Sometimes the most simple and humble people are those most prepared for heroic lives. Through innocent and virtuous living, they have developed complete trust in God and are able to endure great hardships for his sake.
St. Spiridon of Cypress was such a person. He was a farmer who spent his youth tending sheep and cattle, an occupation which provided solitude for communing with God. Spiridon married early and he and his wife were blessed with a daughter. When his wife died, Spiridon continued his simple life, but devoted more time in service to the Church. After a while, he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, and was eventually chosen as Bishop of the coastal city of Tremithus, the see city for a small diocese. The Christians here were poor in worldly possessions, but rich in their devotion to Christ. Bishop Spiridon continued farming and was able to help provide for the needs of his people. He had the gift of miracles and used this gift for healing and converting others to the faith.
When persecutions began under Maximian Galerius, Bishop Spiridon was called upon to renounce his faith in the Christian God. Instead, he unhesitatingly confessed Christ as his Savior, and for this he lost his right eye, the sinews of his left hand were cut, and he was sent for a time to work in the mines.
Returning to his pastoral duties, Bishop Spiridon was an inspiration to all his people. He was one of the “confessor” bishops who attended the first Council of Nicaea, and there joined with the others in helping to formulate the creed which sets forth the beliefs for which he had suffered.
Bishop Spiridon also defended St. Athanasius against his many detractors. In 348, having lived a long and faithful life, St. Spiridon fell asleep in the Lord. May we learn from him to lead faithful, simple lives in service to God. St. Spiridon, pray for us.