The New Hieromartyr Cosmas, Equal of the Apostles was a native of the Aitolia area of Greece.
At the Philotheou Monastery of Mount Athos he was tonsured a monk wand later was ordained hieromonk. The desire to benefit his fellow Christians, to guide them upon the way of salvation and strengthen their faith, impelled St Cosmas to seek the blessing of his spiritual fathers and go to Constantinople. He received a written permit of Patriarch Seraphim II (and later from his successor Sophronius) to preach the Holy Gospel.
He then traveled from village to village teaching the simple people their Orthodox Faith.
Some quotes from the teachings of St. Cosmas the Aitolian:
- “The Martyrs won Paradise through their blood; the Ascetics, through their ascetic life. Now you, my brethren, who have children, how will you win Paradise? By means of hospitality, by giving to your brothers who are poor, blind, or lame.””If you want cure your soul, you need four things. The first is to forgive your enemies. The second is to confess thoroughly. The third is to blame yourself. The fourth is to resolve to sin no more. If we wish to be saved, we must always blame ourselves and not attribute our wrong acts to others. And God, Who is most compassionate, will forgive us.”
- “God created woman equal with man, not inferior…My Christian, you must love your wife as your companion, not consider her as your slave, for she is a creature of God, just as you are. God was crucified for her as much as for you. You call God Father, she calls Him Father, too. Both of you have the same Faith, the same Baptism, the same Book of the Gospels, the same Holy Communion, the same Paradise to enjoy. God does not regard her as inferior to you. “
- “This prayer should never be absent from you: Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Logos of the living God, through the Theotokos and all the Saints, have mercy upon me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant.” (This is the actual Jesus Prayer: “O LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY UPON ME, A SINNER.”) Always say this prayer both with your mouth and with your mind, day and night, wherever you may be, whether eating, walking, working, or sitting. Always meditate on it, as it benefits you a great deal., frees you here from every evil, delivers you there from eternal Hell, and renders you worthy of going to Paradise, our heavenly country.”
- “There will come a time for your enemies to take even the ash from the fire, but do not change your faith like others will.“
- The desired will come when two Paschal celebrations come together.” (In 1912 the Annunciation and Pascha dates coincided and the area of Northern Greece where St. Cosmas was preaching was freed from Turkish domination).
- “The clergy will be the worst and most impious of all.”
- “The clergy will become like the laity, and the laypeople like animals.”
- “After the (general) war, people will run half an hour to find a human and make him brother.“
- “The time will come when the devil will make rounds with his pumpkin.”
- “Curse the Pope, because he will be the reason.“