February 20 feast of Saint Jacob (Yacoub) the hermit.
St Jacob was a student of Saint Maroun. He lived in solitude in the mountain of Qorosh, near Antioch. Like Saint Maroun, Jacob would live outside, exposing his body to the rain, wind and all of nature. He would spend hours in prayer and would only feed his body grains and vegetables. The historian Theodoris in his book “Hermits” tells us about Saint Jacob.
“The sky was the only cover above his head and he unceasingly prayed exposing himself to the winds from every side, burdening his body with iron weights.”
As we move through this Lenten season, let us look to Saint Maroun and Saint Jacob, the monastics, who spent time in solitude away from the material world. They devoted themselves to prayer, fasting and feeding their bodies the necessities. Are we truly detaching ourselves from earthly distractions? Think about trying to eliminate the distractions from life, such as internet, social media and video games. Instead go for a walk and explore nature, take time to admire God in Creation and try to include prayer in your nature walk.