The Monk Malkhos
Commemorated on March 26
The Monk Malkhos was the only son of a farmer, living not far from Syrian Antioch. Upon attaining the age of maturity, his parents had prepared to marry him off, but Malkhos secretly left his parental home and accepted monastic tonsure in one of the monasteries, where he underwent obediences over the course of many years. Learning about the death of his father, he decided to visit his widowed mother. The hegumen of the monastery would not bless the intent of the monk, but Malkhos disobeyed him, and joining a group of pilgrims, he set out for his native district. Along the way Saracens fell upon them, and took them all captive to become slaves. The master of Malkhos compelled him to marry one of his slaves. Saint Malkhos, with the mutual consent of his wife, preserved the vow of chastity. And with his spiritual spouse he fled from captivity. The master pursued them, but the fugitives hid in a cave, which proved to be the den of a lioness. The lioness did not touch the fugitives, but tore into the pursuers. Saint Malkhos, fulfilling the request of his wife, sent her off to a women's monastery, while he himself returned to his own monastery. By then he no longer found the hegumen among the living, and nevermore did the Monk Malkhos forsake the walls of the monastery. For the edification of monks he often told about his woes, which came about through disobedience. To the very end of his life the Monk Malkhos humbly asceticised in the monastery, where he peacefully died (IV).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.