The saints love their plays

Mother Kereya Iskander, a previous abbess of St George’s convent, was in the habit of visiting the ancient church each night in order to sing midnight praises by herself. On several occasions a nun came in during the midnight praises and knelt in front of the altar, but Mother Kereya did not recognize her. During this period, one of the nuns of the convent, Mother Anastasia, suffered brain hemorrhage and was unconscious for 3 days. Doctors declared this was a hopeless case, so Mother Kereya joined the other nuns to pray for the sick nun.

Soon after Mother Anastasia saw a vision of the late Pope Cyril VI praying for her recovery. She also saw St Elarya but did not know who she was. St Elarya confessed to her her identity, that she was Elarya the daughter of King Xenon. She continued saying, “I want to thank you for something you had done for me that I will never forget.” Mother Anastasia wondered in amazement what she had ever done for the saint. The latter responded, “Before you became a nun, as a volunteer you organized a play in my name, and you instructed the children how to act in that play. I never forget what you did in this regard.”

She also said, “I love your convent and I like to visit it. I come to sing praises with Mother Kereya, but she doesn’t know me. Tell her that I want to have a stall in this place dedicated to me.” Once Mother Anastasia miraculously recovered, she told Mother Kereya everything. The stall was constructed and dedicated to St Elarya, the first ever in Egypt,  and an icon of her was designed. St Elarya then became one of the patron saints of the convent.

Ref: Highlights of the life of Mother Kereya Iskander, late abbess of the convent of St George (1961 – 1980)

Icon: St Elarya

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