Friday, November 22, 2013

We Commemerate Monk Zeno, The Teacher of Saint Basil (4th Century)

The Monk Zenon (Xeno), Teacher of Saint Basil the Great, was born in the city of Pontus into a rich family. He served at the court of the emperor Valens (364-378), amongst the soldiers with whom were sent out the imperial edicts. After the death of Valens Saint Zenon left the world and settled himself in a cave near the city of Antioch. For forty years he asceticised in this cave, and in complete solitude he lived an austere life, cleansing the soul, and occupying himself with meditation on God. The Monk Zenon went each Sunday to church and he communed the Holy Mysteries of Christ. In his cell he had neither bed nor fire-place nor lamp. The ascetic wore old rags, ate only bread and water, for which he had to make a tedious journey into the city to the well. The Monk Zenon was particularly fond of holy books, which he borrowed from those visiting him for spiritual counsel. Through his deep humility the blessed ascetic, filled with the gifts of grace, considered himself poor in spirit. The Monk Zenon died at the beginning of the V Century.

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