Wild Ravens and Devoted Hyena
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
From All Creatures Articles Archive

Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

Lions, like true friends, also helped St. Anthony who lived in the 4th century. Once at night God revealed to him, that on the other end of the Egyptian desert there was an ascetic whom he should see. And the ninety-years-old elder made his way there.

The way to the desert was difficult: the sun burned, there was no water, and only the wind drove heated sand. A hyena ran before the elder showing him the way. She led him to a cave, an entrance to which was hidden with a palm tree.

Anthony entered the cave and could hardly see a praying person in the twilight. It was St. Paul of Thebes. The elders embraced each other.

Suddenly something surprising happened - a raven lowered to their feet with bread in his beak.

- God has provided us with meal, - St. Paul said. - Every day I receive half a loaf of bread from it, and today, for the sake of your visitation, it has brought the whole one for us.

After a meal Paul told his friend that he would die soon and that Anthony was sent by God to bury him.

Anthony began to cry, left the cave in a prayer, asking God not to call his friend. Also there was a marvelous vision to him: extraordinary bright light, angels singing, choirs of prophets, apostles with...St. Paul being among them. St. Anthony returned to the cave and saw that St. Paul had already demised...

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

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