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Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories

Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

Christians of the first centuries frequently left for deserts to live there so that they would be far from temporal vanity, and so that they could be closer to God. One of them was St. Simeon, who lived in the 5th century. He settled on a high column (pile) and lived there in fast and prayer for many years. Thatís why he got the name of Stylites.

People came to him, and he never refused his prayful help and support to anybody.

But once a huge terrible looking snake settled at a fencing of the column, and people began to be fear visiting the saint.

And snake continued to live very quietly near the saint Ė there wasnít any reason for him of creeping away.

Once a big mote got in the snakeís eye.

The snake coiled, turned from the pain, and finally crept up to the column and let the saint know with his mere appearance that he suffered from great pain and needed his help.

St. Simeon felt sorry for unfortunate snake. There was so much kindness and compassion in the saintís sight that the splinter dropped out of the snakeís eye in a wonderful way. The grateful snake lay at the column fencing, and lay humbly as a sheep for three days. And when the eye recovered absolutely, the snakes made for his former hole, and people began to visit St. Simeon without fear, being surprised at this miracle.

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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