The Monastics Karion and his son Zachariah:

Commemorated on December 5

      The Monastics Karion and his son Zachariah: The Monk Karion lived in one of the Egyptian skete-monasteries during the IV Century. He left behind in the world his wife and two children. When a famine chanced to strike Egypt, the wife of the Monk Karion brought the children to the skete-monastery and complained of the poverty and difficulties of life. The saint took his son, but the daughter remained with the mother. He raised his son Saint Zachariah at the skete, and everyone knew that this was his son. But when the lad grew up, the monastery brethren began to grumble. The father and the son thereupon went off into the Thebaid. But there also came the grumbling monks. Then Saint Zachariah went into a fetid lake, immersing himself in the water up to his nostrils and he stayed in it for an hour. His face and his body was covered with welts, like a leper literally, such that even his own father hardly recognised him. But when the Monk Zachariah partook Communion, the holy Presbyter Isidor had a revelation about him and said: ""Child, on Sunday last thou didst commune like a man, but now it be like an angel". After the death of his father, the Monk Zachariah began to asceticise together with the Monk Moses the Black (Comm. 28 August). "What mustneeds I do, to be saved?" asked the Monk Moses. Hearing this, the Monk Zachariah fell to his knees and said: "Thou askest this of me, father?" "Believe me, my child, Zachariah, the Monk Moses continued, I saw, how the Holy Spirit did come down upon thee, and only because of this I asked thee". The Monk Zachariah thereupon took from his head the kukol'-covering, he set it at his feet, and having set it aright, he said: "If a man be not tonsured thus, he cannot be a monk". Before his end the Monk Moses asked him: "What seest thou, brother?" "Should this not be better left unsaid, father?" answered the Monk Zachariah. "Yes, child, be silent", agreed the Monk Moses the Black. When the soul of the Monk Zachariah parted from its body, holy Abba Isidor, lifting his gaze towards the heavens, said: "Happy art thou, Zachariah my child, for unto thee art opened the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven". The Monk Zachariah died towards the end of the IV Century and was buried at a skete‑monastery.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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