The Monk John, called Barsonophios

Commemorated on February 29

      The Monk John, called Barsonophios, was a native of Palestine. At 18 years of age he accepted holy Baptism, and soon also monastic vows. Because of his ascetic life, the Monk John was ordained bishop of the city of Damascus. Once, in his love for the solitary life, the Monk John left off being bishop and secretly withdrew to Alexandria, calling himself Barsonophios. Then he went off into the Nitreian wilderness, arrived at a monastery and besought the hegumen to accept him into the monastery, so as to serve the elders. He conscientiously fulfilled this obedience by day, and nights he spent in prayer.
      After a certain while Saint Theodore of Nitreia saw the monk, and knew of him that he was a bishop. Saint John then again concealed himself and withdrew into Egypt, where he asceticised until the end of his days (V).

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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