Our Holy Father Erasmus
A monk of the Caves in Kiev, he inherited great wealth from his parents and spent it all on the beautifying of churches, especially on gold and silver covers for icons. When he had impoverished himself and left himself with nothing, he was despised by everyone. The devil suggested to him that he had squandered his goods in vain in using them for the beautifying of churches instead of giving them to the poor. Erasmus surrendered to this temptation and believed it, as a result of which he came to despise himself, fell into despair and began to live aimlessly and lawlessly. When the time of his death approached, the brothers gathered round him and began to speak of his sins, for he would not consider them for himself. But he suddenly sat up in bed and said: `My fathers and brethren, you have spoken thus and so, that I am a sinner and unrepentant, but lo, St Antony and St Theodosius have appeared to me, and the most holy Mother of God, and have told me that the Lord has given me further time for repentance.' The Mother of God also said these encouraging words to him: `The poor you have with you in every place, but my churches you have not.' And he lived three days longer and repented and fell asleep in the Lord. This teaches us that zeal for the Church and for her beautification is a work pleasing to God. St Erasmus entered into rest in 1160.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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