Macarius and the Hyena : A monk of the Egyptian desert helped a desperate mother, and was richly rewarded.
Macarius and the Hyena

Based on ‘The Lives of the Desert Fathers’.

Macarius (301-391) was a disciple of St Anthony, the first Christian monk. Here, he does a favour for a friend in need.

THEY say that as Macarius was praying one day, a hyena crept into his desert cave and began to lick his feet.

Finding the monk slow to comprehend, the hyena gently tugged at his tunic and tried to draw him towards the door.

Still puzzled, Macarius followed her until they came to her own cave.

The hyena left him standing outside while she went in and fetched her cubs, which had been blind since birth.

Now understanding her purpose, Macarius prayed over them, and soon was able to return the little cubs to their mother, with their sight restored.

Some time later, Macarius was back at prayer in his desert cave when the hyena entered once more.

This time, she held in her mouth a very large sheepskin, which she dropped at the monk’s feet. Macarius smiled tenderly at her, and gratefully added it to his bedding.

Based on ‘The Lives of the Desert Fathers’.

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Picture: © GalliasM, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
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