We often form a perception of Eastern Christianity in the patristic period through the lenses of the writings of the great Fathers, or the pronouncements of ecumenical councils. Though this is legitimate, it is equally necessary to encounter the popular piety of the period through reading the lives of its saints. The sources range beyond the more familiar collections of lives of the Desert Fathers, and in this book we gain access to some of them. These accounts of a pillar-saint near the imperial capital, an Anatolian peasant, and a widower patriarch of Constantinople range from the late fifth to early seventh centuries, and convey vividly the miracles, sayings, and attitudes of their subjects, as well as the hopes and homely needs and desires of the average Christians whose veneration they attracted. These are saints who are drawn from the common people, who respond to entreaties to heal, to tame wild beasts, to cast out demons, to defend against the tyranny of the mighty.
An Eighth Day View:
Contemporary biographies of Saint Daniel the Stylite, Saint Theodore of Sykeon and Saint John the Almsgiver. Important documents for the social history of the Byzantine empire.