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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

117- The Flying Doves

 

Kiriako the simple young man stopped to wipe his face and to rest for a while since his feet were heavy. He felt that he was not able to carry his suitcase which contained nothing but his clothes. He felt tired. The young man resumed his walk reciting the name of Jesus Christ, assuring himself that he was getting nearer to the monastery, where he was going to get the blessing of the fathers. Sure enough the domes of the monastery started appearing in the horizon, he was very excited when he saw the crosses on top of the domes. Kiriako bowed to the ground and lifted his heart to heaven saying, thank You Lord Jesus for You made me worthy of seeing the monastery, allow me to receive the blessing of the fathers.

Do You accept me as a servant to the fathers? Do You accept my whole life as a sacrifice of love for You who loved me? Could I fulfil my days of my expatriation in Your bosom? I dont wish for more than You to be with me and I with You. Tears ran down from his eyes however, his longing for the monastery made him resume his journey soon. His heart was full of gladness as if carried by clouds to go to paradise. He wished he had wings of a dove to fly to paradise.

St-Takla.org Image: The Monk Saint Keriako, and the miracle of the flying of grilled pigeons on Wednesday (fast day), by Amgad Wadea صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: الراهب القديس كيرياكو، ومعجزة طير حمام مشوي يوم الأربعاء (صوم)، رسم أمجد وديع

St-Takla.org Image: The Monk Saint Keriako, and the miracle of the flying of grilled pigeons on Wednesday (fast day), by Amgad Wadea.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: الراهب القديس كيرياكو، ومعجزة طير حمام مشوي يوم الأربعاء (صوم)، رسم أمجد وديع.

His tiredness left him and he rushed to the monastery for, this was the moment he was waiting for. Kiriako rang the doorbell. He heard a voice asking, Who is at the door?

Your son Kiriako, father

What do you want?

Let me in father since I am coming from far place to receive the blessing of the monastery and the fathers.

There are many churches and many fathers to take your confession.

I heard a lot about you all father and I need to receive your advice, allow me to meet the head of the monastery for few minutes.

Forgive me son I cant open.

For the sake of love, take me in please. Ive suffered a lot to get the blessing of the monastery.

Where do you come from so I can inform the Abbot of the monastery to let you in for a short period?

The Abbot entered the guestroom to meet Kiriako, who was very pleased. He ran to kiss the fathers hand asking for his prayers.

Kiriako started talking to the father about his desire to become a monk.

The father started asking him about his spiritual life, his readings, etc. After a long discussion, he said to Kiriako, I cant promise you any thing but youll stay here for a trial period, because becoming a monk is not easy. Ill look after you myself but promise to be honest with yourself and me, since becoming a monk is not a target in itself rather your eternity and your life in Christ is above all.

As the meeting was about to end and the Abbot was leaving Kiriako to prepare a place for him to live under probation.

Dont you recognize me father? Kiriako asked.

What do you mean?

Im Kiriako, your nephew.

The father examined his face and asked him, How are your parents?

Theyre fine, father.

Does your father approve your becoming a monk?

He also went to a monastery to become a monk as well.

And your mother, where is she?

She departed to Paradise.

The Abbot shook his head and said, Your mother reposed and your father escaped for his life.

The Abbot asked his nephew to forget about the kinship and concentrate on worshiping God. Kiriako was very happy.

Years passed during which Kiriako was growing in grace and love for eternity. People started to come to the monastery asking for his prayers. Some people envied Kiriako because of his fame in many places in Armenia. They told the Abbot lies about him saying that the simple Kiriako pretended to be holy and ascetic.

Some strangers asked the Abbot to introduce them to Kiriako as guests and they will show him how he pretended holiness. The Abbot did what they asked for. Kiriako received them with love and cared for them. After speaking to them about the kingdom of God, he asked for their blessing and invited them for dinner and they accepted. Kiriako prepared them a meal of pigeons. It was Wednesday but he did not realize that because he used to fast all year. Yet he used not to fast for the sake of hospitality. One of the guests went to the Abbot and told him to come and see how Kiriako ate meat on Wednesdays. One of the guests asked Kiriako in front of the Abbot to embarrass him, Dont you know father that today is a Wednesday? Why did you serve us pigeons? Kiriako was silent for a while. Then, he asked the Abbot, Is it really Wednesday? The Abbot did not answer. Kiriako said, Im sorry; I didnt know that. Would you allow the pigeons to fly? The guests laughed mockingly as they saw him making the sign of the cross on the plate, where the grilled pigeons were, Saying, Since its a fasting day why are you staying? You should fly. They stopped laughing, as they found the pigeons flying off the plate.

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: الحمام الطائر.


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