Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

What are His Sleeves Rolled Up For?

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Father Luke tells the story of how once he was with Father Pishoy and they went to someones house to congratulate her on giving birth. Having got to her flat on the fifth floor and congratulated her on the new born child, she said, "I will not let you go until you eat, for it is dinner time, and I shall slaughter a goose and cook it for you."

Father Pishoy said, "I dont mind but I want my share alive."

So the woman replied with joy, "The entire goose is yours" and Father Pishoy did not object. Having prayed he carried the goose in his sleeve supporting it with the other arm, and holding its beak shut so that it would not make a noise, and he descended the stairs at great speed, and I ran after him.

Having reached the road he turned right. So Father Luke said to him, "The car is on the left."

He said, "Just follow me". He then went a short distance, and darted into another building and he shot up the stairs almost flying up them until he reached the sixth floor. He then went onto the roof, were he found children crying outside a simple room.

He said to them, "Why are you crying?"

One of them answered, "We are hungry, and we keep asking our mother for food, and she keeps saying that we should pray. How can we pray when we are hungry?"

So Father Pishoy said, "Dont worry God has sent you food." He then turned to Father Luke and said, "Tell the children some stories or something whilst I go inside and help their mother prepare the food."

Father Pishoy then went inside to help the mother prepare the goose for her hungry children.

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