Venerable Paphnutius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves

Saint Paphnutius had the gift of tears, which St John of the Ladder says (Step 6:1) is preceded by the remembrance of death. For worldly people, this remembrance may lead to fear and distress, but for St Paphnutius it led to constant prayer and the guarding of his mind.

By remembering the hour of death and God’s judgment, St Paphnutius was able to free himself from worldly distractions and passions through prayer, repentance and fasting. This, in turn, led to tears.