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Coptic Anchorites
The Biography and the Life of the Great Saint Abba Thomas the Anchorite

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By:  Fr. Abraam St. Samuel

 

Edited from Arabic by:   Archdeacon Aziz Nashed

 

  

The Biography and the life of the great saint Abba Thomas the Anchorite

 

+ His Birth:

  Abba Thomas was born in a village called Shenshif  (north Ekhmim  - Upper Egypt) of two pious parents who raised him in the fear of God. They brought him up well in all godliness and raised him in the Christian tradition. He led a quiet, peaceable life renouncing the vanities of the world and its lusts. Since his youth, he perceived that the world is passing away and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever [1 John 2:17].  Therefore he longed for monasticism, and dedicated his life for constant prayer and contemplation.

    He left his home and headed towards the wilderness, where he lived in a cave in the mount of Shenshif.  He led there an ascetic life following the example of Abba Antonius solitary monasticism.

 

 + His Spiritual Struggle:

  His life was an example of, wisdom and spiritual vigilance. The gift of tears and the grace of unceasing prayers were endowed upon him by the Holy Spirit.  He persevered in praising and praying night and day in love of the name of Jesus Christ. The angels and saints used to come to visit and encourage  him.  Therefore the mount of Shenshif where he lived became sanctified.

  Although he shunned the attention, and loved solitude, he never stopped any of the fathers from meeting with him to benefit from his spiritual insight.

   He was once praying and reciting Psalm (6):

O Lord do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath when he became aware of the presence of three monks from the monastery of Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite, who were following him.  They were reciting the Psalm: 97Sing to the Lord a new song for the Lord has wrought wonderful works.. Their voices were so sweet and angelic that he was filled with love of God, and   joined them joyfully in praising and glorifying God the whole night.

   + He lived an ascetic life full of spiritual strife and great corporal austerity.  He passed the night in vigil and prayers stemming of a pure heart full of love to our Lord Jesus Christ as the prophets saying, I meditate on You in the night watches because You have been my help. (Ps.63)

   +He persevered in fasting and disdaining the bodily lusts. Thus he ate only once a week and his food was limited to herbs and legume without excess of food or drink.

   Undoubtedly, his fasting and his prayers empowered him to overcome satanic warfares and granted him the gift of casting out the demons as it is writtenthis kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. (Mark 9: 29)

 

 The Virtues of Abba Thomas the Anchorite

  + Since his early youth, his intentions and thoughts were sanctified through prayer and fasting, that his heart knew nothing of sin or semi sin. He knew nothing but to love the Lord Jesus Christ and to abide unto Him.  There is none upon earth that I desire beside You (Ps.73:25).This love captured his heart and prevailed over all his spiritual life.  Furthermore he was concerned not only about his own salvation but also about that of others.

   + Purity of the heart is the characteristic feature which was attributed to the desert fathers.  It is the purity which identified Adam in the Garden of Eden before his fall.  It is also the merit which marked the Apostles who when our Lord Jesus Christ called them, they left all and followed Him.

   + Purity was the virtue which  eased Abba Thomas's life with God.  He was likened to the angels, as that one of the disciples of Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite said after visiting Abba Thomas, I have just come back from the heavenly Jerusalem carrying many blessings.

   + Likewise he also acquired the virtue of holiness which made him worthy to see God and speak with Him. St. Peter the Apostle says, as He Who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct (1 Peter 1: 15).  It is this holiness that qualifies one to see the Lord, for without it nobody can see Him, as pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this to keep oneself unspotted from the world.  (James 1:27)

   Abba Thomas had such a fine reputation and a great spiritual standing throughout the wilderness that Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite and Abba Wissa his disciple witnessed to his holiness in a well known manuscript.

   + He led a life of perfection and undefiled conduct as written, you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)  Therefore Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite said to his disciples regarding him, Go to benefit of the light of the Mount of Shenshif and to realize to what extent Abba Thomas has been consummated in the virtues.

   Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matt. 5:16).

 

 Abba Thomas and the fruit of the Spirit

    

  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. [Ephesians 5:22]

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities but it is the same God who works all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one to the profit of all, for one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another discerning of Spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. [1 Cor.12:4-11]

   + Revealing these gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit  signifies the work of God to His saints, as, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will. [Heb. 2:4]

   + Abba Thomas was granted the gift of prophecy and predicting some of the future events. The Lord acquainted him with the hour of his departure. However, he preferred not to inform abba Shenouda of it, in order not to disturb him due to the mutual love between them.  Nevertheless, when abba Shenouda requested a sign through which he would know that hour, Abba Thomas said to him, When the rock on which you used to rest in front of your cell splits in two, then you know it is the hour of my departure.   Then Abba Thomas added, You will also follow me and fall asleep on the seventh day of the Coptic month Abib, and you will be greeted by a band of saints.

