Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, November 20, 2006


Two accounts of the life of St. Job of Pochaev. Here's Wikipedia:

In 1604, the monastic community was joined by Ivan Zalizo, a well-known champion of Eastern Orthodoxy and vocal critic of the Union of Brest. Formerly associated with the printing house of Prince Ostrogski, Zalizo established a press in Pochayiv in 1730, which supplied all of Galicia and Volhynia with theological literature. The press continued to function until 1924, when it was taken to the Monastery of St Job of Pochayiv in Jordanville, New York.

Changing his name to Job and elected the monastery's hegumen, Zalizo introduced strict discipline and other reforms of monastic life. During his time in office, the monastery had to fend off incessant attacks by Hojska's heirs, notably Andrzej Firlej, Castellan of Belz, who sued the monks over his grandmother's bequest. In 1623, Firlej raided the monastery, taking the holy icon with him and keeping it until 1641, when a court decision finally restituted the icon to the monks. Job of Pochayiv died on October 25, 1651 and was glorified as a saint soon thereafter.

And here's someone who's more of an Orthodox partisan:

Our venerable father Job was born about 1571 to the Zhelezo family in Volynia (Southwestern Ukraine) and was baptized John. Having wisdom and piety beyond his years, John zealously entered the Ugoinitsky Monastery at the age of ten. He was tonsured exactly two years later with the new name Job. At the age of 30 he was ordained a priest, and shortly thereafter was tonsured into the great and angelic schema. He was then given the task of overseeing the Holy Cross monastery at Dubno. This was a difficult time for the Orthodox in a land so close to Catholic Poland. A false union of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches was declared in 1596. This allowed the Catholic missionaries to spread their lies farther than before. But St. Job was a fearless defender of Orthodoxy, and under his direction, many Orthodox books were distributed, including the first complete Slavonic Bible. Due to the great turmoil, though, St. Job withdrew to the ancient Pochaev monastery, where the miraculous icon of te Pochaev Mother of God was kept. The monks there felt the sanctity of St. Job, and thus elected him abbot. He set about immediately to organize the brethren, build a stone church (which still exists), and start the printing of Orthodox books. St. Job was able to enlist the help of wealthy Orthodox patrons, but he also angered the Catholic nobles by his zeal. One named Firlei was able to confiscate the land and possessions of the Pochaev monastery (and even the icon!). St. Job had to turn to the Polish courts for their return. The venerable Job also participated at the council convened at Kiev in 1628, which was a great uplift for the Orthodox pastors of Polish occupied Russia.

St. Job was a true ascetic as well as an able administrator. He would often withdraw to a cave where he would spend nights in prayer. His vigils were so long that his feet would bleed, and divine light was seen to shine forth from the cave.

Seven days before he reposed, St. Job received a revelation as to exactly when he would die. On October 28,1651, after serving Divine Liturgy, St. Job reposed peacefully. His relics were discovered to be whole and incorrupt after seven years, and transferred to the church of the Holy Trinity on August 28,1659. Dozens of miracles issued forth from the relics, witnessed by not only Orthodox but also by Catholics as well, into whose hands the Pochaev monastery passed for 110 years. After the return of the monastery to the Orthodox church, miracles continued, as they do to this day, as a service and akathist were composed to the saint. The Church has designated two feasts to St. Job: August 28, the uncovering of his relics and October 28, his repose. In these times when many call for a false union with the enemies of Orthodoxy, let us call upon St. Job the Wonderworker of Pochaev to pray for us to Christ God, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen!

Would I wish to charge Catholic missionaries with "spreading their lies farther than before?" Lies? Although my first reaction is to squirm at such language, the Catholics in question were probably Jesuits, and the Jesuit creed of intellectual obedience to the Catholic Church, no matter what, to the point where, in the famous quote:

"If the Church says something is black and we think it is white, believe it's black," Infante wrote. "Jesuits must show that the church is infallible, explain teachings, like why contraception is sinful, and direct people toward holiness."

This does seem the epitome of intellectual dishonesty. So maybe Reader Paul Drozdowski's harsh words are justified.

In any case, I visited the Orthodox monastery mentioned in the Wikipedia article this weekend, and after several hours of worship, and confession and Eucharist, in that holy place in the company of monks and pilgrims, the darkness that had overwhelmed my soul was lightened, and my hope began to be restored. The holiness in these remote places which have fled the world emanates into the world which it has turned its back on. Praise be to God!


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