The Monk Dionysios

Commemorated on January 24

      The Monk Dionysios (XVI Century) was born into a family of poor parents in the village of Platina. The infancy of the monk was marked by a sign: over his crib shone the Cross. Fond of reading the Divine books and of prayer from the time of his youth, Saint Dionysios upon the death of his parents decided to accept monasticism and with this aim he set out for Holy Mount Athos. There he settled with a pious elder, the priest Seraphim, and under his guidance he began to lead an ascetic life, in particular keeping strict fast. Thus during Passion Week, having gone off into the forest, he ate only chestnuts. Soon they ordained him to deacon, and then to presbyter.
      The lofty life of the monk became known about, and many a monk began to come to him, to hear from him words of edification. The monk also directed onto the path of salvation many a lawless person, among which was a robber, wanting to rob the cell of the saint and was moved by the kindly and wise discourse into profound penitence. The brethren of the Philotheion monastery, having lost their hegumen, besought Saint Dionysios to be their head. Among the brethren, however, insufficient were found choosing him, and dissensions arose. Valuing most of all peace and love, the Monk Dionysios put aside the calling of hegumen and withdrew to Berroeia, and then to Mount Olympos. Here the zealous for monasticism began to flock to him. Dionysios built cells for them and also a church and together with them spent the time in fasting and prayer. Having attained the spiritual heights, he worked many miracles. Many a time, through the prayers of the monk, the Lord punished iniquitous people that oppressed the monks of Olympos or broke the commandments of Christ, and thus were destroyed by severe drought and by hail the holdings of a Turk, who had expelled the monks and wrecked their monastery; by cattle disease and by sickness also was punished an herdsman, who had oppressed the monastery; a maiden from one of the villages for her impudence was subjected to an assault of the devil. Yet they all, likewise through the prayers of the saint, received healing and deliverance from misfortune, having been led to penitence through the saint's lack of malice.
      The monk compiled a rule for monastic life, himself giving example of monastic activity. On Olympos he built a church, and later also a monastery in the name of the Prophet of God, Elias (Elijah). He bequeathed to the brethren a final testament about monastic life based on the Ustav (Monastic Rule) of the Holy Mountain of Athos.
      The monk died in old age, and was buried on Olympos, in the church portico of the monastery founded by him.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Close window

                            

Close window