 + More importantly, that prophecy was fulfilled exactly as Abba Thomas had predicted and this was a witness to his gift of prophecy.

 + Among his many gifts was his natural talent in teaching and counseling based upon his wisdom and the function of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, the great fathers of the wilderness like Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite and his disciples longed to contact him to benefit of his high spiritual counsels, regardless of the hardships of traveling back and forth across the deserted wilderness.  Yet they counted all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the guidance of his saint, For in them you think you have eternal life and these are they which testify of Me. (John 5:39) And, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps. 119:105)

 + In addition, Abba Thomas was granted the gift of healing the sick and casting out the demons. The Lord said, However, this kind (the demons ) does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21) And because he led an ascetic life and great corporal austerity persevering in praying and fasting, he was given the power over unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  No wonder he was referred to as The physician."  Many people from all across Egypt and abroad frequented his monastery appealing for his prayers and blessings.

 + Due to the purity of his heart and his holiness he was granted the grace of discoursing with the Lord Jesus Christ. Few are those of whom we know who were granted this grace:Moses and Elijah the prophets (of the Old Testament) and Saint Paul the Apostle (of the New Testament).

It is difficult to perceive what kind of discourse occurred between the Lord and abba Thomas.  However we have to assume that it was pertaining the heavenly Kingdom and eternal life.

 +  Behold, if Saint Peter the Apostle rejoiced when he saw the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and heard His discourse with Moses and Elijah, that  he shouted saying, Lord it is good for us to be here:(Matt. 17:4), then how much more was the excitement and joy of Abba Thomas when he saw our Lord Jesus Christ and talked to Him.  I assume that he said to the Lord, I will not let You go unless You bless me. (Gen. 32:26).  Just like what Jacob the father of the fathers had said.  The Lord would say to him, Well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few thingsenter into the joy of your Lord. (Matt. 25:21).

 + Later on, as we examine the episode of the departure of abba Thomas we will see that prior to his falling asleep our Lord visited him to encourage and comfort him.  Behold, instead of sending an angel or archangel, the Lord in Person visited him. However, Thomas was familiar with the presence of angels. Abba Wissa the disciple of Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite witnessed to this fact in his widely known manuscript.  He claimed that the angels frequently came to minister to Abba Thomas, and to support him against the Satanic warfare and to save him from Satans malicious snares.

 Worthy of notice, that the presence of the angel to Saint Paul and Silas the apostles in their prison shook the foundations of the prison and immediately all the doors were opened and everyones chains were loosed. (Acts 16:26)

 

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The Prophecy of Abba Thomas

 

Oftentimes Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite would traverse the region between his monastery in the Western mount to the cell of Abba Thomas in Shenshif in the Eastern mount, to enjoy his company.  These meetings were stamped with the spiritual fragrance that evidenced   their love for our Lord Jesus Christ.  They lived the heavenly life on earth as they spent the time in offering the sacrifice of praise to God.   +Finally, on their last meeting, Abba Thomas Addressed Abba Shenouda saying, This is our last meeting together in flesh because the angel of the Lord told me tonight that the Lord will visit me shortly after.  Then he continued saying, and he also told me of the day of our departure.  Let your disciples look forward to that day as a sign to them forever. He referred to that day saying, That day will correspond with the birthday of Abba Kyrillos the Wise Man the Archbishop of Alexandria and Abba Boctor of the Kafous Monastery. Furthermore, on the day  the seventh of the Coptic month Abib a choir of saints will come out to receive you. 

Undoubtedly, Abba Thomas would be (after his departure) on the top of that choir of saints who would receive Abba Shenouda's spirit, owing to the great love that bound them.  While pondering that prophecy, Abba Shenouda asked Abba Thomas, "You have told me, father, about my departure, nevertheless how will I know of the hour of your departure?

