Collection: St. David of Thessalonika

ARTIST: Br. Robert Lentz, OFM


Saint David was born in northern Mesopotamia, in an area now known as Iraq. He traveled to Thessaloniki as a young man to become a monk at the Monastery of Sts. Theodore and Mercurius. After some time, he chose to climb a large almond tree on the monastery grounds, where he spent three years learning self-discipline, enduring the elements, day and night, suffering greatly in bad weather.

At the end of three years an angel appeared to him and told him it was time to come down from the tree and continue his monastic life in a humble cell built by his disciples. He lived as a recluse in this cell the rest of his life, except for a trip to Constantinople, to intercede with the emperor for the people of his city. He died as he was returning home, and his body was buried at his monastery. Crusaders stole his relics and took them to Italy. They were finally returned to Thessaloniki in 1978.

His feast day is June 26.

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Saint David of Thessalonica pursued asceticism at the monastery of the holy Martyrs Theodore and Mercurius. Inspired by the example of the holy stylites, he lived in an almond tree in constant prayer, keeping strict fast, and enduring heat and cold. He remained there for three years until an angel told him to come down.

St. David received from God the gift of wonderworking, and he healed many from sickness. The holy ascetic gave spiritual counsel to all who came to him. Having attained to passionlessness, he was like an angel in the flesh, and he was able to take hot coals into his hands without harm. He died the year 540.