"Saint Maximus Kavsokalyvites was educated at the church of the Most Holy Theotokos at Lampsakos. At seventeen years of age he left his parental home, became a monk, and passed his obedience under Elder Mark, the finest spiritual instructor in Macedonia. After the death of his teacher, the saint pursued asceticism under the guidance of several desert Fathers of extremely strict life. Arriving in Constantinople, St Maximus was constantly at the Blachernae church of the Most Holy Theotokos, as though he had taken up his abode at the entrance.
From his youth, St Maximus had a great love for the Mother of God. He persistently entreated Her to grant him the gift of unceasing mental prayer. One day, as he was venerating her icon, he felt a warmth and a flame enter his heart from the icon. It did not burn him, but he felt a certain sweetness and contrition within. From that time, his heart began to repeat the Jesus Prayer of itself. In this way, the Virgin Theotokos fulfilled his request.
One day some monks from the Lavra went to the Righteous one, for reasons of interest, and with them went a lay person.
As soon as the Righteous one saw him from afar, he sent him away from afar calling him Most-harmless [Ακινδυνάτος1] and faithless, despite the fact that he didn’t know him before, but only from that time [he saw him].
For the Saint offered much against Akyndinos2, and named him dangerously-evil [κακοκίνδυνον], demonic, a communicant with every heresy and servant of the Antichrist. Therefore, heretics as this, he would drive away and anathematized them with boldness.
(from the book of the Righteous St. Maximos the Hut-Burner, written by the Righteous Theophanes Bishop of Peritheoriou and later published? [μεταγραφέντα] by the Righteous St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain; amateur translation from the Greek text: http://misha.pblogs.gr/2010/01/o-latinofronas-kakokindynos-kai-o-osios-maximos.html)
2 Gregory Akyndinos (ca. 1300-1348) “was involved in the theological dispute surrounding the doctrine of Uncreated Light between [St.] Gregory Palamas and Barlaam of Calabria in the 1340s. A student of Palamas', he mediated between the two from 1337, warning Barlaam in 1340 that his attempts against his doctrine would be futile, but from 1341 he became critical of Palamism, denouncing it as Messalianism, and came to be Palamas' most dangerous adversary after Barlaam's return to Calabria. He was excommunicated at the council of Constantinople of 1347 and died in exile…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Acindynus)
[Note: From this we can glean both the great grace given to St. Maximos, as he knew a person he had never seen before and recognized his false beliefs, and the great zeal the Saint had for true Orthodox dogma. Let it be clear that St. Maximos is not showing any hatred towards Akyndinos as a person, but dispassionate, righteous anger against the heresy that he would espouse. St. Paul gives St. Titus the same admonitions: "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned" (Titus 3:10-11).]
Divine Vision of St. Akakios of Kavsokalyvia (amateur translation)
St. Akakios [April 12th], as is mentioned by his successor Fr. Ionas, saw St. Maximos Kavsokalyvites during the time of the Holy Service in the Kyriakon, censing holding a priestly stole, censing around the Church and the Fathers, and following him were another forty venerable-looking and righteous ones with their epanokalymmavchos [monastic head covering].
When St. Akakios saw this, he asked St. Maximos: “Who are these, who are following you censing?” And he came and responded that they are those saved through St. Maximos the Righteous from the area of Kavsokalyvia.
The history-writer of the Kyriakon of this Skete, in the Narthex of the church has depicted, in confirmation of the revelation of St. Akakios, the following Saints in turn: Sts. Athanasios the founder of Megiste Lavra, Peter the Athonite, Neilos the Righteous, on the lower part, Maximos, Nephon the Righteous and others kneeling, along with the Righteous Akakios the New, before the throne of the All-Holy Trinity and interceding for all of the Fathers and brothers who will complete their lives in a God-pleasing manner at that holy and blessed place, the “Garden of the Panagia”.
(amateur translation of Greek text from: http://www.agiasma.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=336)
For more on St. Akakios of Kavsokalyvia, see: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2010/04/st-akakios-righteous-younger-of.html.
For the service of St. Maximos of Kavsokalyvia (in Greek), see: http://analogion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13740.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As one who loves to behold exalted theorias, and a disciple working noetic prayer, your servants praise you, O Godly-wise one. But as a mystic of godly ascent, lead us towards the coming life, those who cry out to you: hail O Righteous Maximos.
You were surrounded by unapproachable light through the revealing of the Virgin and Pure Theotokos, for surpassing the flesh, mind and word, you were shown a citizen of the heavens, O Righteous Maximos.
I have always wanted to know more about Blessed Maximos. I thought the conversation he had with St. Gregory was so inspiring, but I haven't been able to find it. I never forgot the part, "I want to be deluded just the same way you are, then." I think about Blessed Maximos often, and it is a treat to see all the info about him and icons about him here in one place. Now I will have the sources to make some icons about him.
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