Dispatch from the Desert:  March 30th thru April 5th

African Saints (from the Prologue of Orhid):

March 30th:  John Climacus (649) – He is also venerated on the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.  John came to the Sinai Peninsula  at the age of 16 and was a recluse for many years.  At 80, he became the Abbot of the Sinai Monastery where he wrote The Ladder of Divine Ascent.

March 31st:  Apollonius (Apollo) of the Thebaid (4th century) – He became a monk at 15.  After years of ascetic discipline, He established a monastery with 500 monks.  Sixty-two sayings are attributed to him in The Lives of the Desert Fathers

April 1st:  Mary of Egypt (530) – She is also venerated on the Fith Sunday of Great Lent.  Mary lived in debauchery from the age of 12 in Alexandria.  She journeyed to Jerusalem where the Holy Spirit confronted her wickedness.  She repented and became a recluse in the Jordan wilderness.  Zosimas of Palestine (April 4th) discovered Mary during Great Lent and gave her the Eucharist before her blessed repose.

April 2nd:  Martyr Polycarp of Alexandria (4th century)

April 5th:  Mark the Athenian (400)  Born in Athens, Mark gave all of his wealth to the poor and was directed by God to a mountain in Libya (or Ethiopia) called Trache.  He was known for great ascetic struggles against his sins for 30 years.  Mark reposed at the age of 130 years.

Virgin Martyr Theodora and Martyr Didymus the Soldier of Alexandria (304)

Monk Publius of Egypt (4th century)

Theonas, Symenon, and Phorbinius of Egypt (4th century)

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A Word from the Fathers & Mothers

“Everyday to excel in the virtues and to drive away at their first appearance those devices of the devil which manifest themselves in evil thoughts.” — Abba Apollo, The Lives of the Desert Fathers, #14


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