Commemorated on July 31
Arsenius of Ninotsminda was an ascetic who labored in the 11th
century. History tells us that he was a brilliant translator, writer,
calligrapher, and theologian, and indeed one of the greatest Church
figures of his time.
St. Arsenius was tonsured a monk in
Jerusalem, and after some time he returned to Georgia, where he was
consecrated bishop of Ninotsminda. But the venerable Arsenius longed to
lead a life of solitude, so he approached King Davit Kuropalates for
permission to resign from the bishopric and settle at a monastery. The
king honored Arsenius’s request, and the pious man set off for the
monastery with John Grdzeslidze, a man of letters and another great
figure in the Church.
When the news of his decision reached the
Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos, Sts. John and Ekvtime invited the fathers
to Mt. Athos, and the next year Arsenius and John arrived at the Holy
Mountain. There they assisted St. Ekvtime in his translations of the
Holy Scriptures and many theological books.
St. Arsenius labored
fruitfully at the Iveron Monastery for many years and reposed peacefully
at an advanced age. He was buried on Mt. Athos at the monastery’s
church of St. Simeon the Stylite. St. George of the Holy Mountain later
translated his relics to the ossuary of the monastery’s catholicon.
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