Venerable Sisoes the Great; Martyr Lucy at Rome

Venerable Sisoes the Great

Saint Sisoes the Great (+ 429) was a solitary monk, pursuing asceticism in the Egyptian desert in a cave sanctified by the prayerful labors of his predecessor, Saint Anthony the Great (January 17). For his sixty years of labor in the desert, Saint Sisoes attained to sublime spiritual purity and he was granted the gift of wonderworking, so that by his prayers he once restored a dead child back to life.

Extremely strict with himself, Abba Sisoes was very merciful and compassionate to others, and he received everyone with love. To those who visited him, the saint first of all always taught humility.

When one of the monks asked how he might attain to a constant remembrance of God, Saint Sisoes remarked, “That is no great thing, my son, but it is a great thing to regard yourself as inferior to everyone else. This leads to the acquisition of humility.” Asked by the monks whether one year is sufficient for repentance if a brother sins, Abba Sisoes said, “I trust in the mercy of God that if such a man repents with all his heart, then God will accept his repentance in three days.”

When Saint Sisoes lay upon his deathbed, the disciples surrounding the Elder saw that his face shone like the sun. They asked the dying man what he saw. Abba Sisoes replied that he saw Saint Anthony, the prophets, and the apostles. His face increased in brightness, and he spoke with someone.

The monks asked, “With whom are you speaking, Father?” He said that angels had come for his soul, and he was entreating them to give him a little more time for repentance. The monks said, “You have no need for repentance, Father” Saint Sisoes said with great humility, “I do not think that I have even begun to repent.”

After these words the face of the holy abba shone so brightly that the brethren were not able to look upon him. Saint Sisoes told them that he saw the Lord Himself. Then there was a flash like lightning, and a fragrant odor, and Abba Sisoes departed to the Heavenly Kingdom.

Martyr Lucy at Rome

The Holy Martyrs Lucy (Lucia) the Virgin, Rexius, Antoninus, Lucian, Isidore, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonius, Arnosus, Capicus and Satyrus:

Saint Lucy, a native of the Italian district of Campania, from the time of her youth dedicated herself to God and lived in an austere and chaste manner. While still quite young, she was taken captive and carried off into a foreign land by Rexius, who had the title of Vicarius (a substitute for a dead or absent provincial governor).

Rexius at first tried to compel Saint Lucy to sacrifice to idols but, she remained firm in her faith and was ready to accept torture for the sake of Christ. Rexius was inspired with profound respect for her and even permitted her and her servants the use of a separate house, where they lived in solitude, spending their time in unceasing prayer. Whenever he left to go on military campaigns, Rexius reverently asked for Saint Lucy’s prayers, and he returned victorious.

After 20 years Saint Lucy, having learned that the emperor Diocletian had begun a persecution against Christians, entreated Rexius to send her back to Italy. She wanted to glorify the Lord together with her fellow countrymen. Rexius, under the influence of Saint Lucy, had already accepted Christianity by this time, and even longed for martyrdom. Leaving behind his retinue and family, he went to Rome with Saint Lucy.

The Roman prefect Aelius sentenced them to be beheaded with a sword. After them the holy martyrs Antoninus, Lucian, Isidore, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonis, Arnosus, Capicus and Satyrus were also beheaded. In all, twenty-four martyrs suffered with Saints Lucy and Rexius.

This Saint Lucy should not be confused with the Virgin Martyr Lucy of Syracuse (December 13).

Tr by oca.org

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