The Church honors many saints who, despite their attempts to flee the world and live in relative obscurity, attained notoriety throughout the ages. One such saint is the Venerable KYRIAKOS THE HERMIT. Kyriakos was born in Corinth in 448 A.D. There were several bishops in his family, and it was assumed that Kyriakos would also rise quickly through the ranks of the clergy and would, one day, ascend to the lofty level of the episcopacy.
Kyriakos, however, saw his life in a different light. He took a literal interpretation of Christ’s words – “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself…” – and totally embraced the monastic way of life. Living among the ascetic communities on the rugged wilderness surrounding Jerusalem, Kyriakos was content to spend his time in prayer and fasting. It is said that he ate once a day, partaking only of vegetables. To deepen his contemplative nature, the venerable hermit went through a period of self-imposed silence that lasted 10 years!
At the age of 40, Kyriakos was ordained to the priesthood. It was only after his superiors promised this would not disturb his desired lifestyle that he accepted ordination. Some 30 years later, Kyriakos left the monastery in which he was dwelling for the isolation of the desert region of Natufa. Still, he was never completely alone. Word of his holiness spread, and many pious pilgrims visited Kyriakos ion the desert seeking his wise counsel.
A few years before his death, this amazing monastic came “back to civilization” and settled in the community of St. Chariton. Finally, Kyriakos fell asleep in the Lord in 557 A.D.
The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin - Cliffwood, NJ