Memorial Day of Rev. Theodosius of Pechersky (16/05)

The Monk Theodosius of the Caves, the founder of the cenobitic monastic rule and the founder of monasticism in the Russian land, was born in Vasilevo, not far from Kiev. From a young age, he showed an irresistible attraction to the ascetic life, leading an ascetic life in his parental home. He did not like children's games and hobbies, he constantly went to church. He himself begged his parents to give him to be taught to read the sacred books, and, with excellent abilities and rare diligence, he quickly learned to read books, so that everyone was surprised at the mind of the boy.

The Monk Theodosius labored in the monastery more than others, and often took upon himself part of the work of the brethren: he carried water, chopped wood, ground rye, and brought flour to each monk. On hot nights he exposed his body and gave it to mosquitoes and midges as food, blood flowed through him, but the saint patiently did needlework and sang psalms. He appeared in the temple before the others and, standing in place, did not leave it until the end of the Divine service; I listened to the reading with great attention.

In 1054 the Monk Theodosius was ordained to the rank of hieromonk, and in 1057 he was elected abbot. The fame of his exploits attracted many monks to the monastery, where he built a new church and cells, and introduced the studi cenobitic charter, written off, on his behalf, in Constantinople. In the rank of abbot, the Monk Theodosius continued to perform the most difficult obediences in the monastery. The saint usually ate only dry bread and boiled herbs without oil. Nights passed with him without sleep in prayer, which the brethren noticed many times, although the chosen one of God tried to hide his feat from others.

The Grand Dukes, especially Izyaslav, loved to enjoy the spiritual conversation of St. Theodosius. The saint was not afraid to denounce the mighty of this world. The unlawfully convicted always found in him an intercessor, and the judges reviewed cases at the request of the abbot, revered by all. The monk was especially concerned about the poor: he built a special courtyard for them in the monastery, where anyone in need could receive food and shelter. Foreseeing his death in advance, the Monk Theodosius peacefully departed to the Lord in 1074. He was buried in a cave dug out by him, in which he retired during fasting.