Anba Samuel the Confessor
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Anba Samuel The Confessor







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ANBA SAMUEL
The Confessor

"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven ." (Matthew 4:16)
A confessor is a person who suffers for Gods sake . He may be tortured or abused in many different ways , but his sufferings do not result in martyrdom .
ST. Samuel monastery in Mount Qalamon ,South - East of Fayoum, is still in existence until today. A spring of water, once within the limits of the monastery but now outside the walls, has a strange characteristic : it bubbles up at the approach of any person coming to drink or fill his jar; the bubbling subsides later. Around the spring grows a plant called ghardak, a short stocky bush bearing a fruit that resembles a berry. The monks roast the seeds, ground them, and brew them in an excellent thirst- quenching drink; cold, or hot. Samuel was born about 597 A.D. in the city of Daklube. When his parents became sure of his persistence to live as a monk, they spent most of there money in building a suburb church where Samuel was ordained deacon to serve with his father the priest. Afteis jar; the bubbling subsides later. Around the spring grows a plant called ghardak, a short stocky bush bearing a fruit that resembles a berry. The monks roast the seeds, ground them, and brew them in an excellent thirst- quenching drink; cold, or hot. Samuel was born about 597 A.D. in the city of Daklube. When his parents became sure of his persistence to live as a monk, they spent most of there money in building a suburb church where Samuel was ordained deacon to serve with his father the priest. Afteis jar; the bubbling subsides later. Around the spring grows a plant called ghardak, a short stocky bush bearing a fruit that resembles a berry. The monks roast the seeds, ground them, and brew them in an excellent thirst- Scetis where they occupied St. Macarius church. Then he called the monks to a meeting while St. Yuanis the Protopriest was out hiding the sacred vessels from the invaders. Abba Samuel was arrested, and Maximan read to him the letter of Cyrus which contained the Chalcedonian doctrine and the Tome of Leo. When the commander received no response, he began to threaten him. St. Samuel replied, "We do not agree to the Tome or accept the Council of Chalcedon. We also do not recognize any archbishop other than our father Pope Benjamin." Then he asked Maximan to show him the letter, and when he held it in his hand he announced the excommunication of the Tome, the Council, and whoever accepted the doctrine, then he tore the letter. Anba Samuel was beaten without mercy until one of his eyes was scooped out, and was left between life and death. The monks carried him to a nearby cell, and prayed on him because they had thought he had died. But the saint regained consciousness, and in time he regained his health also.
After these incidents, Abba Samuel left, accompanied by four other monks, to the Mount of Qalamon in the Fayoum region. Here they settled in a small monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. This monastery currently exists and is still inhabited by monks. During the occupancy of Abba Samuel, the monastery flourished, and to this day, it bears the name of the saint. In the vicinity of the monastery, there flows a stream with many fish in it. The monks sustain themselves on the fish and the water the stream provides.
In his monastery, his reputation again passed the limits of the desert. Fourteen of his brothers came to live with him. Also multitudes of people flocked to him bringing the sick and the infirm. He patiently attended to the need of everyone . Whenever he felt the urge to solitude, he quietly slipped out to a nearby cave . There he would spend a week or so in the companionship of God, before returning to the monastery with a radiant countenance.
Cyrus, kwon also as “Al Moquaqus”, decided not to leave this man in peace. He visited Fayuom and then sent his agents to bring Samuel to him. He asked him ,“ Who appointed you Abbot over the Qalamon monastery?” Samuel answered, “It is better to submit to our saintly Patriarch Benjamin than to obey an imposter such as you.” So, Cyrus struck him on his mouth, and commanded him to be beaten to death, but some of the nobles interfered and saved him. Immediately some of his disciples carried him to a nearby oasis called Rayan, where they cared for him until he recovered. Samuel decided to stay in the oasis, because he was not allowed to stay in Qalamon.
Shortly after, some Barbers from Lybia invaded the region. They ravaged the village’s church, and took St. Samuel captive. They put him on the back of a camel, and brought him to Lybia. There Abba Samuel met Father Youanis the Protopriest of Scetis who was also captured, and was in charge of the Barbers camels. Samuel was then assigned to serve a man called Zerkandas, a chief among his people.
As the Barbers were sun-worshipers, Zerkandas ordered Samuel to worship likewise. When he refused, Zerkandas tied him to a tree for five days without food or drink. After five days, Yuanis successfully interceded for him, but it took Samuel two weeks to recover from his torture. Then Samuel’s gift of healing was revealed, for trough his prayers, a man who was lame for twelve years was able to walk. The story of the miracle spread quickly, and many people with ailments came to him in search of healing.
Know it so happened that the wife of Zerkandas was, herself, in need of healing. Samuel placed his hand on her head and said aloud, “ May my Lord Jesus the Christ heal you, “ and she was made whole. Zerkandas also had no children, so he told Samuel, “ if you will pray that Gad grant me a child, then I vow to let you go back to your homeland.” Samuel asked, “ do you really believe that my prayers will do that?” He replied, “ Indeed, I do!” Samuel said , “May it be according to your faith.”
In do time the wife of Zerkandas had a son, and the father was overjoyed. As he had promised, he told Samuel that he might return to Egypt, but if he preferred to stay he would give him a portion of his wealth. Samuel declined his offer, spent a few weeks with father Yuanis and then headed home. Zerkandas supplied him with all the necessary provisions for the journey. Furthermore, he requested Samuel to baptize him before departing.
Back in his monastery, Samuel was permitted to live in peace and serenity for the Moslems had conquered the land, and the alien patriarch was not anointed by Byzantium any more. He spent his last days in teaching those who came to live with him.
Eight days before his death, an angel announced to him that he will depart in the Lord. His disciples who now numbered about 120, gathered around him in a spiritual communion. On the seventh day St. Samuel lost consciousness for a period of time, and then regained it. Seeing his monks crying, “ Be of good cheer my brothers, for our Lord Jesus Christ takes care of you.” The next day he went to his heavenly rest.
May the prayers of this great Saint Abba Samuel the Confessor be with us…………

AMEN









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