Saint Modestus, Archbishop of Jerusalem
Brief life of the Saint
Saint Modestus, Archbishop of Jerusalem, was born into a Christian family in Cappadocian Sebasteia (Asia Minor). From his youth he felt a strong attraction towards strict monastic life. St Modestus accepted monastic tonsure. Afterwards, he became head of the monastery of St Theodosius the Great in Palestine. At this time (the year 614), military forces of the Persian ruler Chosroes fell upon Syria and Palestine, killing ninety thousand Christians and destroying Christian churches. Patriarch Zacharias of Jerusalem and a multitude of Christians were taken into captivity, along with the Cross of the Lord. St Modestus was entrusted to govern the Jerusalem Church temporarily as locum tenens of the patriarchal cathedra.
With the help of Patriarch John the Merciful of Alexandria (November 12), St Modestus set about restoring devastated Christian shrines, among which was the Sepulchre of the Lord. He reverently buried the murdered monks from the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified.
After fourteen years, Patriarch Zacharias returned from captivity with the Cross of the Lord, and after his death St Modestus became Patriarch of Jerusalem. St Modestus died at age 97 in the year 634.
Protector of Animals
Once, there was a poor widow who had five pairs of oxen, which were her only means of support, and which, unfortunately, at one point turned greatly sick. The woman was greatly worried, and mourned inconsolably. She took refuge in the Church, and entreated all of the Saints to help her in her time of need. Having not found any help, she called upon the Holy Unmercenaries Sts. Kosmas and Damian, to have mercy on her, the sinner, for because of her sins, her oxen were in danger of being lost. In her sleep, Sts. Kosmas and Damian appeared to her, and told her that to them was not granted the grace to heal animals, for this Grace was granted by God to the great Bishop of Jerusalem Modesos, and if she would go to him, her oxen would be healed. She awoke, and hastened straightaway, seeking St. Modesos, but did not find him, because he lived far from Jerusalem. She prayed with fervent faith for this Wonderworking physician to be revealed...
One night, the woman saw the Saint in a dream, who asked her why she was weeping so, and revealing to her that he was the Modestos that she was seeking, and that he had heard her prayer, and had come to heal her oxen! He advised her to cut off a portion of her iron tools, and to go to a place called "Lagenas", where there was a Church of the Archangel Michael. There, in front of the Church, there lived a good artist named Eustathios, and with her iron, he would make a cross that she should bring to her home. In the morning, when the priests would be serving liturgy, she should take the cross, dip it in some oil, and anoint her oxen straightaway in the name of Christ, and this supplication would heal them from their sickness.
The woman did as the Saint advised, and her oxen were healed, and again she was able to work without any problem, while all gave glory to God, Who gave such Wonderworking power to His servant Modestos. Since then, the art of the faithless and magicians could not affect the houses of faithful Christians, for they could not approach the wondrous power of that Cross. And even today, whoever celebrates the memory of Saint Modestos with faith, preparing a cross as mentioned above, his animals remain unharmed, through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, from every diabolic energy and danger by men.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
You were shown to be a Hierarch among the righteous, O Father, and you served Christ as a priest on Sion as an angel, therefore, you were glorified, O Modestos, adornment of Patriarchs.
Hail, O radiant star of the Church, and divine protector of holy Sion, hail, O God-bearing hierarch Modestos, our most-fervent intercessor towards the Master.