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Anastasios of Sinai - Various Narrations

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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)


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