Lives of Saints - St. Evagrios of the Philokalia Christianity - Books
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Lives of Saints - St. Evagrios of the Philokalia

St. Evagrios of the Philokalia

In our Orthodox Church we have two Saints by the name Evagrios. Saint Evagrios commemorated on the 18th of January.

The name Evagrios is derived from the ancient Greek word "agrevo " meaning "to fish". The name therefore refers to the person whom God has caught with ease and who by the grace of God in turn is able with ease to become a fisher of men like the Disciples were.

The most well known Evagrios in the history of the Church is Evagrios of the Philokalia.

The wise and well educated Evagrios was born in 345 AD in Pontos. He was tonsured a reader by St Basil the Great and ordained a Deacon by St Gregory of Nissa, brother of St Basil the Great. He was appointed Archdeacon to St Gregory the Theologian when he was the Patriarch of Constantinople.

He accompanied St Gregory the Theologian at the 2nd Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 381 AD.

Evagrios was a man of superior intellect as was recognised by St Nikodimos the Athonite.

Following a brief stay at Jerusalem, in 383 AD he moved to Egypt were he remained for the last 16 years of his life. His spiritual fathers in Egypt were St Makarios of Alexandria and St Makarios the Egyptian. Through these spiritual fathers he came into contact with the first generation of the fathers of the wilderness in its most pure spiritual form. After a couple of years in Nitria where he became a monk, he moved to the most isolated wilderness of Kellia where he passed on to the Lord in 399 AD. In his spiritual writings it is clear that he had a very deep sense of spiritual discernment. He became famous in both the east and west traditions of the Christian world. His spiritual child St John Cassianos enlightened the Latin west with his teachings. His spiritual notions and terms have been sealed in the eastern Theology forever. His spirit is evident throughout the writings of St Diadochos Bishop of Photiki, St John of the Ladder, St Maximus the Confessor and the writings of the Syrian tradition like those of St Isaac the Syrian.



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