Icon of St. Anubius of Egypt - 20th c. - (1AN71)

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Commemorated June 5

Saint Anubius the Ascetic bravely endured tortures during the time of persecutions against Christians in the fourth century, but he remained alive and withdrew into the wilderness, where he dwelt until old age. He founded a small skete, in which he lived with six monks, one of whom was his brother Saint Pimen the Great (August 27). Once robbers laid waste to the skete, and the monks had to hide themselves in the ruins of a pagan temple, while having given their word not to speak with each other for a week. In the morning all week long Saint Anubius threw a stone at the face of the statue of the pagan god, and in the evening he said to it, “I have sinned.”

At the end of the week the brethren asked Abba Anubius what his actions signified, and the Elder explained that just as the statue did not get angry when he struck it, nor get flattered when he asked forgiveness of it, so the brethren ought to live. Three days before his end Saint Anubius was visited by the desert-dwellers Cyrus, Isaiah, and Paul, who asked the Elder to tell them about his life for the edification of believers. The saint replied, “I do not recall that I did anything great or glorious.” However, swayed by the entreaties of his questioners, in deep humility he related to them that during the time of persecutions he confessed the Name of Christ under torture, after this he had never defiled his lips with a lie, since after he had confessed Truth, he did not want to utter falsehood.

Three days later, Saint Anubius reposed in spiritual joy. The aforementioned Fathers said that they heard the singing of angels who came to receive his soul.

His heart was ever filled with a thirst for communion with the Lord, and he had often seen angels and the holy saints of God standing before the Lord. He also beheld Satan and his angels committed to the eternal flames. He is mentioned in the LAUSIAC HISTORY of Palladius, and his sayings can be found in the Paradise of the Fathers and in the Evergetinos.