Our Holy Father Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus (4th c.)
He was an illiterate fisherman, but always listened carefully to the readings of Holy Scripture in church, and strove to put their teaching into practice. Whatever he earned from his trade he gave to the poor, keeping back nothing for himself. His charity became so well-known that Philetus, Bishop of Melitopolis, ordained him to the priesthood, charging him to travel throughout the diocese visiting Christians. Parthenius fulfilled his mission admirably, and his many miracles and healings — even raising the dead to life — showed that divine favor rested on him. Ascalus, Metropolitan of Cyzicus, made him Bishop of Lampsacus, at that time an almost completely pagan city. By virtue of his preaching, prayer and fasting, St Parthenius in time converted the whole city to Christ.
Miracles of healing poured forth from the holy bishop so reliably (according to the Synaxarion) the city’s doctors became superfluous. Demons took flight at the Saint’s approach. Once, when he commanded a demon to depart from a poor man, the spirit begged him, ‘Give me a place to live, even swine!’ ‘No,’ the bishop replied, ‘But you may come and dwell in me!’ The demon fled, crying as though burned, ‘How can I enter God’s house? Great is the power of the Christians!’
Once Parthenius visited Heraclea in Thrace, whose Bishop Hypatian was extremely ill. The Saint revealed to the bishop that avarice was the true cause of his ailment. ‘Give to the poor the goods that you are withholding from them, and you will recover.’ The Metropolitan had himself carried to the church on a stretcher and publicly gave all his possessions to the poor. Three days later he was completely cured. On leaving the city, Parthenius told the Metropolitan that his own death was near and, soon after returning to Lampsacus, reposed in peace.
Our Venerable Father Luke the New of Mount Stirion (ca. 950)
Is there such a thing as a natural monk? Saint Luke was born in 896 to pious parents who came from Aegina but were forced to settle on the Greek mainland due to Saracen raids. From his earliest years, he showed a desire for a life of ascesis and contemplation usually only found in seasoned elders. He abstained from all flesh, cheese, eggs, and delicacies, drank only water, and kept a total fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. While herding cattle or tilling the family fields, he would often give away his food and even his clothing to the poor, returning home naked. When his father died, he abandoned farm work to devote himself entirely to prayer, making such progress that he was often lifted above the ground while praying. After a time he secretly left home and entered a monastery in Athens (he was now only fourteen years old), but the abbot sent him home after seeing his mother every night in dream, tearfully calling for her son. He returned home for a while, but when he had obtained her permission to leave once again set out upon the monastic life. He traveled widely, living as a hermit in various places, sometimes attached to a monastery and sometimes not. Often he would be forced to move by the number of visitors who learned of his holiness, no matter how secretly he tried to live, and came to him for prayer or a word of counsel or prophecy. Once he lived for three years on the island of Ampelon; his sister would occasionally bring him some bread, but he gave much of it away to the needy or to passing sailors. Finally, his health damaged, he returned to the mainland at the entreaties of his disciples and settled at a place called Stirion (which may be a corruption of Soterion), where he built a hermitage.
Saint Luke fell ill in his seventh year at Stirion. Embracing his disciples, he asked them to pray for him, prophesying that the place where he died would someday be the site of a great church and monastery; he then reposed in peace and joy.
His tomb exuded a fragrant oil which was collected and burned in a lamp, and many miracles and healings were wrought at the tomb. As the Saint had predicted, two churches and a monastery were built there, and the monastery of Hosios Lukas became a great place of pilgrimage, as it remains to this day.