PATRISTICS/ Barsanuphius and John
Barsanuphius of Palestine (d. ca. 540 AD), also known as Barsanuphius of Gaza, was a hermit of the sixth century. Born in Egypt, he lived in absolute seclusion for fifty years, and then near the monastery of Saint Seridon of Gaza in Palestine. He wrote many letters, 800 of which have survived. He corresponded mainly with John the Prophet, abbot of the monastery of Merosala and teacher of Dorotheus of Gaza.
At the old age he convinced the emperor to renew the concordant relationship with the Church of Jerusalem.
His relics arrived in Oria with a Palestinian monk in 850 AD and placed in the present-day church of San Francesco da Paola by Bishop Theodosius. During a Moorish siege and taking of the city, the relics were lost but then later rediscovered and placed in the city's basilica.
At Oria he is considered to have saved the city from destruction wrought by foreign invaders. A legend states that he repelled a Spanish invasion by appearing before the Spanish commander armed with a sword. During World War II, he is said to have spread his blue cape across the sky, thus causing a rainstorm, and preventing an air bombing by Allied Forces.
The Venerable John practiced a life of silence and earned the gifts of prophecy and perspicacity, for which he received the designation of prophet. His place of birth is unknown. During an 18 year period up to his death, he lived near the Elder Barsanuphius. Knowing the date of his demise and in response to Abba Elianus¿ request he postponed his death for two weeks in order to instruct him how to run the cloister.
Image: Saints Barsanuphius the Great & John the Prophet