Dispatch from the Desert: December 16th thru 31st

African Saints (from the Prologue of Ohrid)

December 17  Patermuthius, Coprius, and Alexander (361-363)  Patermuthius and Coprius were monks who were martyred.  Alexander was a soldier who was also killed for the faith in Egypt. 

December 19  Elias, Probus, and Ares (308) Egyptian Christians who were martyred in Cilicia. 

December 24  Eugenia and those with her (262) Born in Rome, she was the daughter of Philip the Eparch of Egypt.  She visited the Christians who were driven out of Alexandria and accepted the faith.  After baptism, she disguised herself as a man and entered a monastery.  A woman had Eugenia arrested and sent to the Eparch having failed to lure the “monk” into adultery. Eugenia revealed her true identity to her father who was so glad to see his daughter alive that he and the rest of the family became baptized Christians.  The emperor had Philip secretly killed.  Eugenia and the remaining family moved to Rome where she was later arrested.  After enduring much torture, the Lord Himself appeared to her to inform her that she would be martyred on the Feast of His Nativity.

December 27 Maximus (282) Bishop of Alexandria

December 29  Benjamin (392) Monk of Nitria, Egypt.  Perhaps the same Benjamin with five lessons from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers attributed to him.

Athenodorus  (4th century) A disciple of Pachomius the Great

A Word from the Fathers & Mothers

“’When these three men are together, Noah, Job, and Daniel, there am I says the Lord’ (Ezekiel 14:14).  Noah represents poverty, Job suffering, and Daniel discernment.  So, if these three works are found in a man, the Lord dwells in him.” Abba Poemen (the Shepherd), from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers

“It is impossible for grass to grow in sand; so also the one occupied with worldly entertainments and conversations can never produce heavenly fruit, because the Lord says, ‘No man can serve two masters’(Matthew 6:24).”  Amma Syncletica, from the Matericon

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