The follies of people cannot but arouse the special attention of society. From the history of Russia, there are cases when the holy fools attracted the attention of the tsars themselves. What is the meaning of these people's behavior? The answer can be much more complex than the question itself.
Who are the holy fools
In modern society, individuals can experience various psychological disorders. Imbalance and insanity are sometimes attributed to clinical pathology. The very name "holy fool" means insane, foolish. But this term is used to a greater extent not for people suffering from mental disorders of personality, but as a joke on a person whose behavior causes a smile. In the common people, ordinary village fools could be called holy fools.
A completely different attitude towards the holy fools who are canonized by the Church. Foolishness is a kind of spiritual feat of man. In this sense, it is understood as madness for Christ's sake, a voluntary feat of humility. It should be noted that this order of saints appears precisely in Russia. It is precisely here that foolishness is so vividly presented as sublime and indicates various serious problems of society under the guise of imaginary insanity.
For comparison, out of several dozen holy fools, only six labored in other countries. Thus, it turns out that the holy fools are holy people canonized by the Church. Their insane behavior encouraged people to look at the spiritual problems that exist in society.
The first mention of holy fools goes back to the 11th century. Hagiographic sources point to Isaac of Pechersky, who asceticised in the famous Kiev Lavra. Later, for several centuries, the feat of foolishness is not mentioned in history. But already in the XV-XVII centuries, this type of holiness began to flourish in Russia. Many names of people are known who are glorified by the Church as great devotees of piety. Moreover, their behavior could raise many questions from others. Vasily of Moscow Blessed is considered one of the most famous holy fools. A famous temple was built in his honor in Moscow on the main square of the country. The names of Procopius Ustyuzhsky and Mikhail Klopsky are also preserved in history.
Foolish people committed insane acts. For example, in the market, they could throw cabbage at people. But it is worth distinguishing foolishness for Christ's sake from innate foolishness (madness). Christian holy fools were usually wandering monks.
Historically, in Russia, buffoons and clowns, who amused the princely palaces and, with their ridiculous behavior, pleased the boyars, could also be called holy fools. The opposite of this is foolishness for Christ's sake. Such holy fools, on the contrary, denounced the boyars, princes and the kings themselves for the sins.
What is the meaning of foolishness for Christ's sake
Holy foolish people were never called stupid or insane. On the contrary, some of them were sufficiently educated, others wrote books about spiritual exploits. It is not so easy to delve into the mystery of holy foolishness in Russia. The fact is that the holy fools for Christ's sake consciously assumed such an image in order to hide their holiness under it. It was a kind of personal humility. In the crazy actions of such people, they found a hidden meaning. It was a denunciation of the stupidity of this world under the guise of imaginary madness.
Holy foolish people could be respected by the great leaders of Russia. For example, Tsar Ivan the Terrible knew Basil the Blessed personally. The latter denounced the king for his sins, but for this he was not even executed.
The very phenomenon of foolishness for Christ's sake, as a type of holiness, has not yet been fully understood and explained by secular sciences. The holy fools, who took upon themselves the feat of voluntarily appearing insane, still attract the attention of psychologists, philosophers and theologians.