Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Anthony of Eygpt ... short story
In the case of our Desert Father, the incident once occurred. Two men were on the way to visit Anthony when they ran out of water. One of them died, while the other lay down on the ground and was waiting likewise for death. At the same time Anthony on his mountain summoned two monks who were his guests and instructed them, “Take a jar of water, and quickly take the road to Egypt. Two brothers were on the way here, but one is already dead and the other one soon will be if you do not hurry. This was just now revealed to me while I was praying” [59.2-3]. The rescue of the man dying of thirst was successful.
The saint often foresaw the arrival of visitors days in advance and could even tell the purpose of their visit. Occasionally Anthony could also observe the purely spiritual, invisible world and thereby gained insights into the personal destiny of the human soul after death and separation from the body. He was sitting one day on the mountain and suddenly spied in the air a man who was being led upward and was welcomed by others who were overjoyed. It was simultaneously revealed to him that it was the soul of the monk Amoun, who lived in Nitria, a thirteen days' journey distant from Anthony. One can imagine the amazement of his friends when Anthony told them that the monk, with who they were acquainted, had just died. About a month later brothers came from Nitria and were able to confirm that Amoun had died at precisely the hour when Anthony had seen his soul travel to heaven. In further visions the saint saw the fate of the human soul after death."