 However, Abba Thomas did not disclose that secret nor did he leave Abba Shenouda confused but he said to him, I tell you this as a sign unto which you would know the hour of my sleep.  When you see that the rock on which you used to sit in front of your cell, had split in two, then you know that my soul has separated from my body. Then he added saying, "I ask you to come then to bury me.  The archangel Raphael who took care of Tubit the son of Tubia in the foreign land, will lead you and your associates on the route to my place without a vessel.  Then in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, do me a favor and lay my poor body in the ground to return earth to earth.  In submission, Abba Shenouda yielded to Abba Thomas saying, Let Gods will be done.

   In fact Abba Thomas was not concerned about his burial, but rather anxious to comfort Abba Shenouda and his disciples praying that they would see the heavenly reception of the souls of the righteous saints and enjoy the blessings of the  presence of Christ with His angels.

  At the end of their meeting they embraced one another and Abba Shenouda said to Abba Thomas,  I bid you farewell until we meet in the heavenly Jerusalem.  Then he returned back to his monastery to exceed his asceticism.

 

Promises of Jesus Christ to Abba Thomas

   Prior to the departure of Abba Thomas, our Lord appeared to him to comfort and strengthen him declaring:

  

+ A church to be built in that site after his name.

+ People from all over the world would come in crowds to the church.

+ His name would be widely known all over the world.

+ After three days he would leave his corruptible body and receive the heavenly crowns.

 

The departure of Abba Thomas

Back in his cell, Abba Shenouda kept pondering on what Abba Thomas had announced to him.

 + A few days later, Abba Shenouda was praying  in front of his cell, when he noticed that the rock on which he used to sit had split in two.   At that point, he sighed and said, Alas, the wilderness of Shenshif has lost its illuminating lamp, for Abba Thomas had filled the deserted wilderness with prayers and praises.   Men from everywhere came seeking his teachings and guidance, and he gave them an example of piety, righteousness and holiness.  Based upon his teachings and example, the region became crowded with  saints and disciples.

 Abba Shenouda looked up towards heaven and implored Abba Thomas saying, O Abba Thomas pray on our behalf that our Lord may forgive us our sins and help us as He helped you.  As he was looking up towards heaven, he saw the Archangel Raphael approaching him saying, Peace be with you, the bosom friend of God and the beloved of Abba Thomas. Lets go and wrap the body of the beloved Abba Thomas, for the lord has sent me to carry you and lay the body of Abba Thomas in the earth.

 + Abba Shenouda felt comforted, and he followed the Archangel Raphael.  It was night when he started his trip.  On his way he met with Abba Tamrinus (one of his disciples) who was praying the first watch of the midnight prayer and reciting his Psalm.  Abba Shenouda asked him to follow him, and being a monk who is committed to obedience, he yielded without argument.  Furthermore, the presence of Archangel Raphael convinced him that something serious was imminent.  Therefore he followed his teacher calmly while he continued reciting his Psalm.

 During their wandering about amidst the cells, they met with Abba Okhnoukh The Courageous monk, who was firm in his faith.  He was reciting the Psalm:90, He who dwells in the help of the Most High shall rest under the shelter of the God of heaven.  When Abba Shenouda asked him to follow them, he did not hesitate but obeyed instantly.

 Abba Shenouda kept walking, followed by Abba Temrinus and Abba Okhnoukh, with the Archangel Raphael was leading the way, until they met with Abba Yousab The Wise Writer, who was then reciting the Psalm: They are overthrown and fallen, but we are risen, and set upright (Ps.19). Abba Shenouda asked him to join them, and he immediately obeyed.

 Heading to the altar, Abba Shenouda together with his associates of saints, raised to God a thanksgiving prayer, before they were miraculously carried to Abba Thomass cave without a vessel.

 On entering Abba Thomass cave, Abba Shenouda saw Our Lord Jesus Christ and His angels (the Cherubim and the Seraphim) as well as David the prophet. He offered the worship to our Lord and addressed himself to David the prophet saying, Bless me O father.  David the prophet then responded saying, Blessed is he who comes in the name of lord.  Again abba Shenouda offered worship to the Lord, while David the prophet started to sing with his guitar saying, Our mouth is filled with gladness and our tongues with joy.    Doubtless that joy was due to our lords presence and was based upon His promise to His disciples, I will see you again and your heart will rejoice and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22) Likewise it was the bliss of joining Abba Thomas to the choir of the saints of the victorious church.

 After the consolation bestowed upon all who were in attendance, our lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven with His angels carrying the spirit of abba Thomas.

