St. Venerable Paisius of Pechersk, the «Fool in Christ»
On 29 April the Church celebrates repose of St. Venerable Paisius of Pechersk. St. Paisius (1821-1893) was the monk of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and was glorified as a «Fool in Christ».
In the Orthodox Church, «Fools in Christ» is a part of wandering monks and ascetics. In this particular case it is «Foolishness for Christ», because those Saints by their will looking for human outrages and abuses, hiding their virtues. Such persons condemn worldly values which are so honorable in the secular society.
Prokopiy Yarotskii (secular name of future Saint) was born in the merchant family in Poltava oblast. In his youth he leaved parents’ home and came to Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as novice. Afterwards he was tonsured with a name of Paisius.
Soon he became to lead the life of «Fool in Christ». Paisius wandered on streets of Kyiv in dirty clothes, staying overnight anywhere, even on a street; he usually ate leftovers. During the winter St. Paisius stood in genuflection on a snow.
The Saint endured a lot because of passersby. Often he was mocked, covered with spittle and beat up. Starets Paisius prayed for offenders, forgiving their deeds.
When the Saint was in the church he moved for every time. Paisius condemned believers, ran after invisible phantoms. Often he interrupted worship with exclamations or wear motions. For example, Paisius appealed to Mother of God in second-person personal plural pronoun, or read something by his heart, holding a book overturned.
Being in the church, the Saint was always in motion. Paisius condemned believers, ran after invisible phantoms. Often he interrupted worship with exclamations or weird motions. For example, Paisius appealed to Mother of God in second-person plural pronoun, or read something by heart, holding a book overturned.
With the lapse of time behavior of the «Fool in Christ» attracted to him townspeople and people of neighbor villages.
For such deep humbleness and voluntary martyrdom, God gave to St. Paisius gifts of wonderworking, sagacity and healing. When Starets spoke to people he liked to sternly condemn their deeds and secret intentions. At the same time he called people «dushechka» (something like «my dear soul». The Saint had a compassionate love to people and distributed moral and prayerful support to those who suffer.
Being sagacious, Starets foreseen the murder of Emperor Alexander II.
St. Venerable Paisius felt approaching of his repose and spent last days in hospital of Lavra. Starets received the Holy Communion and reposed in peace on April 17 of 1893. On a third day he was buried on the monastic cemetery of Transfiguration Hermitage. The whole city mourned the death of the righteous man.
Starets Paisius was canonized by the decision of the Holy Synod of UOC in 1999.