Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Crucified Monk - Life of Fr. Benyamin the Hermit

Fr. Benyamin the Hermit

`The Crucified Monk` Icon

His Readings:

Next to his daily readings of the Holy Bible, Fr. Benyamin used to read the whole Gospel of St. John as part of the hermit rite, in addition to Paradise of the Fathers and others books of the sayings of the Fathers like those of Mar Isaac. Sometimes he would go to the monastery’s library to borrow a book and would finish it before returning it back.

It is worth mentioning that during Fr. Benyamin’s last period of illness, he would be unable to focus on the readings. He would read chapters 13 to 17 from the Gospel of St. John as he wanted, and would constantly contemplate them. They were the chapters of the Lord Christ’s farewell discourse to His disciples before His crucifixion.

His Moving to Baramos Monastery:

After some time of thinking and praying and in light of other factors, Fr. Benyamin asked H.H. the Pope to allow him to join the monastic community of the Baramos Monastery so that he may continue his life of silence in the same cave.

He was able to go back starting Saturday 22/09/1984 (12th of Tout, 1701), returning to the Baramos Monastery until his departure.

Other Features of his struggle in his Life:

We will give some of the features of his personal spiritual life:

His Love for Silence: Rarely did he speak, but with a bright smile of his peaceful and meek face, he would sit with his visitors looking the opposite direction or towards the floor. The one who sat with him would feel as if he was sitting with an innocent child! One of the hermit fathers who lived near him said that he was very simple and innocent, without any malice or guile and lived a modest life. Other Fathers said of him that he never condemned or hurt anyone but supported the distressed and endured patiently. Those who upset him and those Fathers who praised him for his virtues and spoke of his great ascetic endeavor, made him feel ashamed to be compared to the great saints.

Fr. Benyamin in front of his cave
For a long time he committed himself to absolute silence under the guidance of his spiritual father, even in his cave he would pray and praise silently without making a sound. This period of absolute silence extended over four years in which he prayed and praised in thought alone which gave him a greater depths in calmness. Many days would pass by without anyone hearing a sound from him, but when some Fathers visited he would stop his practice of silence and would talk with them normally out of love and to conceal this practice.



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