 +The presence of our Lord at the hour of Abba Thomass departure recalls our Lords promise to His disciples, if I am lifted up from the earth will draw all peoples to Myself.  (John 12:32) likewise His words, In My Fathers house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am, there you may be also.  (John 14:2-3) Abba Thomas was entitled to abide in such mansions, and there the Lord came to receive him in His kingdom.

 

The Archangel Raphael attends the burial procession of Abba Thomas

   + When our lord ascended to heaven with His angels, the archangel Raphael waited to complete the mission he was commanded to fulfill (i.e. to lay the body of Abba Thomas in the earth).

 + When Abba Shenouda and his disciples approached the dead body of abba Thomas, he was kneeling with his arms raised up towards heaven. They perceived that he died while he was praying. After kissing him goodbye they spent a good time praying, inspired by the Divine consolation and blessings.  They then shrouded him with great consideration and buried him in the same cell in which he used to dwell and which became later a monastery carrying his name in the mountain of Shenshif and whereby the Lords promise was fulfilled.

 

The return of Abba Shenouda after the burial

procession

 + When the procession of the burial was fully carried out, the Archangel Raphael advised Abba Shenouda and his associates to return  to their monastery in the western bank.  He led the way before them holding an illuminative rod to give them light in the dim night.  They miraculously crossed the Nile through the Divine grace.  At this they were fascinated and praised God.

 After reaching their monastery in the western bank, the Archangel Raphael disappeared.  They glorified the Lord Who honored His beloved Abba Thomas before the angels and the saints.

 Thus Abba Thomas the Anchorite departed on the 27 of the Coptic month Bashans of the Coptic year 168(around 425 A.D.).  His age exeeded120 years when he died.  The church commemorates his departure on that date.  Many people from everywhere frequent his monastery to celebrate his memory and to have the blessings of his prayers. Many miracles have been performed through his prayers, and often he appeared in the church during the prayers of the liturgy.

 

 How did we know his biography?

 

 + Abba Thomas was eager to hide his virtues, and flee from the vain glory preferring the eternal one.  He gave priority to the friendship of the angels and saints rather than men.  Nevertheless the Lord willed to reveal his virtues and his struggle in love of God. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned ?..You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."  (Matt. 5:13-15)

 Therefore, at the end of his life, the Lord sent Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite with a Choir of the churchs great fathers to proclaim the high spiritual wonders they have witnessed at his departure.

 Similarly, his story was mentioned in the course of recounting Abba Shenouda's last visit to Abba Thomas and what preceded and accompanied it including the signs and manifestations, all of which Abba Wissa the disciple of Abba Shenouda had recorded.

The Monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite

+ This monastery is located at the foot of the Eastern mount in the village of Arab Ben Wasel of the Sacolta district (Ekhmim Bishoprice) Souhag Governorate, Egypt.

 The monastery is built upon a high hillock at the foot of the mount.  It is surrounded by houses occupied by native inhabitants.

 Its surface is so limited that it is considered the smallest monastery in Egypt.  However it can be called: The second Upper Room of Zion. In the first Upper Room Of Zion, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples after His Resurrection and spoke to them.  Similarly this monastery has witnessed the presence of our Lord and His speech with Abba Thomas.  Behold how much this monastery has been privileged by the presence of the Lord Himself.

 + The monastery includes the ancient church which is located at the right side of the main door of the monastery.  It also includes the guests table and the library.  The cells of the monks are located at the Northern side of the monastery.

The monastery is twenty kilometers far from Souhag governorate in Upper Egypt.  It can be reached by the bus.

The ministry and worship in the monastery                     

The monastery was left deserted for a long space of time and the worship was confined to certain occasions (the Holy Lent and Abba Thomas commemoration celebrations).

 However the Lords promise to Abba Thomas was fulfilled at the right time when H.G. Abba Bisada the Bishop of Ekhmim and Sakolta celebrated the inauguration of the monastery on the early months of the year 1984.  Miraculously, on that year Fr. Monk Abraam St. Samuel was elected to serve in the monastery.  He devoted serious efforts to reconstruct the monastery and to innovate its buildings. He started to revive the service and the worship through the permanent liturgies.  Likewise Abba Thomas the Anchorite supported these reforms by the miracles he started to perform. Thus the monastery attracted the visitors from everywhere.  Repeatedly, the saint appeared on certain occasions and specifically on his commemoration feasts.  Many times he was seen censing in the church during the liturgies and many people claim that they saw and approached him during the process of distributing the eulogia, not discerning his real identity.  Fr. Abraam St. Samuel affirmed the episode.

