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Mary of Egypt

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[[Image:Zosimas and Mary of Egypt.jpg|right|frame|Sts. Zosima and Mary of Egypt]]
Our venerable mother among the saints, '''Mary of Egypt''' provides us with was a beautiful example of desert ascetic who [[metanoiarepentance|repented]], or conversionof a life of prostitution. She lived during the sixth century, and passed away in a remarkable manner in 522. The Church celebrates her [[feast day]] on the day of her repose, [[April 1]]; additionally, she is commemorated on the [[Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt]], the sixth fifth Sunday in [[Great Lent]].
==Life==She began her life as a young woman who followed the passions of the body, running away from her parents at age twelve for Alexandria. There she lived as a harlot for seventeen years, refusing money from the men that she copulated with, instead living by begging and spinning flax. One day, however, she met a group of young men heading toward the sea to sail to Jerusalem for the [[veneration]] of the Holy [[Cross]]. Mary went along for the ride, seducing the men as they traveled for the fun of it. But when the group reached Jerusalem and actually went towards the church, Mary was prohibited from entering by an unseen force. After a three such attempts, she remained outside on the church patio, where she looked up and saw an [[icon]] of the [[Theotokos]]. She began to weep and prayed with all her might that the Theotokos might allow her to see the True Cross; afterwards, she promised, she would renounce her worldly desires and go wherever the Theotokos may lead her.  After this heart-felt [[conversion]] at the doors of a the church, she fled into the desert to live as an [[ascetic]]. Towards She survived for years on only three loaves of bread and thereafter on scarce herbs of the end land. For another seventeen years, Mary was tormented by "wild beasts—mad desires and passions." After these years of her lifetemptation, however, she overcame the passions and was led by the Theotokos in all things.  Following 47 years in solitude, she met the [[priest]] St. [[Zosima]] in the desert, who learned pleaded with her to tell him of her life. He learned that after living in sinful lust for the first seventeen years She recounted her story with great [[humility]] while also demonstrating her gift of her clairvoyance; she knew who Zosima was and his lifestory despite never having met him before. Finally, Mary was moved she asked Zosima to meet her again the following year at sunset on Holy Thursday by the compassion banks of the Theotokos Jordan.  Zosima did exactly this, though he began to live an ascetic life in doubt his experience as the desertsun began to go that night. Living off Then Mary appeared on the scarce herbs opposite side of the land to satisfy her worldly hungerJordan; crossing herself, Mary grew strong in prayer she miraculously walked across the water and beliefmet Zosima. It is noted that by the end of her lifeWhen he attempted to bow, she rebuked him, saying that as a priest he was so strong in belief that she far superior, and furthermore, he was able to transverse holding the [[Eucharist|Holy Mysteries]]. Mary then received communion and walked back across the Jordan River by walking after giving Zosima instructions about his [[monastery]] and that he should return to where they first met exactly a year later. When he did so, he found Mary's body with a message written on the water sand asking him for burial and revealing that she had died immediately after giving receiving the Holy Mysteries the year before (and thus had been miraculously transported to the Sign spot where she now lay). So Zosima, amazed, began to dig, but soon tired; then a lion approached and began to help him, that is, after Zosima had recovered from his fear of the Crosscreature. Thus St. Mary of Egypt was buried. After her deathZosima returned to the monastery, told all he delivered this story to his fellow had seen, and improved the faults of the [[monk]]sand [[abbot]] there. He died at almost a hundred years old in the same monastery.  Later, the story of her Mary's life was written down by St. [[Sophronius I of Jerusalem|Sophronius]], [[Patriarchof Jerusalem]] of Jerusalem(cf. "External links").
The ''Life of St. Mary of Egypt'' is read during Great Lent along with the [[Great Canon]] of St. [[Andrew of Crete|Andrew]].
==See also==
*[[Life of St. Mary of Egypt]]
==External Linkslinks==*[ The Life Of Our Venerable Mother Mary of Egypt] by St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem ([[ROCA]])
*[ Venerable Mary of Egypt] ([[OCA]])
*[ Mary of Egypt] ([[GOARCH]])
*[ Questions about St. Mary of Egypt]
*[ Icon of St. Mary of Egypt]
*[ Icon of Ss. Mary of Egypt and Zosimas]
[[Category:Desert FathersByzantine Saints]]
[[Category:Egyptian Saints]]
[[es:María de Egipto]]
[[mk:Света Марија Египетска]]
[[ro:Maria Egipteanca]]
[[Category:6th-century saints]]

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