Dispatch From the Desert:  February 24th thru March 1st

African Saints (from the Prolouge of Orhid)

  • Montanus, Lucias, Julian, Victoricus, Flavian, and thier companions (Feb 24), Martyred in Carthage in 259
  • Julian and Chronium (Feb 27), Julian was crippled with gout. He was taken on a pallet and condemned as a Christian.  He and his disciple Chromion were burned at the sake in Alexandria in 250 and 252.
  • Simon of Cyrene (Feb 27), Carried the cross for our Lord and raised two sons, Lucius and Rufus, in the faith. Died in the first century. [Simon’s commemoration is found only in the Lectionary Paris BN gr 282 (9th century) and the Ormylia Synaxarion]
  • Proterius and his six companions (Feb 28), Proterius was elected Patriarch of Alexandria after the Fourth Ecumenical Council of 451. Dioscorus, the previous Patriarch, was removed for supporting the Monophysite (Jesus having one nature) doctrine and his supporters ran the new head of the African Church.  Proterius had a vision of Isaiah telling him, “Return to the city, I am waiting for you.”  He returned to Alexandria where he and six of his supporters were killed by the heretics in 457.

{Commemorated on Feb 28 on non-leap years}

  • John Cassian the Roman (Feb 29), spent years among the African Desert Fathers. By their wisdom, he wrote the Conferences and Institutes. On the Holy Fathers of Sketis in the Philokalia, Vol. 1 is dedicated to his conversations with Moses the Black. Cassian brought monasticism to Marseilles and other parts of present day France and had a large following of monks and nuns.  He died in 435.
  • John called Barsanuphius (Feb 29), born in Palestine and became a monk. John was elected Archbishop of Damascus. But, he secretly left the city and became a water carrier for other monks in Nitra, Egypt known for humility and meekness.  He died in 457.


A Word from the Fathers & Mothers

The immediate purpose is purity of heart, for without it we cannot reach our goal.

St. Moses the Black to St. John Cassian from the Philakolia vol. 1, “On the Holy Fathers of Sketis

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