How saints with wild animals were friends

Nika Kravchuk
06.11.2015

How saints with wild animals were friends

“Be careful, there is an angry dog ​​in the yard” - we are taught to beware of animals from early childhood. We are afraid of dogs, snakes, spiders, not to mention the huge lions, tigers, bears. But in the lives of the saints of God, one leitmotif often sounds: saints and animals are friends. How so?

Christ with the Lamb and the patron saints of animals

Prologue, or When did people “quarrel” with beasts?

After the creation of the world, God entrusted man with a special mission - to be the king of nature. This is how the Book of Genesis narrates: But this did not mean at all that a man could now dispose of everything alive as he wanted. I want - I grow up, I want - I pull out and kill.

No, before the fall of man, harmony reigned in the world. Man considered animals to be smaller brothers, they, respectively, were not afraid of Adam and Eve. In addition, the first people fed exclusively on plants, so the danger to animals could not be considered. This was the meaning of the expression to be “the king of nature” - that is, to take care of it, to maintain harmony in everything that God created.

Adam names animals

When man fell away from God, unity was broken in the world. Man no longer fed on the fruits of God's hands, but in the sweat of a chela he worked the land and cultivated bread. Now he had to fight weeds. The body of those expelled from the paradise of Adam and Eve was covered with “leather vestments”. It should be assumed that these were animal skins.

Since then, the relationship between man and the animal world has been broken. We are talking about wild beasts, predators, a news ticker is full of titles about the dead by the “brazen death” torn to pieces by the beasts. All of this testifies to the depth of the rift that the ancestors had laid.

Against this background, the stories of some saints who were friends with wild animals seem amazing. In addition, in the lives of martyrs you can read about how they were thrown to be torn apart, but the animals behaved like obedient pets.

We offer you several such stories.

Holy blessing wild animals

The Holy Martyr Blasius was Bishop of Sebaste and lived in the IV century. It was the time of Diocletian's ruler and the terrible persecutions of Christians.

Therefore, Blasius found refuge in a remote cave in the middle of the desert.People came to him very rarely, but the animals - all the time. In addition, they waited meekly for the Bishop of Sebaste to pray and bless them.

The emperor's servants found St. Blasius and took him to the city for execution. Along the way he healed people and animals. One widow tearfully told the story that the wolf had taken the last piglet, so she would have nothing to eat. The bishop sincerely prayed that the wolf would return the stolen goods back. And so it happened.

In the Orthodox iconography, Blasius of Sebastia is depicted together with the animals who came to him for a blessing.

Holy Gerasim and his faithful friend the lion

According to legend, a lion came to Gerasim of Jordan, who lived in the V century and led a hermit life. He raised his paw, injured by the thorn. St. Gerasim took out the thorns, cleaned the festering wound and bandaged it with a handkerchief. In gratitude for the help, the lion stayed forever near Gerasimus, accompanying him in everything. He remembered his voice, knew the desires and served faithfully.

Holy Gerasim and the Lion

When the holy hermit departed into another world, the lion came to his grave and died in a short time. St. Gerasim of Jordan is depicted on icons, along with his faithful friend.

Saint Neophyte "rents an apartment" ... in a lion

The martyr Neophytos lived in the first centuries of persecution of Christians. He decided to become a follower of the Savior, so he went to the mountains to shutter. In the cave, where he decided to settle, he lived a lion. The saint calmly turned to the predator and asked him to leave his new home. The animal obediently left the cave.

When the pagans decided to torture the Neophyte, they threw him into the Colosseum with wild bears. But the animals obediently bowed their heads before the saints. Then the torturers decided to incite the holy hungry lion. But he, like an obedient pet, walked over to Neophyte and licked his legs. According to legend, it was the “friend” who lent “housing” in due time. The holy Neophytos turned to the lion and said that he could easily return to his “apartment”, because the martyr clearly did not need her anymore. The predator escaped from the circus arena and fled to the cave, and Neophyte had to be executed by people, since the beasts refused to do so.

Bread for the bear

Many Orthodox Christians know the icon "St. Seraphim feeds the bear with bread." One nun approached the Sarov saint and saw a bear beside him. With the words "My death!" And crashed to the ground.

Seraphim of Sarov with a bear

When she awoke, Reverend Seraphim asked her not to be afraid and called for an animal. The huge bear gently lay down at the feet of the saint, and Seraphimushka began to feed him with bread, and through the prayers of the saint, the nun, who had become quiet, joined to this.

