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St. Moses the Ethiopian

Salpy

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Happy feast day of St. Moses the Ethiopian! 

Actually, the feast day is a couple of days from now, but he's such a great saint that I couldn't wait.    :)
 
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Tobh em Epchoice e-ehree egon
O Pashoice eniot Abba Moussi
Nem nefshi re ene stavro foros
Entef ka nen novi nan evol


Doxology: http://tasbeha.org/media/index.php?s=Hymns%2FAnnual%2FVerses_of_Cymbals_and_Doxologies%2FIbrahim_Ayad%2FPart_2%2F14.Doxology_for_Saint_Moses_the_Black.mp3​



On this day, St. Moses the Black was martyred. This saint took the Kingdom of Heaven by force, exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ said: "The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12).

In his early life, St. Moses was a slave to people who worshiped the sun. He was a mighty man who loved to eat and drink excessively. He killed, robbed and committed all evils. No one had the ability to stand up to, nor challenge him.

On many occasions, he lifted his eyes towards the sun, saying, "O Sun! If you are God, let me know". Then he said, "And you O God whom I do not know, let me know you."

One day, he heard someone saying to him, "The monks of Wadi El-Natroun know the real God. Go to them and they will tell you." Instantly, he rose up, girded his sword and went to the wilderness of Shiheet. He met St. Esidorous (Isidore) the priest, who was frightened when he saw him, because of his appearance. St. Moses comforted him by saying that he came to the monks so that they might help him know the real God. St. Esidorous took him to St. Macarius the Great, who preached to him, taught him the faith and baptized him. He accepted St. Moses as a monk and taught him to live in the wilderness. St. Moses dashed in many worships, and fought a spiritual fight greater than that fought by many saints.

However, the devil fought him intensively with his old habits of excessive eating, drinking, and fornication. He informed St. Esidorous about all the temptations which came upon him in his fight with the Enemy. He comforted him and taught him how to overcome the snares of the devil.

It was told about him, that when the elders of the Monastery slept, he used to go around to their cells and take their water pots and fill them with water which he brought from a well at a far distance from the monastery. After many years in spiritual struggle, the devil envied him, and struck him with a sore on his foot which made him sick and bed-ridden. When he knew that this was from the devil, he increased in his asceticism and worship, until his body became as burnt wood. God looked to his patience, healed his illness, and removed all his pains. The blessing of the Lord came upon him.

After a while, he became the Father and the spiritual guide of 500 brothers, who elected him to be ordained a priest. When he came before the Patriarch to be ordained, the patriarch wanted to test him by asking the elders, "Who brought this black man here? Cast him out." He obeyed, and left saying to himself, "It is good what they have done to you, O black colored one." The Patriarch, however, called him back and ordained him a priest, and said to him, "Moses, all of you has now become white."

One day, he went with some elders to St. Macarius the Great, who said to them, "I see among you one to whom belongs the crown of martyrdom." St. Moses answered him, "It is probably for me, for it is written: 'For all that take the sword, shall perish with the sword.'" (Matt. 26:25)

After they returned to the monastery, it did not take long for the Barbarians to attack the monastery. He told the brethren, "Whoever wants to escape, let him escape." They asked him, "And you O father, why do you not also escape?" He replied that he had waited for this day a long time. The Barbarians entered the monastery and killed him with seven other brothers. One of the brethren was hiding, and saw the angel of the Lord, with a crown in his hand standing by and waiting for him. He went out from his hiding place to the Barbarians and he was also martyred.

Beloved Ones, contemplate upon the power of repentance, and what it did for St. Moses. It transformed an infidel slave who was a murderer, adulterer and robber into a great Father, teacher, comforter, and priest who wrote rules for the monks, and a saint whose name is mentioned on the altar in our prayers. His Body is now located in the Coptic Monastery of El-Baramouse.

May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God for ever. Amen.
 
