September 24, 2022 - Tout 14, 1739
Departure of St. Agatho the Stylite
On this day departed St. Agatho the Stylite. He was from the city of Tenis. The name of his father was Matra and his mother's name was Mariam. They were righteous and feared God, and they loved to give alms and gifts to the poor and needy. The thought of monasticism moved in his mind continually. When he was thirty-five years old, he was ordained priest, he devoted himself and served the church continually. He asked the Lord Christ by day and by night to facilitate for him his departure from this world, and to help him to depart to the desert. The Lord Christ answered his request and he went out from the city and came to Ternot (Mareot) and then to the desert where the angel of God appeared to him in the form of a monk who journeyed with him and brought him to the monastery of St. Macarius in Scete. He came to the holy old men Abba Abraham and Abba Gawargah and he became their disciple and lived with them for three years. After this they took him before the altar and in the presence of Hegomen Abba Yoanis, they remained three days in prayer over his garb of monasticism. Then they dressed him in the holy Eskeem. From that hour he exerted all his efforts in continuous fasting and prayer and fought a great fight. He used to sleep on the ground till his skin cleaved to his bones. He read continually the history of the striving of Abba Simon the Stylite, and he thought of leading a solitary life. He took counsel with the holy fathers concerning that, and they approved his opinion. They prayed for him and then he left and came near the city of Sakha where he dwelt in a little church. the believers built a place for him on a pillar and he went up on it and labored strenuously leading an ascetic life for fifty years.
In his days there appeared a man in whom there was an obstinate devil and who led many people away. He used to sit in the midst of church and the people would gather around to hear him, and they carried branches of trees. Abba Agatho sent for the posseddsed and had him brought to him, and he prayed over him. He cast out the devil who used to lead the people astray.
Similarily, a woman claimed that St.Mina conversed with her and she commanded the people of her city to dig a well after the name of St. Mina to heal everyone who bathed therein. St. Agatho prayed over that woman until he cast out from her that unclean spirit and St. Agatho commanded the people to cover up that well with earth. At the hands of this holy man, St. Agatho, God worked many miracles, and he healed very many sick people and cast out devils. The devils appeared to him in the form of angels, singing sweet songs and imparting blessings unto him, but by the might of the Lord Christ he knew their guile, and he made the sign of the Cross over them, and they flew away defeated.
When God wished to give him rest from the labors of this world, he fell sick shortly and delivered up his soul into the hand of God. All the people who had benefited from his sermons and teachings and gathered around him and wept bitterly. This holy father lived for one hundred years, of which he spent forty years in the world and ten years in the desert and fifty years in solitude upon that pillar. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.