Nasie 4 : The Departure of St. Leparius, Bishop of Rome, and the Departure of St. Poimen, the Hermit.
1. The Departure of St. Leparius, Bishop of Rome.
On this day, St. Leparius (Liberius), Bishop of Rome, departed. He was ordained during the reign of Emperor Constance, the son of Constantine. When Athanasius, Pope of Alexandria, and Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, were exiled, they came to him. St. Liberius took them to Emperor Constance, who wrote to his brother, and they were allowed to return.
After Constance was killed in Rome, Constantius sent to St. Liberius asking him to accept the followers of Arius, and to accept the exile of Athanasius, but he refused this petition. Constantius exiled St. Liberius, then came to Rome where he killed the killers of his brother. The heads of the monasteries and the priests met him and asked him to release their father Liberius. The emperor returned him from his exile, and he continued to teach and preach to his flock. He resisted the followers of Arius, until he departed in peace. He sat on the episcopal throne for fifteen years.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. The Departure of St. Poimen, the Hermit.
On this day also, the ascetic saint, Anba Poimen (Baymon), departed. He was born about the year 350 A.D., in one of the cities of Egypt. He had six brothers, John, Jacob, Job, Joseph, Sonosyos, and Abraham. They all agreed to become monks, and they dwelt in a remote place.
They forsook the love of the world, they bore the yoke of the Lord Christ, and they lived an ascetic life. Once their mother desired to see them, so she came to them, stood outside, and she sent a message for them to come to see her. They replied saying, "You shall not see us except in the age to come." She understood their answer and returned to her town.
Anba Poimen was a teacher, counselor, and comforter to the old and young men of the wilderness. Whenever tribulation or temptation befell anyone, he would come to him, and St. Poimen would cure him.
This father left to us many profitable teachings such as:
- If you see a brother who has transgressed, despair not of him, but wake up his soul, comfort him, and lighten his burden, so that he may rise up from his fall.
- Teach your heart what your tongue says.
- One of the brethren said to him, "If I see a brother whose conduct is wicked, I do not feel comfortable to bring him to my cell. On the other hand, if his conduct is good, I rejoice and bring him to my cell cheerfully." The saint replied, "If you treat well the brother who is good, then you must treat that brother whose works are inferior with a double portion of goodness, for he is sick and needs healing."
- Then he told this brother, "There was a monk in a monastery, who had fallen into a transgression, and he was always weeping, and supplicating God saying, 'O Lord, I have sinned against You, please forgive me.' A voice came to him, 'I have not forsaken you, except when you have forsaken your brother in the time of his trial.'"
- Anba Poimen also added, "If we cover over the sins of our brethren, God will cover over our sins. And if we make it known, God will do the same of our inequities."
Having finished his days and having arrived at a good old age that was pleasing to God, he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.