January 3, 2023 - Kiahk 25, 1739

Departure of St. John Kama

On this day, the great Saint John Kama departed. He was from Shubramento of the region of Sa. His parents were God-fearing Christians and he was their only child. They forced him to marry against his will. When he entered his wife's room, he stood, prayed for a long time, then came near the young girl and said to her, My sister, you know that the world and all of its lusts will go away. Do you agree with me to keep our bodies pure and clean? She answered and said, My brother, the Lord's Name lives. This also is my desire and now the Lord has given me what my heart desires. They mutually agreed to live together as brother and sister and to keep their virginity. When they slept, the angel of the Lord came and covered them with his wings. For their many virtues, God planted a vine for them which grew up and covered their place of sleep. That was a sign of their purity and holiness; for what they did was above human nature, that two young people, a man and a woman, would sleep next to each other without being driven by the lust of the flesh; for who can come near a fire and not be burnt, unless it is God's divine power and care that keeps them and preserves them. When their parents saw that they lived together for a long time without having any children, they thought that this was due to the fact that they were young. One day John said to his wife, My sister, I desire to go into the wilderness to become a monk and I cannot do that without your permission. She gave him her permission and he placed her in one of the virgins' convents. There she became a virtuous nun and she performed many miracles, so they chose her to become the abbess of the convent. As for St. John, when he left his town, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and guided him to the wilderness of Scetis Shiheet. He went there and became a monk in the cell of Saint Darudi in the monastery of St. Macarius. He stayed with this saint learning piety from him until the saint departed. Then the angel of the Lord told him to go west of the monastery of St. John the Short and to build a cell for himself there. He went and did as the angel commanded him. Three hundred brethren gathered around him and became his disciples. They built a church and a house with a garden for themselves and Saint John Kama taught them how to pray and the use of the Epsalmodia. One night, St. Athanasius the Apostolic appeared to them while they were singing the song of the three young men. St. Athanasius revealed many mysteries to him. Another time, St. Mary appeared to him and told him, This is my dwelling forever, and I shall be with them as I have been with you and this monastery will be named after me. The church of the monastery was named after the Virgin St. Mary. Some of the monks of upper Egypt desired to be under the guidance of St. John Kama and they asked him to come to see them. He called a brother named Shenouda, and gave him the responsibility of caring for the brethren until his return. When he returned, he found that he performed the task perfectly. When St. John Kama completed his course, he departed in peace.May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen