THOSE that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.
Today is the Feast of the Uncovering of the Relics of St Arsenios of Paros (1800-1877).
You can read about the life of St Arsenios (feast day January 31) in English at the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator in Thessaloniki.
On the 30 January 1877 after the Divine Liturgy, he told them: “This, my children, was the last Liturgy I will serve.”
On the following day, 31 January, after a life that was a living sacrifice to the Triune God and an unwaning spiritual legacy, he delivered his spirit to the Most High, whom he loved, served, glorified from infancy and to whom he surrendered his life.
His last words were the following: “Lord, I surrender to Your Hands this flock that You entrusted to me. Save me Lord, for I sought Your rights.”
A note on today’s feast at the OCA website tells us a little more about him:
St Arsenius and his Elder stayed on Mount Athos for six years before being forced to leave by ignorant monks who were against the Kollyvades movement.
The Kollyvades called for a strict adherence to holy Tradition, opposed performing memorial services on Sundays, and believed that Christians should receive Holy Communion more frequently than four times a year. They also practiced unceasing prayer of the heart (hesychasm), which was misunderstood by many people of that time.
These values were at the heart of the Athonite revival led by (amongst others) Joseph the Hesychast (+1959), who was born on the island of Paros.
O ARSENIOS, who sought the life of the saints,
As a saint dost thou now rejoice among the saints:
O God, by their intercessions, have mercy upon us.
From Ορθόδοξος Συναξαριστής.