A Fool for Christ

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​”Holy Andrew, walking one day along the streets of Constantinople, saw a great and splendid funeral. A rich man had died, and his cortege was magnificent. But when he looked more closely, Andrew saw a host of little black men capering merrily around the corpse, one grinning like a prostitute, another barking like a dog, a third grunting like a pig, a fourth pouring something filthy over the body. And they were mocking the singers and saying: “You’re singing over a dog!” Andrew, marveling, wondered what this man had done. Turning round, he saw a handsome youth standing weeping behind a wall. “For the sake of the God of heaven and earth, tell me the reason for your tears”, said Andrew. The young man then told him that he had been the dead man’s guardian angel, but that the man had, by his sins, greatly offended God, casting his angel’s counsel from him and giving himself over utterly to the black demons. And the angel said that this man was a great and unrepentant sinner: a liar, a hater of men, a miser, a shedder of blood and a dissolute man who had turned three hundred souls to immorality. In vain was he honoured by the Emperor and respected by the people. In vain was this great funeral. Death had caught him unrepentant, and the harvest had come without warning.”  (Excerpted and Adapted by St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

“Not for the faint hearted. A fearful account of holy warfare through the life of a fool for Christ. It is such intensity of spiritual reality undiluted by western liberalism which continues to challenge the soft, easy theosophy which passes for Christianity today.”
For the abridged English version of this truly awesome narrative, go to The Life of Saint Andrew fool for Christ of Constantinople excerpted from the original Byzantine manuscripts, translated and adapted by St. Demetrios of Rostov.
Thou didst choose foolishness for the sake of Christ
And didst make the crafty one foolish.
Thou didst persevere with thy struggle
in the midst of turmoil.
And Christ has brought thee to paradise.
Intercede with Him, O Andrew
For those who honor thee.
+ October 2
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