• Jacob the Ascetic

Jacob the Ascetic

Jacob the Ascetic left all the worldly things and settled for fifteen years in a cave near a large village called Porphyrione. There he led an ascetic's life. Once a prostitute, moved by some lecherous men, came to him. She jumped on him shamelessly and was inciting him to sin. But Jacob reminded her of the future punishment of eternal fire and made her repent and come to Christ. But, because no man alone can escape the tricks and traps of the deceitful devil, it happened that he also, being a man, erred and sinned greatly. A nobleman who had a daughter who was possessed brought her to Jacob to cure her. Jacob prayed and immediately freed her from the demon. But the lady's father was afraid that the demon would disturb her again. So, he left her together with her young brother in the cave. But Jacob was defeated by desire and he slept with the maiden. Then, afraid that his sin would be revealed, he killed the woman and her brother and threw their dead bodies in the nearby river. Having done so, he despaired completely of his salvation and made haste to go to the world. But on his way he met a pious monk. Jacob obeyed this monk's counsel and advice, and Jacob shut himself in a grave where he suffered every kind of hardship and torment. Some time later, when that land suffered from drought and lack of rain, God ordered the bishop of the city that, unless Jacob who was shut in the grave prayed, the dry spell would not end. Then the bishop together with all the people went to Jacob, begged him and convinced him to pray. As soon as he prayed there came a heavy rain. From this sign Jacob received good hope about his salvation and added hardship to hardship and tears to tears. In this way he commended his soul to the hands of God leading a life pleasing to Him.

Glory be to God. Amen.