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History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - Printable Version

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History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - thurmangooch - 03-23-2015

I am trying to find information about any phenomenon involving animals behavior at gravesites in general and specifically at the gravesites of saints.
if you know of a website that might have this kind of info it would be much appreciated.
thank you


Re: History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - Cyriacus - 03-23-2015

According to the life of St. Paul the First Hermit, written by St. Jerome, two lions appeared out of the Egyptian desert upon the saintly hermit's decease and aided St. Anthony in digging his grave.

I know that's not what you're looking for, but I'm trying to share anecdotes and stories I remember in hope that others do likewise.



Re: History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - Dirigible - 03-23-2015

This is interesting, and if there are these stories, I'd like to hear them.


Re: History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - ecclesiastes - 03-23-2015

Saint Gerasimus and the lion Jordanes:

Quote:One day while he was walking along the Jordan, Gerasimos came upon a lion roaring in agony because of a large splinter imbedded in one paw. Overcome by compassion for the beast, Gerasimos removed the splinter and cleaned the wound, bounding it up, expecting the lion to return to its cave. Instead the creature meekly followed him back to his monastery and became his devoted pet. The whole community was amazed at the animal's conversion to a peaceful nature, life and devotion to the abbot; living on bread and vegetables.

The lion was given the special task of guarding the communities donkey, which grazed along the Jordan. One day, it happened that, while the lion was napping, the donkey strayed and was stolen by a passing trader. After searching, without success, the lion returned to the monastery, it head hanging low. The brothers concluded that the lion had been overcome and had eaten the donkey and as punishment, gave the lion the job of the donkey; to carry water each from the river to the monastery in a saddle pack with four earthen jars.

Months later, it happened that the trader was passing through the Jordan with the stolen donkey and three camels. The lion recognised the donkey and roared so loudly that the trader ran away. Taking its rope in his jaws, the lion led the donkey back to the monastery with the camels following behind. The monks realised that they had misjudged the lion; this is how the lion earned his name "Jordanes" from the Elder Gerasimos.

For a further five years, the lion "Jordanes" was part of the monastic community. When the elder fell asleep in the Lord and was buried, Jordanes lay down on the grave, roaring in his grief and beating its head against the ground. Finally Jordanes rolled over and died on the last resting place of Gerasimos.

(source)


Re: History, phenomenon involving animals at saint's gravesites - ecclesiastes - 03-23-2015

And Zosimus received help from a lion to bury Mary of Egypt:

Quote:Following 47 years in solitude, she met the priest St. Zosima in the desert, who pleaded with her to tell him of her life. She recounted her story with great humility while also demonstrating her gift of clairvoyance; she knew who Zosima was and his life story despite never having met him before. Finally, she asked Zosima to meet her again the following year at sunset on Holy Thursday by the banks of the Jordan.

Zosima did exactly this, though he began to doubt his experience as the sun began to go that night. Then Mary appeared on the opposite side of the Jordan; crossing herself, she miraculously walked across the water and met Zosima. When he attempted to bow, she rebuked him, saying that as a priest he was far superior, and furthermore, he was holding the Holy Mysteries. Mary then received communion and walked back across the Jordan after giving Zosima instructions about his monastery and that he should return to where they first met exactly a year later. When he did so, he found Mary's body with a message written on the sand asking him for burial and revealing that she had died immediately after receiving the Holy Mysteries the year before (and thus had been miraculously transported to the spot where she now lay). So Zosima, amazed, began to dig, but soon tired; then a lion approached and began to help him, that is, after Zosima had recovered from his fear of the creature. Thus St. Mary of Egypt was buried. Zosima returned to the monastery, told all he had seen, and improved the faults of the monks and abbot there. He died at almost a hundred years old in the same monastery.

source