The Monk Thomas the Fool-for-Christ
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.