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Author Topic: Venerable Shio Mgvime  (Read 1005 times) Average Rating: 0
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thomas c.
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« on: February 09, 2007, 04:39:52 PM »

Anyone know about this saint? He's on the OCA homepage's list of Saints for today and his icon is fascinating.
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 08:55:57 PM »

I got this from St.JohnforunnerDC

St. Shio (Simeon) Mgvime
9/22 May

Venerable Shio was born in Syrian Antioch. His parents were Christians and brought up their son as their sole heir. The youth received a good education, learned Sacred Scripture and already in his early years was gifted with the ability to interpret the Word of God.

Having learned of the holy ascetic John, Shio secretly left the parental home and made his way to the saint. Venerable John sent the youth back to his parents, having foretold that his parents would become monastics. The prophecy was quickly fulfilled: Shio distributed the inheritance and received the tonsure from Saint John.

After twenty years, Shio, in the number of twelve other chosen disciples of Saint John, set out for Iberia (Georgia) to preach the Word of God. In accordance with the blessing of Eulabius, the Catholicos of Georgia, and his teacher, Venerable Shio settled in a cave west of the town of Mtskheta, where he carried on a severe ascetic struggle, for which he was counted worthy of marvelous visions. The solitary life of the ascetic became known, and soon the place of the saint's struggle turned into a monastery, in which a church was founded by the Venerable one in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Later, other churches were erected: in honor of the Mother of God and John the Forerunner. All of the churches were consecrated by Catholicos Macarius. The number of the brethren grew, and the Venerable one blessed the founding of the Mgvime Monastery for them, while he himself continued the struggle of salvation in reclusion. Venerable Shio was translated on the 9th of May, having communed of the Holy mysteries the day before and having given to the brethren his final salvific instructions.

The relics of the God-pleaser were buried in the monastery founded by him.

Venerable Shio is known as the author of 160 instructions for the brethren.

Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 02:40:23 PM »

Thomas:

St Shio was one of the "Thirteen Holy Fathers of Syria", who are favorite monastic saints in the country of Georgia. Twelve monks, led by their elder, St. Ioane Zedazeny; were directed by the Theotokos to go to Georgia in the 6th century to strengthen the peoples faith. They first settled in Iqalto, in Kakhetia (eastern Georgia) and founded the first school of higher learning, the Iqalto Academy. Later the Holy Fathers dispersed to live as anchorites. St Shio lived in the Sarkineti mountains west of the ancient capital, Mtshkheta. The Holy Fathers often followed the example of the Stylites of Syria. For thirteen years, St Shio lived in the bottom of a well. He was renowned for the gift of healing. One of my friends told me that he translated the scriptures into Georgian; but that is not recorded in his life. His monastery is still functioning. It is about 30 miles northwest of Tbilisi.

His life can be read in the "Lives of the Georgian Saints"by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze; which has been published in English by the St Herman's press. It can be ordered from  sthermanpress. com  for $30.

Another of the Holy Syrian Fathers, St Antony Matqopeli brought the Anchiskhati ( the Icon not Made by Hands ) to Georgia. This icon is not the original Mandylion; but a tile from the city wall of Edessa, where the Mandylion was kept. When the Mandylion was taken out of the city wall where is had been displayed, a copy of the image had imprinted on this tile. St Antony brought the tile to Georgia, where it is to this day. Mt wife and I were married in the church built for this icon. The tile icon itself is now housed in the Armory of the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi. The church wants to have it returned; but the museum is concerned that the tile is too fragile for display. St Antony''s monastery is located in the mountains just outside  Tbilisi. During the communist times, it was used a children's camp. When the atheists tried to open St Antony's tomb; light and sparks came out. They were so scared, that they left the grave undisturbed.

Monastic life is still active in Georgia, and there are great saints in our own day. "Mama Gabrieli ", Father Gabriel of Mtskheta is a modern saint revered through-out Georgia. He died in 1995, and is buried in the convent in Mtskheta. My wife met Fr Gabriel when he was still alive, and we have named our son after him. Fr Gabriel was a fool-for Christ and a fearless confessor during the communist times. In 1967, during the May Day parade, he snuck into the building where the banners of Marx and Lenin were hanging. He soaked the banners with kerosene and lit them on fire. He leaned out he window and called to the people:  "Let's worship Jesus Christ, and not these dogs of Satan". The communists dragged him out and beat him to death; or so they thought. Almost every bone was broken. His skull was fractured in four places; but he survived and lived to see the end of the communits. Fr Gabriel had the gift of prophecy; but he also had a great gift for humor. A very great saint indeed. Dozens of miraculous healing have taken place due to his intercession. He has been a great help to my family.

