St. John the Baptist Parish, A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Canberra, Australia

28 August / 10 September

Our Holy Father Moses the Negro

An Ethiopian, he was at first a robber and the leader of a robber band, but he then became a penitent and a great ascetic. As a slave, Moses escaped from his owner and became a robber. Because of his great physical strength and recklessness, the robbers chose him as their leader. Suddenly his conscience was filled with remorse and repentance for the crimes he had committed. He left the band, went to a monastery and gave himself entirely to obedience to his spiritual father and to the rule of the monastery. He made great use of the teaching of Saints Macarius, Arsenius and Isidore. Later, he withdrew to solitude in a cell, where he gave himself utterly to physical labour, prayer, vigils and pondering on God. Tormented by the demon of lust, he confessed to his spiritual father, Isidore, and received from him the advice to fast as much as possible, and never to eat his fill. When this proved to be of no help, he, at the elder's advice, began to keep night-vigils and to pray standing; he then got into the way of carrying water from a distant well for the older monks. After six years of terrible striving, St Isidore finally healed him miraculously of the lustful thoughts, imaginings and dreams visited on him by the demon. He was ordained priest in old age. He founded a monastery of his own, and had seventy-five disciples, himself living to the age of seventy-five. He foresaw his own death, and one day told his disciples to flee, as barbarians were coming to attack the monastery. When his disciples urged him to flee as well, he told them that he must perish in the attack, for he had himself at one time done violence, according to the words: 'all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword' (Matt. 26:52). So he stayed, with six of his brethren. The barbarians came and ran them through. One of the brethren, hiding nearby, saw seven shining wreaths descend upon the seven martyrs. Abba Moses used to say, "Secret withdrawal (from work) maketh dark the mind, but or a man to endure and to persevere in his works maketh light the mind in our Lord, and it strengtheneth and fortifieth the soul." and " These four things lead to fornication: eating and drinking, oversleeping, negligence and decoration of clothes." "If you want to repent to God, beware of living in luxury, for this stimulates all passions and dispels the fear of God from the heart." The uncovering of the relics of St. Job of Pochaev.

On the same day: Our Holy Father Sava of Pskov and Krypetsk; The Assembly of all the Men of God of the Kiev Caves

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