Commemorated on April 24
The Monk Thomas
the Fool-for-Christ was a monk in one of the monasteries in Caesarea
Cappadocia (Asia Minor). He bore obedience in the collecting of alms for the
monastery. When the Monk Thomas arrived in the city of Syrian Antioch, he then
took upon himself the exploit of folly.
The steward of one of
the churches, a certain Anastasias, became annoyed with the implorings of the
Monk Thomas, and struck him on the cheek. Those present reproached Anastasias
for rudely inappropriate a manner of dealing with the fool, but the Monk Thomas
quieted them, saying: "From this moment I shalt accept nothing further
from Anastasias, nor wilt Anastasias be able to give me anything further".
These words proved prophetic. On the very next day Anastasias died, and the
monk likewise died along the roadside to his monastery, at a church of Saint
Euthymios in the suburb of Daphna. They buried him at a place set aside for the
burial of strangers.
After a certain while
they buried another stranger over the grave of the monk. After four hours the
ground on the grave of the stranger was thrown aside. They again covered the
grave, but in the morning the ground on the grave again lay open. They then
reburied the stranger in another place.
But this was repeated
when they buried two women nearby. All then realised, that the Monk Thomas did
not wish to have a woman buried over him. The occurrence was reported to the
Antioch patriarch Domnos (546-560). At his command the relics of the Monk Thomas
were transferred to Antioch and placed in a graveyard, where rested the relics
of many holy martyrs. Over these relics, from which many healings occurred,
they built a small church.
Through the prayers
of the Monk Thomas a deadly plague ceased at Antioch. And from that time the
inhabitants began annually to honour the memory of the Monk Thomas.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.