Venerable Zosimas of Palestine, also called Zosima, is commemorated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches 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. Sophronius based his work on oral tradition he had heard from Palestinian monks. This Vita is traditionally read as a part of the Matins of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, on the fifth Thursday of Great Lent.
（Ζώσιμος). A Greek historian who lived as a high officer of State at Constantinople in the second half of the fifth century A.D., and composed a work, distinguished for its intelligent and liberal views, on the fall of the Roman Empire. It is in six books: i. giving a sketch of the time from Augustus to Diocletian; ii.-iv. a fuller account of events down to the division of the Empire by Theodosius the Great; v. and vi. treat in greater detail of the period from 395 to 410; the conclusion of book vi. is probably wanting, as Zosimus had the intention of continuing the history up to his own time. He attributes the fall of the Empire in part to the overthrow of heathenism and the introduction of Christianity, with which, of course, he was not acquainted in its purest form, but only in the degenerate state into which it had sunk in some places in the fourth century. This history is edited by Bekker (1837) and by Mendelssohn (1887). See Martin, De Fontibus Zosimi (1866). A monograph on the various prodigies, oracles, etc., recorded by Zosimus was published by H. Piristi in 1893.