Venerable John the Silent, Bishop of Colonia
With the inheritance that Saint John’s parents left him, he built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos. From eighteen years of age, he became a monk, living in asceticism, fasting, and prayer with ten other monks at this church he had built. When he was 28 years old, the citizens of Colonia in Armenia requested that John become their bishop. After ten years of holding his see, a new governor of Armenia assumed position who began to interfere greatly with the spiritual and ecclesiastical matters assigned to the Bishop. Because of the great unrest in the Church, Saint John received the blessing to leave his diocese and sail to Jerusalem. Here, he prayed to the Lord in tears to reveal to him His Will. A bright star appeared before the Saint and led him to the Monastery of Saint Sava in the Judean Desert. Keeping his identity hidden, the Saint entered the monastery as a simple novice under the guidance of Saint Sava himself. Saint John worked to diligently at every obedience he was given, Saint Sava deemed him worthy to be ordained a priest. In this way, Saint John was forced to reveal his identity as a Bishop to Patriarch Elias of Jerusalem, who told Saint Sava that John was a lover of silence and ought to live in the wilderness. Spending many years in the wilderness, performing many miracles, including being saved from a Sacarene invasion by a God-sent lion who attacked the enemy. Saint John was eventually persuaded to return to his monastery by Saint Sava, to whom it was divinely revealed that John was actually Bishop of Colonia. Saint John went on to battle tirelessly against heresy, and emerged victorious. After many years of spiritual toil, the Saint reposed peacefully in the Lord at 104 years of age.