Saint Meletios the Younger (1095-1124)
Commemorated on September 1
He was born in Cappadocia around 1035. He became a monk in Constantinople, but after a few years he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Rome, then settled at a small monastery near Thebes. Here Meletios became known for his piety: he wore one garment of woven horsehair and, as the Synaxarion says, 'never let his eyelids slumber without having bathed the mat he lay on with his tears.' After twenty-eight years of ascetical labors Meletius, seeking to escape his increasing renown, departed the monastery, eventually settling near the Monastery of the Bodiless Powers near Myoupolis in Greece. Here he thought that he would be able to pray in obscurity, but once again the fame of his virtues attracted a monastic community around him. By order of the Patriarch of Constantinople he was ordained to the priesthood and, much against his will, made abbot of the monastic colony. The Emperor Alexander Comnenus wished to give a large gift of money to the monastery, but the Saint, unwilling to store up wealth on earth, would only accept enough for the essential needs of his monks: 'but' (the Synaxarion says) 'as a sign of gratitude, he protected the pious Emperor in all his campaigns from that time forth, by his prayer.' After many years caring for the monastery, in which he revealed gifts of healing, insight and prophecy, Saint Meletios reposed in peace, aged about seventy years, sometime between 1095 and 1124.