Thursday, February 14, 2008

Venerable Auxentius of Bithynia

Commemorated on February 14
Saint Auxentius, by origin a Syrian, served at the court of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (418-450). He was known as a virtuous, learned and wise man, and he was, moreover, a friend of many of the pious men of his era.
Distressed by worldly vanity, St Auxentius was ordained to the holy priesthood, and then received monastic tonsure. After this he went to Bithynia and found a solitary place on Mount Oxia, not far from Chalcedon, and there he began the life of a hermit (This mountain was afterwards called Mt. Auxentius). The place of the saint's efforts was discovered by shepherds seeking their lost sheep. They told others about him, and people began to come to him for healing. St Auxentius healed many of the sick and the infirm in the name of the Lord.
In the year 451 St Auxentius was invited to the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, where he denounced the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies. Familiar with Holy Scripture and learned in theology, St Auxentius easily bested those opponents who disputed with him. After the end of the Council, St Auxentius returned to his solitary cell on the mountain. With his spiritual sight he saw the repose of St Simeon the Stylite (459) from a great distance.
St Auxentius died about the year 470, leaving behind him disciples and many monasteries in the region of Bithynia. He was buried in the Monastery of St Hypatius at Rufiananas, Syria.
Troparion - Tone 1
O dweller of the wilderness and angel in the body! You were a wonder-worker, O our God-bearing Father Auxentius! You received heavenly gifts Through fasting, vigil and prayer: Healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith: Glory to Him who gave you strength! Glory to Him who granted you a crown! Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!
Kontakion - Tone 2
In asceticism you found your paradise And mastered your body's passions, O holy Auxentius: You grew stronger in the faith And blossomed as a flower in the midst of the garden.

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