The Departure of St. Agathon the Stylite
On this day St. Agathon the Stylite, departed. He was from the city of Tenis. The name of his father was Matra and his mother's name was Mariam. They were righteous and feared God. They loved to give alms and be merciful to the poor and needy.
The thought of monasticism was always on his mind. When he was
35years old, he was ordained priest, and he devoted himself to serve the holy church. He asked the Lord Christ by day and night to facilitate for him the parting from this world to go to the desert. The Lord Christ answered his request and he went out from the city and came to Ternot (Mareot) and from there went to the desert. The angel of God appeared to him in the form of a monk who journeyed with him and brought him to the monastery of St. Macarius in Scete.
He came to the holy old men Abba Abraham and Abba Gawargah, became their disciple and remained with them for three years. Then, they took him before the altar and in the presence of the Hegumen Abba Yoanis and for three days they prayed over the monastic garb. They then ordained him a monk and dressed him with the holy Eskeem. From that hour he exerted himself with many worships, in continuous fasting and prayer and fought a great fight. He slept on the ground until his skin cleaved to his bones. He read continually the biography of Abba Simon the Stylite, and he thought of leading a solitary life. He took counsel with the holy fathers concerning that, and they approved his wish and they prayed for him.
He left and came near the city of Sakha, province of Gharbia, where he dwelt in a small church.The believers built a place for him on a pillar and he went up on it.
During his days, a man appeared in whom dwelt an obstinate devil, who led many people astray. He sat in the middle of the church surrounded by people listing to him, carrying tree branches. Abba Agathon sent for the possessed and had him brought to him. He prayed over him and cast out the devil who led the people astray.
Similarly, a woman claimed that St. Mina conversed with her and she commanded the people of her city to dig a well in the name of St. Mina to heal everyone who bathed in it. St. Agatho prayed over that woman until he cast out from her that unclean spirit and he commanded the people to fill up that well with earth.
At the hands of this holy man, St. Agathon, God worked many miracles, of healing sick people and casting out devils. The devils appeared to him in the form of angels, singing sweet songs and imparting blessings unto him, but by the might of the Lord Christ he knew their guile, he made the sign of the Cross over them, and they fled away defeated.
When God wished to repose him from the labors of this world, he fell sick for a short while and delivered up his soul into the hand of God. The people who had benefitted from his sermons and teachings gathered around him and wept bitterly.
This holy father lived for
100years, of which he spent 40years in the world and 10years in the desert and 50years in solitude upon that pillar.
His prayers guard us against all our enemies, and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
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