Today we remember Saint Mary of Egypt, the woman who went to the desert to reject sin

Every April 3 we remember Saint Mary of Egypt, a female figure of great importance for a time when it was generally men who retired from the world to lead a life of prayer and spiritual effort. Maria reached the heights of sainthood after having lived subject, by her own will, to the clutches of lust. It is thanks to Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, that we know about her life.

A terrible weight on the soul

Maria was probably born around the year 344. At the age of 12, she left her home and traveled to Alexandria, where she worked as a prostitute for more than 17 years.

Later, coinciding with the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, he embarked for Palestine, not with the intention of making a pilgrimage, but with the desire to make more money during the festivals.

While in the city, one day Maria tried to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but an invisible force seemed to prevent her. After trying to enter her three or four times she gave up and withdrew to her side, with a tremendous weight on her soul, one that she did not know well and that she turned into remorse. At that moment she rested her eyes on a statue of the Blessed Virgin and began to cry inconsolably, asking God for forgiveness.

A soul that found joy

Having stayed there for a long time, he stood up and with a repentant soul tried to enter the church again and this time he was allowed.

Days later Maria approached the priest and asked for help. At the time she received communion in the monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan River. That same day she entered the desert that extends towards Arabia. There he would spend the next 47 years devoting himself to prayer, meditation and penance.

In the desert he met a priest by the name of Zosimo, whom he made promise that they would meet in the Jordan on the night of Holy Thursday of the following year, and that he would bring him the Most Holy Sacrament.

So it was. The following year, Mary of Egypt received the Eucharist and raised her hands to heaven shouting out the words of Simeon: “Now you can dispose of your servant in peace, O Lord, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” . Then the priest left her.

The saint of Egypt died on the night of that day in the year 421.

model woman

When Zósimo traveled the following year to visit her, he found a parchment at the entrance that read: “Zózimo, I have spent eternity on Good Friday, the day of the Lord’s death, happy to have received his holy body in the Eucharist. Pray for this poor sinner and return this body to the earth, which is dust and has to become dust.”

Zozymus narrated to the monks the story of the life of Mary of Egypt. Soon in the place where she was buried, miracles and wonders began to take place. Her fame and veneration spread throughout the region.

If you want to know more about Saint Mary of Egypt, we recommend you read this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia:ía_de_Egipto.

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