Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont, PA

St. Moses the Black

St. Moses the Black
It is said that saints are made, not born. Such is truly the case with St. Moses the Ethiopian or, as he is also commonly known, St. Moses the Black. St. Moses was a large and powerful man, with a very intimidating, fearful presence. And he was a bad man, a very bad man. He lead a gang of 75 robbers, and he stole and robbed, and beat and killed. But, like all mankind, he had the capacity to change. And change he did. St. Moses the Black became a priest and then a monk, and he won many souls to Christ. See the Go Forth bulletin for August 28, 2011, for more information about this saint. The following is one of the many stories told about him:

Once the Fathers of the Scetis were holding a council to reprimand a monk who had committed a fault. St. Moses was invited, but he refused to attend. The abbot went to him, and said, "Come, for the people are expecting you." St. Moses arose, took a bag filled with sand that had a hole in the bottom of it, carried it on his shoulder and started walking towards the council. When the monks saw him coming with the bag of sand, with sand pouring out of the hole, they asked him the reason of his behavior. He said to them, "The sand you see running from the bag represents my sins, which are always following me, and yet, today I am coming to judge the errors of my brother." At that reply, the brothers forgave the offender and returned to focusing on their own salvation rather than the sins of their brother.

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