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Day 12 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Kiahk, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
The Eleventh Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
Departure of Saint Abba Pijimi
This day marks the departure
of the saint Abba Pijimi. He was a native of Feesha, diocese of Masil.
When he was 12 years old, and while he was shepherding his father's sheep,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the form of a young man and told
him, "Let us go and become monks." Abba Pijimi agreed and went with him
to the desert of Scete; to a place where three elder monks dwelled, then
the angel disappeared. The saint dwelt with them for 24 years until they
departed. Then he left that place and went into the desert, a distance
of three days travel. The devils appeared to him in the form of wild beasts,
pigs and serpents. They surrounded him to devour him. He was able to discern
their intent by the spirit. He prayed and they were vanished. Then he lived
in a valley there for three years, fasting a week at a time; and at the
end of the week, he ate a handful of dates and drank a little water. He
prayed the Lord's prayer: "Our Father, who art in heaven......", he recited
it day and night. Once he fasted for 40 days and another time he fasted
for 80 days, to the point that his skin cleaved to his bones. Then an angel
brought him bread to eat and water to drink. That bread and water lasted
for many years.
Afterwards, the angel of
the Lord appeared to him in a vision at night and commanded him to return
to his city. Abba Pijimi built a small cell on the outskirts of his city.
He dwelt there alone, devoting himself to worshiping and asceticism. He
became a good model and a good example for everyone who saw him. The people
of his town came to him to be nourished with his spiritual teachings. One
day the angel of the Lord lifted him up and brought him to the land of
Euphrates, for its people had gone out of the Orthodox way. He converted
them all to the Faith and returned to his place. Once he was carrying some
baskets to the village to sell and he became weary and sat down to rest.
The power of the Lord lifted him up with his baskets and carried him to
where he wished to go. One day the great saint Abba Shenouda saw an exceedingly
shining pillar and heard a voice telling him, "This is Abba Pijimi." Abba
Shenouda went to him, walking until he came to Abba Pijimi's city. They
recognized each other through the divine guidance. Abba Shenouda visited
with him for a few days then returned to his monastery. When the day of
his departure from this world drew near, he called his disciple and informed
him of his departure and commanded him to bury his body in the place where
he was. He fell ill and was feverish and, while in this condition, he saw
a company of saints approaching him. He delivered up his soul into the
hands of God. The angels carried his soul and ascended with it, chanting
hymns. Abba Pijimi lived for 70 years, 12 years in the world and 58 in
May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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