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The Shepherd's Guild

Fools for Christ

Fools-for-Christ, taking on the appearance of madness and suffering defamation from those around them, exposed human vices, brought those in power to their senses, comforted the suffering. Some of these are St. Andrew the Fool for Christ, St.Xenia of St. Petersburg, St. Basil of Moscow, Nicholas of Pskov and John of Rostov ("the Hairy").
In Greek, the term for Holy Fool is salos. In Russian, yurodivy is a Holy Fool, one who acts intentionally foolish in the eyes of men. He or she often goes around half-naked, is homeless, speaks in riddles, is believed to be clairvoyant and a prophet, and may occasionally be disruptive and challenging to the point of seeming immoral (though always to make a point). **

One form of the ascetic Christian life is called foolishness for the sake of Christ. The fool-for-Christ set for himself the task of battling within himself the root of all sin, pride. In order to accomplish this he took on an unusual style of life, appearing as someone bereft of his mental faculties, thus bringing upon himself the ridicule of others. In addition he exposed the evil in the world through metaphorical and symbolic words and actions. He took this ascetic endeavor upon himself in order to humble himself and to also more effectively influence others, since most people respond to the usual ordinary sermon with indifference. The spiritual feat of foolishness for Christ was especially widespread in Russia. --(Excerpted from The Law of God, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY: 1993)

**source: OrthodoxWiki

God chooses “the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27).


St. Andrew the Fool for Christ of Constantinople

Commemorated on October 2

He was born a Scythian and came to live in Constantinople as the slave of Theognostus, a protospatharios ("first sword-bearer," an honorific title) to Emperor Leo VI the Great (886-912). He was also the spiritual child of Nicephorus, a priest at Hagia Sophia during that time.

Blessed Andrew loved God's Church and the Holy Scriptures, and he had a strong desire to devote himself totally to God. He took upon himself a very difficult and unusual ascetic feat of fool-for-Christ; that is, he acted as if he were insane.

Seeming to be insane, Andrew was brought to the Church of St. Anastasia for his care. There St. Anastasia appeared to him in a dream and encouraged him to continue his ascetic feat. He was driven off the church property because of his faked madness and had to live on the streets of the capital city, hungry and half-naked. For many years the saint endured mockery, insults, and beatings. He begged for alms and gave them away to the poor. The beggars to whom he gave his last coins despised him, but Andrew endured all his sufferings humbly and prayed for those who hurt him.

St. Andrew's holy wisdom and extraordinary spiritual beauty were revealed when he removed his mask of folly. This occurred when talking to his spiritual father, a presbyter of Hagia Sophia, or to his disciple Epiphanius.

For his meekness and self-control, the saint received from the Lord the gifts of prophecy and wisdom, saving many from spiritual perils. Like the apostle Paul, he was taken to the third sky and had the honor of seeing Lord Jesus Christ himself, angels and many holy saints, yet he was surprised not to see the Most Holy Virgin.

While praying at the Blachernae church, it was St. Andrew who, with his disciple, the Blessed Epiphanius, saw the Most Holy Mother of God, holding her veil over those praying under her Protection. The synaxarion states that upon seeing this vision, St. Andrew turned to his companion and asked, "Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?" Epiphanius answered, "I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe."

Blessed Andrew died in the year 936 at the age of 66.

The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God commemorates a vision of St. Andrew the Fool for Christ, who lived in Constantinople in the early 10th century, during the reign of the Emperor Leo the Wise. It occurred on October 1st at about 4 AM on a Sunday morning, during Agrypnia in the Church of Blachernae. Andrew lifted his eyes and beheld in a vision the most pure Theotokos, standing upon clouds praying, surrounded by a great multitude of angels and saints. In a gesture of protection and care, she held her omophorion - her woman’s veil -over the congregation gathered in the church. Seeing this, St. Andrew said to his disciple Ephiphanios, “Do you see, brother, the Queen and Lady of all praying for the whole world?” Epiphanios replied, “I do see her, holy father, and am stricken with fear.”


Blessed Nicholas of Pskov the Fool-For-Christ

Commemorated on February 28

Blessed Nicholas of Pskov lived the life of a holy fool for more than three decades. Long before his death he acquired the grace of the Holy Spirit and was granted the gifts of wonderworking and of prophecy. The Pskov people of his time called him Mikula [Mikola, Nikola] the Fool. Even during his lifetime they revered him as a saint, even calling him Mikula the saintly.

