Who is St. "Al-Habila" that Pope Shenouda has mentioned in his book "Calmness"? When is her feast? Where can I read about her bibliography?
St. Al-Habila meaning 'the foolish' lived during the 6th century A.D. in a nunnery in the wilderness of Scetis. She was very pious and by her own will pretended to be an idiot to gain the virtue of perseverance. She trained herself to withstand the insults she faced from her sisters the nuns and even the Mother Superior. One day Abba Daniel visited this nunnery and revealed to the Mother Superior the truth behind St. Al-Habila. He showed her St. Habila in a state of transfiguration with light coming forth from her body as she stood in her cell praying in the middle of the night. The Mother Superior and all the nuns were very sorrowful for the way they had treated this saint and repented. When St. Al-Habila found out that her secret had been revealed and that she would subsequently be honored by the nuns, she escaped from the nunnery leaving a note of apology and praise to the nuns. The feast date of this saint is May 16 (8th of Pachons of the Coptic year). Unfortunately, I am not aware of any book in English about this saint.