Saint Moses the Black of Scete


Saint Moses, who is also called Moses the Black, was a slave, but because of his evil life, his master cast him out, and he became a ruthless thief, dissolute in all his ways. Later, however, 1coming to repentance, he converted, and took up the monastic life under Saint Isidore of Scete.

He gave himself over to prayer and the mortification of the carnal mind with such diligence that he later became a priest of exemplary virtue. He was revered by all for his lofty ascetical life and for his great humility. Once the Fathers in Scete asked Moses to come to an assembly to judge the fault of a certain brother, but he refused. When they insisted, he took a basket which had a hole in it, filled it with sand, and carried it on his shoulders. When the Fathers saw him coming they asked him what the basket might mean.

He answered, "My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and I am come this day to judge failings which are not mine." When a barbarian tribe was coming to Scete, Moses, conscious that he himself had slain other men when he was a thief, awaited them and was willingly slain by them with six other monks, at the end of the fourth century. He was a contemporary of Saint Arsenius the Great (see May 8).