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Saints Isaacius, Dalmatus, & Faustus, Ascetics of the Dalmation Monastery ( 3 August )

Of these, Saint Isaacius is celebrated also on May 30. He became a monk at an early age and was a worker of every virtue; a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, he was also deemed worthy of the gift of prophecy. The Saint dwelt in a small hut near Constantinople. When Valens the Arian marched against the Goths, who were at the Danube River, this righteous one went out himself to meet the Emperor and, taking in hand the reins of the Emperor’s horse, said to him with boldness that God had incited the barbarians to come against him, since he himself had incited many to speak against God in blasphemy, and had driven God’s true worshippers out of the divine houses of prayer.

Furthermore, he told him, if he ceased fighting against God by means of heresy and returned the good shepherds (that is, the Orthodox bishops) to the flock of Christ, he would easily gain the victory over his enemies. However, if he did not desist from these things, nor have God as his ally, at the very outset of the battle both he and his army would certainly be destroyed. “Learn from experience,” he said, “that it is hard to kick against the pricks. Thou shalt not return, and this expedition will be destroyed.”

But the Emperor became angry and had the righteous one locked in prison that he might punish him and put him to death on his return after he conquered the barbarians. But he was utterly defeated and was burned alive in a certain village in the year 378 (Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Eccl. Hist., ch. 4: 31-32). When his surviving soldiers returned from the war, wishing to tempt the Saint, they came to him and said, “Prepare to make thy defense before the Emperor, who is coming to fulfil what he spoke against thee.” But the Saint answered, “It has already been seven days that I smelled the stink of his bones, which were burned in the fire.”

Thus the righteous one was released from prison. All marveled because of his prophecy, and he became even more wondrous by means of the zeal he displayed in behalf of Orthodoxy in 381, when the Second Ecumenical Council was convoked. After this, a monastery was built in Constantinople for him, and he piously shepherded those struggling with him in asceticism. Having served as an example of the monastic life for them, he reposed in peace about the end of the fourth century, leaving Dalmatus as his successor.

As for Saint Dalmatus, he was at first a soldier in the second division of the soldiers known as the Scholarii. Later, however, he forsook all things and taking his son Faustus, went to the above-mentioned monastery of Saint Isaacius, where he donned the monastic habit. Through his virtue he became venerable in the sight of all. He was present at the Third Ecumenical Council that was convoked in Ephesus in 431, and there displayed his zeal for Orthodoxy against Nestorius. The Council elected him Archimandrite of the monasteries in Constantinopie. Having lived for more than eighty years, he reposed in the Lord.

Venerable Isaac is also celebrated separately, on May 30. St. Dalmatus was once an officer during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great, and the emperor held in great esteem. When the spirit awakened in him, he despised all earthly things. He resigned his rank, taking his only son Faustus to St. Isaac’s community on the outskirts of Constantinople, where they both were tonsured as monks. Elder Isaac rejoiced that Dalmatus was completely devoted to a God-pleasing life.

When Isaac approached the hour of death, he appointed Dalmatus as abbot in his place. Later, this community was named after him. Dalmatus devoted himself to fasting, and fasted for forty days at times, conquering the invisible demonic powers. He participated in the Third Ecumenical Council [Ephesus, 431 A.D.] and fought against the Nestorian heresy. Pleasing God, he died peacefully in the fifth century. His son Faustus supported his father in everything, and, after a God-pleasing life, also died peacefully in this Dalmatus community.

Saint Isaac (May 30) was a soldier before he became a monk. After he was tonsured, he attained such a degree of spiritual perfection that he was accounted worthy of beholding divine visions.

When Saint Isaac heard about how the Emperor Valens had fallen into the Arian heresy and was persecuting the Orthodox Christians, he left his monastery and traveled to Constantinople to confront the emperor. At that time Valens was planning a campaign against the Goths. Saint Isaac tried to change the emperor’s mind several times, but was unable to convince him. He prophesied that Valens would die in flames because of his actions. The emperor ordered that Saint Isaac be thrown into prison, and promised to deal with him when he returned from his expedition. On August 9, 378 Valens was defeated at Adrianople and died in a fire after hiding in a barn, just as the saint had predicted.

Emperor Theodosius the Great, who had a great love for the saint, released him from prison and banned Arianism. Saint Isaac attended the Second Ecumenical Council (381), where he defended the Orthodox Faith against the Arian heresy.

Saint Isaac hoped to return to his monastic life in the wilderness, but a wealthy man built a monastery for him at Constantinople, and he became its first igumen. The monastery was later named for his disciple Dalmatus.

When Saint Isaac was approaching the end of his earthly life, he named Saint Dalmatus to succeed him as igumen. He lived to a ripe old age and reposed in the year 383.

Saint Dalmatus served in the army of the holy emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) and attracted his notice. The saint was soon filled with the desire to dedicate himself to his Lord and Creator. Therefore, sometime between the years 381-383, he left the service of an earthly ruler in order to serve the King of Heaven. He went with his son Faustus to Saint Isaac’s monastery near Constantinople in order to speak with him. Saint Isaac (May 30) tonsured both father and son into monasticism, and they both began to lead a strict ascetic life.

Saint Dalmatus excelled all the other monks in virtue. Once, during Great Lent, Saint Dalmatus did not eat any food for the forty days. Later he regained his strength and was found worthy of a divine vision.

The holy ascetic was chosen to be the igumen after the death of the most devout Isaac. In fact, at the Third Ecumenical Council which met in Ephesus in 431 A. D. which condemned the heresy of Nestorius, Saint Dalmatus was honored for his defense of the Orthodox Faith.

After the Council the holy Fathers elevated Saint Dalmatus to be the archimandrite of his monastery, where he died peacefully at the age of ninety (after 446). He was succeeded by his son Faustus, who proved to be a worthy successor of his father.

Apolytikion of Righteous Isaacius, Dalmatius, Faustus

Fourth Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of Righteous Isaacius, Dalmatius, Faustus

Second Tone

With hymns let us extol Isaacius, Dalmatus, and Faustus as Christ’s servants, who shone forth brilliantly in asceticism in the world, and overturned the heresies by faith; for they cry out in behalf of us all.

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