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Here's a nice link summarising the essential aspects of his life, and providing quotations of his on various subjects:

http://www.stantonymonastery.org/saintmoses/
 

Salpy

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It's almost here again!  Happy St. Moses Day in advance!
 

Eleos

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Would you say that the patriarch at that time was a racist by common definitions today?  It sounds a bit like this to me, but Im not sure.  Is the patriarch commemorated?
 

PeterTheAleut

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Eleos said:
Would you say that the patriarch at that time was a racist by common definitions today?  It sounds a bit like this to me, but Im not sure.  Is the patriarch commemorated?
With my limited familiarity with monastic literature, the devil and his demons are often seen as Ethiopians, not because persons of Ethiopian ethnicity are inherently evil, but because the legions of the evil one appear black like Ethiopians to those given the eyes to see.
 
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Dear Eleos,

The text of the Synaxarium makes it clear that the Patriarch's statement was intended to test St. Moses, so I don't think it's right to take it as an expression of any genuine racial sentiment. His comments about St. Moses becoming "white" clearly refer to his inner sanctity, which St. Moses proved in response to the Patriarch's test.

I'm not too sure who the Patriarch was at the time, I think it may have been St. Cyril's predecessor, St. Theophilos.

Is the patriarch commemorated?
I'm not sure of any Patriarch of the Coptic Church that the Coptic Church does not commemorate actually. I cannot recall any having ill-reputations.
 

Salpy

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I'm going tomorrow to St. Antony Coptic Monastery here in California for St. Moses' feast day celebration.  Please pray for me.  I'll pray for everyone here.  :) 
 

chris

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^ Thank you, Salpy!  :)

Have a blessed trip!
 

Salpy

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With your prayers, Father, I will.    :)
 

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I was just there at St Antony's last Saturday, but didnt have much time to stay.  St Moses feast should be pretty amazing there, there's definitely a lot of devotion to him there, including a beautiful under-construction church for him.  There's a wonderful mosaic icon of St Moses there.  Blessed feast!
 

Salpy

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There's just one more thing I have to share about St. Moses.  He's so cool, everyone loves him.  He is even included in the tapestries which hang inside the new Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles:

http://www.olacathedral.org/zoom/tn2.html

He's the one in the middle.  It's not exactly the way he is traditionally depicted, but it's impressive when you stand in the cathedral and see him up there.  I was there when our Catholicos Karekin II visited last.  We were able to use the cathedral for a liturgy.
 

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Salpy said:
It's not exactly the way he is traditionally depicted,.
Ethiopians such as myself and other "black" people find it funny (as to say interestingly odd) when we see these kinds of dipictions.

It is not bad in our minds but sad to us that it was not easy enough to just show us in a way that best shows us and communicates who we are to whoever sees the image.

The image in this picture after some careful study 'might' be seen as a "black" person or Ethiopian person. However; if you are walking the streets of Addis Abebe Ethiopia anyone can see without question that we are very much a black race. Like the queen of Sheba stated in 2 Kings while this African queen was visiting KIng Solomons court in Jerusalem regarding her visage "I am "black" and comely" or in todays vernacular "black and beautiful" or "dark and lovely".

As far as black people are concerned we are used to having very light to almost white complexions and "european features" among us. We are all still "black". I have these extremes in my own family. My mom used to say " God blessed me with children of many colors". My point is that it is better to us iconographically that our image be depicted more with what best describes us...that is with black skin. Even my own color is not "black" but light brown. But I know that black skin is a better Iconic depiction of me.

The picture is nice I do not object to it. I thought i would share the view of an Ethiopian to this thread as it relates to depictions of us.

Salpy posted the Coptic Icon of St Moses which I have at home as well. It does not "depict" an Ethiopian at all but it is the Coptic Icon of us (there is other Coptic Icons that I have that depict St Moses as very black and unmistacably Ethiopian). That's fair enough if that is what the Copts need to have St Moses look like to really respect and venerate him. The issue of St Moses is his is holy life most importantly.

