Martyrdom of the Great Saint Anba Moses The Black

24th Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah

 

 On this day, St. Moses the Black, whose life story is remarkable, was martyred. This saint took the Kingdom of Heaven by force, exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ said: "The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12)

 

In his early life, St. Moses was a slave to people who worshiped the sun. He was a mighty man who loved to eat and drink excessively. He killed, robbed and committed all evil. No one could stand up before him, or challenge him. On many occasions, he 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 Shiheat. He met St. Esidorous (Isidore) the priest, who was frightened when he saw him, because of his appearance. St. Moses comforted him by saying that he came to the monks so that they might let him know the real God.  St. Esidorous took him to St. Macarius the Great, who preached to him, taught him the faith and baptized him.  He accepted St. Moses as a monk and taught him to live in the wilderness.  St. Moses dashed in many worships, and fought a spiritual fight which was greater than that fought by many saints.

 

However, the devil fought him intensively with his old habits of excessive eating, drinking, and fornication. He informed St. Esidorous about everything which came upon him in his fight with the Enemy. He comforted him and taught him how to overcome the snares of the devil.

It was told about him, that when the elders of the Monastery slept, he used to go round to their cells and take their water pots and fill them with water which he brought from a well at a far distance from the monastery.

 

After many years in spiritual struggle, the devil envied him, and struck him with a sore on his foot which made him sick and bed-ridden. When he knew that this was from the devil, he increased in his asceticism and worship, until his body became as a burnt wood. God looked to his patience, healed his illness, and removed all his pains.

 

The blessing of the Lord came upon him.  After a while, he became the Father and the spiritual guide of 500 brothers, who elected him to be ordained a priest.  When he came before the Patriarch to be ordained, the patriarch wanted to test him by asking the elders, "Who brought this black here? Cast him out." He obeyed, and left saying to himself, "It is good what they have done to you, O black colored one." The Patriarch, however, called him back and ordained him a priest, and said to him, "Moses, all of you now has become white."

 

One day, he went with some elders to St. Macarius the Great, who said to them, "I see among you one to whom belong the crown of martyrdom." St. Moses answered him, "Probably it is me, for it is written: 'For all they that take with the sword, shall perish with the sword.'" (Matthew 26:25)

 

After they returned to the monastery, it did not take long until the Barbarians attacked the monastery.  He told the brethren, "Whoever wants to escape, let him escape."  They asked him, "And you O father, why do you not also escape?"  He replied that he had waited for this day for long time.

 

The Barbarians entered the monastery and killed him with seven other brothers.  One of the brethren was hiding, and saw the angel of the Lord, with a crown in his hand standing by and waiting for him. He went out from his hiding place to the Barbarians and he was also martyred.

 

Beloved Ones, contemplate in the power of repentance, and what it did.  It transformed an infidel slave who was a murderer, adulterer and robber into a great Father, teacher, comforter, and priest who wrote rules for the monks, and saint whose name is mentioned on the altar in our prayers.

 

His Body is located now in the Monastery of El-Baramouse.

May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever Amen.

 

 

 

السنكسار

 

إستشهاد القديس أنبا موسى الأسود

 

فى مثل هذا اليوم إستشهد القديس العظيم الأنبا موسى الأسود صاحب السيرة العجيبة . هذا الذي اغتصب ملكوت السموات حقا كما قال الإنجيل : " ملكوت الله يغصب والغاصبون يختطفونه " (مت 11 : 12) كان في حياته الأولي عبدا لقوم يعبدون الشمس جبارا قويا كثير الإفراط في الآكل وشرب الخمر يقتل ويسرق ويعمل الشر ولا يستطيع أحد ان يقف في وجهه او يعانده وكان في أكثر أوقاته يتطلع إلى الشمس ويخاطبها قائلا : " أيتها الشمس ان كنت أنت الإله فعرفيني " ثم يقول " وأنت أيها الإله الذي لا اعرفه عرفني ذاتك " فسمع يومًا من يقول له : " ان رهبان وادي النطرون يعرفون الله فإذهب إليهم وهم يعرفونك " فقام لوقته وتقلد سيفه وأتي إلى البرية . فإلتقي بالقديس إيسيذورس القس ، الذي لما رآه خاف من منظره فطمأنه موسى قائلا أنه إنما أتى إليهم ليعرفوه الإله فأتى به إلى القديس مقاريوس الكبير وهذا وعظه ولقنه الأمانة وعمده وقبله راهبا وأسكنه في البرية فإندفع القديس موسى في عبادات كثيرة تفوق عبادة كثيرين من القديسين وكان الشيطان يقاتله بما كان فيه أولا من محبة الآكل والشرب وغير ذلك فيخبر القديس إيسيذورس بذلك فكان يعزيه ويعلمه كيف يعمل ليتغلب على حيل الشيطان ويروي عنه أنه كان إذا نام شيوخ الدير يمر بقلاليهم ويأخذ جرارهم ويملأها من الماء الذي كان يحضره من بئر بعيدة عن الدير وبعد سنوات كثيرة في الجهاد حسده الشيطان وضربه بقرحة في رجله أقعدته وطرحته مريضا . ولما علم أنها من حرب الشيطان ازداد في نسكه وعبادته حتى صار جسده كخشبه محروقة فنظر الرب إلى صبره وأبرأه من علته وزالت عنه الأوجاع وحلت عليه نعمة الله ثم بعد زمان اجتمع لديه خمسمائة أخ فصار أبا لهم وانتخبوه ليرسموه قسا . ولما حضر أمام البطريرك لرسامته أراد ان يجربه فقال للشيوخ : " من ذا الذي أتى بهذا الأسود إلى هنا . اطردوه " فأطاع وخرج وهو يقول لنفسه : " حسنا عملوا بك يا اسود اللون " غير ان البطريرك عاد فإستدعاه ورسمه ثم قال له : " يا موسى لقد صرت الآن كلك أبيض "

واتفق ان مضى مع الشيوخ إلى القديس مقاريوس الكبير فقال القديس مقاريوس : " أني أري فيكم واحدا له إكليل الشهادة " فأجابه القديس موسى لعلي أنا هو لأنه مكتوب : من قتل بالسيف فبالسيف يقتل " ولما عاد إلى ديره لم يلبث طويلا حتى هجم البربر على الدير . فقال حينئذ للأخوة الذين كانوا عنده :" من شاء منكم ان يهرب فليهرب " فقالوا له : " وأنت يا أبانا لماذا لا تهرب ؟" فقال : " أنا أنتظر هذا اليوم منذ عدة سنوات " ودخل البربر فقتلوه وسبعة أخوة كانوا معه غير ان أحد الأخوة أختفي وراء حصير . فرأى ملاك الرب وبيده إكليل وهو واقف ينتظره فلم يلبث ان خرج مسرعا إلى البربر فقتلوه أيضا .

فتأملوا أيها الأحباء قوة التوبة وما فعلت . فقد نقلت عبدا كافرا قاتلا زانيا سارقا وصيرته أبا ومعلما ومعزيا وكاهنا وواضع قوانين للرهبان ومذكورا على المذابح ويوجد جسد هذا القديس بدير القديسة العذراء "البرموس" الآن حيث يحتفل به .صلاته تكون معنا ، ولربنا المجد دائمًا . آمين