Zosimus of Syracuse

(d. c. 660)

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(d. c.660),

monk and bishop. The son of Sicilian landowners, Zosimus was offered to the monastery of St Lucy at the age of seven, where he was deputed to watch at the saint's relics. This was uncongenial to a boy accustomed to the open-air life of a farm and he ran away to his home. Brought back in disgrace, he experienced a menacing vision of Lucy, who, however, was appeased by the gracious Madonna who accepted his promise not to neglect his duty again. He settled down, became a good monk, and was forgotten for thirty years.

When the abbot died, the local bishop was invited to appoint his successor. In a scene reminiscent of Samuel's choice of David, the bishop asked for the missing monk to be sent for. He appointed Zosimus as abbot and ordained him priest: his rule became famous for wisdom and charity. When the bishop died, there was a disputed election; Pope Theodore appointed and consecrated Zosimus, who died at the age of ninety. These facts are drawn from a Life which purports to record contemporary information. Feast: 30 March.

AA.SS. Mart. III (1668), 837–43; B. T. A., i. 704–5.

Subjects: Christianity.

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