Venerable Akakios of Sinai

Obedience such as this, I am at once so afraid and so in awe and so willing to learn…

st-akakios.jpgSaint Akakios of Sinai lived during the sixth century and was a novice at a certain monastery in Asia. The humble monk distinguished himself by his patient and unquestioning obedience to his Elder, a harsh and dissolute man. He forced his disciple to toil excessively, starved him with hunger, and beat him without mercy. Despite such treatment, St Akakios meekly endured the affliction and thanked God for everything. St Akakios died after suffering these torments for nine years.

Five days after Akakios was buried, his Elder told another Elder about the death of his disciple. The second Elder did not believe that the young monk was dead. They went to the grave of Akakios and the second Elder called out: “Brother Akakios, are you dead?” From the grave a voice replied, “No, Father, how is it possible for an obedient man to die?” The startled Elder of St Akakios fell down with tears before the grave, asking forgiveness of his disciple.

After this [St Akakios’s Elder] repented, constantly saying to the Fathers, “I have committed murder.” He lived in a cell near the grave of St Akakios, and he ended his life in prayer and in meekness. St John Climacus mentions him in THE LADDER (Step 4:110) as an example of endurance and obedience, and of the rewards for these virtues.

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One Response to “Venerable Akakios of Sinai”

  1. Thalassinos John Says:

    Many years ago, after the Saint’s death, it was summer and all the brothers of the Kellivaris Monasteri happened to go for [harvest]. Because of the distance, they had to spen[d] the night there and they return[ed] to the Church after many days.
    There were only two brothers left at the Monastery. One was keeping an eye [on] the Monastery and the other was ill. During the absence of the others, the sick brother happened to die. The other, [who] was alone… couldn’t dig a grave and do the necessaries, so he opened Saint Akakios’ grave, which was ready, and put the dead brother inside.
    The next day he went to the grave and he found the brother’s body thrown out of the Saint’s grave. Immediately he put the dead body back in. The day after he found again the body out of the Saint’s grave and he complained to the Saint using these words:
    “Saint Akakios, I heard that there wasn’t anyone who had your obedience, but now I see that you became so dignified and proud that you can’t accept your brother in the grave and you turn him out. So, either allow him to stay with you in the grave, or if you throw him out again, I can’t take it anymore and so I’m going to put you out of the grave.”
    He then put the brother’s dead body in the grave and left.
    The next day he went to grave again determined to put the Saint out of the grave if he found the brother’s dead body lying out again. But, what a miracle! The Saint had obeyed even from his own grave. The brother was found in the grave but he couldn’t find the holy body of the Saint anywhere.
    So, it is said that, even in our days, the grave, which is empty, is the grave of the Saint Akakios.


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