In February 1570, after a devastating campaign against Novgorod, Tsar Ivan the Terrible moved against Pskov, suspecting the inhabitants of treason. As the Pskov Chronicler relates, "the Tsar came ... with great fierceness, like a roaring lion, to tear apart innocent people and to shed much blood."

On the first Saturday of Great Lent, the whole city prayed to be delivered from the Tsar's wrath. Hearing the peal of the bell for Matins in Pskov, the Tsar's heart was softened when he read the inscription on the fifteenth century wonderworking Liubyatov Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God (March 19) in the Monastery of St Nicholas (the Tsar's army was at Lubyatov). "Be tender of heart," he said to his soldiers. "Blunt your swords upon the stones, and let there be an end to killing."

All the inhabitants of Pskov came out upon the streets, and each family knelt at the gate of their house, bearing bread and salt to the meet the Tsar. On one of the streets Blessed Nicholas ran toward the Tsar astride a stick as though riding a horse, and cried out: "Ivanushko, Ivanushko, eat our bread and salt, and not Christian blood."

The Tsar gave orders to capture the holy fool, but he disappeared.

Though he had forbidden his men to kill, Ivan still intended to sack the city. The Tsar attended a Molieben at the Trinity cathedral, and he venerated the relics of holy Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11), and expressed his wish to receive the blessing of the holy fool Nicholas. The saint instructed the Tsar "by many terrible sayings," to stop the killing and not to plunder the holy churches of God. But Ivan did not heed him and gave orders to remove the bell from the Trinity cathedral. Then, as the saint prophesied, the Tsar's finest horse fell dead.

The blessed one invited the Tsar to visit his cell under the belltower. When the Tsar arrived at the cell of the saint, he said, "Hush, come in and have a drink of water from us, there is no reason you should shun it." Then the holy fool offered the Tsar a piece of raw meat.

"I am a Christian and do not eat meat during Lent", said Ivan to him. "But you drink human blood," the saint replied.

Frightened by the fulfillment of the saint's prophecy and denounced for his wicked deeds, Ivan the Terrible ordered a stop to the looting and fled from the city. The Oprichniki, witnessing this, wrote: "The mighty tyrant ... departed beaten and shamed, driven off as though by an enemy. Thus did a worthless beggar terrify and drive off the Tsar with his multitude of a thousand soldiers."

Blessed Nicholas died on February 28, 1576 and was buried in the Trinity cathedral of the city he had saved. Such honors were granted only to the Pskov princes, and later on, to bishops.

The local veneration of the saint began five years after his death. In the year 1581, during a siege of Pskov by the soldiers of the Polish king Stephen Bathory, the Mother of God appeared to the blacksmith Dorotheus together with a number of Pskov saints praying for the city. Among these was Blessed Nicholas (the account about the Pskov-Protection Icon of the Mother of God is found under October 1).

At the Trinity cathedral they still venerate the relics of Blessed Nicholas of Pskov, who was "a holy fool in the flesh, and by assuming this holy folly he became a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem" (Troparion). He also "transformed the Tsar's wild thoughts into mercy" (Kontakion).
Source: OCA


St.Theophilus (Feofil) the Fool-for-Christ of the Kiev Caves

Blessed Schema-monk Feofil of the Kiev Caves Lavra, whose Life has for some years been available in English. We hope the following highlights will inspire a closer acquaintance with this luminary of the Church, who became a 'fool' that we might become more wise.

     The Blessed One was named Foma at baptism. He was the eldest of twins born in 1788 into the family of a priest in the district of Kiev. His mother was a simple woman, and when the infant Foma refused to be breast-fed or to accept milk in any form, she gave credence to some superstitious gossip and began to regard him as some kind of freak. Finally, she became so possessed with loathing for the baby that she persuaded a servant to throw him into the river to drown. The fact that he was miraculously saved from three such attempts only confirmed her impression of his being abnormal. In despair over the child's safety, his father entrusted him to the care of a wet-nurse. Shortly thereafter his father died, and the orphaned Foma spent his childhood in being passed from one household to another until he was settled with a widowed uncle in the Bratsk Monastery. The boywas enrolled in the school attached to the Theological Academy, but he considered his true education to be what he absorbed in church, where he "disciplined his mind to constant spiritual thought and prayer." His schooling was discontinued when his uncle died leaving him no means of support and, after some difficult years in the world, Foma entered the Bratsk Monastery as a novice.

