Holy Monk-martyrs Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel, and Pavle of Gareji (†1696–1700)

Memory 1 (14) June

Holy Monk-martyrs Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel, and Pavle of Gareji. Holy Monk-martyrs Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel, and Pavle of Gareji.
Holy Monk-martyrs Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel, and Pavle of Gareji.

The holy monk-martyrs Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel and Pavle labored in the Davit-Gareji Wilderness at the end of the 17th century.

St. Shio was from the village of Vedzisi in the Kartli region.

His parents, Papuna and Tamar, were wealthy and highly influential people. They had eight children: five sons and three daughters. After their parents died, Shio’s brothers quarreled so intensely over their inheritance that the eldest brother finally killed the youngest.

Deeply disturbed by this tragedy, blessed Shio sought to withdraw from the vanity of the world — a world in which brother can murder brother and a son can murder his father. Shio confessed his desire to his spiritual father, and he was advised to journey to the Davit-Gareji Monastery and be tonsured a monk. In fact, the abbot, Fr. Onopre (Machutadze), had invited Shio to the monastery several times before, saying, “Come, brother Shio, and let us finish our lives here.”

With great joy Onopre received Shio, who was already revered by many for his faith and chastity. He directed him to a cell and clothed him as a novice.

Blessed Shio’s tireless labors, humility, and manifest love for his brothers inspired many to seek his counsel. The abbot himself often trusted Shio to administer the affairs of the monastery in his absence.

Once Fr. Onopre departed to attend to some matters outside the monastery, leaving Shio in charge. After Vespers and a meal, the exhausted brothers were settling down to rest when a band of Dagestani robbers suddenly stormed the monastery grounds. They ransacked the monastery and captured Hieromonk Shio and the monks Davit, Gabriel and Pavle and killed them. Some of the brothers who remained tried to flee, but they were caught and brutally slain.

The cells of the Davit-Gareji Monastery were soaked with blood.Then the Dagestanis, yet unsatisfied, seized and destroyed nearly all the monastery’s property. They stole some of the clerical vestments, and the rest they cut in pieces and tossed in a well. Then they hacked the holy icons to pieces with their axes.

With the blessing of the catholicos and by order of the king, the mutilated relics of the holy martyrs were buried in the courtyard south of the grave of St. Davit of Gareji.

O venerable Martyrs of Christ, Shio the New, Davit, Gabriel, and Pavle, entreat Christ Jesus, the Illuminator of the world, to have mercy on the children of His Church!

Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze


For further information on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076
http://www.stherman.com/catalog/chapter_five/Lives_of_the_georgian_saints.htm

6/18/2007

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