Georgia has a rich history, there are holy places and the tombs of saints almost on every corner. Any Orthodox  Chrisitian who loves to travel, should go. The climate is mild, The natural scenery is incredible. Most young people speak English - They teach it beginning in first grade. Older folks are fluent in Russian. Americans are very popular - our government and military are supporting Georgia's independece from the Russians. A great experience.

Francis Frost

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thomas c.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 05:40:05 PM »

Juliana and Frost, thank you very much for that!  One thing that is still a mystery to me is the icon of St. Shio where smoke is rising from a red spot on his right palm, but if I had to take a guess maybe it is a sign of his gift of healing?  I don't know.

Frost, it is interesting that you mentioned the story of Father Gabriel of Mtskheta because I remember reading about him before in the magazine Death To the World (published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood).  What a blessing it is for your wife to have known a living Saint!  Re-reading it again, what immense sufferings Fr. Gabriel endured!  Here is the incomplete account I read, on page 6:  http://www.desertwisdom.org/dttw/links/dttw-zine01.pdf

I never knew much about Georgian culture so it was interesting to hear your experiences; have you heard about this amazing icon painter and artist Niko Chocheli?  He is Georgian-born but lives in the U.S.  He has very uniquely creative, colorful, beautiful paintings and icons...some of which can be seen here - http://www.comeandseeicons.com/NikoChocheli/

Another native Georgian, the artist Zurab Konstantinovich Tsereteli, creates magnificent sculptures that strike me with a sense of wonder and awe.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zurab_Tsereteli
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 05:45:49 PM by thomas c. » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 10:12:23 PM »

Thomas:

The smoke rising from St Shio's hand comes from a story in his life. Once, St Shio wanted to build a chruch. He prayed to God to show him the place that it should be located. St Shio then took a live coal in his hand, sprinkled incense on it and followed the rising smoke. Where the smoke stood still, St Shio marked the site for the new church with his staff. (from the Life of St Shio Mgvime in lives of the Georgian Saints)

St Shio is commemorated on May 9th, and the 13 Holy Syrian Fathers are commemorated as a group on May &th.

The wonderful thing about Father Gabriel was his humility and his simplicity. He was shunned for many years, ans lived a a street person and beggar. After independence, his holiness began to be recognized by the people. However, he tried to hide his holiness with humor. He disliked it if people treated him with too much reverence. Once, he grapped a plate a put it behind his head. "See this , this is the only halo you'll see on me ! " He was always kind and tried to not overwhelm or frighten people. He liked to use humor as a way to put people at ease. He wore a cross and and a sign around his neck that said:
God is love.

My wife, Nino heard him tell the following story, himself.

Fr Gabriel was sitting outside a church one Sunday after the Liturgy. A young boy said, with evident delight: "Tell us the "story about Ioseliani ! " 

Ioseliani was one of the local strong men used by the communist apparatus to maintain control. After independence, these warlords started a civil war in Georgia, and they ran around the country like bandits raiding homes and extorting money to fuel their fights and their lifestyles. Ioseliani was one of these warlord politicians. He had a gang of machine gun toting toughs to imtimidate and rob people.

When the people began to talk about Fr Gabriel, his holiness, and his gift of prophecy; Ioseliani decided to go to ask for his blessing. So, Ioseliani came with his armed guards to ask for a blessing. Fr Gabriel knew what he was doing around the country. Fr Gabriel shouted: " You want a blessing - here's the only blessing you'll get from me ! " Fr Gabriel grabbed the branch of a tree and started beating Ioseliani, and drove him and his gang away. Imagine this warlord and his machine gun toting toughs all running away from a sick old monk !

Later, Ioseliani came in disguise to try to get a blessing, and again Fr Gariel drove him away. It was only later, that the public learned about all the crimes that Ioseliani had been commiting.

Fr Gabriel is a great hero to all the Georgian people. He is buried in the Mtskheta ' Dedas Moansteri '
(convent). He lived under the bell tower during the last few years of his life, and the nuns helped to care for him before he died. The nuns keep a lamp burning day and night at the head of his grave. The oil from the lamp is distributed and used by the sick for healing. In this same church yard is the Raspberry bush still growing that St Nino once hid inside. Inside the church is a piece of the Lord's own cross, sent by the Byzantine Emperor to Georgia. This relic was hidden inside the church for many years; but Fr Gabriel found it.

Best wishes to all for the Holy Fast
Francis Frost
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