    His exemplary conduct and spiritual fervor impressed his brethren and superiors dike, and in 1821 he was tonsured with the name Feodorit. Striving yet more to imitate the angelic life, he was found worthy to b ordained to the priesthood in 1827, and in 1834, as a sign of complete renunciation of the world, he was clothed in the great schema and received the name Feofil. When his request to withdraw to the monastery cave was denied, he concentrated himself on the supremely difficult struggle of foolishness for Christ's sake, concealing in his feigned eccentricity the high valor of his character.

       Feofil's ragged appearance presented a: queer picture indeed; he often wore a boot on one foot, a slipper on the other; he sewed bits of old cloth to his cowl; his cassock was, patched and spotted and he sometimes tied an old towel around his head. His cell presented a similarly untidy impression, though it contained little besides a narrow bench on which he slept, a table and an analogion. When asked how he could tolerate such mess he would reply: "It serves as a reminder of the disorder in my soul·" Similarly, he mixed all his food together for, he explained, such is life; the sweet is mixed with the bitter.

      Feofil was never idle; he knit stockings and wove canvas which he gave away to iconographers. With his hands thus occupied, he would recite the Psalter which he knew by heart. But his primary occupation was prayer. He was given a bullock which he hitched up to a small cart. Sitting at the back of the cart with his back to the bullock, he would read the Psalter as he journeyed, leaving the unharnessed beast to take him to his destination. And why should anyone wonder at this, for such was the relation of man and beast before the Fall. Through obedience to God's commandments, God's holy ones restored the image of God in themselves, and "the animals sensing in man the fragrance of original purity, become obedient to him."

     Through his utter self-abasement, the Blessed One drew upon himself the abundant grace of God. He received the gift of healing, of fore vision and discernment of thoughts. "It was strange to see," witnesses said, "how the Blessed One heard the confessions of the people who came to him. He did not ask for their sins as spiritual fathers usually do, but having placed his saintly hands on the head of the person confessing,., he himself listed all the secret and known sins. At this, not only , did the penitent shed tears of emotion, but from fear and shame, even the hair of his head would stand up on end."

         The Elder never spoke in vain but always used his gifts for the spiritual welfare of a souls. One spring day the Elder met a certain Nikolai walking in the woods. This young man was so troubled by lustful thoughts that he was considered possessed. Seeing Feofil approaching, Nikolai tried to turn aside to avoid conversation.

      "Haloo, Nikolai, wait up. Where are you going Come here to me. We will delight in lascivious thoughts together."

      Nikolai felt that he had been accused and wept sorrowfully before the Elder.

      "Well, that's nothing. The Lord is merciful," the Elder said to him in consolation. "Let's go and pray to Him." He knelt and began to pray. In half an hour he rose and, with a tender face, turned to the sufferer:

      "Well, go. Lascivious thoughts will no longer disturb you." And immediately after this the youth was healed of his ailment.

      To cite just one example of his fore-vision: once at a very narrow place in the road leading from the Lavra to the Kitayevskaya Hermitage where the Elder lived, Blessed Feofil drivingin his cart, met the Metropolitan in his carriage driving from the Lavra. There was no room to pass. The Blessed One refused to budge. The Archpastor became rather agitated: "Will you stop trying my patience? .... No," replied Feofil, "I won't stop, because it is you and not I who must turn back." Just then someone rode up to Vladika with a message that an artisan at the Lavra had fallen from some scaffolding and had been killed. The shaken Archpastor ordered his coachman to return to the Lavra at once.

      One might, of course, say that the Blessed One had been chosen from his mother's womb to be a lamp of the Faith, and therefore the attainment of such gifts was only natural. Tog peasant who asked how it was that he knew everything and could foretell the future of people's lives, the Elder replied: "There is nothing difficult about it. Do you want to be able to do the same? Then pull a small hair from your eyelash and tie two knots in it. When you do that you will be as wise as I am." The naive peasant tried to make use of this advice but no matter how hard he tried, he could not even tie one knot in the eyelash. "That is how difficult it was for me to attain my present condition," said the Blessed One,

      Elder Feofil was constantly besieged by people asking his blessing and his advice. To those who came out of curiosity he did not hesitate to be rude and sent them away, or he would deliberately set them at some unpleasant or dirty task. Once he emptied a bowl of soup onto the silk dress of a visiting landowner, at the same time openly revealing her adultery. But while he did not fear to sternly rebuke those who needed it, he was kind and compassionate towards the simple and God-fearing. Those who humbly and obediently followed his advice, even if it were stern and uncomfortable, never failed to benefit their souls.

