April 9, 2020

A Virtuous Monk and a Careless Monk of Sinai Who Both Died During an Epidemic

By St. Anastasios of Sinai

A few years ago there occurred through the permission of the Lord an epidemic in our desert and a certain virtuous blessed father coming to his end was buried in the cemetery of the fathers. The next day one of the careless brothers died and was buried on top of the body of the blessed man. When after one day another of the fathers came to his end, coming to deposit his relics they found that the blessed man had thrown out the body of the careless brother. Thinking that it had happened by accident and not that it was something miraculous, they took him again and buried the brother on top of the body. And arriving the next day, they found again that the father had cast out the brother.

Learning of this, the abbot of the monastery arrived and coming to the tomb spoke to the one who had died: “Abba John, in your life you were meek and slow to anger and supported all, and now do you cast out the brother?” And taking the relics of the brother with his own hands he placed them on the elder’s. And he said to him again, “Bear with the brother, Abba John, even if he is a sinner, just as God bears with the sins of the world.” And from that day the elder did not cast out the body of the brother.

From Narrations Concerning the Holy Fathers of Sinai.