St Hesychius the Faster of Bithynia

Saint Hesychius the Faster was born in the eighth century in the coastal city of Adrineia in Bithynia. Raised since his youth in piety, he left his parental home and practiced asceticism in a wilderness spot on Mount Maionis. Despite the threat of demons and wild animals and robbers living there, the holy ascetic in seeking greater solitude settled there and built himself a cell, digging himself a garden and eating from the fruit of his labors. After a certain while disciples began to throng to him. At a spring of water in a valley not far off St Hesychius built a church in the name of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. Even during his lifetime he was granted the gift of wonderworking.

One time they brought a demon-possessed girl to him. Her parents, falling down at the feet of the holy ascetic, implored his holy prayers for her healing. The holy ascetic made prayer for the unfortunate one, and the devils left her. Turning to the parents of the healed girl, St Hesychius predicted that a women’s holy monastery would arise at the place their daughter was healed. And actually the prophecy was fulfilled in the future.

An angel appeared to St Hesychius three days before his end and predicted to him his approaching demise. He accepted the news with joy. And before his blessed end, the saint summoned his disciples and for a long while he instructed them. At midnight the cell of the saint and the surrounding area suddenly gleamed with a heavenly light, and St Hesychius fell asleep in the Lord with the words: “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

At the place of his efforts, in accord with the prediction of St Hesychius, was later on built a women’s monastery. The holy relics of St Hesychius, buried at the church of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, were later transferred by Theophylactus, Bishop of Amasea, to the city of Amasea (Asia Minor).

Today’s saint should not be confused with St Hesychius the Theologian, the priest of Jerusalem (March 28), whose writings are in the PHILOKALIA.