     Elder Feofil's popularity, together with his bizarre behavior, evoked much jealousy and slander from those dose by. The higher meaning of his actions escaped them and all they could see was a "little capable, disrespectful, self-willed, stubborn" monk who could not "correctly and ceremoniously conduct a service." His extremely peculiar behavior while serving in the altar fired a hostof complaints and a request for his dismissal. Little did his slanderers suspect that while celebrating the Divine Liturgy, the Blessed One would be transported in seeing "a strange dew descending on the Holy Gifts and shining angels soaring above the altar-table, saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!'"

    Blessed Feofil meekly bore his persecution, and when vexed or rebuked he would calmly say to his cell-attendant, "Ah, Ivan, Ivan. it is better to endure injustice than to commit it oneself .... [Besides], we are ill in soul and body, and bitter medicine is useful for the ill." He would say, "We must pray for our enemies .... Indeed, they are our benefactors; they force us to strengthen our will towards what is good; they humble us here on earth, and weave crowns For us in heaven."

     Even after his death on October 28, 1853, Blessed Feofil is "still quick and incessant in giving help in illness and grief to all who call to him." He is particularly known to give help in finding lost or misplaced articles, as many, including the writer of these lines, can abundantly testify.

source: Orthodox America (ROCOR)


St. Michael the Fool-for-Christ of the Klops Monastery, Novgorod

Commemorated on January 11

Blessed Michael of Klops was of noble lineage, and he was a relative of Great Prince Demetrius of the Don (1363-1389). He took upon himself the exploit of foolishness for Christ to avoid the praise of men. Leaving Moscow dressed in rags, he arrived at the Klops monastery, near Novgorod.

No one knew how he got into the locked cell of the hieromonk Macarius, who was going round the cell censing during the Ninth Ode of the Canon. A man in monastic garb sat there beneath a candle, copying out the Acts of the Holy Apostles. After the end of Matins the igumen came with some of the brethren and asked the stranger who he was, and what his name was. But he responded only by repeating the questions, and did not reveal his origin.

In church the stranger sang in the choir and read the Epistle, and he also read the Lives of the Saints at meals. All who listened were moved by the beauty and spirituality of his reading. On the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Klops monastery was visited by Prince Constantine Dimitrievich (son of Great Prince Demetrius of the Don ).

After Communion he was in the trapeza with the princess, during which time the unknown stranger read from the Book of Job. Hearing the reading, the prince approached the reader and looked him over. Then he bowed down to him, calling his kinsman Michael Maximovich by name. The fool remarked, "Only the Creator knows me, and who I am," but he confirmed that his name was Michael.

St Michael soon set an example for the brethren in all the monastic efforts. He lived at the Klops monastery for forty-four years, exhausting his body in work, vigils and various deprivations, and he received from the Lord the gift of clairvoyance.

He denounced the vices of people, not fearing the powerful of this world. He predicted the birth of Great Prince Ivan III on January 22, 1440, and his capture of Novgorod. He denounced Prince Demetrius Shemyaka for blinding his brother the Great Prince Basil the Dark (1425-1462).

On a sandy spot St Michael summoned forth a spring of water, having written upon the earth: "I will take the cup of salvation (Ps. 115/116:13), let the well-spring show forth on this spot." And during a time of famine, the supplies of bread at the monastery granary did not diminish, though they distributed grain abundantly to the hungry.

