JUNE 26: St David of Thessaloniki

The following snip is stolen from the website of John Sanidopoulos

The earliest written chronicle of the life of Saint David comes from his contemporary, Saint John Moschos, in his Leimonarion or Spiritual Meadow. Saint John together with his disciple and companion Sophronios the Sophist travelled to Egypt in order to record the great deeds and wise sayings of the Desert Fathers from the monastic authorities of the desert of the late 6th or early 7th century. He records how he met Abba Palladios in Alexandria and tells us the following:

We went to the same Abba Palladios with this request: “Of your charity, tell us, father, where you came from, and how it came about that you embraced the monastic life”. He was from Thessalonika, he said, and then he told us this: “In my home country, about three stadia beyond the city wall, there was a recluse, a native of Mesopotamia whose name was David. He was a man of outstanding virtue, merciful and continent. He spent about twenty years in his place of confinement. Now at this time, because of the barbarians, the walls of the city were patrolled at night by soldiers. One night those who were on guard-duty at that stretch of the city-walls nearest to where the elder’s place of confinement was located, saw fire pouring from the windows of the recluse’s cell. The soldiers thought the barbarians must have set the elder’s cell on fire; but when they went out in the morning, to their amazement, they found the elder unharmed and his cell unburned. Again the following night they saw fire, the same way as before, in the elder’s cell – and this went on for a long time. The occurrence became known to all the city and throughout the countryside. Many people would come and keep vigil at the wall all night long in order to see the fire, which continued to appear until the elder died. As this phenomenon did not merely appear once or twice but was often seen, I said to myself: ‘If God so glorifies his servants in this world, how much more so in the world to come when He shines upon their face like the sun?’ This, my children, is why I embraced the monastic life.”

It should be noted that although Saint David was the first ascetic known as a “dendrite” (one who lives in trees) …

Read more about St David — HERE.

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