Venerable Dius the Abbot of Antioch

Saint Dius was born in Antioch, Syria towards the end of the fourth century into a pious Christian family. From his youth he was noted for his temperance. He ate food in small quantities, but not every day, and his flesh was humbled by vigil and unceasing prayer. For these deeds the Lord granted St Dius dispassion and the gift of wonderworking.

In a vision, the Lord ordered St Dius to go to Constantinople and there to serve both Him and the people. St Dius settled beyond the city in a solitary place, where people feared to live. St Dius bravely contended with the evil spirits which tried to expel him from this place. The Lord heard the prayer of His saint: his staff took root, began to grow and with time was transformed into an immense oak, which stood for a long time even after the death of St Dius.

The surrounding inhabitants began to come to the saint for advice and guidance, and they sought healing from illnesses of body and soul. St Dius doctored the infirm with prayer, and whatever was offered him he distributed to the poor, the homeless and the sick.

Reports of St Dius reached even the emperor Theodosius the Younger. He came to St Dius for a blessing together with Patriarch Atticus of Constantinople (406-425). The emperor wanted a monastery to be built on the place of St Dius’ efforts, and he provided the means for its construction. The Patriarch ordained the monk as a priest and made him the igumen. Soon numerous monastic brethren gathered to St Dius. The monastery was in need of a well, and they dug for a long time without success. Through the prayers of the monk the Lord brought forth a spring of pure water, which soon filled up the entire well. Once, through his prayers, the monk raised up a drowned man. The Lord worked many other miracles through His saint.

In extreme old age St Dius became grievously ill. He took his leave of the brethren, received the Holy Mysteries, and lay upon his cot like one dead. At the monastery His Holiness Patriarch Atticus (Comm. on Cheesefare Saturday) came for the funeral service and also Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria, who was then at Constantinople. The holy Elder unexpectedly rose up from his death bed and said, “The Lord has granted me fifteen more years of life.” Great was the joy of the brethren.

St Dius did live another fifteen years, helping all with guidance and counsel, healing the sick, and being concerned for the poor and homeless. Shortly before his death, a radiant man in priestly garb appeared to him in the altar of the church and told him of his impending death. Having given thanks to the Lord for this news, St Dius quietly died and was buried in his monastery.