Saint Filaretos the Charitable (1 December)

Saint Filaretos the Charitable (1 December)


Saint Filaretos was a fine example of virtue, especially that of performing good works. He lived at the time of Emperor Konstantinos Porfyroyennitos (Constantine Porphyrogenitus) and his mother, Eirini of Attica (joint reign 780-797). Filaretos was born in the village of Amnia in Gangra, Paphlagonia of devout parents. He married a woman called Theosevo and the couple had three children. He was a farmer and from his income gave alms generously to the poor. If he found someone hungry, he’d feed them; naked, he’d clothe them; orphaned or widowed, he’d help and comfort them.

At some stage, however, God, in His wisdom, allowed Filaretos to become very poor. His fields were seized by his neighbours and his belongings scattered. He bore all this without ever feeling sorry for himself, railing against God or despairing. In the end, all he had left was his apiary, his 250 bee-hives, which were well-stocked and productive. If some poor person came to him, seeing as how he now had nothing else to give them, he’d take them to his apiary and give them honey from one of the hives to feed them. In this way, whether it was time to harvest the honey or not, he emptied the whole of his apiary.

God saw his incomparable faith and, in His providence, arranged that Emperor Konstantinos would take Filaretos’ grand-daughter, Maria, as a bride, because she was so beautiful in both body and soul. The wedding was conducted in November 788 by the then Patriarch of Constantinople, Tarasios (later canonized, feast day 25 February). Filaretos was honoured by the emperor by being raised to the office of consul, at that point a largely honorary but noble rank. He thus came into the possession of great riches, which he shared even more abundantly with the poor.

Shortly before his demise, he gathered his relations and said to them: ‘Never forget hospitality, never want things that aren’t yours, never miss Church services and, generally, live your lives the way I lived mine’. Having said this, he departed this life, his last words being: ‘Your will be done’.





The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure.

This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.

OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does 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”.

Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.

donate now


Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, Google+, PinterestLinkedIn and Instagram

About author

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.