The Monastic Fathers, Murdered at Sinai and Raipha
Commemorated on January 14
Fathers, Murdered at Sinai and Raipha, asceticised at the monasteries and
caves of Mount Sinai, where previously the Ten Commandments had been given
through Moses; near to it also was the Raipha monastic wilderness (on the shores
of the Red Sea). They suffered under the Saracens and under nomadic brigands
from among the Arab tribes. The first massacre occurred in about the year 312.
It was recorded by Ammon, an Egyptian monk, who witnessed the murder of the 40
holy fathers in Sinai. During this time the Arabs also killed 39 fathers at
Raipha. The second period of the massacres occurred nearly an hundred years
later, and was likewise recorded by an eye-witness who himself in the process
miraculously escaped – the Monk Nilos the Faster (Comm. 12 November).
The Sinai and Raipha ascetics lived a particularly strict lifestyle: they spent the whole week in their cells at prayer, on Saturday they gathered for the all-night vigil, and on Sunday they communed the Holy Mysteries. Their only food was dates and water. Many of the wilderness ascetics were glorified by wonderworking – the elders Moses, Joseph and others. By name, remembered in the service to these monastic fathers are commemorated: Isaiah, Sava, Moses and his student Moses, Jeremiah, Paul, Adam, Sergios, Domnos, Proklos, Ipatios, Isaac, Makarios, Mark, Benjamin, Eusebios and Elias.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.