St. Zosimus

From Jason John Edwards, Obl.S.B.’s continuing series on Benedictine saints.

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Saint Zosimus, Bishop of Syracuse, was born in answer to the fervent prayers of his parents, who were childless for a long time. When their son reached the age of seven, his parents sent him to the monastery of Saint Lucy near Syracuse to be educated. At one point as a child, he was unable to bear the quiet of the monastery and the tedium of his chores, and he ran away. His family sent him back to the monastery. There he had a vision of Saint Lucy who seemed angry. In the vision, Our Lady appeared, calmed Lucy, and welcomed the boy back to the monastery.

When the holy ascetic became an adult, he received monastic tonsure, and governed the monastery for forty years, studying under Saint Faustus of Syracuse. During one meeting to choose an abbot, Zosimus was left behind to watch the door and guard the church’s relics; the bishop decided this was a man humble enough to be trusted with the task and made Zosimus abbot.

Pope Theodore (641-649) consecrated him Bishop of Syracuse in AD 649.

Saint Zosimus was distinguished by his charity and lack of avarice.  He led his flock by word and by example. Toward the end of his life Saint Zosimus fell grievously ill but endured his suffering with magnanimity and humility. He died in the year 662, after he had led his flock for thirteen years. Later, many of the sick received healing by merely touching his tomb.

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