St. John the Baptist Parish, A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Canberra, Australia

29 September / 12 October

Our Holy Father Cyriacus the Solitary

Born in Corinth of parents named John (a priest) and Eudoxia, he was a kinsman of the local bishop, Peter. He was made reader in the cathedral by the bishop while still a young man. Reading the Holy Scriptures, the young Cyriacus marvelled at God's providence, how it glorified every true servant of the living God and ordered the salvation of the human race. At the age of eighteen, his desire for the spiritual life led him to Jerusalem. There, he entered the monastery of a godly man called Eustorgius, who grounded him in the monastic life. He then went off to St Euthymius, who discerned in him future spiritual greatness, clothed him in the Great Habit and sent him to the Jordan, to St Gerasim, where Cyriacus spent nine years. After Gerasim's death, he returned to St Euthymius' monastery, where he remained in silence for ten years. After this he moved from place to place, fleeing the praise of men. He lived in ascetic labour also in the community of St Chariton, where he finished his earthly course, having lived for a hundred and nine years. A glorious ascetic and wonderworker, St Cyriacus was massive and strong of body, and stayed thus in great old age, despite strict fasts and vigils. In the desert, he sometimes lived for years only on raw vegetables. He was very zealous for the Orthodox faith, denouncing heresies, especially the heresy of Origen. Of himself he said that, while he was a monk, the sun never saw him eat or be angry with any man. According to the rule of St Chariton, the monks ate only once a day, after sunset. Cyriacus was a great light, a pillar of Orthodoxy, the boast of monks, a mighty healer of the sick and a gentle comforter of the sorrowful. Living long in ascetism and giving aid to many, he entered into the eternal joy of his Lord in 557.

On the same day: The Holy Martyrs Dada and Gohdelas; St Theophanes the Merciful; St Mary of Palestine

Return to the index or the advanced search page.