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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana







One of the most impressive witnessing to the Faith in the early Church was the self-sacrifice of the youth. St. John Chrysostom narrates of damsels not yet 20 years old who had spent their whole time in inner chambers full of sweet ointments and perfumes, reclining on soft tapestry, themselves soft in their nature, who, all the day long, had had no other business than to adorn themselves, to wear jewels and to enjoy every luxury, who reveled continually in roses and such fragrant odours. Yet, seized with the love of Christ, they put off all indolence and pride, forgot their delicateness and youth, stripped themselves of their soft clothings and rushed in the midst of that great spiritual combat in monasteries.

These tender damsels lived a hard life wearing coarse clothing and walking barefoot, lying down on beds of leaves and stayed awake most of the night in prayer. And their only meal, once a day, in the evening, was flour, beans and figs.

They labored harder than maids and servants and served the weak and the sick, dressing their wounds, preparing their food, carrying their beds and bathing them. 

So great was the power of youthful self-sacrifice, it was the greatest source of conversion to the new Catholic religion.

St. John Chrysostom








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