January 19

From the Prologue

Prior to his death, Theodore ran up and down the streets shouting to everyone: "Farewell, I am traveling far away!" He died in the year 1392 A.D.



In Egypt, in the desert

Great loved reigned

Among the simple monks,

As in the kingdom of the saints.

Saint Macarius was

as a cherubim among them.

In every good deed

An example to the monks was he.

Macarius became ill;

For him, a monk went out to seek strawberries,

He went forth, he found, and he brought them

To soothe his elder's pain.

To partake of them, Macarius did not want,

He said, "There is a brother more ill.

Bring it to him; this gift is

more needed to that brother."

The second ailing brother cried and,

To the gift-bearer, said: "Forgive me!

But my neighbor is more needy

Of this charity than I."

The gift-bearer, the gift he took away

And, to that neighbor, gave it,

This one gave it to a third,

And that one to a fourth; all in order,

From cell to cell,

And from brother to brother,

Until the last one with the strawberries

To Macarius, at the door!

"Behold, father, you are ill!"

Macarius began to weep,

Seeing this wonderful brotherly love -

Neither did he want to eat.

He spilled them over the hot sand,

And, to God he gave thanks,

That the dead, arid desert,

Because of love, became Paradise.

The more a brother loves his brother

Than he loves himself:

"O Lord, the gift is this,

The gift of love, the gift from You!"

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