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December 12, 2017

Holy Abba Amonathas of Pelusium

Holy Abba Amonathas (Feast Day - December 12)


"I hate the things of this earth, O Angels receive me,"
Said Amonathas as he departed.

A magistrate came one day to Pelusium to levy the poll-tax on the monks, as on the secular population. All the brothers assembled together about this proposal and went to Abba Amonathas. Some of the Fathers thought they ought to go and see the emperor about it. Abba Amonathas said to them, 'So much trouble is not necessary. Rather remain quietly in your cells, fast for two weeks, and I alone, with the grace of God, will deal with this matter.'

So the brothers went back to their cells. The old man stayed in the peace of his own cell. At the end of a fortnight the brethren were dissatisfied with the old man, whom they had not seen stir, and they said, 'The old man has done nothing about our business.'

On the fifteenth day, according to their agreement, the brethren assembled again and the old man came with a letter bearing the emperor's seal. On seeing this the brethren said to him, in great astonishment, 'When did you get that, abba?' Then the old man, said, 'Believe me, brother, I went that night to the emperor, who wrote this letter; then, going to Alexandria, I had it countersigned by the magistrate and thus I returned to you.' Hearing this, the brothers were filled with fear, and did prostrate before him. So their business was settled, and the magistrate troubled them no further.