St James of Syria

Saints James and Asclepius were Syrian ascetics, and lived during the fifth century. Theodoret of Cyrrhus speaks of them. St Asclepius led an ascetic life of temperance in his native village and was not hindered by constant association with many people.

He had many imitators and followers. One of them was St James, who secluded himself in a small dwelling near the village of Nimuza. Up until the end of his life, the ascetic did not leave his hermitage, but spoke to visitors through a small aperture in the wall, cut at a angle so that no one was able to see him. He never kindled a fire or lit a lamp.