Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Disciplined Monk - Life of Fr. Benyamin the Hermit

His Illness:

When some of the Fathers visited Fr. Benyamin in his cave they noticed a number of injuries on his face and he tried to hide these injuries when they were with him. When they asked him of these severe injuries he replied that it was from the common cold that he just recently caught. However, they were not convinced and kept asking him more questions until they found out from him that he was suffering from severe anemia that needed him to be taken to the hospital immediately. They carried him to the monastery and exerted great efforts to try to convince him to agree to be taken to the hospital.

The decision was made for him to be taken to the hospital and later he returned to the monastery where he awaited the opportunity for his slight improvement so that he can ask them to let him return to his cave. In turn, some of the Fathers did not permit his moving back to his cave and this bothered him greatly.

For that reason he did not open the door of his cell for any of the Fathers the visitors, except for the one who brought him his food.

The first time he arrived at the hospital was on Sunday 30/08/1987 for a blood test, at that time he was in bad condition. They found that the percentage of hemoglobin in his blood to be 18% which typically is impossible to live with.

He got a blood transfusion at Heliopolis Hospital many times. He underwent many medical examinations and started to improve greatly but did not succumb to any kind of pressure. In regard to his food, they pressed him to eat meat but he would decline right away. When the doctors insisted that he eat, especially meat to regain his strength since food is natural medicine that can’t be replaced, he agree to eat but only some potatoes and olives and this meant that he would double the quantity of food he ate regularly prior to his sickness.  Fr. Elisha El-Baramosy confirmed this as he was the one who accompanied him in his last week.

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