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Τετάρτη, 26 Ιουνίου 2019

On the Feast of St. Onouphrios (June 12/25):



On the Feast of St. Onouphrios (June 12/25):

'In the midst of Sinai's remote valleys, it is said, there is an anchorite. I tried long and hard to find him, but could not set eyes on him... Every time the monks wished to visit him, he made off with all speed to trackless places ... When asked why he so strenuously shunned mankind, he answered by saying that he who receives visits from men, cannot expect to be visited by angels. Hence the opinion has spread, not without reason, among many, that the holy man is visited by angels ..'

This memoir by a 4th century Sinai pilgrim fits no one so closely as St. Onouphrios, the ascetic who spent seven solitary decades in the desert, having traded Egypt's Thebaid for total seclusion in a garden at the foot of Mount Sinai.

After his clothing fell to pieces, the saint was clothed only by the thick hair of his body and beard. His biographer, St. Paphnoutios, expressed astonishment that anyone could endure Sinai's bitterly cold and snowy winters with so little protection.

It was the matchless peace of the chapel (photo bottom, on the right) at St. Onouphrios' cave that a German film crew once attempted to record with their sound equipment..

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