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St. Anubius, confessor and anchorite of Egypt

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5/18 June

During the persecution of Christians in the 4th century, the Venerable St. Anubius bravely endured torture. He survived, and moved off into the desert, where he remained until extreme old age. He established a small scete, in which he lived together with six monks, one of them his brother Pimen. After some robbers destroyed the scete, the monks took shelter in an abandoned pagan temple. They promised not to speak to one another throughout the week. Each morning of that week, the Venerable Anubius would throw a stone at the face of the statue of the pagan deity; each night he would say to it :I have sinned, forgive me." At the close of the week, the brethren asked Fr. Anubius what this ritual meant. The elder explained that just as the statue did not become angry when he struck it and did not become exalted when he asked something of it, so should the brethren live. Three days before his death, St. Anubius was visited by the desert-dwellers Sur, Isaiah and Paul, who asked the elder to recount for them his life, so that they might teach it to the faithful. The saint responded " I do not remember having done anything great or glorious." Then with great humility he acceded to their fervent requests, and told them that since confessing the name of Christ before his torturers during the persecution, he had never wanted to utter a lie. His heart was always filled with a thirst for communion with the Lord, and more than once he observed angels and God’s holy saints, standing before the Lord. He saw satan and his angels, committed to eternal fire. He was also shown the righteous, enjoying eternal blessings. At the close of the third day, Venerable Anubius, joyous in spirit, departed to the Lord. While his soul was being carried up to Heaven, Angelic singing was heard in the air.

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