Unusual Boat
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
From All Creatures Articles Archive

Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

In the 4th century there lived St. Hellius in the Egyptian desert. He lived in a cave, exhausting his body, but strengthening his spirit with prayer and fast.

God sent him meal in a wonderful way – the saint found it near the cave. Having eaten a bit, he carried other meal to a neighboring monastery.

Once, while carrying some meal to the monastery brethren, Hellius saw a herd of wild donkeys. Being tired of his heavy burden, Hellius asked one animal to come to him in the name of God. The donkey came up to him and placed his back under the burden. They went on the journey together and soon reached a big river. Not finding a boat in its usual place, Hellius started thinking about the way of getting over to the other bank.

Suddenly a huge crocodile appeared from the water. This blood-thirsty crocodile devoured many people. But looking at a person who called the name of Jesus Christ in a gentle voice, the crocodile seemed to have forgotten about his spiteful nature, he swam up to the saint and placed his back before him. The saint sat on the crocodile and crossed the river that way.

In the monastery all the brethren were surprised at such a miracle:

- How have you crossed the river? There is a horrible crocodile in the river!

- God our Lord sent me a boat to cross the river, - the elder answered smiling.

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

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