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Venerable Dius, Abbot of Antioch (19 July)

Saint Dius was born in Antioch, Syria towards the end of the fourth century into a pious Christian family. From his youth he was noted for his temperance. He ate food in small quantities, but not every day, and his flesh was humbled by vigil and unceasing prayer. For these deeds the Lord granted Saint Dius dispassion and the gift of wonderworking.

In a vision, the Lord ordered Saint Dius to go to Constantinople and there to serve both Him and the people. Saint Dius settled beyond the city in a solitary place, where people feared to live. Saint Dius bravely contended with the evil spirits which tried to expel him from this place. The Lord heard the prayer of His saint: his staff took root, began to grow and with time was transformed into an immense oak, which stood for a long time even after the death of Saint Dius.

The surrounding inhabitants began to come to the saint for advice and guidance, and they sought healing from illnesses of body and soul. Saint Dius doctored the infirm with prayer, and whatever was offered him he distributed to the poor, the homeless and the sick.

Reports of Saint Dius reached even the emperor Theodosius the Younger. He came to Saint Dius for a blessing together with Patriarch Atticus of Constantinople (406-425). The emperor wanted a monastery to be built on the place of Saint Dius’ efforts, and he provided the means for its construction. The Patriarch ordained the monk as a priest and made him the igumen. Soon numerous monastic brethren gathered to Saint Dius. The monastery was in need of a well, and they dug for a long time without success. Through the prayers of the monk the Lord brought forth a spring of pure water, which soon filled up the entire well. Once, through his prayers, the monk raised up a drowned man. The Lord worked many other miracles through His saint.

In extreme old age Saint Dius became grievously ill. He took his leave of the brethren, received the Holy Mysteries, and lay upon his cot like one dead. At the monastery His Holiness Patriarch Atticus (Comm. on Cheesefare Saturday) came for the funeral service and also Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria, who was then at Constantinople. The holy Elder unexpectedly rose up from his death bed and said, “The Lord has granted me fifteen more years of life.” Great was the joy of the brethren.

Saint Dius did live another fifteen years, helping all with guidance and counsel, healing the sick, and being concerned for the poor and homeless. Shortly before his death, a radiant man in priestly garb appeared to him in the altar of the church and told him of his impending death. Having given thanks to the Lord for this news, Saint Dius quietly died and was buried in his monastery.

Saint Dius, who was from Antioch in Syria, later came to Constantinople and established a monastery there, and wrought many wonders. He flourished in the time of Saint Theodosius the Great (379-395).

Dius was born of Christian parents in Antioch, Syria. From his youth, he was instructed by divinely inspired men in the monastic life and in asceticism. He persevered in a lengthy and laborious battle with the devil and the passions of the flesh, and God endowed Dius with the great gift of working miracles. In his prayers he most often turned to the Holy Trinity. He performed great and awesome miracles through the power of his prayers.

He caused a dry stick to blossom, a dry well to be replenished with water, and an unbelieving man to die and then come to life again. After a certain twice-repeated heavenly vision, Dius departed from Antioch and settled near Constantinople where, close to the city, he continued his life of asceticism. His fame spread rapidly, such that Emperor Theodosius the Younger visited him to receive counsel, and Patriarch Atticus ordained him a presbyter (priest).

Having lived for many years, Dius prepared for death, received Holy Communion, instructed the brethren, lay down on his bed, and died before the eyes of all. The news of his death drew many people, including Patriarch Atticus and Patriarch Alexander of Antioch.

But when they were preparing to bury Dius, he suddenly arose as though awakening from sleep and said: “God has given me fifteen more years of this life.” St. Dius lived for exactly fifteen years and led many to the path of salvation, healed many, and helped many in various misfortunes and needs. He finally gave up his soul to the Lord, Whom he had faithfully served all his life. He died in the year 430 A.D., in extreme old age.

Apolytikion of Dius, Abbot of Antioch

First Tone

Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Dius, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Kontakion of Dius, Abbot of Antioch

Second Tone

In God, thou wast armed with purity of heart and soul; and taking in hand unceasing prayer as though a spear, Father Dius, thou didst mightily cut down all the demonic hordes, thou who workest wonders and signs and prayest unceasingly for all of us.

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