May 23 - The Blessed Thais of Egypt

"I cannot help but weep when I see Satan playing in your eyes. In what way has Jesus displeased you, that you do the things that He hates?"

"Father, is it possible for me to repent?"

The Blessed Thais of Egypt

Saint Thais lived in Egypt in the fifth century. Being left an orphan, she lived a pious life, dedicating herself to charity, and tending the sick. Thais enjoyed the respect and love of all the people.

But after several years of diligent service, Thais' wealth was used up. She began to be in want. She became acquainted with certain ill-intentioned people, and succumbed to their bad influence. Her life became more and more disordered. 

Monks from a desert skete, who had visited Thais before, were saddened to see such a change in her. They appealed to their superior, Abba John the Dwarf, for help.

He went to visit Thais. He began to weep, and Thais asked in bewilderment, "Abba, why are you weeping?"

He answered,

"I cannot help but weep when I see Satan playing in your eyes. In what way has Jesus displeased you, that you do the things that He hates?"

Thais trembled, and cried out, "Father, is it possible for me to repent?"

"It is." Abba John replied. 

"Then lead me," she said, and she tearfully followed him.  

She left everything behind, not even thinking about her possessions. The elder led Thais far away into the desert, where they stopped for the night. In the morning Abba John discovered that Thais was dead. The elder became sad, thinking that her soul had perished, because she had not succeeded in repenting, taking Communion, and becoming a nun. Then he heard a voice,

"One hour of her repentance was worth more than the lengthy repentance of others, who have not shown such self-sacrifice in their repentance."

Thus the Lord revealed to Abba John that he had forgiven Thais for her sincere and determined repentance.

The twenty-third of May is the feast day of the Blessed Thais of Egypt.

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