Having indicated beforehand the place of his burial, the saint died on January 11, 1453.

source: OCA

St. Xenia

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

Feastday: January 24
    She was born early in the eighteenth century. Xenia married Andrei, a singer in the royal choir. Her husband died suddenly and left her a widow at the age of twenty-six. She then took up her husband's persona, using his name and wearing his military uniform. She began the process of selling her husband's house in order to distribute the money to others. Her friends, distressed at her renunciation of wealth, had her examined to declare her insane and thus not competent to give away her wealth. But when the doctors examined her, they found her to be of sound mind and thus legally entitled to dispose of her property as she wished. So she sold all she had and went to live in the cold streets of St. Petersburg as a fool-for-Christ. Though mocked by the locals as an insane woman, she went about doing good in secret. For example, when a new stone church was being built, night after night, after all the workers had gone, she would carry bricks for the next day's work up to the roof. She accepted only the minimum of alms, often giving them away to her fellow poor. God granted her the gift of prophetic foresight. Eventually, her true worth began to become known to the local people and they would bring themselves and their children to be blessed by her. After forty-five years of prayer and life in the streets, she fell asleep in Christ in the year 1803 and was buried in Smolensk Cemetery.
Source: "A Daily Calendar of Saints" by Rev. Lawrence R. Farley


St. Basil of Moscow, Fool-for-Christ
Commemorated on August 2
There have been "fool-for-Christ" down  through the ages. As a form of asceticism and deep humility, men and women pretend to be mentally ill or disable, enduring the insults of others without the sin of pride. Basil stepped into this role when he was just sixteen years old. He tolerated hunger and cold, as he had no shelter. He was clothed in rags without hat or shoes during the freezing winters. However, God rewards these "fools" with spiritual gifts. Basil had the gift of discernment and would know things that were happening a great distance away. He would reprimand nobility for their hidden sins; then he would correct them and many others. He lived this way for seventy-two years. When he died at the age of eighty-eight, the tsar and the metropolitan attended the funeral.
Basil and Ivan: Even the Ivan ( "the Terrible" ), sought his blessing and counsel. Once when Ivan entered a town during his reign of political terror to massacre its, Basil rebuked him for his sins. This occurred during Great Lent and Basil offered Ivan a piece of raw meat. The czar expressed his surprise at this breach of the Great Fast and Basil replied, "Ivasko, Ivasko (that is, "Jack, Jack" using a familiar term rather than the formal Ivan or John), do you think it unlawful to eat a piece of beast's flesh and not unlawful to eat so much flesh by your massacres?" The czar accepted the rebuke and spared that town.
Source: " A Daily Calendar of Saints" by Rev. Lawrence R. Farley & "2006 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of the Saints"


The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву), popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. Basil the Blessed, the Fool-for-Christ is buried at the Cathedral.


Blessed John "the Hairy" and Fool-For-Christ of Rostov

Commemorated on September 3

Blessed John the Merciful of Rostov (also known as "the Hairy") struggled at Rostov in the exploit of holy foolishness, enduring much deprivation and sorrow. He did not have a permanent shelter, and at times took his rest at the house of his spiritual Father, a priest at the church of the All-Holy, or with one of the aged widows.

Living in humility, patience and unceasing prayer, he spiritually nourished many people, among them St Irenarchus, Hermit of Rostov (January 13). After a long life of pursuing asceticism, he died on September 3, 1580 and was buried, according to his final wishes, beside the church of St Blaise beyond the altar.

He had "hair upon his head abundantly," therefore he was called "Hairy." The title "Merciful" was given to Blessed John because of the many healings that occurred at his grave, and also in connection with the memory of the holy Patriarch John the Merciful (November 12), whose name he shared.
Source: OCA

John the Fool for Christ of Athens (click here to go to a monastery website for the article)


