Our featured person this week was a murderer, adulterer, and robber.
Wait a minute. Aren’t we supposed to be writing about saints in the Orthodox Christian Church?
I am – keep reading!
St. Moses lived in Egypt during the fourth century. While still a slave, he committed murder and his master banished him. He soon joined a gang of robbers, who selected him to be leader because of is bad character and incredible strength. For several years they robbed, committed murder, and worse.
On many occasions, Moses lifted up his eyes to look to the sun and to talk to it saying, “O Sun!! if you are God, let me know it.” Then he said, “And you O God whom I do not know, let me know you.”
“One day, he heard someone saying to him, “The monks of Wadi El-Natroun know the real God. Go to them and they will tell you.” Instantly, he rose up, girded his sword and went to the wilderness of Shehet (Skete).”
Moses made his way to the monastery, but the monks were not convinced that his repentance was sincere. However, he stayed and continued to repent and request admission. He was also completely obedient. Eventually he was accepted and he moved to a solitary cell where he continued in prayer and fasting.
Once, four of his former gang-mates came to visit him. He tied them up and took them to the Abbot, who insisted that Moses let these men go. The men went back to the gang and reported the events. The four gang members repented and converted, followed by the rest of the gang. They all became fervent monks. Their conversions were largely based on the actions of Moses the Black and his Abbot. The gang members observed the change in Moses and the kindness in the Abbot: they both reflected the nature of Christ – something we can also strive to do .
Today his legacy continues through The Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, a Pan-Orthodox organization which has desired through its efforts to make the Orthodox faith available to the African American community and help the Church itself in realizing this goal. The Brotherhood is holding their annual conference Oct 6-8, 2017 in Princeton, New Jersey. Information and registration is available at http://mosestheblack.org/past-conferences/2017-conference/ . Speakers will include Fr. Jerome Sanderson and Mother Katherine. both of whom are special to our church.
We will be celebrating Moses the Black on Sunday, September 10, 2017.
To read more about Moses the Black, go to the links below.
* Information found at: https://orthodoxwiki.org/ and
Moses_the_Black and http://mosestheblack.org/resources/life/ .
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