28 October / 10 November
A Syrian, he suffered for the Christian faith together with his wife, Neonilla, and their seven children - Sarbelus, Photus, Theodulus, Hierax, Nitus, Bele, and Eunice. After many tortures, during which the power of God was shown, they were all beheaded with the sword. The Holy Martyr Paraskeva-Petka.
Blessed Hieroschemamonk Feofil, Fool-for-Christ's-Sake, Ascetic and Visionary of the Kiev-Caves Lavra
Hieroschemamonk Feofil, in the world Foma Andreyevich Gorenkovsky, the son of a village priest, was born in a town near Kiev in 1788. He was set apart by God even from his birth, and suffered much in his youth, thereby acquiring great humility. He entered a monastery in 1812, labouring in prayer and obedience for many years. He was tonsured with the name Feodorit in 1821 and in 1822, because of his exemplary monastic life, he was ordained hierodeacon. In 1827 he was ordained hieromonk and appointed steward of the monastery. The demands of this obedience were not in accordance with the desires of Feodorit's heart and he asked to be released from the stewardship. He then took upon himself the great podvig of foolishness-for- Christ's-sake. He took the great schema in 1834 and was renamed Feofil. Feofil always carried with him a Psalter and provisions to give to the poor and needy. He dressed in rags, and his cell was unkempt and full of rubbish. When questioned about this, the blessed one replied that he allowed it "so that everything surrounding me will constantly remind me of the disorder of my soul". He was often ill-treated by his brethren but bore all patiently. In the refectory, he would mix all his food together, both bitter and sweet. "It's the same in life", he would say, "both bitter and sour and salty mixed with sweet and all this must be digested". Later in his life, Feofil received a gift of a small bullock who could be tamed by no-one. Meek and gentle in Feofil's presence, the blessed one had a cart made for it and the creature carried him everywhere. He was found worthy to receive the gift of clairvoyancy and foretold many things which indeed came to pass. As a spiritual father, he could see into the hearts of his spiritual children. He worked many wonders during his life and foretold the time of his death. Having referred to himself in his life as "smelly Feofil", his cell was filled with a beautiful fragrance after his repose in 1853. Many pannikhidas were served at his graveside after his repose and much has been granted by God through his prayers. Blessed Hieroschemamonk Feofil, pray for us!.