 

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Hello Amdetsion,

I think you make very valid point. However when it comes to Coptic art, which the icon posted above is an example of, you will notice that almost universally the features are the same. The nose, the mouth and the beards all have a certain style that is shared among all icons of all saints.

Also though he is not portrayed as dark as you might expect, given the dominant colors in this type of art, you will see he is unmistakably Ethiopian.

I don't think Copts want St Moses to look a certain way to be able to venerate him. An example of a highly venerated Contemporary Ethiopian is abouna Abdel Messih el Habashi (Ethiopian).
 

Salpy

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Another thread was split off from this topic about the term "Habashi."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14608.0.html
 

Amdetsion

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Jonah said:
Hello Amdetsion,

I think you make very valid point. However when it comes to Coptic art, which the icon posted above is an example of, you will notice that almost universally the features are the same. The nose, the mouth and the beards all have a certain style that is shared among all icons of all saints.

Also though he is not portrayed as dark as you might expect, given the dominant colors in this type of art, you will see he is unmistakably Ethiopian.

I don't think Copts want St Moses to look a certain way to be able to venerate him. An example of a highly venerated Contemporary Ethiopian is abouna Abdel Messih el Habashi (Ethiopian).
I agree completely.

I have only Coptic depictions of St. Moses in my pocession.

St. Moses is venerated more outside in Ethiopia than in Ethiopia or among Ethiopians.

I was only trying to make a reference to how we see "oursleves" verses how others see us in their depictions of us. I am not ncessarily limiting this to Icons such as the Coptic St Moese The Black or The Ethiopian. Sometimes it is just strange.

Thanks

God blesss you+++

Dcn Amde

 

SolEX01

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^ Why do OO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian today while EO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian on August 28th?  Does St. Moses have more than one feast day?
 

Salpy

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I think that is common.  Different Churches just developed different days for commemorating saints.  Even within the OO communion it is not necessarily uniform.
 

IS

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SolEX01 said:
^ Why do OO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian today while EO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian on August 28th?  Does St. Moses have more than one feast day?
In short, OO Churches tend to opperate based on a local calendar and so there may be differences between them based upon when leap days fall and so forth. However in this case I doubt that's the cause of the difference.

I've seen cases before where one Church commemorates the actual day of a given saint's departure whilst another Church commemorates the day they heard about that particular saint's departure as though it were that actual day.

This is really quite logical. For example if I don't hear that a certainly relative departed until a week after it happened I'm probably more likely to remember the day I heard about it than when it actually happened. Make sense my friend?
 

Salpy

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It's that time of year again.  :)

Happy St. Moses Day!
 

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Here's the tasbeha of St Moses' feast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMTLIzyKtrE

...doesn't get any better than that.
 

Salpy

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Thank you!  And welcome to the forum!
 

Salpy

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A thread discussing tasbeha was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22351.msg339881.html#new
 

Salpy

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His feast day is coming up again!  :)

I linked a hymn for him in the music thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9840.msg448602.html#msg448602
 

deusveritasest

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Eleos said:
Would you say that the patriarch at that time was a racist by common definitions today?  It sounds a bit like this to me, but Im not sure.  Is the patriarch commemorated?
Was Jesus a racist when he called the Syro-Phoenician woman a dog?  ;)
 

deusveritasest

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SolEX01 said:
^ Why do OO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian today while EO commemorate St. Moses the Ethiopian on August 28th?  Does St. Moses have more than one feast day?
The EO commemorate St. Cyril of Alexandria on June 9th (For OC, June 22nd on the civil calendar) whereas the OO and the Romanists commemorate him on the 27th (because the Copts and Ethiopians are on the OC, this translates to July 10th on the civil calendar).

It's not terribly uncommon.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
One of my favorite saints. I feel his intercessions every day. Gonna give a Sunday School lesson about him in the morning.  :)


Selam
I pray to this guy all the time, since I use his name.

