St Isaac the Syrian, abbot of Spoleto, Italy (~550)

April 12, 2019 Length: 1:28

This is not the famed Isaac of Syria (commemorated Jan 28) who wrote the Ascetical Homilies, but a monk who settled in Spoleto and was famed for his holy, solitary life, his miracles, and his discernment. The people of Spoleto sought to honor him with money and other gifts, but he refused everything and withdrew to a cell in the forest. Soon a large monastery grew up there as others joined him in his life of prayer.
  Once, two nearly naked men came begging clothing from Isaac. He told a monk to go to a hollow tree some distance away, and to bring back what he found there. The monk returned with some clothing, and gave it to the beggars. They were shamed to find that it was their own clothing, which they had hidden in the tree.
  A man gave two beehives to the monastery. A monk hid one of them and brought the other to the abbot. Isaac said to him, 'Be careful when you go back to the beehive that you hid: it has been taken over by poisonous snakes. Be careful that they do not bite you.'


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