Science of the Saints, 7 February, Saint Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus


Sainted Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus, was a native of the city of Melitopolis (Asia Minor), where his father Christopher served as deacon. The youth was not learned at grammar, but he well assimilated the Holy Scripture by being present in church for Divine services. He possessed a good heart, and the money he earned working as a fisherman he distributed to the poor. Filled with the grace of God, Saint Parthenius from age 18 in the Name of Christ healed the sick, cast out demons and worked other miracles.

Learning about the virtuous life of the youth, the Melitopolis bishop Philip gave him an education and ordained him presbyter. In the year 325 during the reign of Constantine the Great, the Kysikhos archbishop Achilles made him bishop of the city of Lampsacus (Asia Minor). In the city were many pagans, and the saint fervently began to spread the faith in Christ, affirming it by the will of God through many miracles and healings of the sick. The people began to forsake their pagan manners of belief, and the saint then went to the emperor Constantine the Great with a petition to tear down the idolous pagan temple and build in its place a Christian church. The emperor received the saint with honour, gave him the edict for the destruction of the pagan temple, and furnished him means for the building of a church. Returning to Lampsacus, Saint Parthenius gave orders to tear down the idolous pagan temple and to erect amidst the city a beautiful church of God.

Having found in one of the torn-down temples a large stone suitable to be made the holy altar-table in the church, the saint gave orders to set to work about it and move it for the construction of the church. Through the malice of the devil, which became enraged at the removal of the stone from the pagan temple, the cart overturned and killed the driver Eutykhion. Saint Parthenius restored him to life by his prayer and shamed the devil, who wanted to frustrate the work of God.

The kindly saint was so great that he refused healing to no one of the multitude coming to him or who chanced to meet him by the wayside, whether suffering bodily illnesses or afflicted with unclean spirits. People even stopped going to physicians, since Saint Parthenius healed all the sick for free, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. With the great power of the Name of Christ the saint banished an host of demons from people, from their homes, and from the waters of the sea. When the saint cast out a devil from a certain man, who had been afflicted by it since childhood, the unclean spirit began to implore the saint to give him another place of habitation. The saint promised to indicate such a place and, having opened his mouth, said to the demon: “Come and dwell in me.” The demon, as though stung by fire, cried out: “How canst I go into the house of God?” and vanished off into places desolate and untrodden. An unclean spirit, cast out from the house where the imperial purple dye was prepared, cried out for everyone to hear that a Divine fire was pursuing him with the fire of Gehenna.

Thus, having shown people the great power of faith in Christ, the saint converted a multitude of idol-worshippers to the true God.

Saint Parthenias died peacefully and was solemnly buried alongside the cathedral church of Lampsacus, in a chapel built by him.

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