 

 The Divine election of Fr. Abraam St. Samuel to be Abbot to the monastery

 

 + The Divine election of Fr. Abraam to serve the monastery coincided with the good news of the return of H.H. Pope Shenouda to his residence in the St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo.  Hence it was the will of the Lord to let His people rejoice at the return of their Shepherd and chief Priest, and to rejoice also at His management to revive the life and the worship in the monastery through the ministry of Fr. Abraam who in complete submission yielded to the task in spite of his poor physical health and the poor situation of the deserted monastery.

 Is it not amazing that during the first liturgy which he celebrated in the monastery, Abba Thomas the Anchorite was present and a Divine blessing overflowed the monastery?

 

Secondly  THE MIRACLES OF ABBA THOMAS

Innumerable, are the miracles that God has fulfilled through the intercession of Abba Thomas the Anchorite.  The following miracles are just few examples:

 

 The Healing of Fr. Abraam Saint Samuel:

 

Prior to his service in the monastery, Fr. Abraam Saint Samuel endured a severe physical crisis due to a heart failure case.  He was advised to avoid any physical stress.  Nevertheless when he was called to serve in the monastery, he disregarded the advice of the physicians and raised his heart and eyes to heaven entreating Gods help.

 + As soon as he started his service in the monastery, his health was restored  although it is well known that heart failure is a serious illness that needs a long process of medical treatment.

 + Undoubtedly, Abba Thomas has attended to his monasterys servant to encourage him in a mutual loving discourse.

 

 The apparitions of Abba Thomas to support the service:

 

 Fr. Abraam states that at the beginning of his service in the monastery, Abba Thomas used to appear several times on different occasions in the monastery.  He appeared censing in the corners of the church particularly on Saturday evenings.

 Many people visit the monastery seeking his prayers to be released from their tribulations, sickness, or sufferings.  Through his prayers they are granted peace, tranquility and health.  Those who were possessed by evil spirits rejoiced for  their freedom of them. His power of casting the demons was visible as the people used to hear the demons crying : You are torturing us, Abba Thomas and we are going to quit right away.  He usually commands the demons to quit through the toes of the sick persons feet.  Then he would make the sign of the cross with the blood.  The illiterate villagers often claimed that they saw him many times signing his name on the wall after casting the demons.

 On the evening of the new year1985/1986, Fr. Abraam Saint Samuel was praying in the church together with his congregation among whom were: (Ms. Madlin Bushra, deacon Wasim Sobhy, Ms. Wafaa Lamee,Gamalat Bekhit, Nashaat Masoud, and the deacons: Wagih Farag, Elijah Habib, Nabil Gad, Nader Endrawus Makram Nasif, Bakir Wahib and Aiman Ghaly.

 Shortly before midnight and after turning off the lights in accord with the settled habit in the monastery, the prayers increased in fervency and tears.  Behold, an illuminating pillar was following Fr. Abraam during his prayers.  Many other illuminating pillars covered the altar, the baptistery, the walls of the church and the cell of Abba Thomas the Anchorites relics.  Abba Thomas appeared through the windows of the dome, moving from one window to another,  blessing the worshippers as  clouds of incense  filled the whole monastery with its nice aroma.

 That apparition lasted all along the midnight prayers through the dawn of the first day of the year 1986. Furthermore, at the end of the prayers, some of the worshippers who were in the yard of the monastery saw Abba Thomas in full shape on the top of the mount.  The aromatic scent overwhelmed the whole area.

 

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 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law  (Ps 119:18)

 

 +The following statement is from Mr. S.N. (dwells in Shoubra alkhema. Cairo, Egypt):  

Back in 1988, I was delegated to Souhag (of Upper Egypt) on official business. As my family and relatives live there I took my son with me to visit them.  After ending my task ,I headed to the monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite to have his blessing.  Following the attendance of the Liturgy, I shared an Aghabi with Fr. Abraam.  In the course of our speech, he said to me; Well, youd do me a favor if youd enquire of  Mr. George Endraus in Cairo about the service I requested of him.

I asked Fr. Abraam to inform me about his address and his phone number.  However he told me that he had no idea.  I expressed my regret due to the impossibility of reaching a person in such a wide city as Cairo, without having any information.

