Saint Modestos the Protector and Healer of Animals (Dec. 18)

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My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

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ON DECEMBER 18TH OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHIRSTIAN CHURCH COMMEMORATES THE FEAST OF SAINT MODESTOS, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM.

Knowing how many of you have animals that you love and take care of I felt that all of you need to know about Saint Modestos, Patriarch of Jerusalem who also loved animals and took care of them and if they were injured or sick he would heal them.

Saint Modestos was only five months old when his parents died, but, by God's Providence, he was brought up in a Christian spirit. When he was grown up, he was sold as a slave to a pagan in Egypt, but he succeeded in bringing his owner to the Christian faith, and he freed him. He withdrew to Mount Sinai, where he lived in asceticism. He was then chosen as Patriarch of Jerusalem, and governed Christ's flock like a true shepherd, entering peacefully into rest in 634 A.D.

The holy man received such grace and power from on high that he could perform miracles of healing for both man and beast. Diverse infirmities fled before his prayers, and dumb animals were cured. Hear, brethren, to a number of his miracles.

During the harvest, a farmer harnessed his oxen, loaded his cart, and went to his winnowing floor. The pernicious devil, desirous of putting the servant of God, Modestos, into distress, disturbed the oxen, and they fell on the road, motionless. In anguish, the farmer wept aloud, crying, "May God save my oxen through the prayers of our holy Father Modestos!" By the Holy Spirit, the Saint perceived the malice of the devil and hastened to the site. By his prayer, he restored to life the oxen, and the man went on his way. Nevertheless, not long after, as the man was traveling, the oxen once again collapsed. Again, the Saint knew this through the Holy Spirit, so he returned and immediately revived the beasts again. The holy Modestos then removed his belt, tied it to the team, and said to the farmer, "Go, brother, and fear no more." The evil demons could not bear this nor the girding of the team for it was this bond that prevented him from committing his foul deed. He cried out, saying, "Thou has dealt with me unjustly, O Modestos! This man and his substance were mine, for he did all according to my will. Now that you have come to his aid, I am put to scorn. Indeed, the ingrate now believes in you and has abandoned me, though I have assisted him many times when he called upon me! "Saint Modestos rebuked the demon, saying, "Get thee gone from this man, O devil, for your dwelling place is the outer darkness!" And straightway the devil vanished and never appeared again.

God glorified the Saint with so many signs and miracles that he was both cherished and deemed a wonder to many throughout Jerusalem. As he was going through the city one day, he came upon a poor man whose only calf had died, causing the man to weep inconsolably over his plight. The Saint beheld all this and greatly pitied him. Then, through prayer, the holy Archbishop revived the calf.

A certain widow owned five teams of oxen, which were visited by a dreadful and serious disease. Since the woman had no other means of support, she wept and grieved. She visited various churches and implored the Saint to help her in her misfortune. When she still did not receive benefit, she availed herself and supplicated the holy unmercenary healers, Kosmas and Damian, saying, "Saints of God, have mercy on me, a sinner, for, because of my sins, my oxen are in danger of dying!" As she slept, Saint Kosmas appeared to her, and said, "Woman, we do not possess the gift of healing animals, this being vouchsafed to Modestos, the great Hierarch of Jerusalem! If you go to him, he will cure your oxen." She then arose and hastened to seek out the holy Modestos. However, she could not locate him, since he lived outside the city; but she continued to pray that she might find the holy veterinarian. One night, the Hierarch appeared to her in a dream and inquired, "Why are you crying, O woman? I am Modestos whom you seek. I have heard your prayer and am come to heal your oxen. Yet, attend: as soon as you rise, divide out pieces of metal from the steel tools in your possession and take them to the church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. Near the church dwells Efstathiosm, a worthy metalworker, who will make you a Cross. Take it back to your house on a day when the priest shall serve the Divine Liturgy. You must light candles and have the priest anoint the cross with oil and sprinkle the oxen, invoking the name of Christ. Through my intercession, the disease shall depart." The woman did as she was instructed, and the oxen recovered. From then on the beasts worked well, and all glorified God, because He bestowed much power upon His servant Modestos. Furthermore, the demonic art of the magicians and infidels no longer could bring evil upon the homes of the Christians who appealed to the power of the wondrous Cross. (Truly, even now, for them that celebrate the memory of our Saint and fashion a cross in like manner annually, both their homes and livestock are preserved from every diabolic attempt by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

O Saint Modestos, we beg you to free us from grievous circumstances, grant us healing of our infirmities, and protect your flock from rapacious wolves. All who in faith desire to celebrate the Saint's memory have, as a helper of their home and a deliverer from every evil, our God, to Whom is due glory and dominion, now and ever. Amen.

Please tell your children about Saint Modestos who also loves animals and brings healing when people and animals become sick. There are of course many other Saints of Our Holy Church that also bring healing to all believers and animals. (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church and The Prologue from Ochrid)

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George