Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia


A modern saint, we are blessed to know of his life through the writings of the Holy Saint Paisios. 

Arsenios was born in 1840 in the city of Farasa of Cappadocia,  a large city in Turkey. His parents were kind and pious Christians. His parents did not have an abundant wealth. He and his brother Vlasios lost their parents at a very young age. The sister of their mother took Arsenios and Vlasios under their care. (Before Arsenios his name was Theodoros) There was a time when Arsenios was playing in the ocean and he almost drown. Saint George appeared to him and saved him. His brother Vlasios also saw the great Saint. From this moment both boys were inspired to serve God with their lives. Vlasios desired to be a teacher of Byzantine music and Aresenios wanted to become a monk. He finishied High School and continued to grow in faith.During this  time there were still many Orthodox families living in certain regions. 

At the age of 26, Arsenios was inspired  to fulfill his desire he grew as a young boy. Having a rich love for God from an early age, Aresenios then chose whole-heartedly with his heart to be  tonsured as a monk. He only remained at the monasteries for several years as he was called elsewhere. Greece at this time was under Turkish invasion. In secret teachers taught the children of the Christian faith. Due to a lack of teachers, the Metropolitan Piasios ordained Arsenios a deacon. He was then returned to Farasa and taught the children for Christ in complete secrecy from the Turkish ruling. 

At the age of 30 he was ordained as a priest in Caesarea.  and he was given the blessing to confess the people. Very quickly many desired to speak with him as it was well known he was a spiritual man.  He served the community as their priest, and he was a man of great faith. He was gifted with the ability to heal both the soul and body. He had a great love for all of the people, and did not look to him own worth. His only concern was for the people suffering under the Turkish empire. He truly saw in all the face of Christ. He would find orphans, the poor, those imprinted and anyone in need. Those who could not see, through GOd’s grace, he gave sight. Those with demons were healed, those mute could speak! The woman who could not bare children were given a child through his prayers. Whenever he would walk upon the road, people would gather the dust behind him and from mixing this dust with water they were healed of whatever sickness they had. 

Saint Aresenios did not judge those who came and accepted all whether they were Chrisitan or Muslim. 

After some time he became well known among all the people in Cappadocia, as he was bestowed the gift to heal. Many would visit him and with his great faith, their sickness would be cured. Those who could not phsycially be present, would send clothing and he would pray over it. When they would touch the clothing, their ailamnt would disappear. 

When those tried to pay him for his miraculous works, he refused to accept any form of payment saying “The work of God is not for sale, but free to all.” Many came to him who could not afford to go to the hospital, and they were healed from the grace of God that ran through him. 

He did not like when others saw holiness in him, as he was deeply humble and gave all glory unto God. He would speak bluntly to not allow another to praise him saying “So you see me as a saint? I am a sinner, more worse from you! I cannot even control my temper, but it is through Christ that you are heal and through Christ you are saved.” 

Although his home was in the city, his spirit was not – but resting somewhere with the angels! He had great love and trust in God and never saw himself as anything special. Many people saw the grace in him still, as a great light shone from his face. 

Living in a cell most of his time, he ate only plants and fasting immensely. Every Wednesday and Friday he would remain in his small room and fasted with the  beauty of ceaseless prayer. Before he began to pray, he raised his hand in the air and said with love, “My God!” From this, his mind left the Earth and he was taken to heaven. These two days gave him the peace for the rest of the week when he spoke with the people. He also had a love of animals, and treated them with kindness and respect. 

Saint Aresenios was was also given foresight and knew that the Greek community would be removed from Asia Minor (Turkey) and when it came to pass he gathered those who were near to him and trusted his word and led them to Greece. They walked 400 miles by foot crossing through Turkey. When they finally arrived to Greece, Aresnios was given a vision that he would only live 40 more days. 

He worked hard for the people for 50 years straight, and it was three days before he was to depart from this Earth he was blessed with time for himself. The Panagia came to him and guided him through Mount Athos, showing him all of the beautiful monasteries he had always longed to see. While there he felt so rich joy and peace filled his soul. Saint Paisios was blessed to be baptized by Arsenios prior to his death. When realizing on the Holy Mountain how great is the soul compared to the body, he said “Cherish the soul and care for it as the body will one day be eaten by worms!”

He left Mount athos and went to the island of Corfu. A few days later, on Novembor 10 1924 he reposed peacefully. 

His relics were taken by Saint Paisios (Arensios’ godson) in 1958 from Corfu to the village of Konitsa for the people to venerate and they they were placed in the Monastery of St. John the Theologion in a city near Thessaloniki. From 1970 many have been healed from his holy relics and miraculous visions have come to those who venerate with faith. 

Saint Arsenios became an official saint on February 11, 1986 by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Glory be Unto God!

Below is a photo of Saint Aresenios with Saint Paisios his godson. Saint Aresenios baptized Paisios when he was a young boy.

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