 Finally, I headed to the railway station to book two return tickets to Cairo.  Unfortunately all seats were reserved.  However I found out that the conductor was a friend of mine, and he willingly transferred his personal ticket to me.  Shortly after, I boarded on the train leaving my son with my relatives.

On the train I kept pondering on Fr. Abraams request.  Meanwhile the  traveler sitting next me started a chat introducing himself to me, and behold, his name was George Endraus.  To be sure that he was the same person mentioned by Fr. Abraam, I asked him if he had ever  visited the Monastery of Abba Thomas.  He answered in the affirmative, and added that he knew Fr. Abraam personally.  Hereupon I explained all the issue to him, and we agreed upon getting in touch with each other to be informed about the fruit of his efforts.

 The next day, my son called to tell me about his desire to return and asked me to wait for him in the Cairo railway station.  At the assigned hour I was standing at the platform waiting for the arrival of the train. Behold.  I came across Mr. George Endraus at the same platform. He was waiting for his wife.  We were both excited to find out that The Almighty Lord has carried the yoke with us and has fulfilled the monasterys needs.  Therefore we glorified the Lord and praised Abba Thomas for his prayers.  Since then I became closer to Abba Thomas the Anchorite.

 

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Jesus Christ said to the paralytic, Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house. (Matt. 9:6)

 

   Mr. Gamal Shawki Mehanni (dwells in Alkaisaria Str. Almaragha city Upper Egypt) sent the following message attached to medical reports. He stated:

 

 + In 1988 my young daughter Mariana when she was 2 years old had a fever which left her paralysed in the left leg.  Many pediatricians and physicians among whom were: Basem Ibrahim Farag, Ahmad Gadelrab Askar, Armia Helmy Hakim, Nabil Ghali, examined her and all agreed upon diagnosing the case as a paralytic leg and the impossibility of the leg surgery because of her young age. Then I referred her to Dr. Abdelkhalek Hafez in Asiut who counseled to use devices for four years until a surgery could be considered.  So we provided her with a special shoe for her left leg on 6/26/1989.

 Upon seeing the shoe, my wife was alarmed and started to cry and pray before the icon of Abba Thomas the Anchorite begging for his prayers on behalf of our daughter.  Likewise I went aside  in my bedroom and did the same.

 During that night, Abba Thomas appeared to my wife and assured her saying, Stop crying for, God is willing that Mariana will recover and be normal by tomorrow.

 The following day, amazingly our daughter walked normally without the support of the shoe. I took her then to Dr. Abdelkhalek Hafez who had counseled us to consider a surgery after four years. He was astonished to find her normal and in no need of surgery.

 We glorified the Lord and praised His Saint, and we headed to the monastery to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord.  We did not neglect taking the shoe with us to witness for the miracle.

 

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Jesus said to her, Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well. 

( Matt. 9:22)

 

 Ms. Mariam Adly Alabd (her current residence in Albaliana city- Upper Egypt) communicated to state the following miracle, and attached some medical reports:

 During her stay in Cairo she suffered from  severe renal colic.  At a point, when she could not endure the severe pain she headed on 5/25/1991 to Manshiat Albakry Hospital.  Nevertheless all pain relievers failed to comfort her.  Therefore, she went to Dr. Maher Fouad Ramzy (Algomhoria Str.-Cairo) who recommended the performance of urine culture and Ultrasound.  Thereon, she went to the Anglo American Hospital, where the doctor reacted in sympathy with her severe pain and her endurance to such many stones which blocked the urater.

Finally, the doctor decided to perform a urinary endoscopy to treat the ureteric stones.  He referred her to the Cairo Medical Center for Radiology & Investigations where she was advised to perform the surgery in the Alsalam Aldawly Hospital (Cairo).

However she refused to have the surgery preferring to go back home in Albaliana.

 Thereon, on the morning of Friday 27/9/1991 she went to visit the Monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite.  She visited the cell of the relics of the saint and prayed pleading for his prayers.  She met with Fr. Abraam and told him about her issue.  He comforted her and said to her, You will be healed with no need of surgery.

 On her way back home, she likewise visited St. Mina Church where she felt unbearable pain followed by passing the urinary stones.

 Upon performing a new X Ray and physical examination, Dr. Michael Mirhom of Sohag city was amazed to find no trace of the disease because she was miraculously healed.

