The Departure of St. Agapetus (Agapius), the Bishop
On this day St. Agapetus (Agapius), the bishop, departed. He was born of Christian parents during the time of the infidel emperors Diocletian and Maximianus. His parents brought him up in a Christian upbringing, and he was ordained a deacon. Then, he went to one of the monasteries and served the elders therein. He learned from them worship and asceticism and was accustomed to fasting and prayer. His food was legumes to break the fast. He grew in his ascetic life and in every virtue, and God wrought through him many miracles, among which were the following:
He healed a girl from a debilitating sickness which had stricken her for a long time, and doctors had failed to cure her. He also prayed once and God destroyed a beast which was devouring people. By his prayers, God granted healing to many sick people.
The news of his asceticism, righteousness and the power of his prayer spread everywhere. When Lucinus the governor heard about St. Agapius, he brought him by force and appointed him a soldier in his army. This did not prevent St. Agapius from continuing in his ascetic life and his worship and he rather increased in virtue.
Shortly after, God perished Diocletian and the God-loving emperor Constantine took over the empire after him. St. Agapius desired to gain his freedom and to return to his monastery, and God answered him.
Emperor Constantine had a servant who was very dear to him for the good qualities he had. The servant was stricken with an evil spirit which tormented him. Some friends of the Emperor advised him to ask Agapius, the soldier, to pray for his servant to be healed. The Emperor was surprised to know that one among his soldiers had the gift of healing. The Emperor sent for St. Agapius who prayed upon the servant, made the sign of the holy cross over him, and God healed him.
The Emperor rejoiced and wanted to reward him. St. Agapius refused to accept any reward except to be granted his release from military service to go back to the place of his worship. The Emperor granted him what he wanted. The saint returned to where he was before and he lived a solitary life. After a while, he was ordained a priest.
After the departure of the bishop of his town, the people asked for this saint from the abbot of the monastery, and he gave him his permission to leave. St. Agapius was ordained bishop and shepherded the flock of Christ with the best of care. He was granted the gift of prophecy and performing miracles. He rebuked the sinners for what they had done in secret. He rebuked the priests for forsaking teaching and instructing their flocks. His biography included more than one hundred miracles that he had performed, and he departed at a good old age.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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