St. Symeon, the Fool for Christ

Simeon was Syrian by origin and reportedly born in Edessa, where he lived unmarried with his old mother. With his fellow ascetic friend John from Edessa, Simeon at the age of 30 years took the monastic vows in the monastery of Abba Gerasimus in Syria. After that Simeon and John spent about 29 years in desert near the Dead sea practicing asceticism and spiritual exercises. Later Simeon was urged by inspiration of God, as some sources say, to move to Emesa for social and charity services. Reportedly the saint asked the Lord to permit him to serve people in such a way that they should not acknowledge him. There, through simulating madness and upsetting conventional rules, he was able to bring many citizens to repentance, save many souls from sin and convert them to Christianity.
Simeon entered the gate of Emesa (after spending many years in desert) dragging a dead dog. Schoolchildren saw him and shouted (κράζειν) “Hey, a crazy abba…”. The next day, a Sunday, he entered the church, extinguished the lights and threw nuts at women. On the way out of the church, Simeon overturned (έστρεψεν) the tables of the pastry chefs (πλακουντάριοι). Such playing the fool was subject to insults, abuse and beatings, which Simeon endured with patience. In spite of his seemingly strange behaviour, Simeon the Holy Fool healed many possessed people by his prayer, fed the hungry, preached the Gospel, and helped needy citizens of the town. Many of Simeon’s saintly deeds were done secretly.
His ministry also included trying to save a man whose eyes suffered from leucoma. Jesus had previously used saliva and clay to cure a man of blindness, and when the man with eye disease approached Simeon, he anointed the man’s eyes with mustard, burning him and aggravating the condition to the extent that he reportedly went blind. Later the eyes were healed by the advice of Simeon, who used such way to explain the man’s sins and bring him to correction.
Symeon played all sorts of roles foolish and indecent, but language is not sufficient to paint a picture of his doings. For sometimes he pretended to have a limp, sometimes he jumped around, sometimes he dragged himself along on his buttocks, sometimes he stuck out his foot for someone running and tripped him. Other times when there was a new moon, he looked at the sky and fell down and thrashed about
The life of Simeon the Holy Fool was described by Leontios of Neapolis, who symbolically compared his life to that of Jesus, whom the saint tried to imitate in his own way.
According to Leontios:
While the saint was there (in Emesa), he cried out against many because of the Holy Spirit and reproached thieves and fornicators. Some he faulted, crying that they had not taken communion often, and others he reproached for perjury, so that through his inventiveness he nearly put an end to sinning in the whole city.
The only person in Emesa, with whom Simeon did not play a fool, was deacon of the church in Emesa, his friend John. One time Simeon saved John from execution when he was falsely convicted. Shortly before his death Simeon, by the illustration of Leontios of Neapolis told to John:
I beg you, never disregard a single soul, especially when it happens to be a monk or a beggar. For Your Charity knows that His place is among the beggars, especially among the blind, people made as pure as the sun through their patience and distress. . . . [S]how love of your neighbour through almsgiving. For this virtue, above all, will help us on (the Day of Judgment).
The saint died about 570 A.D. and was buried by the city poor in a place, where the homeless and strangers were buried. While the body of Saint Simeon were carried, several people heard a wondrous church choir. Only after his death the secret of his imitative foolishness came to light. Some inhabitants remembered his acts of kindness and reportedly strange and powerful miracles.
Source: the Monastery of Panagia Ypseni, Rhodes


St. Laurence the Fool-For-Christ

Commemorated on August 10
St. Laurence lived at the beginning of the XVI Century at the distance of an half-verst from old Kaluga near a forest church in honour of the Nativity of Christ, set upon an high hill.

There was a long underground entrance from his dwelling to the church, where he heard Divine-services. He lived also at the home of the Kaluzhsk prince Simeon Ioannovich. It is conjectured, that Blessed Lavrentii was descended from the noble Khitrov boyar lineage, since his name initiates their lineage memorial at the Peremyshl'sk Liotykov monastery, situated in the Kaluzhsk diocese. Blessed Lavrentii (Laurence) went barefoot both winter and summer, in a shirt and sheepskin coat. By the deeds of his own doing he so raised himself up, that while still alive he was glorified by gifts of grace.

When the Crimean Tatars fell upon Kaluga in May 1512, Blessed Lavrentii, then in the home of the prince, suddenly shouted out in a loud voice: "Give me my sharp axe, for the curs fall upon prince Simeon and it is necessary to defend him!" Saying this, he seized the axe and left. Suddenly having come on board ship next the prince, Righteous Lavrentii inspired and encouraged the soldiers, and in that very hour they defeated the enemy. He is depicted in icons with an axe in his right hand, set upon a long axe-handle. It is certain that prince Simeon (+ 1518), owing him his safety, built in his memory a monastery on the place of the saint's deeds.

Blessed Lavrentii died on 10 August 1515, evidently, on his nameday. It is known, that the memory of the saint is honoured also on 8 July.

Blessed Lavrentii was glorified, it seems, in the second half of the XVI Century. Thus, tsar Ivan the Terrible in a gramota of donation to the monastery (1565) wrote: "Monastery of the Nativity of Christ, wherein lieth Lavrentii, Fool-for-Christ". In the Life, the first posthumous miracle is recorded under the year 1621 -- the healing of the paralysed boyar Kologrivov, who became well after doing a molieben to the saint.

source: St. Luke the Evengelist Orthodox Church

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg