Saint Hesychios

Hesychios the wonder-worker was brought up in piety since his infancy. He hated material-oriented actions and became a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, because he desired the pleasure of heavenly Zion. This is why he departed from his hometown, which is called Andrapa and lies at Galatia (which was formerly called Claudioupolis and some thought that that is the city which is commonly called Kastampolis), he went to the deserts near the sea of Ardania as God had ordered his spirit. He specifically went to the mountain of Maeon.

When the demons who dwelled there saw the saint, they employed every way and trick to force him away from that place. They used a certain John and Hilarion as their pawns. Through them they asked the saint where he intended to live. When the saint said that he wanted to live on that mountain, those villains answered thus: "Man, you don't know how rough this place is, this is why you ask to dwell in death. This place is the dwelling place of wild beasts and thieves and whoever stays there even for a day does not live." When the divine father heard this, he stood pensive and thought about the faces of those who said these things. Knowing with the perceptive power of the Holy Spirit that those men were talking and acting on behalf of the demons, he drove the disembodied demons out of their bodies with the sign of the cross and then went to one of the slopes of that mountain and dwelled there following God who guided him.

While the saint dwelled there, he cultivated the earth as much as he could and with this he used to satisfy his natural needs. Then birds came and ate his crops. Again some other birds came and harmed the fruits. So, the saint raised his eyes to heaven and reproved the birds saying: "Go away from the monks and do not harm their labour." So, the birds heard the saint's voice, as if they had reason, left and did not appear any more at that place.

Then the saint descended to the lower part of the mountain where he found water. He built a church there in the name of holy apostle Andrew and he lived in peace in it, praying to the Lord.

Once some Christians brought their daughter to the saint because she was disturbed by a demon. They asked him to cure her. The saint, without losing any time, cured her with the help of the first-called apostle and gave the maid back to her parents healthy. When he gave her to them, he said these prophetic words to her parents: "The Holy Spirit foretold me this, that, after I die, this place will become the hermitage of humble virgins and with their ceaseless prayers the whole company of demons will be driven away from here." These words of the saint were soon fulfilled.

Some other time, as the saint was coming out of his cell, he saw by divine grace a farmer, who had some oxen in front of him, which drew a loaded cart. One of the oxen happened to stumble and fall on the ground. The carter ran to help it rise but he laboured in vain. The ox became like a senseless rock and could not move from its place. So, the man was baffled and, not knowing what to do, he sat down and weeped drenching himself with tears. When sympathetic Hesychios saw him, he felt pity for his misfortune. So, he went to the fallen ox and, after he petted the animal on his neck, he said: "Get up, you lazybones, and finish the rest of the way, lest the enemy butchers you with a knife." When the saint had said this and had made the sign of the Holy Cross on the ox, he made the animal rise and draw the cart freely. When the carter saw this miracle, he was astonished. He fell on the ground and thanked the saint because he both raised his animal and blessed his way.

Because blessed Hesychios grew in virtue and tried to subdue the worst to the best, i.e. the body to the soul, he was made worthy to talk with the holy angels. An angel of the Lord came and told him that he was going to depart to the Lord thirty days later. The joyous message made the saint happy. He invited the brothers who were with him and he uttered his final and last words bringing in the middle the fear of hell, with which he terrified everybody. Around midnight, while the saint was still giving advice to the brothers, a heavenly light shone. So, he said: "Lord, in Thy hands I commend my spirit" and the blessed man departed to heaven. Then the brothers who were there piously buried his body, which was even venerated by angels, placing it in a stone casket near the royal gate of the church.

When Constantine and his mother Irene were reigning in 781, bishop Theophylactos of Amasia removed the saint's holy relics and took them to Amasia, placing them on the right side of the Holy Altar, where they still lie being honoured by everybody even today.