Deir Mar Jirys - CHOZIBA


(15-18) <A sick wrestler came as a pilgrim from Byzantium in search of cure. After visiting Jerusalem, on his way to the Jordan, he stopped at Choziba and was directed to George. On Sunday the Elder came to see him in the coenobium and persuaded him to become a monk.>

(19) The young man, falling to the Elder’s feet, tearfully implored him with these words: “Yes, reverend father, I shall willingly do whatever you order me to do, if only my soul may be saved”. So he became a monk, and a much esteemed one, having attained a high grade of asceticism. Often he would feed only on carobs and dates for several days, and this at a time when he was living in the coenobium, fulfilling duties and wearing himself out with the heaviest work , and keeping an unceasing vigil. For he would sleep a little sitting in some corner, briefly, before the hour of the nocturnal striking [the sound - which summoned the monks to prayer], after prolonged meditation and prayer in front of the chapel of the holy five fathers who lay there. After the canonical office he never slept but would go out for manuthion, often coming back to the monastery at sunrise. He also never used bedding, since he renounced the world. He reached a high grade of guiltlessness, for he never swore, and instead he had the habit of using the expression “God’s truth” for an oath. There is no time now to describe his virtues and his entire way of life; but he was favoured with God’s grace and could see the evil spirit, and often scared it off from coming near him: for (the Evil One) never let him alone until the day of his death, as the old man had prophesied.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

A young man repents and becomes a monk.