Icon of St. Modestus - 1MO60

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Saint Modestus Patriarch of Jerusalem

Commemoration varies on May 17, March 29 or December 17. The Palestinian-Georgian calendar venerates him on December 16 and October 19 in the Acta Sanctorum. 


He was born in Cappadocian Sebasteia.Five months old at his Christian parents' death, he was raised as a Christian. As an adult he was sold as a slave in Egypt, but converted his pagan master to Christianity and was freed by him. Withdrawing to Mount Sinai to live as an ascetic, he was later made abbot of the Monastery of St. Theodosius in Palestine.

In 614 Chosroes II destroyed Jerusalem, killed 66,509 Christians and captured the Patriarch of Jerusalem (then Zacharias), other Christians and the True Cross. Modestus had been on his way to raise Greek troops to oppose this and was surrounded by Persian troops, having a narrow escape. Modestus was then chosen to stand in for Zacharias as Patriarch. He buried the monks killed at the monastery of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified and rebuilt the Holy Sepulchre, the city's churches and monasteries with help from John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria. He became patriarch in his own right after Zacharias died in Persia when Heraclius visited the city to restore the True Cross in March 630. On Modestus's death he was buried in the Church of the Eleona on the Mount of Olives.


Prayer of Saint Modestus of Jerusalem for Animals

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, compassionate and all-good, Who fashioned in wisdom both the invisible and visible creation, Who pour your Mercies upon everything that has been made by you; Who, in Your loving providence, provide for all Your creatures, from the first to the last; hear my prayer and drive away and banish every injury and illness from all these animals which are being enjoyed by your servants. {names of all the animals being blessed}

Yes Lord, look down from Your holy dwelling place and bless all these animals, as you blessed the flock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of all Your faithful servants. Multiply them, grant them health, strength and productivity; render them robust and successful in the various services which they render so that their owners, having derived abundant benefits from them, may engage in all good works which are pleasing to You, and may glorify on earth Your Holy Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.