Various Narrations of
Anastasios the humble monk concerning the holy fathers in Sinai
F. Nau. "Le texte
grec des recits du moine Anastase sur les saints peres du Sinai".
Oriens Christianus 2 (1902) 58-89.
1. Ten years ago a certain
two of the fathers of Holy Mount Sinai went up to worship on the Holy
Summit. One of them is still alive. When they arrived at a distance of
about two bow-shot from (the chapel of) Saint Elias they smelled a
fragrance unlike any worldly fragrance. Then the disciple thought that
the one who dwelt there was offering incense. The elder, his spiritual
guide who is still living said, "The fragrance is not of this
earth." Therefore, approaching the church, behold they saw within
it like a fiery flaming kiln with tongues of fire coming from all the
doors (and windows). Then, seeing this the disciple feared the sight.
But the elder reassured him saying, "Why are you afraid, my child.
It is an angelic power and our fellow servant; don't lose courage. They
venerate our nature in heaven; not we theirs." Thus they fearlessly
entered the church as if (going) into a kiln. They prayed and thus they
ascended to the summit in the morning. Beholding them, the guardian (of
the peak) saw their faces glorified and shining like the face of Moses
and he said to them, "Did you see anything unusual coming up?"
Wanting to conceal the matter, they said, "No". Then he said
to them, Believe me, you saw some vision for behold your faces are
radiant with the glory of the Holy Spirit." They bowed to him and
related the matter, asking that he tell nobody.
3. Once when the festival
of Pentecost was celebrated, there was liturgy on the Holy Summit. When
the priest intoned 'the triumphal hymn of great glory' the mountains
answered with an awesome sound, saying three times, "Holy Holy
Holy." And the sound of the echo and the shout remained for about
half an hour. This shout not everyone heard but only those having ears
as the Lord said, "He who has ears let him hear."
6. Abba Martyrios, when he
tonsured our venerable father John the hegumenos at the age of twenty,
took him and went to that pillar of our wilderness, Abba John the
Sabbaite in the wilderness of Gouda where he had with him his disciple
Stephen the Cappadocian. When the Sabbaite elder saw them he rose and
took water, put it in a small basin, washed the feet of the disciple
(the young John) and kissed his hand; but he did not wash the feet of
Abba Martyrios his superior. Abba Stephen was scandalized by the
situation. After the departure of Abba Martyrios and his disciple, Abba
John noticed that his own disciple was scandalized and said to him:
"Why are you scandalized? Believe me, I don't know who the boy is,
but today I received the hegumenos of Sinai and washed his feet."
After forty years he did indeed become the hegumenos according to the
prophecy of the elder. Not only Abba John the Sabbaite but also Abba
Stratigios the enclosed who never came out appeared on the day when Abba
John was tonsured.
16. Another time, there
being a great lack of rain in the wilderness, all the wild goats
gathered together in a flock and went about all the region of Arselaou
seeking water and finding none, for it was August. As all the goats were
about to perish from thirst they went up to the peak of the highest of
all the mountains in the desert. And all the beasts looking up to
heaven, they cried out as if shouting "Hosanna" to the
Creator. And as the Lord of Glory spoke, even before they moved from the
place the water came down on that place and only there. This He did
according to the voice of the prophet who said concerning God,
"Giving to the cattle their food and to the young of the ravens who
call on Him" (Ps. 146/147.9)