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

278- The Tenth Man

 

St-Takla.org Image: Ancient Coptic icon: Monastery of the Syrians, church of the Holy Virgin Mary, the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in paradise صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية أثرية تصور بطاركة العهد القديم الآباء إبراهيم، اسحق، يعقوب في السماء - دير السريان، مصر

St-Takla.org Image: Ancient Coptic icon: Monastery of the Syrians, church of the Holy Virgin Mary, the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in paradise

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية أثرية تصور بطاركة العهد القديم الآباء إبراهيم، اسحق، يعقوب في السماء - دير السريان، مصر

Mr. Sadek was a man who dwelled among us at St. George’s Church in Sporting, Alexandria, Egypt. He was pure in nature and dedicated his life just to worship devoutly and be a witness to the joy of Jesus’ living words. In spite of his constant smile, tears ran down from his eyes when a soul was lost or another soul found its way back to God. I used to see him always standing in a corner of the Altar area in such a way, which he could only see the Altar. At the end of the liturgy, he would always go to the back of the church first so that he could leave without talking to anybody. After going home, he would go into his room, close the door and spend time with Jesus after partaking in the Eucharist. It was said about him that he saw saints gathered around the Altar, especially during the reading of the Synaxarion (The Synaxarion is a Church history book that contains daily readings for events that occurred on that day in Church history and an account of the lives of the saints).

This reminds me of a popular story that was told about the village of Hebron in old times. That village was almost empty and during the Feast of Repentance, the people gathered to say special prayers but there were nine people who needed a tenth person in order to follow the rituals of the feast. The men waited for a guest to come to town to complete the group. This was difficult because everybody preferred to go to Jerusalem. The men were distressed and prayed fervently for a person to join them. After sunset, they saw a very old man coming very slowly toward them. They ran to him with great happiness and offered him food but he said he was not hungry. When the prayer was done, they were all very happy and felt a tremendous strength since this was a holy day and they had been fasting. Afterwards, they all wanted to invite the guest to their houses so they cast lots. The winner was a very devout man with whom the guest went home. To his surprise, at the door, the guest suddenly disappeared and the man called upon the village to search for him. They could not find him so the people thought that they were not important enough for the man to accept their hospitality. In the evening, the devout man cried to God asking him to reveal the identity of the guest. The guest appeared to him and said that he was Abraham, the father of the patriarchs. He saw their yearn for worship so he came to be the tenth man and help them.

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: الرجل العاشر.

St-Takla.org Divider

God, You let us share with the saints and the heavenly beings their worship,

And they share with us love and prayer.

As we meet in Your church, Your angels join us.

In my bed at night, I see the church around me and do not feel alone.


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