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 This kind can come out by nothing but

prayer and fasting  (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29)

 

Wahba Michael Sourial of Nagie Alnaggar Village (Suhag- Upper Egypt) recounted the following story of casting the evil spirits out of him. He stated that:

 He was a student in the secondary school of Edpha City (Upper Egypt) when his father asked him one day to shop for him, but he was not willing to go.  His father got agitated and rebuked him. He fled from his fathers face crying and ran towards an open place where there was a water- wheel located in a near-by field.  Within the fence of the water- wheel he came across a woman who was sitting on a mat.  He sat next her crying bitterly.  Her face was fearful for she had wicked features however, she comforted him and brought him food and drink, and unexpectedly she disappeared.  Then she started to appear to him daily bringing him food. He began to feel sick and his health deteriorated feeling physically and spiritually ill.

 His father felt concerned about him and took him to the Monastery of Abba Thomas in spite of his insistent opposition.  However as soon as he has visited the relics of the great Saint, he felt complete release of his physical and spiritual weariness.

 He attended the prayers of the Liturgy, and partook of the holy communion.  He again was blessed by the relics of Abba Thomas and the prayers of Fr. Abraam who commanded the demons to come out the toe of his right foot.  The sign of the cross appeared in blood on that toe.  A sign of the cross appeared as well in oil on the right leg of his pants starting from his foot up to his knee.

 All the worshippers who attended and watched the miracle glorified the Almighty God and praised his Saint who was granted the grace of casting the evil spirits.

                             

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 And He (Jesus Christ) rebuked them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that he was the Christ (Luke 4:41)

 

 To recount the story of casting seven demons out of him by the prayers of Abba Thomas the Anchorite, Eihab Fawzy Abdelmalek (a prep. School student-Bendar Alsharkia city- Girga- Upper Egypt) stated the following miracle:

 Through an accident he fell on the ground and was at the point of death.  The X-ray which was performed to him by the advice of Dr. Mohamed Abou Alhosn (Girga Upper Egypt) failed to identify the source of the pain he felt. He was afflicted with fits that pushed him to punch anybody next to him.

 During his presence at school, one day and at the break time, he was sitting alone in the class when he felt as if someone had punched him on the head and pushed him to the ground.  Therefore he lost his consciousness.  His relatives were called to school to carry him home.

 After reviewing the investigations and the X-rays, his case was designated as Epilepsy and extra brain electricity associated with nervous convulsions.  However, all medications and treatments failed to lessen his pains.

 After many consultations with physicians and psychiatrists with no progress, he went on Sunday, Dec.,22, 2002, with his parents to the Monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite.  He visited the cell of Abba Thomass relics and prayed begging for his prayers.   He felt relief of his pains as he had never felt before.

 A week later, i.e. on Saturday, Dec.22, 2002, his father communicated with a monk in Saint George Monastery in Alrozaikat (Upper Egypt) requesting him to pray on behalf of his son. The monk urged him to let his son partake of the holy communion and assured him that Saint George would cure him.

 He adds that on that night he was in great pain.  He fell asleep while he was holding the icon of Abba Thomas to his chest. Abba Thomas came and awoke him saying; I have come to cure and to relieve you of the pains you endure, in response to the monks prayers to Saint George.   In retaliation, the demons started torturing him more severely especially when Abba Thomas started to place the Cross on his head commanding the spirits to quit.  He realized through the rebuke of Abba Thomas to the demons that they were seven demons.  He adds that he saw the first demon departs after such a fierce struggle that the icon of Abba Thomas was ruined, and Abba Thomas burned the demon with the Cross.  The rest of the demons followed the first one quitting in submission.

 On Dec.29/2002, Abba Thomas appeared to him in a dream and told him that he was released from the demons and Saint George would visit him by day and Abba Thomas by night.

 He extends his gratitude to the Almighty God and to His Saints Saint George and Abba Thomas for retaining his health and his normal life.

 

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    Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name ... Who heals all your diseases  (Ps. 103:1-3)

 

 Nasralla Keddis (New Jersey-USA) states that his wife Suzan  suffered of a blockage of the small intestine. She performed a surgery in a hospital where she got rid of approximately a yard of her small intestine.

 However, shortly after, she suffered from severe inner pain.  After performing Physical examination and reviewing the investigations, she was advised to have another surgery as the only way for her treatment.

 Being frustrated, they communicated with Fr. Abraam St. Samuel requesting him to pray for her. Suzan adds saying that she had great faith in the power of the prayers of Abba Thomas the Anchorite especially because he had performed many miracles to her before.  Fr. Abraam assured her that she would be healed without any more surgery.