Why tomorrow, BTW? And I didn't know the non-Chalcedonians had a presence in your neck of the woods.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Agabus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
One of my favorite saints. I feel his intercessions every day. Gonna give a Sunday School lesson about him in the morning.  :)


Selam
I pray to this guy all the time, since I use his name.

Why tomorrow, BTW? And I didn't know the non-Chalcedonians had a presence in your neck of the woods.
I was asked to give a lesson about him at the Greek Orthodox Church.


Selam
 

Agabus

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Agabus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
One of my favorite saints. I feel his intercessions every day. Gonna give a Sunday School lesson about him in the morning.  :)


Selam
I pray to this guy all the time, since I use his name.

Why tomorrow, BTW? And I didn't know the non-Chalcedonians had a presence in your neck of the woods.
I was asked to give a lesson about him at the Greek Orthodox Church.


Selam
Not too bad. Practical ecumenism?

I got not truck with it, especially considering the content.
 

Shanghaiski

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The St. Ignatius Chapel in the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania has a relic of St. Moses the Ethiopian which is strongly fragrant from time to time. I was with two friends in the chapel, one of whom was named for St. Moses and later became a priest, and the holy relic became fragrant. It was a wonderful thing.
 

Mor Ephrem

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I had a similar experience once, but with the relics of another saint.  I was not familiar with her, and a parishioner brought me over to her relics, told me about her life and martyrdom, and the great devotion they had for her.  As he was speaking, the relics gave off a fragrance that filled the church and was not at all to be confused with the incense used in that church, which the church smells of normally.  While the incense is plain old frankincense, this smell was similar to the myrrh that flows from some icons and relics, a flowery/spicy scent. 
 

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I must say I'm a bit confused about what the patriarch's remark was supposed to test. Obedience to the bishop? I know that were I in St. Moses's shoes, my response would have involved less walking away and more angry quoting of Galatians.
The "all of you has now become white" remark is pretty funny, though; it reminds me of a Protestant minister I knew way back who banned the use of a white cloth on the communion table (not that she ever used it) on the grounds that using white in that context was racist.
 

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*bump*

Blessed Feast of St. Moses!

I thought I'd share an akathist from our EO brothers which I particularly love.
Here is a small portion - The full text can be found here: http://akathistcollections.blogspot.com/2011/11/akathist-to-our-holy-father-among.html

Kontakion 1
Mighty ancient desert dweller of the Egyptian Thebaid, thy life is an everlasting memorial of the reconciliation between God and man. In thee we see the fullness of the fruits of repentance. Guide our steps onto the path of salvation as we call on thine all-powerful prayer. Rejoice, holy elder Moses, righteous teacher of true spiritual wisdom!

Ikos 1
In the days of thy youth, as a gang-leader thou was a ravenous Wolf slaying sheep and murdering men. Yet in a moment of truth, God acted invisibly on thy conscience as thou was about to commit a crime, opening the door to the Way, the Truth and the Life. Following thy path toward the Light we sing these praises:
Rejoice, model of correction for those who have gone astray.
Rejoice, thou who didst die to earthly pleasures and resurrect in spirit.
Rejoice, thou who camest out of much tribulation.
Rejoice, oasis of faith in the desert of unbelief.
Rejoice, ancient treasure map for those seeking the pearl of great price.
Rejoice, for thou didst find the Kingdom of God within thy heart.
Rejoice, holy Elder Moses, righteous teacher of true spiritual wisdom!
 

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yay, happy feast day!
it is great to celebrate it with all of you  :)
i love him very much
in my current church we have an icon of him (correct colour as well!) but i would love to venerate his relics some time.
his icon is next to saint thomas the anchorite (spiritual traveller) in the church, so i can smile at them during the liturgy as they are 2 of my favourites.
may saint moses pray for us before the throne of God.
glory be to God who preserved his memory for us to encourage us that it is not too late to repent!
:)
 

Salpy

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May St. Moses pray for us all!

Happy feast day!
 
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