Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Eucharistic Miracle St Mary of Egypt

This Eucharistic miracle
is related in the life of
St. Mary of Egypt who lived
in the desert for 47 years.
The account of her life was
written by the Bishop
Sofronio of Jerusalem in the
6th century. St. Mary is said
to have walked on the Jordan
River to reach the opposite
bank and receive Communion
from the Monk Zosimus.

We are told that when St. Mary was 12 years of age she left her parents and went to Alexandria. There she led a very dissolute life for 16 years. One day she came upon a ship about to set sail with different groups of passengers.  She inquired who they might be and where they were going. She was told they were pilgrims sailing toward Jerusalem for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. She decided to join them. When on the feast day she tried to enter the church, she was seized by a mysterious force.  Fearfully she raised her eyes to an image of the Holy Virgin and was overcome with a deep sorrow for the sinful life she had led until that day.  Only then was she able to make her way into the church and worship the True Cross.

She did not remain in Jerusalem. “If you go across the Jordan you will find peace” was the message of the Madonna. The following day after her confession and Communion she made her way across the Jordan to the desert of Arabia.  There she lived for 47 years in solitude encountering neither men nor beasts. Her skin shriveled, her hair was long and white, but the promise of the Virgin proved true, she found her peace of soul.

One day she met up with the Monk Zosimus and asked him to bring her Communion each year. One year Zosimus arrived with the Eucharist, but Mary did not show. In great sorrow Zosimus prayed: “Lord, my God, King and Creator of all, do not deprive me of my desire, but grant that I may see this holy woman.” Then he thought, “Now what will I do if she appears, there is no boat around to get me across? I will not achieve my wish.” While he gave into these thoughts, Mary appeared on the opposite shore and Zosimus was consoled. Then he saw her make the sign of the Cross over the water and walk out on it as though it were dry land. 

When 12 months had passed Zosimus returned but was unable to find the remains of the saintly penitent. A lion had dug her grave and buried the body.

(Original text from: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Maryegypt.pdf)

1 comment:

  1. Fr. Moses Samaan, who uses an icon of St. Mary of Egypt comments:
    Not one pas­sion is con­quered with­out a great strug­gle. The Holy Fathers have referred to adul­ter­ous pas­sion as death. When the adul­terer is saved from an adul­ter­ous pas­sion it is as though he res­ur­rected from the dead. For those who live in the world the pas­sion of adul­tery is inflamed prin­ci­pally by see­ing and for those who live a life of asceti­cism in the wilder­ness that pas­sion is inflamed by thoughts and by imagination.


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