Saint Sarah the Nun

    Written by Lauren Hanna~Saint Sarah was the only child of two rich, Christian parents from Upper Egypt. Her parents taught her how to read and write; she grew particularly interested in reading the biographies and sayings of the Church Fathers. She was greatly influenced by their stories and desired to pursue the monastic life. As a result, she eventually lived in a convent in Upper Egypt and served the virgins there for many years.

    Then she put on the monastic garb and devoted the rest of her life to living the ascetic life; however, such persistence did not come without countless fights from the devil. Satan kept tempting the Saint particularly with lust for thirteen years and finally, being tired of her steadfastness and vow of purity, decided to tempt her with pride-- the sin that caused Satan’s own fall. He appeared to her while praying and said: “Rejoice for you have overcome Satan.” She, being filled with humility, replied: “I am a feeble woman, and I cannot conquer you except by the power of the Lord Christ.” This immediately caused Satan to vanish. Thus, she lived a pure and holy life until she was eighty years old. She stayed on the banks of the river in a cave for sixty years fighting a great fight and no one saw her until she departed. The Church commemorates her on the 15 of Baramhat.

    There are many virtues that can be learned from Saint Sarah---two of which are purity and humility. When the devil used to tempt her for 13 years with fornication, she would always defeat him by her humility. The devil finally appeared to her and said, “You have vanquished me Sarah.” She replied “It is not I who have vanquished you but Christ the Lord.” Speaking of these temptations, she said: “One must not accept the following two thoughts: fornication and judgment of one’s neighbor.  When the enemy presents one of these we must rise up and pray; and pray again, with tears to God, and God will deliver us” (Paradise of the Fathers).

    Also, in this season of fasting, a lesson should be learned concerning that of her fervent asceticism. She said, “Nothing humbles the soul more than the scarcity of bread and water.  When the enemy wants to take a city, he first stops the food and water supplies, and they thus give themselves up even against their will.  So is it for a monastic—unless he restrains his stomach with hunger and thirst, he cannot rid himself of evil thoughts” (Paradise of the Fathers).

    Let us learn from the great Saint Sarah to discipline our bodies and minds, offering them to Christ because He promised us that by prayer, fasting, and humility we have the power to “trample on serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy.”

"Amma Sarah." Amma Sarah. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .

"Lives of Saints :: Baramhat 15."CopticChurch.Net. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .