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Venerable Patapios of Thebes (8 December)

Saint Patapios was born at Thebes into a pious Christian family. Reaching the age of maturity, he scorned the vanity of this world, and so he went into the Egyptian desert where he became known for his ascetic deeds. Though he wished to live in silence, people began coming to him for advice.

To every tired pilgrim who visited his cell, he offered rest and hospitality, as well as spiritual instructions and profitable counsel for the salvation of one’s soul. The Saint’s reputation spread quickly, and every day many arrived at his cell in order to hear these beneficial instructions from his lips.

Later, he went to Constantinople, where he had a cell by the city wall, near the Blachernae church. But even here, he soon became known. The infirm started to gather around Patapios, and because he had been granted the gift of healing, he helped all those in need.

Once a certain woman was afflicted by the terrible disease of cancer, and worms came forth from her breasts. Not only did she suffer a great deal of pain in her chest, but throughout her entire body as well. She was in constant pain, and it reached her heart, so that she was near death. The doctors could not help her, and she felt she was wasting her money without obtaining relief. Therefore, she came to Saint Patapios and fell at his feet, begging him to heal her. The worms were devouring her flesh even before she was in the grave, causing her such pain that she longed for death.

The Saint answered, “If you have faith in the Lord, and have no doubt that you shall be healed, then let it be done according to your faith.”

Sighing from the depths of her soul, she said, “I believe, O Lord that You know all things which are hidden and unknown, and that You are all-powerful. Therefore, have mercy on me and heal me.”

Then the Saint asked the woman to let him see the effects of her distress. When he saw the ravages of the disease, he was struck with awe, saying, “Your affliction is indeed great, and difficult to cure. Go in peace, for you shall not suffer anymore.”

As soon as he said this, the woman was healed and went home rejoicing and glorifying God. She told of this miracle everywhere, and praised Saint Patapios.

After a life adorned with virtue and miracles, Saint Patapios fell asleep in the Lord and was buried in the church of Saint John the Baptist.

This Saint was from the Thebaid of Egypt and struggled many years in the wilderness. He departed for Constantinople, and having performed many miracles and healings, he reposed in peace in a mountain cave on the Gulf of Corinth, where his holy relics are found incorrupt to the present day.

Patapius was born and brought up in the Faith and in the fear of God by pious parents in the Egyptian city of Thebes. At an early age he perceived and abhorred the vanity of this world and withdrew into the wilderness of Egypt. There he devoted himself to a life of asceticism, cleansing his heart of all earthly desires and thoughts, for the sake of God’s love. However, when his virtues became known among the people, they began to come to him and to seek solace from him in their sufferings.

Fearing the praise of men, which darkens the minds of men and separates them from God, Patapius fled this wilderness to Constantinople, for this wonderful saint thought that he could hide himself more easily from people in the city than in the wilderness. Patapius built a hut for himself in the proximity of the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople. There, immured and unknown, he continued his interrupted life of eremetic asceticism. However, a light cannot be hidden. A child, blind from birth, was led by God’s providence to St. Patapius.

He besought the saint to pray to God that he be given his sight and be able to look upon God’s creation–thus allowing him to praise God all the more. Patapius having compassion on the suffering child, prayed to God, and the child’s sight was restored. This miracle revealed God’s chosen one throughout the entire city, and people rushed to him for healing, comfort and instruction. Patapius healed an eminent man of dropsy by tracing the sign of the Cross over him and anointing him with oil.

By making the sign of the Cross in the air with his hand, he freed a youth from an unclean spirit that had cruelly tormented him. The evil spirit, with a loud shriek, came out from God’s creature like smoke. He made the sign of the Cross over a woman who had a sore on her breast all filled with worms, and made her healthy. Many other miracles did St. Patapius perform, all through prayer in the name of Christ and by the sign of the Cross. He entered into rest peacefully in great old age and took up his habitation in the Heavenly Kingdom in the seventh century.

Apolytikion of Patapius of Thebes

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Patapius, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion of Patapius of Thebes

Third Tone

Having found thy Church to be a place of spiritual healing, all the people flock with haste thereto, O Saint, and they ask thee to bestow the ready healing of their diseases and forgiveness of the sins they wrought in their lifetime; O Patapius most righteous, in every need, thou art the protector of all.

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