Venerable Agapius of Vatopedi

Saint Agapius of the Holy Mountain, was a novice in obedience to a virtuous Elder who lived in silence at the Holy Trinity kellia at Kolitsa, within the boundaries of Vatopedi on Mt. Athos. He was taken into captivity by Turks who had landed on the shore of Athos. They took him to Magnesia and there he worked in chains for twelve years. But he did not lose hope for freedom and fervently he prayed to the Mother of God to free him from this bitter captivity.

The Queen of Heaven manifested Her Mercy to the patient sufferer. She appeared to him in a dream and ordered him “to go to his Elder without fear.” When he awoke, he saw that he was free of his bonds, and the doors were open. Without hindrance, St Agapius departed from his master and returned to Mount Athos.

The Elder grieved when he saw his novice, for he thought that Agapius had secretly escaped from his master. “You have deceived the Hagarene,” he said, “but no one can deceive God. If you wish to save yourself, return to your master and serve him.” St Agapius returned to his master without complaint.

The Moslem was amazed to see Agapius after he had escaped. Hearing the story of what had happened, he was struck by the virtue of Agapius’ Elder and the loftiness of the Christian Faith. The master and his two sons went to the Holy Mountain with St Agapius. There they were baptized and became monks, living in asceticism for the rest of their lives.

St Agapius lived in the thirteenth century.