Saturday, July 26, 2008

God Calls a Call Girl

I want you guys to meet the woman pictured above. Her name is St. Mary. She's originally from Egypt. I'd like to tell you her story.

A lot of people think St. Mary was a prostitute before repenting and turning towards God. That's not exactly true. You see, a prostitute expects money in exchange for her "services." Mary of Egypt just did it for free.

One day, she saw a ship leaving Egypt and heading towards Palestine. It was full of men on their way to Jerusalem. Mary had a desire to see the City of Jerusalem, and she boarded the ship. She didn't have money, but she offered to keep the men "entertained" to pay for her passage.

Finally, Mary arrived in Jerusalem. She went to see the famous Church of the Resurrection, which is built over the spot where Christ was crucified, and which also contains His empty tomb.

However, when she tried to enter the church, something stopped her. She wasn't able to pass through the door.

St. Mary tried to pass through the door above to the church.

Mary looked up and saw an icon of the Theotokos by the door. She then realized that it was because of her sins that she couldn't enter the church. She felt such sorrow for her impure life, that right then and there, she vowed to change her ways and repent.

At that point, Mary, the lustful call girl from Alexandria started on her path towards God, a path that would eventually change her to SAINT Mary of Egypt.

After her promise to change, Mary was able to enter the church. She venerated the relics of the True Cross, and following God's voice, she settled in the desert across the Jordan River.

She lived a life of fasting and repentance in the desert. For the next forty years, she prayed constantly and ate only what the desert provided.

Towards the end of her life, a priest named Zosimas was walking in the desert, when he came across St. Mary. She was covered in rags, thin from fasting. St. Zosimas asked Mary to tell him her story, and she did. While speaking, Mary revealed many secrets and events from Zosimas' own life, even though they had never met - this was a gift from God. Zosimas recorded Mary's story, and promised to return the next year to bring her communion.

St. Zosimas brings Holy Communion to St. Mary

Zosimas brought Mary the Holy Communion on Great & Holy Thursday. She asked Him to come back during Lent the following year. When he returned, he found Mary dead, with these words written in the sand next to her body:

"I died the same day that I recieved Holy Communion. Bury my body here."

Zosimas began to dig, and found it difficult. Eventually, a lion approached and helped him dig the grave. He buried her and returned to his monastery, telling others of the life of St. Mary. Today, St. Mary remains an example of repentance to everyone. She shows us that no matter how great the sin, a person can always turn towards God and reach a level of holiness that the rest of us can only imagine.

Through the prayers of St. Mary, may God have mercy upon us and save us. Amen.

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