Not only is the name of today’s saint a bit hard to pronounce and spell. It’s also difficult to learn about such a modest and gentle man who lived in the fourth and fifth century and who is better known in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The birth date of Hesychius (pronounced HESH-us) is unclear, but we know that he was a priest and monk who wrote a history of the Church, unfortunately lost. He also wrote about many of the burning issues of his day. These included the heresy of Nestorianism, which held that there were two separate persons in Jesus—one human, one divine—and the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. Some of his commentaries on the books of the Bible as well, along with meditations on the prophets and homilies on the Blessed Virgin Mary, still survive.
It’s believed Hesychius delivered Easter homilies in the basilica in Jerusalem thought to be the place of the crucifixion.
His words on the Eucharist, written centuries ago, speak to us today: “Keep yourselves free from sin so that every day you may share in the mystic meal; by doing so our bodies become the body of Christ.”
Hesychius died around the year 450.