Our Holy Father Ammon of Nitria.

Commemorated October 4 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

An Egyptian and a wine-grower by profession, he was forced by his kinsmen to marry against his will, but he would not live with a woman. On the first day, he called his bride his sister and counselled her, together with him, to guard her virginity for the sake of greater good things from heaven, and they lived thus for a whole eighteen years. Later, by mutual arrangement, his wife founded a womens' monastery in their house and Ammon went off to the Nitrian desert, where he gave himself to the ascesis of solitude. He received great gifts of insight and wonderworking from God for the purity of his heart. A man and woman brought him their insane son that he might heal him by his prayers, but Ammon would not do so. After long pestering on the part of the parents, Ammon said: 'The sickness and health of your son are in your hands. Return the stolen ox to the widow (and he named her), and your son will be healed.' The parents, amazed at such insight on the saint's part, acknowledged their sin and promised that they would return the stolen ox as soon as they got home. Then holy Ammon prayed to God, and the child was healed. Ammon was a close friend of St Antony the Great. When Ammon died in Nitria in about 350, St Antony saw from his cell window the soul of Ammon in the heights, and said to the brethren: 'Abba Ammon has today moved on, and I see his holy soul being borne by the angels into heaven.'

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK





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