ladder (Step 8:18) describes the type of person who should not be permitted to live alone following his own will, and the pitfalls of such a life for those who have not cleansed themselves of the passions. With the blessing of his spiritual Father, Saint Cosmas left the monastery in order to begin even more intense spiritual struggles.

Through humility, the God-pleasing ascetic attained the heights of virtue, regarding all of his own efforts as nothing, and ascribing whatever good he had accomplished to God’s mercy and grace. Therefore, he acquired spiritual gifts from the Lord, including the gift of prophecy.

Saint Cosmas of Zographou fell asleep in the Lord on Mount Athos in 1323.