Commemorated on October 8
The Nun Taisia,
raised by her mother in a spirit far removed from Christian piety, led a
depraved and dissolute life. She was famed for her beauty, alluring many on the
path to sin.
The account about the
prodigal Taisia spread throughout all Egypt and reached even the elder,
Paphnutios, a strict ascetic who had converted to salvation many of the lost.
Dressing himself into worldly attire, Paphnutios went to Taisia and asked her
to name for him a place, where not only people but even God Himself would not
see them. Taisia answered that this was impossible, since God is omnipresent
everywhere, and He sees and knows all. Having seen in her soul the spark of the
fear of God, the elder went further. He pointed out all the grievousness and
loathesomeness of her sins, and he told her about the answering she would have
to give before God for the souls of people corrupted and destroyed by her.
The words of Saint
Paphnutios so affected the sinner, that she, having gathered up all her riches
acquired in shameful a manner, then set them afire in the city square and
withdrew with the elder to a monastery, where for three years she dwelt in
seclusion. Having turned herself towards the East, Taisia incessantly uttered
the short prayer: "My Creator, have mercy on me!". "From that
minute, when I entered into the cell, all my sins constantly were before my
eyes, and I burst out in tears in remembering them", – said the Nun
Taisia to the elder before her death. "It is for this, thine tears, and
not for the austerity of thine seclusion that the Merciful Lord hath granted
thee mercy", – said Saint Paphnutios in answer to her.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.