Saint Moses, called Moses the Ethiopian, was an escaped slave, and the leader of a group of 75 robbers. He was a large and powerful man, who with his gang terrorized the entire region. Moses was transformed after he and his group attacked a monastery, intending to rob it. The Abbot, whose peaceful and warm manner overwhelmed him, met him. He immediately felt remorse for all his past sins, sincerely repented.
One day, as he was confessing his sins to St Macarios, an angel appeared with a tablet full of his sins. As he confessed, the angel began wiping the tablet clean. The more he confessed, the more the angel wiped, until by the end it was completely clean. After meeting St Macarios and St. Isidore, he completely left his old ways behind him and became a monk.
He gave himself over to prayer and the mortification of the carnal mind with such diligence that he later became a priest of exemplary virtue. Later, St. Moses was ordained to the priesthood – a rare honour among the Desert Fathers – and founded a monastery of 75 monks, the same number as his former group of thieves. He was known for his wisdom, humility, love, and non-judgment of others. Once a brother had been caught in a particular sin, and the Abbot asked St Moses to come to the church and render judgment. He came reluctantly, carrying on his back a leaking bag of sand. When he arrived, the brothers asked him why he was carrying such a thing. He simply said, “This sand is my sins which are trailing out behind me, while I go to judge the sins of another”. At that reply, the brothers forgave the offender and returned to focusing on their own salvation rather than the sins of their brother.
In 405 A.D., at age 75, a barbarian tribe come to Scete. St Moses, conscious that he himself had slain other men when he was a thief, awaited them and was slain by them with six other monks. He was a contemporary of Saint Arsenios the Great (commemorated May 8).
Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)
You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Moses, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer you obtained heavenly gifts, and you heal the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith. Glory to Him that has given you strength. Glory to him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healing for all through you.
Kontakion (Third Tone)
O all-blest and righteous Father Moses, you drove away the passions’ darkness, being richly illumined with light divine; and with your vigilant prayers, you withered up the wanton pride of the flesh, and mounted on high to the citadel above, where do you continually entreat Christ God to grant great mercy to us.
Job of Pochaev
Saint Job of Pochaev was born about 1551 in southwest Galicia of a pious Orthodox family. In his tenth year the Saint departed for the Ugornitsky Monastery of our Saviour in the Carpathian Mountains. Tonsured after two years, he was ordained hieromonk about 1580. Renowned for his meekness and humility, Job was invited by the great zealot for Holy Orthodoxy in the Carpatho-Russia, Prince Constantine Ostrozhky, to be Abbot of the Monastery of the Cross in Dubno. In his zeal for the preservation and propagation of the Orthodox Faith, and to counteract the propaganda of the Uniates, he printed and widely disseminated Orthodox spiritual and liturgical books. About 1600 he removed to the Mountain of Pochaev where at insistence of the brethren, he became Abbot of the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos, which he enlarged and made to flourish. Through his labours, a large printing works was founded at Pochaev and greatly assisted in the nurture of the Orthodox faithful in that region. His monastery became the center of the Orthodox Church in western Ukraine. The Saint reposed, having taken the schema with the name of John, in 1651, at the advanced age of one hundred.
Apolytikion of Job of Pochaev in the Fourth Tone
Having acquired the patience of the long-suffering forefather, having resembled the Baptist in abstinence, and sharing the divine zeal of both, thou wast granted to receive their names, and wast a fearless preacher of the true Faith. In this way thou didst bring a multitude of monastics to Christ, and thou didst strengthen all the people in Orthodoxy, O Job, our holy father. Pray that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of Job of Pochaev in the Fourth Tone
Thou wast a pillar of the true Faith, a zealot for the commandments of the Gospel, a convicter of pride, an intercessor and teacher of the humble. Wherefore, ask that forgiveness of sins be granted unto them that bless thee; and do thou keep thy community unharmed, O Job our Father, who dost resemble the much-suffering patriarch.
Synaxis of the Kiev Cave Fathers
On this day, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Kiev Cave Fathers who were laid to rest in the Far Caves of Saint Theodosius in Kiev (see also Sept. 22-28).
Apolytikion of Synaxis of the Kiev Cave Fathers in the Fourth Tone
Together with the whole assembly of the monastic Saints, we honour today the noetic sun and brilliant moon of the founding Fathers of the Kiev Caves. For these illumine the firmament of the Church and enlighten them that toil in the darkness of the passions. By their prayers, they grant help from Christ God in the time of all tribulations and they make entreaty for the deliverance of our souls.
Kontakion of Synaxis of the Kiev Cave Fathers in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Holy and righteous servants of God from the Kiev Caves, the chosen of the generations, ye have shone forth in these hills by your virtues; the earth hath not concealed you, but rather Heaven and the dwellings of Paradise have been opened unto you. Wherefore, we offer hymns of praise unto God Who hath glorified you. Since ye have boldness, make intercession by your prayers, that they who venerate your whole assembly be delivered from all misfortunes, since ye are our intercessors and mediators before God.
We Also Celebrate Today:
Diomedes & Laurence the Martyrs
33 Martyrs of Nicomedea