Washington English

St. Sisoes the Great of Egypt

Site page

6/19 July

Venerable Sisoes the Great (+429) was a monastic hermit who struggled in the Egyptian desert, in a cave blessed by the struggles of his predecessor, the Venerable Antony the Great. Engaged for 60 years in spiritual struggle in the desert, St. Sisoes achieved great spiritual purity and so grasped the gift of working miracles, that by his prayers, he once even brought a deceased youth back to life.

Unusually strict with himself, St. Sisoes was very merciful and sympathetic toward his neighbors, and received everyone with love. The Venerable Saint taught his visitors humility. In answer to one desert dweller who asked him how he had managed to achieve constant mindfulness of God, the Saint noted: “This, my son, is but little; most important of all is to consider yourself to be the lowliest of all, for such self-disparagement facilitates one’s acquisition of humility.” Asked by the monastics whether for a monk who had fallen into sin one year of repentance was sufficient, St. Sisoes replied: “I believe in the mercy of our Man-loving God, and if a man should repent with all his soul, God will accept his repentance in three days.”

As Venerable St. Sisoes lay on his deathbed, the disciples gathered around their elder noticed that his face had become radiant. They asked the dying man what he beheld. Abba Sisoes replied that he was looking upon the Holy Prophets and Apostles. His disciples asked him “With whom are you conversing?” He answered that the Angels had come for his soul, and that he was asking them for but a little more time in which to repent. His disciples objected: “Father, you are not in need of repentance.” However, with great humility, the Saint replied: “Truly, I do not know whether I have even begun to repent.” As soon as he had uttered those words, his face became so radiant that the brethren could not dare look upon it. The Venerable Saint had just managed to relate to them that he beheld the Lord Himself, when his Holy Soul departed for the Heavenly Kingdom.

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000

Email        webmaster@stjohndc.org



Go to top