November 4, 2020 - Baba 25, 1737
Departure of the Saints Apollo and Abib
On this day, the righteous saints Abba Apollo, who was like the angels, and Abba Abib, the pious worshipper, departed.
Abba Apollo was born in the city of Akhmim. His father's name was Amani (Hamai) and his mother's name was Eyse (Isa). They were righteous before God, walking in His way, and loving to the strangers and saints.
They did not have a son. One night Abba Apollo's mother saw in a dream a shining man, who had a tree with him. He planted it in her house and it grew and bore fruit. He told her, 'Whosoever shall eat of this fruit shall live forever.' She ate from it and found it sweet and she said, 'I wonder if I would have a fruit?' When she awoke from her sleep, she told her husband about what she had seen. He told her that he had seen the same vision, and they glorified the Lord. They added to their works of righteousness and to their striving. They fasted for two days on only bread and salt. After a while she conceived, and she prayed fervently until the child was born. They called him Apollo and they advanced in their piety.
When the boy had grown up and studied theology, he longed for the monastic life. This longing grew when he met a friend called Abib. They went together to one of the monasteries and became monks there. They practiced many ascetic works. They lived a good life that was pleasing to God. The saint Abba Abib departed on the 25th of Babah.
Thereupon St. Apollo went to Ablug Mount and many gathered around him. He taught them the fear of God and the acceptable worship. On the 25th of Babah they celebrated the commemoration of the saint Abba Abib to fulfill the saying of the Holy Bible, 'The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.' (Psalm 112:6) Abba Apollo lived for many years after that and he had monasteries and many brethren.
He was a contemporary of St. Macarius the Great who, when heard about St. Apollo, rejoiced. St. Macarius wrote him a letter to comfort him and the brothers and to confirm them in their obedience to the Lord. Abba Apollo knew by the spirit that St. Macarius was writing them a letter. There were many around him speaking the Word of God. He said to them 'Listen my brethren, behold the great Abba Macarius is writing to us a letter full of comforting and spiritual teachings.' When the brother arrived with the letter, they received him with joy then read it and their hearts were consoled.
St. Apollo was the one who went to St. Ammonius and saw the holy woman who stood in the middle of the fire but did not burn.
When the Lord Christ wished to relieve him from the labor of this world, he departed in peace. May his prayers be with us. Amen.