Life of St. Zosima
Righteous Zosima of Palestine commemorated as a saint on April 4.
Saint Zosimas was born in the second half of the fifth century, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Younger. He became a monk in a monastery in Palestine at a very young age, gaining a reputation as a great elder and ascetic. At the age of fifty-three, now a hieromonk, he moved to a very strict monastery located in the wilderness close to the Jordan River, where he spent the remainder of his life.
He is best known for his encounter with St. Mary of Egypt (commemorated on April 1). It was the custom of that monastery for all of the brethren to go out into the desert for the forty days of Great Lent, spending the time in fasting and prayer, and not returning until Palm Sunday. While wandering in the desert he met Saint Mary, who told him her life story and asked him to meet her the next year on Holy Thursday on the banks of the Jordan, in order to bring her Holy Communion. He did so, and the third year came to her again in the desert, but he found that she had died and he buried her. St Zosimas is reputed to have lived to be almost one hundred years of age.
All that we know of Zosimas' life comes from the Vita of St. Mary of Egypt, recorded by St. Sophronius, who was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 634 to 638.