Saint Mary of Egypt, Our Venerable Mother

Feast Day: April 1st & the 5th Sunday of Lent

The Life of Saint Mary of Egypt: Sighing from the depths of my heart, I saw above me an Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Turning to her, I Prayed: “O Lady Virgin…”



Akathist Hymn to Saint Mary of Egypt

Akathist Hymn to Saint Mary of Egypt and Saint Zosimas

Apolytikion: In thee the Image was preserved with exactness, O Mother; for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ, and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlook the flesh, for it passeth away, but to attend to the Soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O Righteous Mary, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Kontakion: Having escaped the fog of sin, and having illumined thy heart with the light of penitence O glorious one, thou didst come to Christ and did offer to Him His Immaculate and Holy Mother as a merciful intercessor. Hence, thou wast found remission of transgressions and with the Angels thou dost ever rejoice.

Apolytikion: Enlightened by the Grace of the Cross, thou wast seen to be a bright light of repentance, dispelling the darkness of passions, O all Holy one. Thou didst appear as an Angel in the flesh to Holy Zosimas in the wilderness. Intercede with Christ for us, O Mary our Venerable Mother.

Kontakion: Having been a sinful woman, you became through repentance a Bride of Christ. Having attained Angelic life, you defeated demons with the weapon of the Cross; therefore, O most glorious Mary you are a Bride of the Kingdom.

An Ode from The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete: Venerable Mother Mary, Pray to God for us. Offer thy fervent supplications to the compassionate Mother of God, O Venerable Mary, and through thine intercessions open unto me the door that leads to God.

“Then I realized that it was my sins that prevented me from seeing the Life-Creating Wood. The Grace of the Lord then touched my heart. I wept and lamented, and I began to beat my breast. Sighing from the depths of my heart, I saw above me an Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Turning to her, I Prayed: “O Lady Virgin, who gave birth in the flesh to God the Word! I know that I am unworthy to look upon your Icon. I rightly inspire hatred and disgust before your Purity, but I know also that God became Man in order to call sinners to repentance. Help me, O All-Pure one. Let me enter the Church. Allow me to behold the Wood upon which the Lord was Crucified in the flesh, shedding His Blood for the redemption of sinners, and also for me. Be my witness before your Son that I will never defile my body again with the impurity of fornication. As soon as I have seen the Cross of your Son, I will renounce the world, and go wherever you lead me.”


Abba Zosimas fell to the ground and asked for her blessing. She also bowed down before him, and for a long time they remained on the ground each asking the other to bless.”


“I struggled with various afflictions and temptations. But from that time until the present day, the power of God has guarded my sinful Soul and humble body. I was fed and clothed by the All-Powerful Word of God, since man does not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God… When I remember from what evil and from what sins the Lord delivered me, I have imperishable food for Salvation.”


“On Great and Holy Thursday, the day of the Lord’s Last Supper, place the Life-Creating Body and Blood of Christ our God in a Holy Vessel, and bring it to me. Await me on this side of the Jordan, at the edge of the desert, so that I may receive the Holy Mysteries.”


“For a long while he wept over her and sang the customary Psalms, and said the Funeral Prayers. He began to wonder whether the Saint would want him to bury her or not. Hardly had he thought this, when he saw something written on the ground near her head: ‘Abba Zosimas, bury on this spot the body of humble Mary. Return to dust what is dust. Pray to the Lord for me. I reposed on the first day of April, on the very night of the Saving Passion of Christ, after partaking of the Mystical Supper.'”


“Arriving at the Monastery, Abba Zosimas related to the Monks and the Igumen, what he had seen and heard from Saint Mary. All were astonished, hearing about the Miracles of God. They always remembered Saint Mary with faith and love on the day of her Repose.”


“Let us say something about the thorns. Blessed Mary of Egypt was twelve years old when she fell into the hands of the devil. She lived in sin day and night. But the Merciful God enlightened her and she abandoned the world and went into the desert. There she led a hermit’s life for forty years. She was cleansed and became like an Angel. God wished to give her rest, so He sent the Holy Ascetic Zosimas to hear her Confession and to give her Holy Communion. The He received her Holy Soul into Paradise, where she rejoices with the Angels. If there is anyone here like Blessed Mary, let him immediately weep and repent, now that he has time, and let him be assured that he will be saved as was Blessed Mary.” – Saint Cosmas of Aitolia