Venerable Daniel the Hesychast

Saint Daniel the Hesychast, the great wonderworker and instructor of monastics, was born in Moldavia at the beginning of the fifteenth century. He was baptized with the name Dumitru. When he was sixteen, he became a monk of the monastery of Saint Nicholas at Radauti and received the name David. His spiritual Father was Saint Leontius of Radauti (July 1). After many years of ascetical struggles, he became a chosen vessel of the Spirit and was ordained to the holy priesthood.

He lived for some years at the monastery of Saint Laurence in the Civoul de Sus district. There he fulfilled his obediences during the day, and at night he kept vigil, prayed, and wove baskets. He received the Great Schema and the new name Daniel. He obtained the igumen’s blessing to live in the wilderness in solitude, where he devoted himself to spiritual struggles. Around 1450, he lived near the Neamts Monastery by Secu creek for fourteen years. In time, people discovered where he lived and came to visit him. Longing for solitude, he moved to northern Moldavia and chiseled out a cell for himself in the face of a cliff near Putna creek. Next to it, he carved out a small chapel for prayer.

After his spiritual child Saint Stephen the Great (July 2) built the Putna Monastery, which was consecrated in 1470, Saint Daniel moved near the Voronets Monastery. Here too, he carved a small cell out of the rock under Soim (Falcon) Cliff and lived a God-pleasing life for the next twenty years. He guided many disciples in the principles of the spiritual life, and he also had the gift of healing the sick of their physical infirmities.

In 1488, when he was over eighty years old, Saint Daniel went to live at the Voronets Monastery, where he was chosen to be the igumen.

Saint Daniel was a great ascetic and wonderworker, wise and clairvoyant. People from near and far visited him seeking his spiritual advice, or to confess their sins. He died in 1496 and was buried at the Voronets Monastery, where people continue to venerate his tomb.

Saint Daniel was glorified by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992.