Venerable Onuphrius the Great is celebrated today

Venerable Onuphrius the Great

This saint lived in the desert for sixty years, when he visited the monk Paphnutius. His hair and beard reached to the ground, and his body was overgrown with long hair due to his long-term nudity. His hair was all white as snow, and his whole appearance was glowing, sublime, and terrifying. As soon as he saw the newcomer, he called him Paphnutius, and then told him his biography of the desert. He had been taken to that place in the wilderness by his Guardian Angel, who had called him earlier. For a long time he ate only the cabbage, which was seldom found in the desert, and then, after suffering battles with demons and when his heart was fully strengthened in his love of God, he ate the bread brought to him by an Angel of God. Apart from this, a palm tree with a delicious date fruit grew near his cell by the Providence of God and a spring with drinking water sprang up. "And most of all," said Onufrius, "I eat and drink of the sweet words of the Lord." When Paphnutius asked him how he received communion, the hermit Onuphrius replied that an Angel of God brought him Communion every Saturday and partook of it. The next day the old man told Paphnutius that it was the day of his departure from this world, bowed his knees, prayed to God and surrendered his spirit to Him. At that moment Paphnutius saw the light of heaven illuminating the body of the deceased saint and heard the singing of the angelic forces. After honorably burying the body of St. Onuphrius, Paphnutius returned to his monastery as a living witness, for the spiritual benefit of all to tell the life of the man of God and the greatness of Divine Providence for those who fully surrender themselves to the service of God. The holy hermit Onufrius died in the year 400.

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