On this day also was the departure of St. Christodoulos the jeweler. He was from the city of Ayn-Shems. One day a beautiful woman brought him a broken vessel of gold and tried to tempt him. She uncovered her hands and told him, "Make rings for these fingers, bracelets for these arms, a cross for this chest and earrings for these ears." He replied, "Today I am ill and as for tomorrow, may it be the will of God." He closed his shop, went home and started rebuking himself saying, "I am not any stronger than the saints Anthony the Great or Macarius or Pachomius and the others that escaped from this world and lived in the wilderness. O my soul escape from this world if you wish to be saved."
He recounted what happened to him to his mother and he asked her with flowing tears to allow him to go to the wilderness. She said, "If this was the case, as you indicated, take me first to a convent where I can be a nun, and as for you, may the Lord be with you." He took her to one of the convents and entrusted her to the head of the convent. He gave her whatever money she needed, then he gave the rest to the poor and went toward the mountain.
After walking three days, he saw three men, each one with a cross in his hand and a shining light brighter than the sun shining from the crosses. He went to them, was blessed by them and then he asked them to advise him as to what he should do to save himself. They guided him to a valley which had fruitful trees and a spring of fresh water. He remained there for many years in continuous prayers, and readings of the psalms with many long fasts. He ate the fruits of the trees of that valley.
When satan failed to overcome him, he appeared to evil men, in the form of a barbarian, and told them, "There is a great treasure in the valley. A man found it and is living beside it. Come with me, I will show it to you." They followed him to the mountain but they were not able to go down to the valley. The devil went in a monk's attire to St. Christodoulos and told him, "On the top of the mountain, there are some monks who lost their way; they are tired and will die of thirst. Go to them and give them something to eat and drink so that they may survive." The saint made the sign of the cross over his face as was the custom of the monks and immediately the devil turned into smoke and disappeared. In this way, St. Christodoulos was always able to overcome the devil with the sign of the cross.
He increased in his worship and he lived until a good old age. When the day of his departure drew near, the three hermits who guided him to the valley came and prayed together. After they blessed each other they told him, "The Lord sent us to write down your biography for the benefit of others." He told them all that had happened to him. After a short illness he departed in peace. They prayed over him and buried him.
His prayers be with us. Amen
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