Saint Patapius of Thebes lived in the eighth century and came from a wealthy family. His parents were devout believers in Christ. Patapius showed an early interest in the study of Christian teachings, was sent to a catechetical school. His spiritual teacher, a blind man, aroused in him an interest in an ascetic life. As a young adult, he left his parental home, cut off his past friendships, renounced his inheritance, and retired to the desert to live in piety and solitary prayer.
Years later, word of his ascetic deeds spread, and people began to flock to him for advice. Increasingly, being a spiritual teacher of others interfered with his ascetic rule. Searching for solitude, he moved to a cave in Crete. When his followers found him there, he retreated to a highly unusual place for a solitary monk – Constantinople.
There, he found refuge in the environs of the known Blachernae church, which the Mother of God visited to give her protection to the people of the city. Ironically, the bustle of Constantinople hid him from others' attention more reliably than the solitary caves and deserts did before. He found refuge in a cell that he had dug in the city wall. He entered it secretly through a concealed door. Disguised as a simple monk, he performed healings. He healed a blind man by calling out the name of Christ and cured a man with dropsy by anointing him with sacred oil.
He lived to old age and reposed in peace at an old age. His relics lay undiscovered at a monastery in Corinth until the early 20th century. They were found by accident. A tall priest needed adjustments to the height of the chapel ceiling to move about comfortably. St. Patapius appeared to him in a dream warning him not to disturb his relics and showing him the place where they lay. When the builders took apart a section of the wall, they found the relics uncorrupted, wrapped in fresh leaves, as if they had just been picked.
We are preparing to celebrate the memory of a saint who showed us beyond all doubt that sainthood is still a worthy goal to pursue, even in our hectic times. His name is Saint John of Shanghai and San-Francisco.
Sister Anastasia of St Elisabeth Convent tells a story of a miracle performed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco that she not only witnessed but was also involved with.
Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is one of the most well-known saints loved by Christians all around the world. People turn to him in prayer and often experience miracles because of his intercession.
Martyr Peter the Aleut († 1815) was a young Aleut who was born and raised on one of the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago. In 1815, as a young man, together with thirteen fellow Aleuts, fishermen and hunters, he sailed to the shores of California…
The Optina Monastery is a famous stauropegion of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in the Kaluga region. A stauropegion is a church or monastery exempt from the jurisdiction of the local bishop and directly subject to the highest authority…
Saint Seraphim’s life was marked by various signs and wonders testifying to his election from very early in life. At the age of seven Prokhor Moshnin (the birth name of the saint) fell from a tall bell tower but God delivered him unharmed.
On the 19th of December (6th of December), the Orthodox commemorate one of the most loved and revered saints in the world - Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas means a lot to everyone here at St Elisabeth Convent.