ZACHARIAS OF SCETIS (fourteenth century)

The son of Carion, who must not be confused with his namesake, the disciple of OF SCETIS, who followed his master into and the region of Gaza. Carion had left his wife and two children, a boy and a girl, to come to and be a monk. When a famine occurred, his wife brought the two children to their father.

Carion kept the boy and brought him up. When the youngster became a handsome adolescent, there were rumors about him; to quell suspicion, he dived into a pool of niter and emerged disfigured. Zacharias quickly came to surpass Carion in virtue, and was favored by visions, the origin of which was recognized by POEMEN. Carion said modestly, “I have carried through many more labors than Zacharias, my son, yet I have not attained to his perfect humility and silence.” One day MOSES THE BLACK, coming to the well to draw water, noticed Zacharias praying, with the Holy Spirit hovering like a dove above him. He fell at his feet and asked him how to become a monk.

Zacharias died fairly young, for Moses was present during his last moments and at that time received from him a final lesson in silence and humility. To his question “What do you see?” the dying man’s answer was “Is it not best, Father, to say nothing?” Zacharias was at once proclaimed blessed by the abba Isidorus, and he is mentioned in the SYNAXARION on 13 Babah.


  • Arras, V., ed. Collectio monastica 14, 34f. CSCO 328, pp. 117ff. Louvain, 1963.
  • Cotelier, J. B., ed. Apophthegmata patrum. PG 65, pp. 177-80, 249-52. Paris, 1864.