John Moschus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St. John Moschus
Born 550
Damascus
Died 619
Jerusalem
Honored in Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast 11 March [O.S. 24 March (where the Julian calendar is used)][1]

John Moschus (Greek: Ιωάννης Μόσχος, c. 550 – 619; name from the Ancient Greek: ὁ τοῦ Μόσχου o tou Moschou “son of Moschos”, was a Byzantine monk and ascetical writer.

Biography[edit]

He was born about 550 probably at Damascus. He was given the epithet "ὁ ἐγκρατής" ("The Abstemious"). He lived successively with the monks at the monastery of St. Theodosius (now Deir Dosi) southeast of Jerusalem, among the hermits in the Jordan Valley, and in the New Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified near Tekoa, east of Bethlehem.

About the year 578 he went to Egypt with Sophronius (afterwards Patriarch of Jerusalem) and came as far as the Great Oasis of the Libyan Desert. After 583 he came to Mount Sinai and spent about ten years in the Lavra of Aeliatae; he then visited the monasteries, near Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. In 604 he went to Antioch but returned to Egypt in 607. Later he came to Cyprus and in 614-615 to Rome where he died in 619.

On his deathbed he requested Sophronius to bury him, if possible, on Mt. Sinai or else at the monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem. Mt. Sinai being then invaded by the Saracens, Sophronius buried him in the monastery of St. Theodosius.

John Moschus' feast day in the Eastern Orthodox Church is shared with Sophronius' (11 March [O.S. 24 March]).[1]

Writings[edit]

He is the author of one of the earliest hagiological works, entitled "Leimon" (Pratum spirituale, Spiritual Meadow), occasionally abbreviated "Prat. Spirit.". In it he narrates his personal experiences with many great ascetics whom he met during his extensive travels, and repeats the edifying stories which these ascetics related to him.

Though the work is devoid of critical discrimination and teems with miracles and ecstatic visions, it gives a clear insight into the practices of Eastern monasticism, contains important data on the religious cult and ceremonies of the time, and acquaints us with the numerous heresies that threatened to disrupt the Church in the East.

It was first edited by Fronton du Duc in Auctarium biblioth. patrum, II (Paris, 1624), 1057-1159. A better edition was brought out by Cotelier in Ecclesiae Graecae Monumenta, II (Paris, 1681), which is reprinted in J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca. LXXXVII, III, 2851-3112. A Latin translation, by Ambrose Traversari, is printed in Migne, Patrologia Latina, LXXIV, 121-240, and an Italian version made from the Latin of Traversari (Venice, 1475; Vicenzo, 1479).

Conjointly with Sophronius, Moschus wrote a life of John the Almoner, a fragment of which is preserved in the first chapter of the "Vita S. Joanni Eleemosynarii" by Leontios of Neapolis, under the name of Simeon Metaphrastes (P.G., CXIV, 895-966).

Source[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1] "Orthodox Holiness Around the Church Year with St John — John Moschos - March 11", Retrieved 2011-09-13

See also[edit]

External links[edit]