January 23, 2020 - Toba 14, 1736
Departure of St. Archilidis (Arselidas)
On this day St. Archilidis departed. This fighter was born in the city of Rome. His father's name was John and his mother's name was Sinclatiki. They were righteous before the Lord and lived according to His commandments. This saint's father died when he was 12 years old. When his mother wanted him to get married, he declined. She advised him to go to the Emperor to take over his father's position. She sent along with him two of their men and a precious gift to present to the Emperor. While they were sailing, they encountered a great tempest with high waves and strong winds, so that the ship was wrecked. The saint hung onto one of the ship's planks, and God saved him from drowning. When he made it to the seashore, he found a body of a dead man that was thrown to the shore by the waves. He reflected on the transience of the world and its temporal nature, and said to himself, What do I have to do with this temporal world, and what would I profit when I die and become dust? He arose and prayed to the Lord Christ to guide him to the right way.
Then he walked diligently until he arrived at the monastery of St. Romanus. He gave to the abbot of the monastery what was left of his money. He stayed there living an ascetic life, denying himself food and clothing, until he reached a level of perfection. The Lord granted him the gift of healing the sick. He made an oath not to ever see the face of any woman. When he did not return to his mother for a long time, and she did not know his whereabouts, she thought that he died, and she grieved much over him. She built a hostel for the poor and the strangers, and she lived in one of its rooms. One day she heard two merchants talking about her son and his holy monastic life and the grace of God that was upon him. When she inquired about him, she became sure that it was him, her own son. She arose quickly and went to that monastery. When she arrived, she sent to inform the saint of her arrival. St. Archilidis answered her saying that he had made an oath before God not to ever see a woman. She repeated her request, and threatened that if he did not allow her to see him, she would go to the wilderness to be eaten by the wild beasts. When he learned of her persistence, and that he could not renege on his oath, he prayed to the Lord christ to take his soul. Then he told the gate keeper to allow her to come in while God had answered his request. When his mother entered his cell, she found that he had given up his spirit. She cried, wept and asked God to take her soul also, and God answered her prayer. When they tried to separate their bodies, they heard a voice coming from St. Archilidis' body saying, Let my body be with the body of my mother, for I did not grant her own heart's desire to see me. They buried both of them in one grave. God honored this saint in performing many miracles. May His prayers be with us. Amen.