The Monk Zosima of Phoenicia

Commemorated on June 8

      The Monk Zosima of Phoenicia was born in the Syrian village of Synda, near the city of Tyre. He accepted monasticism and was zealous as an ascetic by his fasting, prayer, labours and other virtues. The monk received from God the gift of perspicacity. When he was at Caesarea, he foresaw the terrible earthquake which destroyed Antioch in the year 526.
      One time, the patrician Arkesilaos visited the monk. During this while a messenger informed Arkesilaos, that his wife had punctured her eye with a needle and was suffering terribly. But the monk put his guest at ease and said, that the Caesarea Sainted-bishop John Khozevites (Comm. 3 October) had his wife.
      The Monk Zosima attained to such a degree of spiritual accomplishment, that wild beasts were submissive to him. One time on the way to Caesarea an hungry lion pounced upon the donkey of the monk, and dragged it away and started eating. Finding the beast, the monk said: "Friend, I have not the strength to carry the load because of old age. Do thou carry it, and then return into the wilderness and again be fierce according to thy nature". The lion meekly carried the load to Caesarea, where the monk set him free.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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