Blessed Fool for Christ Andrew of Totma (1637)

October 10, 2019 Length: 2:00

"Saint Andrew came of a family of devout, unlettered peasants. He obtained an education by going to church and, on the death of his parents, became a novice at the Monastery of Galich, in the diocese of Kostroma. The Abbot, who was remarkable for his wisdom, discerned Andrew's spiritual gifts and encouraged him to undertake the unusual and difficult ascesis of Foolishness-for-Christ. Andrew left the monastery to lead a wayfaring life, but often returned to reveal his thoughts and deeds to his starets. On his Elder's death, he settled near the Church of the Resurrection in the town of Totma, where he was completely unknown. He spent the whole night in prayer and during the day begged alms that he forthwith gave to the poor. He went barefoot summer and winter and lived on nothing but bread and water. Every year he made a pilgrimage to the holy places of the region. One day he was accosted by the chief of an outlandish tribe. The man was suffering from an eye complaint and asked Andrew, who was already looked upon as a wonderworker, to cure him. Andrew fled, but the wild man washed his eyes in the snow trodden by the Saint and was healed.
  "Worn out by ascesis and privation, Saint Andrew foreknew the day of his decease. He called a priest, confessed and communicated in the holy Mysteries, and not long after he fell asleep in the Lord, a heavenly scent pervading the room where his body lay. Some time later, the Saint appeared to a sick woman as she slept, holding the Gospel for her to venerate and telling her to pray at his tomb. When she awoke, the woman was healed." (Synaxarion)


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