 Nasrallah accompanied his wife again to the same doctor. He performed a new X-Ray test and found that the blockage was eliminated and there was no more need for a surgery.

 They glorified the Lord and praised Abba Thomas for his immediate response.

 

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  He stood over her and rebuked the fever and it left her.  And immediately she arose and served them (Luke 4: 38)

 

 Hoda Naseef (Cairo-Egypt) communicated to recount the miracle of heeling her swollen breast without surgery, through the prayers of Abba Thomas the Anchorite.

She enclosed a bunch of medical reports. She stated:

On 1994 she was on a visit to her son in the USA, when she felt pain in her left breast.  Performing a Mammogram proved that she had a Cyst in her breast.  The physician stated that their was no immediate harm, but advised to perform a Mammogram every six months.

After returning to Egypt, she adds that she did not care to check again until another Cyst bulged out in her chest.  The physician advised her to have a surgery to get rid of the Cyst and referred her to Alzamalek Hospital (attached the report).

She got disturbed and raised her heart to the Lord pleading for help.  However instead of going to the hospital, she headed for the residence of the monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite.(26 Algizawie Str. Shoubra-Cairo) where she prayed to have the prayers of Abba Thomas.  She placed his relics on her chest crying for his help.  Fr.Abbram prayed also and comforted her.

 Next day she went to another doctor to double check her.  He advised her to get a recent Mammogram.  Miraculously the new one affirmed that there was no Cyst or any trace of it.  On reviewing the previous X-Ray report performed in the USA in 1994 the physician was amazed.

 In order to get more assured that the swelling was terminated, she appealed to Abba Thomas and Abba Kyrellos to show her a visiable sign. She sprayed the area of swelling with the holy oil of Abba Thomas icon.  Gradually the swelling began to wither until it thoroughly vanished, although the physician told her that the swelling would not vanish except through a surgery.

 She glorified God the True Healer and His Saints for their prayers.

 

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 Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.( Luke 8:39)

 

 Mr.Shawki Saeed Obeid (16 Almekawel Str.,Kafr Elzayaat city-Egypt) communicated the monastery to recount the story of his healing of a fatal Cancer case, and presented a bunch of  reports of the medical investigations he had performed.  He related his story to Fr. Abbram as follows :

On October 1992 he fell sick, and after the physical and medical examinations he underwent a surgery in Victoria Hospital in Alexandria Egypt to eliminate a swelling in his bladder which on performing a culture on it revealed the existence of Cancer in it.  Therefore he stayed in the hospital for treatment to stop the spread of the disease.

 During his stay in the hospital, his daughter (Sherin-20yers-a university student) came to visit him.  She told him that while she was looking up at the icon of Abba Thomas the Anchorite praying for her fathers healing, she felt that the icon was shaking so strongly that she imagined it was going to break.  She was alarmed and hurried to leave the room.  A week after, the scene was repeated once more.  She assumed that the saint was conveying a message to the family telling them that he would smash the Cancers cells to hinder its spread.

 The double check of the investigations (Ultrasound- Cancer culture- X-Ray with IV) revealed complete devoid of cancer cells.

Therefore he came to the Monastery escorted with a buss full of friends and relatives offering their gratitude to the Lord and seeking the blessings and prayers of Abba Thomas.

 

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 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  (Rom.  7:24)

 

 Mr. xxx (preferred not to mention his name- is resident of Souhag city- student in the Faculty of Engineering Cairo university) recounted the miracle of his acquittal from a charge of an immorality case.  He stated the following:-

During his stay in Souhag, and later in Cairo, he was alienated from God and of the church, and befriended wicked peers. He frequented the taverns and adultery inns and mixed with the dissolutes.

 He adds that the Lord meant to rebuke him, when one day he watched a video-film about the life of Abba Thomas the Anchorite, that he was cut to the heart.  However he did not repent but he hardened his heart.

 The following day, he together with his wicked friends were visiting the same places, when the police arrested them charged with immorality.  He was arraigned to court on February 17.2002.  Prior to that day he was struck by remorse compunction, and repented resolving to live in the fear of God.  He headed to the monastery of Abba Thomas the Anchorite where he confessed his sins and prayed bitterly appealing  for the forgiveness of the Lord and the Saints prayers on his behalf.

 The beneficent and merciful God Who says, "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance."  (Luke 15:7)  has accepted his repentance and saved him from being condemned.  He alone was acquitted although all his friends were condemned.

 

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