Thursday, September 05, 2013

Encouraging Words

The other day there was a Saint Story
that was so wonderful
and then we heard a deeply encouraging
homily at church...
I told Mr. Husband how much I loved that
Saint's story and he immediately asked,
so are you going to blog it and
I said, I should.
Here it is:
As a simple charcoal-burner, Alexander lived in the town of Comana near Neo-Caesarea.
When the bishop of Comana died, St. Gregory the miracle-worker and Bishop of Neo-Caesarea (November 17)
was then called to preside at a council to elect a new bishop.
Both clergy and laymen alike were present at the council.
However, the electors were unable to agree on one person. A
t the time of evaluating a candidate, they all primarily paid attention to the points of his externals: external dignity and behavior.
St. Gregory then said that they need not look so much at the external characteristics as much as at the spirit and spiritual capabilities.
Then some jesters mocking cried out: then we should elect
Alexander the charcoal-burner as our bishop!
General laughter then ensued.
St. Gregory asked: "Who is this Alexander?"
And, thinking that his name was not mentioned at this council
without God's Providence,
Gregory ordered that Alexander be brought before the council.
As a charcoal-burner, he was completely soiled and in rags.
His appearance again evoked laughter in the council.
Gregory then took Alexander aside and
made him take an oath to speak the truth concerning himself.
Alexander said that he was a Greek philosopher
and that he enjoyed great honor and position but
that he rejected all, humbled himself and made himself to be a
 "fool for the sake of Christ" from the time when he had read
 and understood Holy Scripture.
Gregory ordered Alexander bathed and clothed in new attire and, with him, entered the council and
before all began to examine Alexander in Holy Scripture.
All were amazed at Alexander's wisdom and words of grace
and could hardly recognize in this wise man,
the former quiet charcoal-burner.
Alexander was unanimously elected bishop.
By his sanctity, wisdom and goodness, he gained the love of his flock.
Alexander died a martyr's death for Christ
during the reign of Diocletian.
~Prologue of Ohrid, August 12