Feast Day: August 24th
The Life of Saint Cosmas Aitolos: His preaching, filled with the Grace of the Holy Spirit, was simple, calm, and gentle. It brought Christians great Spiritual benefit…
Apolytikion: By teaching the Divine Faith, thou hast richly adorned the Church and become a zealous emulator of the Apostles; for having been lifted up by the wings of Divine Love, that hast spread far and wide the message of the Gospel. O Glorious Cosmas, entreat God that He grants us His great Mercy.
Kontakion: Having led an irreproachable life on Athos, like Moses thou hast been deemed worthy of God’s manifestation; wherefore truly thou dost gladden the Church exceedingly by thy deeds and thy God-inspired words, O Father Cosmas, having contended for which, thou hast been adorned with a double Crown.
Megalynarion: Rejoice thou emulator of the Apostles, teacher and luminary of the Church; rejoice thou divine cultivator of piety, associate of Martyrs and peer of Angels.
Saint Cosmas left his Monastery on Mount Athos to Shepherd the Souls of all the people around him in local villages. He travelled to speak about Our Lord Jesus Christ and when he would visit a new village, Saint Cosmas made a Cross from a local tree and he would hold this while speaking with the people. He would then leave this Cross behind as a strength and reminder to the villagers that they are Christians, and to remember all that he spoke with them about. Below is a photo of a Cross that Saint Cosmas made from branches.
‘Now I advise you all – young and old – to make a Prayer Rope and to hold it in your left hand, and with your right hand make the Sign of the Cross and say: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of the Living God, through the intercessions of the Theotokos and of all the Saints have mercy upon me, your sinful and unworthy servant.”‘
“There is no better teacher than death. Have death before your minds: the time when you will leave this unreal world and will go to the other one, which is eternal.”
Quotes by Saint Cosmas
Humility and love are the two wings with which we will fly to Paradise.
The main name of our God is Love… Just as we love our God, let us also love our brother.
When you cut a tree, its branches dry up immediately, and if you water its root, the branches are filled with force. So you, parents, can be likened to a tree: you are the root of your children, and when you water yourself with fasting, Prayers, alms and kind deeds, God preserves your children. If an apple tree gives sour apples, who is to blame: an apple tree or apples? An apple tree. So, do the right thing, parents, so that your “apples” become sweet.
Life is a Spiritual warfare. If you’re not fighting, you’re losing.
Let us say something about the thorns. Blessed Mary of Egypt was twelve years old when she fell into the hands of the devil. She lived in sin day and night. But the Merciful God enlightened her and she abandoned the world and went into the desert. There she led a hermit’s life for forty years. She was cleansed and became like an Angel. God wished to give her rest, so He sent the Holy Ascetic Zosimas to hear her Confession and to give her Holy Communion. The He received her Holy Soul into Paradise, where she rejoices with the Angels. If there is anyone here like Blessed Mary, let him immediately weep and repent, now that he has time, and let him be assured that he will be saved as was Blessed Mary.
The time will come when your enemies will take away from you even the ashes from your fires, but don’t give up your faith as others will do.
None was found worthy to give Birth to a Man to pay back that side which she owed except for the Lady Theotokos.
He who accepts present afflictions in the expectation of future blessings has found knowledge of the truth; and he will easily be freed from anger and remorse.
If a man insults me, kills my father, my mother, my brother, and then gouges out my eye, as a Christian it is my duty to forgive him. We who are pious Christians ought to love our enemies and forgive them. We ought to offer them food and drink, and entreat God for their Souls. And then we should say: “My God, I beg you to forgive me, as I have forgiven my enemies.”
Initially Grace arouses the conscience in a Divine manner. That is how even sinners have come to repent and so to conform to God’s Will.
What does our Christ instruct us to do? Meditate on our sins, on death, on hell, on Paradise, and on our Soul, which is more precious than the entire world. We are to eat and drink moderately, similarly, to clothe ourselves moderately, and to use the remaining time for our Soul – to make it a Bride for our Christ. And then we can call ourselves human beings and Earthly angels. But if we concern ourselves with what we shall eat and what we shall drink, how we shall commit sin, how to dress up this stinking body which tomorrow will be eaten by worms, and do not concern ourselves about our Soul which is Eternal, then we can’t be called human beings, but animals. So make your body a servant of the Soul, and then you can call yourselves human beings.
I have a load of bread to eat; you do not have. Love tells me: Do not eat it alone, give some to your brethren and you eat the rest. I have clothes; love tells me: Give one garment to your brother and you wear the other one… I stretch out my hands to take what belongs to you, your money, all your possessions. Love does not allow me to take them. Do you see, my brethren, what gifts love has?
This All-Holy Trinity we pious Orthodox Christians Glorify and Worship. He is the True God, and all other so-called gods are demons. And it is not we alone that believe, Glorify, and Worship the Holy Trinity, but Angels, Archangels, and all the Heavenly Hosts, as numerous as the stars of the Heavens and the grains of the sand of the sea unceasingly praise in hymns and Worship and Glorify this All-Holy Trinity. Again, out of their love for the Holy Trinity men and women as numerous as the stars of the Heavens and the grains of the sand of the sea spilt their blood, and as many renounced the world and went to the deserts and led a life of Spiritual endeavor, and still as many lived in the world with temperance and virginity, fasting, Prayer, almsgiving and other practices; and all went to Paradise and rejoice forever.
If we want to fare well in this life and to go to Paradise, and to call our God Love and Father, we must have two loves: the love for God and the love for our neighbour. It is natural for us to have these two loves, and contrary to nature not have them. Just as a swallow needs two wings in order to fly in the air, so we need these two loves, because without them we cannot be saved.
If you wish to be saved, seek no other thing here in this world as much as love.
The Martyrs won Paradise through their blood; the Ascetics, through their Ascetic life. Now you, my brethren, who have children, how will you win Paradise? By means of hospitality, by giving to your brothers who are poor, blind, or lame.
This Prayer should never be absent from you: Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Logos of the living God, through the Theotokos and all the Saints, have mercy upon me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant.” Always say this Prayer both with your mouth and with your mind, day and night, wherever you may be, whether eating, walking, working, or sitting. Always meditate on it, as it benefits you a great deal, frees you here from every evil, delivers you there from eternal hell, and renders you worthy of going to Paradise, our Heavenly country.
If you want cure your soul, you need four things. The first is to forgive your enemies. The second is to confess thoroughly. The third is to blame yourself. The fourth is to resolve to sin no more. If we wish to be saved, we must always blame ourselves and not attribute our wrong acts to others. And God, Who is most compassionate, will forgive us.