Dispatch from the Desert: September 14th thru 20th

African Saints (from the Prologue of Ohrid)

September 16th     Dorotheus of Egypt (4th century)  Lived in a cell in the Thebaid.  He built cells for new monks and would pray and recite the Psalms while weaving mats. 

Cyprian (258) Bishop and hieromartyr of Carthage.  Unlike the other bishop of the same name, this Cyprian was a former socerer and was asked to cast a love spell on a lovely virgin, Justina.  As he confronted her, she responded with the sign of the cross.  The simple motion shamed the socerer.  Cyprian gave up his magic, became a Christian.  (from Wade in the River:  the Story of the African Christian Faith)

September 17th     Joachim I (1567) Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.  He was known for his virtue and wisdom.  Joachim was elected at the age of 38.  Joachim was became very influential among the Orthodox patriarchs and lived to be 119.  (from Orthodoxy in Africa)

September 18th     Sophia and Irene (3rd century)  Martyrs of Egypt

Castor (3rd century) Martyr of Alexandria

September 20th     John the Confessor (310) he lived in Egypt, but was beheaded with 40 others in Palestine.

A Word from the Fathers & Mothers

“‘Whoever humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (cf. Luke 14:11, 18:14) First of all let us discipline ourselves to obtain humility, since this is the essential foundation for all virtues.”  Abba John Lycopolis, from the Lives of the Desert Fathers

“Prayer is itself a virtue, and is the mother of all virtues because it gives birth to virtues through union with Christ.”  Abba Isaiah to Amma Theodora, from the Matericon


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