The Monk Macedonias, a Syrian Hermit

Commemorated on January 24

      The Monk Macedonias, a Syrian Hermit, lived during the end-IV early-V Centuries. At the start of his ascetic path he led the life of a wanderer, roving through the cities of Phoenicia, Cilicia and Syria for 25 years, and then he found a shelter in a deep ditch and lived under the open sky in the Syrian wilderness, shunning human glory. A multitude of people came out to him, seeking spiritual help and guidance. Only in his old age did he accede to the requests of people to live in a narrow cell built for him. Throughout his continuous life Saint Macedonias ate only barley, ground up and mixed with water, for which he was called "Kritophagos" ("Barley-Eater") (Grk. ΄η κριθη' "barley" and φα'γομαι to eat). Only when he sensed the decline of his powers did he begin to use soft bread. For his ascetic life he was granted of God the gift to cast out demons and to heal the sick. The monk died in about the year 420, having reached his 70th year of age.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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