Venerable Acacius the Younger of Mt Athos

Saint Acacius the New was a monk at the Holy Trinity monastery of St Dionysius of Olympus (January 24) at Zagora. After visiting several monasteries on Mount Athos, the saint on the advice of his father-confessor, Father Galacteon, settled in the skete monastery of St Maximus the Hut-Burner (“Kavsokalyvites”, January 13), who repeatedly appeared to the ascetic.

The exploits of St Acacius were extremely severe: in place of bread he ate dry grass, which he crushed with a piece of marble. When asked how much a monk ought to sleep, he said that for a true monk half an hour even was sufficient. He said, “In order to conquer the flesh, a monk must practice two virtues: fasting and vigil.” In spite of his age and illness, he was an example of this.

Once, when St Acacius had come on a Sunday to the skete church, the igumen Neophytus handed him his own staff and said, “Father, take the staff, and be the Superior for all these brethren until your last breath.” St Acacius kissed the hand of the igumen, and accepted the staff with all humility. Although previously he had walked with a staff because of his age, from that time forward the righteous one no longer held a staff in his hand.

For his exalted exploits St Acacius was granted the gifts of unceasing mental prayer and divine revelations. He fell asleep in the Lord on April 12, 1730, being nearly a hundred years old.