Jerusalem will be trampled by pagans...

Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 34th week of Ordinary Time - Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21, 20-28 - Rise up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand

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08 October - Born into a family from Antioch around 430, Pélagée nicknamed Marguerite; either because of her great beauty or because she was always covered in pearls; joined a troupe of actresses in Antioch.

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Endowed with extraordinary beauty, proud and vain in her manner of being, she was followed wherever she went by a crowd of young girls and boys also dressed in sumptuous clothes and all in devotion to her. She was therefore also beautiful and frivolous. In 453, when she entered a church by chance to make fun of it, she heard a sermon by the priest Nonnus, bishop of Edessa, describing the great sinner Babylon; she recognised herself in this description and was shocked by it. Immediately she asked for baptism. Three days later, she distributed her goods to the poor and went to live alone in a convent of Basilian monks on the Mount of Olives. There, in order to be able to accomplish her mission, she pretended to be a man called Pelagius. She welcomed visitors and spoke to them about God in order to convert them. In this way she obtained many conversions from young Bedouins and travellers. Hoping to redeem her past life, she had taken the habit of a hermit and lived in a small cell where she served God with strict abstinence. She enjoyed an extraordinary reputation and was called Brother Pelagius.

One day, on the 8th day of October around 457, a deacon came knocking at his door. But as no one answered him, he went through the window and saw that Pelagius was dead. He ran to announce this to his bishop, Nonnus, who came, in the middle of the desert, with the clergy and monks to give the last duties to such a holy man. The journey had taken weeks, but when the corpse was taken out of the cell, a body so gaunt but so wonderfully preserved, it was found to be a woman. All were filled with admiration and gave thanks to God; then they buried the body with all honours.