The Standing of St. Mary of Egypt

The clergy of the monastery concluded today the reading of the Great Penitential Canon of the Venerable St. Andrew of Crete and the Life of the Venerable St. Mary of Egypt.

The Holy Church combines the memory of the two great teachers of repentance, a righteous man from youth and a repentant sinner, thus teaching us an important lesson: repentance is required of all of us, without any exception. There is no man who wouldn’t need it; the sin is not only in our actions, but it penetrates much deeper, as it can, like a worm, devour our heart from within.

There is yet another appeal we hear today directed to each of us: we should never despair in our salvation. God hears both the righteous man and the sinner and will gladly accept repentance from the very last sinner who is hardened in heart.

As we prayerfully participate in the service of “The Standing of St. Mary of Egypt,” we gain a deeper insight of the essence of a Christian feat: it is more about the fiery and bold striving towards the Savior. “By thy strange way of life thou hast struck all with wonder, both the hosts of angels and the gatherings of mortal men; for thou hast surpassed nature and lived as though no longer in the body. Like a bodiless angel thou hast walked upon the Jordan with thy feet, O Mary, and crossed over it,” the Holy Church sings glory to the feat of the Venerable Mother Mary.