Saint Luke of Taormina

Born on Taormina, an Island of Sicily, Luke grew into a good young man, although he was never properly educated. He was a hard worker from a very young age and gave most of his money to the poor. Many days and nights he would stay near to those who were sick, and he would stay with them encouraging them to fight through the sickness and stay strong.  At the age of 18, he was blessed with the passion to travel to all nearby churches and he would listen intently to each sermon. He was filled with their words and led a pious life. He desired the ascetic life, but his parents were in favor of him to marry. He said to them “I do not believe marriage is wrong, as Christ blessed the sacrament marriage but it is not the only path. There are many who need help and one man who is not married has more time and a clearer mind to aid them. “When they urged him to be marry as they wished for him to have children he said “Look to all the orphans and children already on Earth who need help! I will take my time to help them.”

 After he spoke with them, one night he let home and ventured into the wilderness near. There he lived among the wild animals for 40 days. He indulged himself in prayer, as he did not have food for this time. His determination to serve God, honored him with a vision from an angel who guided him toward the monastic life.

He then joined a monastery , and due to his spiritual devotion, he was bestowed the angelic schema. During his first years, he fasted greatly, eating only bread and water. He also worked tirelessly and did not break form physical labor each day, but only resting every few days.

As he sought deeper solitude and greater devotion to prayer, he left the monastery with another monastic and they retreated to Mount Etna. Their fasting increased greatly, as all they had to eat was plants found among the wildlife.

He was very strict with his prayers and hymns, and did not leave his cell unless he completed them. Diligent in his program, he put his prayer rule before anything else, and only after he completed it did he ever do his handiwork.

God graced him with a deep desire to know and understand the word of God. When other saw this they were amazed, for he had never been taught to read. Yet his passion for grasping the works of the fathers or the prayers of the church opened his eyes.

He was then guided by God to travel to another reclusive place, where he established a small monastery of 12 months. After some time there, he ventured to Byzantium (Constantinople). He did not reside there, but conversed with the monks and taught them as well as took from their own spiritual wisdom.

Finally he settled in Corinth near Peloponnese, as he liked this area. He preached to many for Orthodoxy and Jesus Christ.  He rested in a village and maintained his strict spiritual routine, and after 7 months he peacefully gave his soul unto the Lord.