St Agapit of Pechersk – Healing is a journey with God

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, let us commemorate St Agapit of Pechersk, may the holy saint and unmercenary physician pray for us!

Our Lord and God works in mysterious ways. The Unmercenary Physician, St Agapit of Pechersk, was born in Kiev (Ukraine). Whenever monks at the monastery fell ill, St Agapit would boil herbs and prayed for them, and they would be healed. Soon many people knew the saint as a healer, and many came to him.

During this time, there was a famous Armenian physician, who became jealous of the healing by St Agapit. The Armenian physician even wanted to poison the saint, but God preserved the saint. The saint eventually also healed prince Vladimir Monomakh. When eventually the saint himself fell sick, the same Armenian physician came and diagnosed, and predicted that the saint would not last beyond 3 days, and said that if the saint persisted beyond 3 days, he would become a monk himself. The saint told the Armenian that he would call him only after 3 months (instead of 3 days).

True enough, the saint died 3 months later, and not 3 days. The Armenian physician kept his promised and became a monk at the Pechersk monastery, recognizing that St Apapit was indeed a saint of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us there is a time for everything. There is a time to heal. There is a time to die. There is a time to hate, but more so, a time to love. There is a time to keep quiet, just as there is a time to speak. Death comes to us all, in His time.

As we reflect on St Matthew 10:23-31, we recognize that in our own lives too, God works in mysterious ways. Whenever we encounter a wonder of God, we know from this passage that God not not neglect His children, even if our own bodies give way, or others give up on us. God does not neglect or give up on us. We are therefore, to preach His Truth with courage and boldness. Not all people will listen to us, and our Lord told us, if people do not listen to us, move on. Let those who have ears, hear.

St Agapit was in theosis with God. The saint walked close to God, and so God gave him the wonder of healing others, and that of hope and prayers.

In our modern world where there is plenty of distractions from people, technology, work, play, we need to remember there is a God, and He should be the center of our journeys, not the afterthought. No one says it will be easy as the modern world holds many temptations, but Hosea 6:1-3 reminds us, that we are to know our Lord, not by intellect, but knowing Him as Father. And when we return to the Lord, he will heal all of us.

As we read Romans 8:22-27, we know that as mortals, we tend to believe only what we can perceive, by sight, hearing, touch, etc. But we are taught to hope, since many things in life we cannot perceive by sight, hearing, touch and other physical senses. Hope transcends the sensory organs, and allow us to pray and hope in our Lord. That is what being faithful is – hope.

St Agapit once said, “It doesn’t befit to disturb God about anything except for salvation of your own soul. Ask not for your body or for your health; it is not the belly of yours you should concern yourself with – all this is empty decay, insatiable in desires. For there is no petition more deserving, than a petition for salvation of your own soul”.

Call our Lord, so that we may walk with Him and not forget Him, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Hosea 6:1-3
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Matthew 10:23-31
Romans 8:22-27