Home Holy Saints Abba Ghalion the Anchorite

Abba Ghalion the Anchorite

E-mail Print PDF


He went to a monastery in the mount of Kalamoun, and dwelt there until he grew old. He had never went out of the door of the monasterys fortress, nor was he escorted by any of the monks except at the hours of prayers. None of the monasterys monks memorized the hymns as he did.

The antagonist enemy put up a plot for him and came to him at night while he was leaving his cell heading to the church for the midnight prayers.

He said to him, We are twelve anchorites who journey in the wilderness. One of us passed away and we cannot be less than twelve. Therefore we chose you to retain our perfect number, because you are a worshipper hermit who loves his brethren and renounced all worldly concerns and pleasures. Whence you are worthy to be among us... and then he vanished.

Late after the midnight prayers he quit the monastery without being recognized. He took nothing with him except a stick to lean upon.

He saw eleven characters of the devils soldiers dressed in monastic garbs. They welcomed and greeted him gladly.  He followed them until mid-day. They reached a high mount overlooking the valley of the oases. It was a deserted area with no food or water nor any living creature. They sat, laughing, making fun of each other and saying joyfully, We have hunted tonight a good hunt...

Abba Ghalion said, I meditated on what I was about to encounter, and said to myself that those people were demons and not holy. I crossed myself with the sign of the cross and looked and saw none of them. I was left in the mount not knowing where to go nor how to act.  I opened my mouth and started reciting the psalms.  I looked backward and behold, I heard a voice. I was astonished especially because I saw three men reciting the 96th psalm, Sing to the Lord a new song... Their voices were angelic, and because I was familiar with the tune they were singing, so I joined them. Nevertheless I kept cautious lest the devil was carrying on another trick to destroy me. But I said in my heart that the devil never recites Davids psalms.

While I was meditating, the men approached me singing joyfully. Responding to them in the way they acted, we spent the whole night reading the psalms of David the prophet, until the morning. They didnt ask me about my concerns and so I didnt ask them about theirs.

Then we sat all together and I realized that they were monks from St. Shenouda monastery and who used to journey in the mountain. Then they said to me, We need you not to tell us about what you had encountered, because inspired by the Holy Spirit, we know of the enemys plots and tricks. You have to thank the beneficent God for his mercy.

Abba Ghalion added, I spent with them a whole year... and we discovered a spring of water at the foot of the mount.



About the monastery

St. Samuel Coptic Orthodox Monastery in the Kalamoun Mountain, under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Bassilios