The Monk David
Commemorated on September 6
The Monk David before his entry into a monastery was the leader of a band of bandits in Egypt, in the Hermopolis wilderness. He had committed many a murder and other wicked deeds. Getting old, he thought over his life and took fright at his past misdeeds. Leaving his band of bandits, he went to the monastery and besought the hegumen to accept him amongst the brethren for repentance. The hegumen refused, explaining to David, that their monastic life was very severe and would be beyond his ability. David persisted and, finally, he revealed to the hegumen, that he was the notorious robber David. He said, that if they did not open the doors of the monastery to him for repentance, he would then return to his former manner of life, come back and plunder the monastery and kill the monks. The hegumen thereupon allowed him into the monastery, and to the surprise of all, David became an excellent monk. By his severe efforts David surpassed all the monks. After a certain length of time the Lord sent the Archangel Gabriel to David with the announcement, that the Lord had forgiven him. But the Monk David in his great humility could not believe, that for so great a sinner as he, the Lord would so quickly grant forgiveness. The Archangel then said to him, that for his little-faith David would become speechless. David implored, that he should be left the ability to say his prayers, monastic rule and share in church services. This was granted him, and the rest of the time he remained speechless. Towards the end of his life the Monk David received from God the gift of wonderworking: he healed many of the sick and cast out evil spirits. Having lived in such manner for many years, he reposed to the Lord (VI).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.