Taisia

Commemorated on May 10

      In Egypt in the V Century lived a young Christian by the name of Taisia. Left an orphan after the death of her rich parents, she led a pious life, her wealth she distributed to the destitute, and on her estate she gave shelter to a skete of monks. Afterwards, however, Taisia was allured by worldly temptations and began to lead a sinful life. Then the elders of the skete besought the ascetic John the Short-statured (Kolobos, Comm. 9 November) to go to Taisia and persuade her to repent. The elder set off on the pathway, and the monks began to pray. Taisia's servant did not want to allow the elder into the house. Whereupon he said: "Tell the mistress, that I bring to her something very precious". Taisia mirthfully came to meet the monk. But the monk, looking her in the face, began to cry. "I weep, said he, over thee, since thou hast forsaken thy bridegroom the Lord Jesus Christ and given thyself over to satan". The words of the elder pierced the soul of Taisia like a fiery arrow, and her gaiety instantly vanished. In fright she implored the elder, whether repentance was possible for such a sinner as she. The elder answered, that the Saviour awaited her turnabout, since this is why He came, to seek out and to save the perishing.
      In the feeling of repentance that enveloped her, and hearing in the words of the elder a summoning of the Lord Himself to turn herself round to life eternal, Taisia stood up and went out from her house, not giving any sort of disposition over her property, such that even the monk marveled. In this very hour Taisia turned away from everything that connected her to her former, sinful life. Following after the elder into the wilderness, she hastened to re-union with God in penitence and in prayer. Night fell. The elder prepared for Taisia a place to lay down for sleep, having fashioned a pillow for her from the sand, and he himself went off somewhat farther, and fell asleep after making evening prayer. In the middle of the night he was wakened by a light coming down from the heavens to the place where Taisia was at rest. In the beams of the light the monk espied holy angels, ascending with the soul of Taisia. When he went over to Taisia, he found her already dead. Prayerfully giving the body of the saint over to burial, the Monk John returned to the skete and told the monks about what had happened; all offered up thanks to God for His mercy to Taisia, who repented in a single moment, like the wise repentant-thief.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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