The Venerable Athanasius of Medikion Monastery
At the turn of the seventh and eighth centuries, there lived a young man, Athanasius, who loved the Lord God very much. He longed for the monastic life, so he could serve Him wholeheartedly.
So one day he secretly left his parents' home and entered a monastery.
The young man's father, finding out about his son's action, was greatly vexed, but not because his son had chosen Christ. It was just that he was very fond of his son.
Having found Athanasius, his parents forcibly removed him from the monastery. He took the novice's robes off of his son, and dressed him in bright, expensive robes.
"Father," the lad said to him, "Do you really think you can make me change my mind with these expensive clothes, when I hate the whole world? What good does it do a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?"
Angered at such speeches from his son, his father locked him up, in hopes of instilling in Athanasius a love of the world. But in time, convinced of the steadfastness of the young man's intention, and more importantly, of the goodness of this intention, his father permitted him to enter the Medikion monastery.
Completely cut off from the world, he led an angelic life there. The Venerable Athanasius was distinguished by perfect meekness and humility, silent and affectionate words, and absolute disregard for all possessions.
In his many years of monastic struggles, he became friends and brother-in-spirit with another great saint, the Venerable Nicetas the Confessor. Together they were as one, running the monastery, instructing the brethren in Christ. In word and deed, they were an example for every virtue. Both were beloved by all. The brethren listened to their words as if they came from the mouth of God.
Saint Athanasius died around the year 814. Shortly after his burial, a cypress tree grew on his grave, and by God's grace, healings began taking place there.
October 26 (new calendar) / November 8 (old calendar) is the feast day of the Venerable Athanasius of Medikion.