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St. Poemen (Pimen) the Much-ailing of the Kiev Caves

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7/20 August

The Venerable St. Pimen the Much-ailing (1100), achieved the Heavenly Kingdom by way of great illness. This Russian spiritual struggler was born and raised in illness. For a long time he persisted in asking his parents to take him to the Kiev Caves Monastery. Upon bringing their son to the renowned monastery, they began to pray for his recovery. But the sufferer himself, recognizing the great value of suffering, asked the Lord that his sickness continue, and likewise that he be tonsured a monk. And lo, angels, in the form of monks, performed upon him the rite of tonsure. Some of the brethren heard singing, and coming to St. Pimen, found him attired in monastic dress. In his hand, he held a lighted candle, and the hair shorn from his head was found in the reliquary of the Venerable St. Theodosius. St. Pimen spent many years in great sickness, so that his care-givers found him to be an oppressive burden, and often left him without bread or water. However, he joyously endured everything. St. Pimen took pity on the brethren and healed a certain brother who like him suffered from paralysis, after first receiving his word that he would devote the rest of his life to serving the sick. Once the brother became lazy in that service, his former illness returned. St. Pimen again healed him, and instructed him that the sick and the one who serves the sick receive the same reward.

St. Pimen spent 20 years in great suffering. As had been foretold to him by an angel, he regained his health three days before his death. In the church, the venerable one asked forgiveness of and bade farewell to all of the brethren, and communed of the Holy Mysteries. Then, bowing before the coffin of Abba Anthony, St. Pimen pointed out the place for his burial, and himself carried his own coffin to it. Pointing out that two monks were buried there side by side, he prophesied that the brethren would find that the monk who had been buried in his schema would be found without it. He stated that the schema-monk had lived a life unworthy of it, while the monk who had been buried without a schema was vested in it after his death, for during his life he had both yearned for and been worthy of it. After the repose of St. Pimen, three pillars of fire appeared above the trapeza and moved to the top of the church. Because a similar occurrence is described in the chronicle entry for 11 February 1110, the day of Venerable St. Pimen’s repose is presumed to be 11 February 1110.

The relics of St. Pimen rest in the cave of St. Anthony.

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