dogs and gardens
by Andrea Elizabeth
Inspiration for today from The Prolog from Ohrid:
Venerable Mark the Ascetic
Mark was an ascetic and miracle-worker. In his fortieth year he was tonsured a monk by his teacher St. John Chrysostom. Mark then spent sixty more years in the wilderness of Nitria in fasting, prayer and writing many spiritual works concerning the salvation of souls. He knew the entire Holy Scriptures by heart. He was very merciful and kind. He wept much for the misfortunes which had befallen all of God’s creation. On one occasion, while crying, he prayed to God for a blind puppy of a hyena and the puppy received its sight. In thanksgiving the mother of the hyena brought him a sheepskin. The saint forbade the hyena in the future to kill any more sheep of poor people. He received Communion at the hands of the angels. His homilies concerning the spiritual law, on repentance, and on sobriety, etc., are ranked among the first-class literature of the Church. These works were praised by the great Patriarch Photius himself.
Venerable Hesychius the Faster
Hesychius was born near Brusa in the eighth century. He then retreated to Mount Maion which had an evil reputation because of demonic apparitions. There, Hesychius built a hut for himself and a chapel dedicated to the honor of St. Andrew the Apostle. He surrounded it with a garden which he cultivated in order to live by his own labor. By his prayers he performed many miracles. Hesychius prophesied that after his death a convent would be built on that place. A month before, he foresaw the day and hour of his death. At midnight on the foreseen day, some men saw his hut glowing with an extraordinary light. When they arrived, they found him dead. Hesychius died peacefully and was received into the kingdom of His Lord in the year 790 A.D. He was buried in the church of St. Andrew. Later, Theophylactus, the Bishop of Amasea, translated his body to Amasea.