Saturday, June 13, 2020

Synaxarion of the Venerable James, Who Was Beguiled to Worship the Devil

St. James, Who Was Beguiled to Worship the Devil (Feast Day - June 13)


Haughtiness is not the most severe passion,
But through it the enemy beguiled James.

Because he loved Christ, the blessed James hated the world and parted with all of his belongings, without needing any of these things. After this, however, through his cooperation with the misanthropic devil, he became prideful, to the point where he dared to say: "Who knows my salvation better than I?" He therefore pursued many and great struggles, not by asking the experienced, as the divine Fathers teach, but by his own will and self-indulgence, and through this he was beguiled by the demons.

Thus an evil angel, namely a demon, came to him transformed as an angel of light, and said to him: "Clean your cell, turn on your lights and lamps, smoke it up with myrrh and incense, and make yourself ready. For Christ, who is well-pleased by your asceticism, will come this night to give you much grace." By his self-conceit, the mindless James was beguiled, and he did all these things. And so the Antichrist came with glory and much ostentation, in the middle of the night. James then opened to him the door of his cell, and worshiped him. The devil struck James on the forehead, and by divine economy he did not remain situated, but he turned around and fled.

In the morning James lamented, and he went to an Elder. The Elder, before he heard a word come from James, said to him: "Depart from here, for you have been mocked by Satan." James wept and his heart was crushed. Then the Elder much reproached him and catechized him, and sent him to a coenobium. Out of obedience he went to a coenobium, where he worked as a cook for seven years, with much humility and obedience. He then sat in his cell alone for another seven years, where he occupied himself with handiwork within measure, and kept a strict rule. In this way he learned the non-delusional way of God with great discernment, he became extraordinarily in his miracles, and in this way he completed his life, and departed to the Lord.