Commemorated on December 2
The Monk Ise (Jesse), Bishop of
Tsilkan, was born at Syrian Antioch in a pious Christian family. While
still a lad he felt the pull towards the spiritual life, and with the
attainment of mature age, and the blessing of his parents, he set out to one of
the Antioch monasteries, where at the time asceticised the Monk John Zedazeni
(the account about him is located under 7 May).
The Monk Ise was included amongst
the number of the 13 holy Syrian (Cappadocian) Fathers (their general
commemoration is 7 May), who were chosen by lot by the Monk John Zedazeni (as
commanded him by the Mother of God). The Monk Ise arrived in Gruzia (Georgia)
together with them, and with them he taught and instructed the people in the
pious life, providing an example of sanctity and healing the sick.
The reports of the deeds of the 13
Syrian Fathers spread about among the people such, that the Katholikos-Archbishop
of Gruzia Eulabios (533-544) proposed having a council of bishops meet and
choose certain of these ascetics to fill empty cathedra-seats. Because of the
difficulty of whom to choose, since all alike were worthy of the dignity of
bishop, they proposed to go to the city of Zaden, where the ascetics dwelt, and
to choose those who at the time were celebrating the Divine Liturgy. In this
manner thus became bishops: the PriestMonk Habib (the account about him is
located under 29 November) and the MonkDeacon Ise, appointed to the Tsilkan
cathedra-seat. Having arrived in his diocese, Ise was astonished by the rampant
pagan rites, customs and superstition. He zealously concerned himself with the
restoration of piety, preaching constantly and making frequent Divine-services.
His work bore fruit – in the Tsilkan diocese Orthodox piety was affirmed, and
with it also was affirmed the Church of Christ. Continuing also his ascetic
efforts, Saint Ise attained to great gifts of prayer and wonderworking. Through
his prayer, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ there separated off from the
River Xana a stream of water, which – in following the course that the saint
intended, formed the bed of a canal and stretched to the church of the Most Holy
Mother of God (near Tsilkan). Having put his diocese in good order, Saint Ise
set off preaching to the Ossetians and other mountain peoples of the great
Caucasus Mountain range. He made the rounds of he ravines and the rocky crags
with the Gospel and cross in hand, everywhere affirming the teaching of God's
Saint Ise learned about his
impending end through a revelation from above. Gathering his flock and clergy,
he preached a spiritual instruction, communed the Holy Mysteries, and with
hands upraised to Heaven he offered up his soul o the Lord. This transpired at
the end VI Century. (The known exact day of the saint's death is 18 August).
The venerable relics of Saint Ise, already glorified by healing at the time of
his burial, were consigned to earth in the church of the Most Holy Mother of God
at Tsilkan, betwixt the altar-table and the table of oblation. The Church
subsequently enumerated Saint Ise to the rank of the Saints and set his day of
memory as 2 December.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.