Another respected saint, St. Sergius of Radonezh, also fed the bear. It all started with the fact that the hungry animal came to the saint, received a treat, it visited Sergius every day.

Rev. Herman and the Ermine

Herman of Alaska is another saint who is depicted on the icon with animals. An ermine, a very shy animal, lived near his cell. But they themselves resorted to the saint, and he fed them with it. There is evidence that the monk also fed the bear, and the birds ate dried fish from his hands.

Herman of Alaska with an ermine

Saint with a zoo

Rev. Pavel Obnorsky for a long time was guided by the spiritual advice of St. Sergius of Radonezh. He labored in desertification and silence. But communication with people was replaced by prayer and care for animals. According to the testimony of St. Sergius of Nuromsky, the monk fed directly from the hands of the birds, they sat on his head and shoulders, and a bear, a fox, and a hare waited humbly for their turn.In this case, all the animals did not rush at each other, did not drive away those who are weaker.

Girdled by a snake

We do not know the name of this ascetic, but even the fact that this story was told by Paisius the Holy Trinity does not give rise to doubts about its existence.

One old man spent his life in work and prayer. But in the area where he lived, many snakes were found. They were not afraid of the monk, often approached him, sometimes even interfered with work. Especially annoying one of them. The elder could not stand it: he grabbed it and tied it up like a belt. One monk brought him food and was very frightened by what he saw. The elder simply assured him that we should not be afraid: “Christ said that he gives us the power to attack snakes, scorpions, and the whole force of the enemy, and nothing will harm us.”

Lions, wolves and crows in the service of Paul of Thebes

St. Anthony says that he wanted to visit Rev. Paul, but did not know where he lives. The path indicated wolf. Anthony saw that a black raven was bringing food (half bread) to his friend.

Pavel of Thebes

The next meeting of the saints did not take place: Paul of Thebes was already dead. Wild lions sincerely sad for the saint, as the legend tells, even cried. After the funeral, they licked Anthony's hands until he blessed them. Only then left.

Prayed friend

Saints Eutychius and Florence labored in the wilderness. But then Eutychius was chosen as the abbot of the monastery, so Florence was left alone in the desert. He had to guard their temple. Florentine asked the Lord to send him a friend. God heard the prayers and sent ... a bear. He stood in front of the temple with his head bowed down, they say, I came to serve you.

From Florentia, he received a lesson - graze five sheep. In addition, there was also its own discipline: the bear knew which days, to what extent it was necessary to feed, when to eat. In fasting days, he fasted along with Florence. And never violated such a "statute."
People learned about it, several monks out of envy killed a Florentine friend. All four received punishment for this — death from leprosy.

David Gareji with deer

This saint lived in the VI century. He first labored in Tiflis, and then suffered from evil tongues and went into the wilderness with a pupil Lucian. When the disciple began to yearn for the lack of food and water, the saint tried to explain to him the effect of God's providence. At that moment, a deer with small deer ran up to him. Fulfilling the obedience of the saint, Lucian milked the animals.And the faith and prayer of David Gareji helped turn it into cheese.

People hunted behind these deer, but the animals fled to the cave of St. David to hide. Once inside, the hunters were very surprised, because the wild deer behaved like domestic animals.

David Gareji with deer

Saint Theophilus of Kiev and the Shrew Goby

A certain butcher, Ivan Katkov, told the saint about his purchase - the obstinate goby, who had already crippled many. What to do? And it is impossible to keep, and it is pitiful to kill.

Theophilus and says:

- And you give it to me!

- But how, if it is difficult to approach him? - Ivan asked.

- Simply. Come and say:

So Ivan did. And about a miracle - the snorting animal became obedient and soft.

Theophilus Kiev

Blessed Theophilus made a cart for himself, a little booth and harnessed a bull. He had no reins, the saint turned his back altogether and read the Psalter on his knees on the way. But the animal felt its master, circling around the pits, bumps. Moreover, the goby knew exactly where it was necessary to take the saint, although he did not say anything.

Epilogue, or Return to Unity

This is only a small part of the stories about how wild animals became friends of the saints.If you look at God's plan for the world, analyze the changes after the fall of Adam and Eve, then it becomes clear: God created the harmony in which man and the animal world lived in harmony.

Terrible dislike and violence originate in the depravity of this world. There was no such thing in paradise. And the saints found this harmony. Therefore, the animals next to them became as they were created. They served the man, and he, in turn, took care of them. In the words of Exupery "We are responsible for those who have tamed", it turns out, even more depth than it seems at first glance.


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  • How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends

    How saints with wild animals were friends