When we were in Alexandria, we visited Abba Theodoulus, who was then in St. Sophia on Pharos island; and the old man told us this story:

“I renounced the world in the coenobium of our holy father Theodosius that is in the desert of the holy city of Christ our God. There I found a great old man, called Christopher, a Roman by birth. One day, making my obeisance to him, I said: “Do me a favour, Abba: tell me about the doings of your youth”. And after many entreaties on my part, being aware that I questioned him for the sake of my soul, the old man gave me the following account of himself: “When I renounced the world, my son. I had in my heart a great fervour towards the monastic life, and I devoted my days to the divine service of the psalmody, and by night I went to pray in the cave, where saint Theodosius and the other holy fathers lie. And in descending into the cave, at each step I made a hundred genuflexions to God. The steps are eighteen in number. After I had descended all the steps, I remained there until they struck the drum (for the nocturnal prayers): then I would go upstairs for the divine service. Now, after ten years of this practice, with fast and great abstinence and toil, one night, as is my custom, I come to descend into the cave, and after I have completed my genuflexions on the steps, when I am about to put my foot on the floor of the cave, I fall into ecstasy and I see all the floor of the cave full of candles: some were burning, some were not …

<The candles represented the souls of the fathers. Desiring ‘to light his candle’, Christofer decided to take up a harsher life, went to mount Sinai and spent 50 years there a solitary; then he came back to his old coenobium.>

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

Abba Christopher has a vision of candles on the floor of the burial cave of Theodosius.