SAINTS OF MY HEART
The parrot of Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991)
Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991)
of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991)
& his wild birds
Saint Porphyrios was born Evangelos Bairaktaris in the village of Aghios Ioannis in the province of Karystia on the Greek island of Euboea (mod. Evia). The youngest of four, he left school after the first grade and worked in the town of Chalkida at a shop to make money for the family. He was a hard and obedient worker, and stayed there for a few years before moving to Piraeus on the mainland (it is Athens’ port) and working in a general store run by a relative.
Although he hardly knew how to read at the time, Elder Porphyrios had a copy of the Life of St John the Hut-Dweller which he read as a boy. St John inspired him. St John the Hut-Dweller was late fifth-century Constantinopolitan saint who secretly took up the monastic life at the famed monastery of the Acoimetae (Unsleeping Ones). After living for some years according to a very strict rule, St John was granted permission by his abbot to go life near his parents so as to cleanse his heart of earthly love for them. He then dwelled in a hut beside his family, identity unknown, for three years. He revealed himself to Continue reading “Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991) & his wild birds”
Saint Kieran of Saighir in Ireland (+530) & the fox
Traditions relating the close communication of Kieran with wild animals abound. When he lived in a hermitage surrounded by forests, wolves, deer and other mammals, particularly those which were sick or hurt, used to come to him, feeling his holiness and asking him to cure them: and he healed every animal. According to his life, a fox, a wolf and a badger helped the saint and served him and his monks in monastic labors: to cut trees, to take the wood to the monastery and build small cells. Once the fox dared to disobey the abbot: it stole his boots and ran away to its hole in the forest. On Kieran’s command the wolf and the badger found the fox and led it to the man of God. He rebuked the fox, ordered it to do a penance by fasting for a certain time, and when the animal had done this, he allowed it to stay at his monastery and work on.
SAINTS OF MY HEART
Saint Kieran of Saighir, Ireland (+530)
St. Kieran (Ciaran) of Saighir, or St. Kieran the Elder, is also called “the first-born of the Irish saints”. He was born in the fifth century in the Irish kingdom of Ossory and was related to the royal family. His father Luaigne was from Ossory, and his mother Liadan came from Cork. When Liadan was pregnant, she had a dream that a star fell from the sky and rested on her, which was understood as a sign that her infant would have a special role in the history of the Irish Church. Everybody saw brightness and holiness in little Kieran and he was loved by all. He was very kind, humble, inquisitive, loved animals, but first of all wanted to be closer to God. Various traditions connect him with different saints, which is not always chronologically correct, so the connection would have been spiritual, not physical.
Kieran may have been a disciple of St. Finian of Clonard under whom he may have studied. In his youth Kieran spent some time in continental Europe where he was ordained a priest. He probably studied in Gaul (at Tours) and Rome. On his return to Ireland, according to tradition, St. Patrick, the enlightener of the emerald isle, consecrated him the first Bishop of Ossory, where he preached the Gospels and has been venerated from time immemorial. Later the saint settled in the forests of the kingdom of Ossory where he lived in a tiny cell as a true anchorite in Saighir near the Slieve Bloom mountains. According to his biographer, St. Patrick gave him a bell saying that this bell would only ring on the spot where by the will of God Kieran would eventually found a great spiritual center—and this spot was Saighir.
By a spring, the ascetic built a cell of wattle and thin branches smeared with mud, and the roof was of grass and leaves. His diet consisted only of herbs and Continue reading “Saint Kieran of Saighir, Ireland (+530) – March 5”
SAINTS OF MY HEART
Svatý Mames nebo Mamans z Malé Asie a lev (+275)
Svatý Mames nebo Mamans (asi 258–275) byl pastýř, který byl umučen při pronásledování křesťanů v době vlády císaře Aureliána v Malé Asii.
Jako poustevník žil v míru s divokou zvěří. Byl zajat a odsouzen k roztrhání lvy v aréně. Ti ho však nechali bez povšimnutí a Mames byl ukamenován přihlížejícími diváky.