He inherited a large estate from his illustrious parents and made a brilliant career at the Emperor’s court. He was a relative of Emperor Leo the Isaurian. Yet he aspired to a life in God. With his wife’s consent, he left behind his luxurious life, used his estate to establish a monastery and settled there as a common monk. His wife later followed his example, establishing a convent with her assets and settling there.
Despite the drastic change of lifestyle, St. Theophanes found great joy in monastic life and became renowned for his piety, righteousness and strong faith. Many sick were healed by his prayers, and he acquired the gift of wonderworking. To this day, believers have invoked his name in prayers for mental patients. However, when he became seriously ill himself, he refused to pray for his healing but instead accepted his condition with gratitude to God.
A vehement opponent of the heresy of iconoclasm, he was imprisoned and sent to exile under Emperor Leo the Armenian, who launched a new round of persecution of defenders of the Holy Icons. The long years of imprisonment and the harsh conditions of the exile undermined his health, and he departed to God on the twenty-fourth day of his exile.
St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco is one of the most venerated and loved Saints in the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as in other Orthodox Churches all around the world.
On August 1st, the Belarussian Orthodox Church commemorates one of the most well-known Russian saints - Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. Many people all around the world consider him to be their Patron Saint.
As the sages of the East used to say, one would be cursed to live in a time of abrupt change. Saint Sergius of Radonezh lived in one of Russia's most troubled periods and left us some valuable insights that have survived his day.
He taught that fighting the devil to the end is a duty of every Christian. "Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
He sought to reach every heart and mind with the word of God. A paradoxical situation existed in the Russian society of the time.
Saint Luke was one of the most modest disciples of Christ. He was not one of the chosen twelve who were constantly beside the Son of God catching His every word and witnessing His blessed deeds.
Should we make compromises even in situations when this may appear as a concession to evil? In which Christian commandments should we take our guidance? We find answers in the life of Saint John the merciful.