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St. Mary of Egypt

Saint Mary of Egypt


Mary was born in Egypt, probably in the fourth century. As a young woman she ran away from home and spent the next seventeen years as a prostitute in Alexandria, more for the indulgence of her passions than out of need for money. One day, she noticed a group of pilgrims boarding a ship to the Holy Land. Mary joined them, excited to ply her shameful trade on the long voyage and in Jerusalem. On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, she tried to follow the pilgrims into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but was prevented by an invisible barrier. Upon seeing an image of Our Lady, the young woman was struck with remorse, and vowed to do penance if she was allowed to enter. The barrier disappeared, and after venerating the True Cross, Mary was guided by Our Lady to receive the sacraments and then enter the wilderness beyond the Jordan River. There Mary did penance in total solitude and near-starvation for almost fifty years. The abbot St. Zosimus discovered her one Lent, recorded her story, and the next year brought her the Blessed Sacrament on Maundy Thursday. The year after that, he returned and discovered Mary’s body waiting for him. A lion miraculously assisted Zosimus in digging her grave.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 2nd

ST. FRANCIS of Paula, founder of the Order of Minims. As he was renowned for virtues and miracles, he was inscribed among the Saints by Leo X.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, during the persecution of Galerius Maximian, the birthday of the martyr St. Amphian, who, because he reproved the governor Urban for sacrificing to idols, was cruelly lacerated and, with his feet wrapped in a cloth saturated with oil, was set on fire. After these painful tortures, he was plunged into the sea. Thus through fire and water, he reached everlasting repose.

In the same city, the passion of St. Theodosia, a virgin of Tyre, who, in the same persecution, for having publicly saluted the holy confessors as they stood before the tribunal, and begged of them to remember her when they should be with God, was arrested and led to the governor Urban. By his order, her sides and breasts were lacerated to the very vitals, and she was thrown into the sea.

At Lyons, St. Nizier, bishop of that city, renowned for his saintly life and miracles.

At Como, St. Abundius, bishop and confessor.

At Langres, St. Urban, bishop.

In Palestine, the decease of St. Mary of Egypt, surnamed the Sinner.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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