Our Holy Father John Cassian
(February 29)



This great spiritual guide was born in Rome of eminent parents. In his youth he studied the secular disciplines, especially philosophy and astronomy. After that, he gave himself entirely to the study of Holy Scripture. He moved from the good to the better, and, desir-ing higher and higher steps to perfection, Cassian left Rome for the East, to learn more and attain this greater perfection. He went to Bethlehem, then lingered in Egypt, at Nitria, among outstanding spiritual athletes from whom he learned to exercise himself in all the virtues. In Constantinople, he became a pupil of St John Chrysos-tom and was ordained by him to the diaconate. He finally returned to the West and settled near Marseilles, there founding two monas-teries, one for monks and one for nuns. At the request of the monks, Cassian wrote many books, among which the ones on the lovers of the spiritual life are especially helpful: `Eight books on the struggle against the eight chief passions' (The Institutes). His book against the Nestorian heresy (On the Incarnation of the Lord), which he wrote at the request of Archdeacon (later Pope) Leo, is very impor-tant. He served the Lord faithfully and enriched many by his wis-dom, then entered into eternal rest in 435. St Cassian's relics are preserved to this day in Marseilles.



* 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.
Please see our calendar for conversion between old and new calendar dates.


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