September 28, 2014 -
"ST. CHARITON THE CONFESSOR"
Our Church places her saints in various categories, according to the distinguishing spiritual characteristics of the individual. On the Ecclesiastical Calendar, you can find saints referred to as “confessors.” This title is not given to them because of any connection with the Sacrament of Penance, but rather it refers to their willingness to “confess” openly their loyalty to Christ in the face of persecution and adversity.
St. Chariton is honored by being called a “confessor of the faith.” He lived in Iconium during the reign of the Emperor Aurelian. When a harsh wave of persecutions broke out against Christians, Chariton was brought to trial in Rome. Despite being ordered to do so, Chariton refused to worship false gods, choosing instead to passionately profess his strong belief in Christ. He was tortured and cast into prison. Still, his faith in the Lord remained unshaken.
After the death of Aurelian, Chariton was released from bondage. He withdrew to the wilderness of Pharan, where he founded a monastic community. His original intent was to travel to Jerusalem, but he fell among robbers along the way, causing him to change his plans. It is said that Chariton founded several monasteries during his lifetime, and that he, himself, was responsible for initiating the ritual for tonsuring monks. Stories of his success in establishing such communities reached the ears of Patriarch Makarios of Jerusalem, who made a personal pilgrimage to Chariton’s monastery. The life of Chariton came to a peaceful end in 350 AD. When he died at the age of 90.