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Saint Maxim the Confessor.


Saint Maxim was born in Constantinople of noble parents and received an excellent education. He was one of Emperor Heracliusís (610-641) advisers. Witnessing the spread of the Monophysite heresy (they rejected the human will in Jesus Christ, which diminished the importance of His suffering on the cross) which the emperor himself embraced, he left the royal court and entered the Chrysopolis monastery, where he accepted a monastic tonsure. He subsequently became the monasteryís father superior.

A deep-thinking theologian of that time and a strict defender of Orthodoxy, Maxim very skillfully and successfully proved the incorrectness of the Monophysite heresy [Monophysites wrongly maintained that the human nature of Jesus Christ was absorbed by His Divine nature] this is said in the first paragraph. For this, the enemies of the Church subjected him to persecution on many occasions. Blessed Maximís arguments in favor of Orthodoxy were so convincing that after a public debate with the Monophysite patriarch Pyrrhos of Constantinople, the latter renounced his previously held heresy.

On a number of occasions, Blessed Maxim was sent into exile, only to be recalled to Constantinople. From admonitions to promises, the heretics often turned to threats, abuses and even physical assaults on Blessed Maxim. However, he remained resolute in his religious beliefs. Eventually, they cut off his right hand and his tongue so that he would be unable to defend the Truth either by the spoken or written word. Following this, they exiled him to a prison in Caucasus, in Lazov (province of Mingreli?). Here, on the 13th of August, 662 Blessed Maxim reposed, knowing beforehand the day of his death.

Blessed Maxim wrote many theologian works in defense of Orthodoxy. Especially precious to us are his instructions on a spiritual and contemplative life, which were included in the "Philokalia" in the form of 400 instructions on Christian love. Also known are his 700 chapters on the Holy Trinity and on the incarnation of God-Word, on virtues and passions and discourse on the Lordís Prayer. Directives on asceticism reveal spiritually deep and penetrating thoughts of Blessed Maxim.

He is remembered on the 3rd of February by the new calendar.

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