Monday, August 09, 2010

Saint Myron

Most of the saints that we know about were monks. This is probably for two reasons. First, monks, in the best of circumstances, live a lifestyle that enables them to pay attention to their inner life in ways that are difficult for married people with children. Second--and I think this perhaps is more to the point than the first--for most of history only monks could read and write, and so most of what was written was for the edification of those in a monastic calling. There are a few exceptions. A few pious married folk make it into the synaxarion (the book of the lives of the saints). Most who make it in began as married people and end their life in the monastery or among the clergy--again, were this not the case, no one who could write would have been around to record their life, and those who could read, monks, would not necessarily have been encouraged in their vocation by reading stories of saints who raised 14 children for the glory of God. Nevertheless, the few stories we have of married saints reveal a great deal about what sanctity looks like in the world. St. Myron is an excellent example. From The Prologue of Ohrid (a synaxarion), August 8th:
Myron, a married farmer, joyfully and abundantly distributed the fruits of his land to needy people. Once he encountered strangers and thieves stealing wheat from his threshing floor. Not telling them who he was, St. Myron helped the thieves fill the sacks, lift them on their backs, and escape. Because of his exceptional virtue, Myron was ordained a priest and afterward consecrated a bishop. He was a miracle worker and performed many good and mighty works in the name of the Lord Jesus. Myron died sometime close to the year 350, in the hundredth year of his life.

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