22 November 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Our Holy Father John the Dwarf (Kolobos)
He is counted among the greatest of the Egyptian ascetics. ‘Kolobos’ means ‘little’ or ‘dwarf, for he was little of stature. He came to Scetis with his brother Daniel, and, with surpassing zeal, gave himself to asceticism, such that his brother had to urge him to moderation. He was a disciple of St Pambo, and later the teacher of St Arsenius the Great. One of his fellow-disciples with St Pambo was St Paisius the Great. One day, when he was in conversation with St Paisius about what sort of asceticism to adopt, an angel of God appeared to them, and ordered John to stay where he was and gather companions, and Paisius to go into the desert and live as a solitary. To test John’s obedience, Pambo ordered him to water a dry stick that he had stuck in the ground until it bore leaves. With no hesitation or doubt, John watered this dry stick for three whole years, from day to day, until, by God’s power, it put forth leaves and bore fruit. Then Pambo gathered the fruits from this tree, took them to the church and shared them out among the brethren, saying: ‘Come and taste of the fruits of obedience!’ John the Dwarf had many disciples, and some of his wise sayings have been preserved. He entered peacefully into rest and the joy of his Lord early in the fifth century.
In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances of Daphnis and Chloe, Chereas and Callirhoe, etc., which were then popular. There may have been a foundation of fact on which the story was built up; but the Roman Calendar of the fourth century, and the Carthaginian Calendar of the fifth make no mention of Cecilia. St. Cecilia is regarded as the patroness of music [because of the story that she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married], and is represented in art with an organ or organ-pipes in her hand.