May 12 - St. Amphilochius of Pochaev

He was arrested and placed in a psychiatric hospital, where they mocked and tortured him . . .

The Venerable Amphilochius of Pochaev (Golovatyuk)

The venerable Amphilochius, who was baptized Jacob, was born in 1894, in the village of Mala Ilovytsya, in Shumskyi, into a big peasant family. 

From his early childhood the future ascetic saw the piety of his parents, who didn't leave home without praying. He absorbed everything that was good and holy into his soul.

In 1912, Jacob was drafted into the Tsar's army, where he came face to face with life and death. Seeing light, drinking in sorrow on the warfront and in captivity, Jacob intimately understood that life is a never-ending battle, in which the Devil contends with God, and the field of this battle is the human heart.

Having chosen the thorny path of salvation, Jacob entered the Pochaev Lavra in 1925. Having passed the trials of the novitiate, the novice Jacob Golovatyuk was tonsured with the name of Joseph.

Fulfilling various obediences, Fr. Joseph began to heal the sick. From all directions, they brought him those who suffered. Many secrets of his exploits and struggles remained hidden to the world.

Having devoted his life to serving God and his neighbors, Father Joseph acquired firm faith and active love, receiving from God the gifts of clairvoyance and healing. He healed by casting out demons, returning hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind, and to the mournful he brought joy and comfort.

During the times of persecution on the Russian Orthodox Church, Fr. Joseph courageously defended the Trinity Cathedral and Lavra. He knew the risk of what he was doing, and within a week, Fr. Joseph was arrested and placed in a psychiatric hospital, where they mocked and tortured him. But he withstood it all.

Once he was freed, Fr. Joseph settled in his native Ilovytsya. Learning where the elder lived, people with various illnesses began to visit him again. With God's help, he healed these people by his prayers.

Once, the enemy of mankind wanted to kill the elder, but the Lord protected his servant. The elder recovered, taking on the holy schema with the name Amphilochius. He continued to serve his neighbor with great self-sacrifice for many years.

On January 1st, 1971, St. Amphilochius went to the Lord. By his faith, and by showing mercy to the suffering, he gave us a blessed example of life, and left an indelible memory in the hearts of believers, for whom he is a swift healer, a merciful helper, and a blessed intercessor. Even after his death, he heals, comforts, and edifies.

The twelfth of May is the feast day of the Venerable Amphilochius of Pochaev (Golovatyuk).

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