Iconography and Hand painted icons

St. Abba Pitirim of Thebaid about St. Isidora, Fool for Christ, “She is our spiritual mother, and I pray to be equal to her on the Day of Judgment.”

St. Abba Pitirim of Egypt (4th century), disciple of St. Anthony the Great an anchorite of the Thebaid on Mt. Porphyrite .
Saint Apostle Urban is numbered among the Seventy Apostles, bishop of Macedonia.
Martyr Paramon and 370 Martyrs in Bithynia (250).
Hieromartyr Abibus, bishop of Nekresi in Georgia (6th c.).
Martyr Philumenus of Ancyra, and with him Martyrs Valerian and Phædrus (ca. 274).
New Hieromartyr Philoumenos (Hasapis) of Jacob’s Well (1979)
Repose of Blessed Abel “the Prophet,” of Valaam (1831).

Commemorated on November 29

Hymn of Praise
The Venerable Pitirim
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ασκητης_asketes-Ερημίτης_Hermit_отшельник- еремит_i1030deee8735ed5fccce4bff62d261e38In the desert, the ascetic Pitirim
Prays to God and asks himself:
In the world, is there anyone equal to me?
Then appeared, an angel of God,
Gently reproached Pitirim:
In thoughts, you magnify yourself O Elder
As though, in the world, there is no better!
Come, follow me, O Elder Pitirim,
Come, follow me to see the aged woman,
Isidora makes herself a “fool for Christ,”
To see her and then to be amazed:
She, from God her heart does not separate,
All her thoughts, to God, she binds,
And not like you, who, in the body, are here,
And thoughts, in the ends of the world!
And all of her mortifications that you see
That by shame, of the woman to be ashamed!
And the wisdom of God that you glorify
Which, in the weeds, nurses the roses!
From the Prologue


Abba Pitirim and blessed Isidora, Fool for Christ.

Ισιδώρα η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Saint Isidora, the Fool for Christ_Исидора Тавенская, Христа ради юродивая_2d0c29feff00c5d955bb3fbOnce one Angel came to Saint Pitirim, who was a famous Egyptian man of faith and told him: “Why do you praise your exploits so much and think you are devout, when with your thoughts you wander all over the world? If you want to see a really devout woman you need to go to the Tavennis nunnery where you will find a humble laborer who wears a bandage on her head. She is better then you are, because she serves everyone in various ways though everyone despises her. And though she is surrounded by many people she never steps away from God in her heart.” The Angel was talking about venerable Isidora.

Great Pitirim immediately went to that nunnery and wanted to see the virgins who lived there. Everyone came to him except Isidora. Then Pitirim said: “She who the Angel told me about is not here” — they answered him: “There is one mad woman here who works at the kitchen.” — “Bring her, — says Pitirim, — maybe she is the one who I am looking for.” When they started calling Isidora she refused to come, probably knowing what the matter was, and she did not want to open her secret exploit of foolishness for Christ. Then they started to bring her by force explaining that Abba Pitirim wanted to see her and Pitirim was very respected by everyone. When she was brought to the Abba and when he saw her with a shabby cloth on her head he fell to her feet and said: “Bless me, mother.” But she fell to his feet and answered: “You bless me, my master!” When everyone saw that they were amazed and began to say: “Abba, do not shame yourself, she is mad!” —“You are all mad, — exclaimed the holy elder, — and she is better than you and me. She is our spiritual mother, and I pray to be equal to her on the Day of Judgment.”

After those words everyone fell to the feet of Abba Pitirim with tears, confessing how often they had afflicted this holy woman. Many laughed at her and scoffed over her humble appearance, others rudely insulted her, some beat her and once even poured slops over her. Saint Isidora suffered everything humbly, pretending to be mad. Saint Pitirim accepted their confession and together with the Saint Isidora prayed for them. Then he consoled Saint Isidora and returned to his monastery.

A few days later blessed Isidora, who could not bear the honors, services and apologies of the sisters secretly left the nunnery. Thus nobody knew where she went and how she ended her days.
Selected stories from “Lavsaik.”


About how the righteous endures ridicule because of the words of the Lord
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day” (Jeremiah 20:8).

Ισιδώρα η δια Χριστόν Σαλή της Ταβέννης_ Saint Isidora the Simple of Tabenna_ святая Исидо́ра Тавеннийская _For Christ_ESSEX_Who are they who reproach the prophet of God, the bearer of God’s word and the bearer of the power and wisdom of God? His people reproach him and say to him: you preach to us a steep path; even if it is from God, we cannot walk upon it because for us, it is too steep.

Who are they who reproach the trumpeter of the voice of the Lord when he sounds the alarm because of fire which smokes in the distance and draws closer to the city? The elders of the people reproach him and say to him: why do you not keep your mouth closed; for you it would be warmer and for us a clearer sky. That which seems to you is not a fire but it is fog from the mountain dew!

Who are they who still deride the man of God when he comes from God and proclaims the will of God? He is reproached by his wife and is derided by his brethren. They say to him: you abandon your work which feeds you and you follow after someone else’s work which humiliates you.

The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” Thus the prophet could have said, so could the apostle, so the martyr, so every zealot of the word of the Lord and of the law of the Lord. Not one of them was frightened by reproach nor by derision, nor turned away from witnessing nor led from the road to wayward paths. The entire outside world reproached them and were sarcastic to them. But the Lord strengthened and made them inwardly joyful. The Lord overcame the world, and the saints of God overcame those who reproached and derided them.

O Lord All-good, strengthen us internally in our hearts so that the reproaches do not disturb nor the derisions, hinder us for the sake of Your Name.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
From the Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

St. Abba Pitirim of the Thebaid of Egypt, Troparion in Tone VIII

 In thee, O Father, was preserved unimpaired that which is according to God ‘s image; for thou didst take up the Cross and follow Christ. By thine actions thou hast taught us to despise the flesh for it passes away, but to care for the soul which is thing immortal. Wherefore thy spirit holy Pitirim rejoices with the angels.

Ode VI
Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of thy compassion, from corruption raise me up, O God.

When the Lord chastened Saint Pitirim for ‘traveling in the cities’ mentally while living as a solitary, he was instructed to seek you, O Isidora, fool for Christ.

The nuns, seeing only foolishness, did not discern your unceasing prayer to Christ God whom you loved with your heart, soul, mind and strength. Focusing on the rags upon your head, they missed your resplendent crown of love.

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