Dispatch from the Desert: November 16th thru 22nd

African Saints (from the Prologue of Ohrid)

November 16  Apostle & Evangelist Matthew (1st century)  He was Levi the tax collector in Capernaum when Jesus told him, “Follow Me” (Matthew 9:9).  His account of the Gospel was first written in Aramaic.  After Pentecost, Matthew preached the faith among the Parthians, Medes, and Ethiopians.  He was tortured and martyred in Ethiopia. 

Fulvanius (Matthew) (1st century)  As a pagan prince, he ordered the torture and death of the Apostle & Evangelist Matthew.  Seeing miracles and visions of the holy man, Fulvanius repented of his sins, and became a Christian.  Giving up his worldly life and throne, he became a priest and bishop of Ethiopia taking on the name of the one he had martyred. 

November 17  150 Philosophers converted by St. Catherine and martyred in Alexandria (305) They were gathered by the Roman officials to try to convince Catherine to abandoned the Christian faith.  She out debated them and they converted, which angered the emperor. 

Longinus of Egypt (4th century) Not Longinus the Centurion who was at the Lord’s Crucifixion.  This may have been the monk who was a disciple of Abba Lucius at the Enaton Monastery.  Five lessons from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers are attributed to him. 

A Word from the Fathers

“The cause of all evils is delusion, self-deception and ignorance of God.”  Attributed to Abba Anthony the Great, from the Philokalia Vol. I

“Blessed is he who does not like anything corruptible and temporal, and has turned all attention to his soul so as to present it pure to God.”  Abba Isaac to Amma Theodora, from the Matericon

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