Saint Neofytos Recluse


The crows
One time, when the same monk was busy elsewhere, a couple of crows came and ate all his pulses and everything else he had to eat. When the monk returned and saw the damage to his foodstuffs, he began, in his simplicity, to chide the saint, saying: ‘Since I’m being attacked by crows and you’re not protecting me, which other person are you, in fact, protecting and what am I doing staying here for you?’. When he’d finished he went off to do something else, and the crows came back, as usual, to eat. But they immediately went blind and were unable to leave. When the Elder returned and saw the wretched condition of the birds, flapping about aimlessly and unable to see or fly, he was sick at heart. He picked them up and took them to the saint and said: ‘Thank you, saint of God, for your swift intervention. I fall down before you again and beg you to hear your servant. If you’re moved, forgive the birds and give them back their sight, so that they can fly, as before. It’s easy and more normal for you to heal rather than punish’. After he’d said this, he took some oil from the saint’s lamp and rubbed it on the eyes of the birds, which were then able to see as before. In confirmation of the miracle, they stayed with him till the end of their lives. They went to find their food elsewhere, but then came back again, to the glory of God and his servant.

The key and the man whose eye hurt
When this Elder fell asleep in the Lord, the place remained empty, except for the crows, which continued to live there. One day, a man with a sore right eye came from Paphos. He found the church locked, so he couldn’t go in, reverence the saint and ask him to heal the pain in his eye. He was saddened and began to fret. Then the crows came and found a way to indicate where the key was hidden. When he had it, he opened the church, went in, paid his respects and begged the saint to heal his eye. When the cure had been effected, he left, glorifying God and the swift and abundant grace of Saint Theosevios which allowed him to cure pain in the eyes and other bodily afflictions of those who came to him daily.

Read the first part here





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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not understand what man is.  Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.


Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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