Summary of Human Transformation through Repentance: St. Mary of Egypt

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The story of St. Mary of Egypt is one of repentance and transformation. She was a young woman who pursued men for her own lustful desires. But after being blocked from entering the church of the Holy Sepulchre, she realized that she needed to change her ways. She made a vow to God to live a life of obedience and humility, and she ended up spending the rest of her years in a desert monastery. Her story is an example of how, through repentance and asceticism, it is possible to change one's heart and find true freedom.

  • 00:00:00 This story follows a young woman who is harshly shoved and knocked around. She feels an opportunity to satisfy her lustful appetite and pursues men. When she arrives at the church of the holy sepulchre, she is blocked from entering by an invisible force. She approaches again with the full force of her body and is again met with resistance. She becomes ashamed and weeps when she realizes that the Virgin Mary found freedom by surrendering her own will to God. The Virgin Mary longed for God and became more spacious than the heavens, illumined by His light.
  • 00:05:00 Saint Mary of Egypt experienced great pain in her heart after repenting of her sins. She made a vow to God to spend the rest of her life in complete obedience if He would allow her into the church. A few days later, she happened to see a humble woman living in the desert and decided to approach her. The woman was a partaker of divine grace and told Saint Mary that she wished to learn from her. Saint Mary was able to teach the woman about repentance and grace.
  • 00:10:00 This video tells the story of an elderly woman who had spent many years in a desert monastery, and who had repented of her sinful actions. One year later, Father Zosimas met her again, and she was no longer alive.
  • 00:15:00 St. Mary of Egypt is a model of repentance and asceticism. Through her sacrifices, she was able to transform her heart and become a hermit who still remained in communion with God. Today, her story is celebrated on the Orthodox liturgical calendar twice a year.

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