Fr Sidarose Akhnoukh: The priest ordained by Christ Himself

Sadek Akhnoukh was born in the year 1890 in the village of Al Biyadiya, of the Minya Governorate. He grew to become a successful business man and glorified the Lord through his honesty and good works in the workplace. He was nominated for the priesthood several times, but refused. On one night, as Sadek was falling asleep, a Man clothed in light, whose beauty was indescribable, appeared in Sadek’s room and asked “Why are you escaping My service?” Sadek inquired of the identity of the Man, who identified Himself as the Lord Christ.

Sadek, who immediately crossed himself and worshiped Him, and wondered how the Lord Himself would visit a sinful person such as himself. Christ replied, “Your name is no longer Sadek, but Sidarose.” The Lord then snipped off some of the hair on Sadek’s head in the form of a Cross (the marks from the cuts remained on Fr. Sidarose’s head throughout his life), as a sign of his consecration. He told him, “I will leave Metropolitan Thomas to complete the ordination.” Christ left the hair on Sadek’s nightstand, and the young man collected it in a vial and kept it with him till his repose.

The Lord Jesus then appeared to the village’s bishop, Metropolitan Thomas (+1927), expressing His sincere desire for Sadek to be ordained. Within the week, Sadek was called during the Divine Liturgy, and the Metropolitan announced the news to the congregation, saying, “Let it be known that Sadek was ordained by the Hands of the Lord Christ, and not by my own impure hands.” That day, the blessed bishop brought the priestly vestments with him, and Sadek’s ordination to the Holy Priesthood was completed without the Metropolitan completing the rite of the “Laying of the Hands.” When asked, the Metropolitan replied, “Who am I to lay my hands in the place of the Lord Christ Himself?” Per the vision the Metropolitan saw, he named the young priest “Sidarose.”

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