The Monk Hellios

Commemorated on July 14

      The Monk Hellios lived and died in the IV Century. Given over at childhood to a monastery, he was raised in piety, temperance and chastity.
      Having grown up, he set out into the Egyptian wilderness, where by incessant ascetic deeds he attained deep ability in the spiritual life: he was endowed with the gift of perspicacity, he knew all the thoughts and disposition of the monks conversing with him. Great faith, simplicity of soul and deep humility allowed Saint Hellios to command wild animals. One time, when the monk carried an heavy load to the wilderness monastery and had become very tired, and having prayed, he called a wild donkey to himself and placed on it his burden. The donkey meekly carried the load to the place and was set free to return to the wilderness. Another time, when the Monk Hellios needed to cross over a river and there was no boat, he called forth from the water a crocodile and, standing on its back, he happily crossed to the opposite shore.
      One of the young novices of the monastery, whom Saint Hellios visited with, besought him to take him along into the deep wilderness. The Monk Hellios warned the youth about the great work, exploits and temptations, which inevitably beset all the hermits, but since the novice continued fervently to ask, he took him along. On the first night the novice, frightened by terrible visions, in trembling ran to the cave to the Monk Hellios. The monk comforted and calmed him down and ordered him to return. Having secured the cave with the sign of the cross, the monk said that the young hermit should not fear, since these apparitions would appear no more. Trusting the word of the saint, the novice decided to remain in solitude and afterwards attained such perfection, that he was granted, like his preceptor Hellios, to receive at the necessary time food from an Angel.
      In extreme old age the Monk Hellios peacefully settled into the Heavenly mansions.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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