moses'

Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900)
“Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea” (1891)
Oil on canvas
Romanticism
Currently in a private collection

3

Prince of Egypt director’s commentary: [Working on this sequence a “million” times] “Just trying to figure out what Rameses’s reaction would be when Moses returns. Would he be angry, would he be flippant, would he be overjoyed, what would he be? And because we built such a relationship between the brothers before and they had nothing against each other when Moses left, other than love and regret that he was leaving, it had to be joyful.” (3/?)

Black history month day 17: St. Moses the Black.

Saint Moses the Black (330–405), (also known as Abba Moses the Robber, the Abyssinian, the Ethiopian, and the Strong) was an ascetic monk, priest,and a notable Desert Father.

St. Moses was a servant of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. Once while attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, then called Sketes, near Alexandria. Their peace, faith. And commitment deeply influenced Moses deeply and he soon gave up his old way of life and was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.

St. Moses was known for his imposing strength. He was once attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell. He fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he did not think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them.

Though Moses was very zealous, he became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, “Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative.”

Once Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance for a fellow monk who had sinned, When he came to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water, or possibly a basket full of sand, and carried it on his shoulder. Upon being asked why he was carrying the jug, he replied, “My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

St. Moses died at around 75 while defending his monastery from bandits. He is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and the Lutheran Church. He is the patron saint of Africa and pacifism.