Hadra Of Benhadab, Saint

HADRA OF BENHADAB, SAINT

The first monk of the mountain of Benhadab, who effected many miraculous cures (feast day: 3 Amshir). At this period, Benhadab, north of Luxor on the left bank of the Nile, was an arid and uncultivated desert, reserved for cemeteries. Another monk, perfect in virtue but simple, did not believe in the resurrection of the body; his name was Yahuda. When he came to Hadra, the latter asked him if he thought that the bones that lay in the vicinity could return to life again. Anba Yahuda answered, “You know better than I, Father.” Understanding that doubt on this subject had insinuated itself into his heart, Anba Hadra placed his apron on one of the corpses and went back into his cell with Anba Yahuda.

He pretended to have forgotten his apron and sent Yahuda to find it for him. Yahuda then saw the man covered by the apron extend a hand to Yahuda. He let out a great cry that brought Anba Hadra, who reproached him for lack of faith in the miracle he had seen, and confirmed him in the faith in Christ’s pledge of the resurrection.

Yahuda supervised the building of monasteries, and himself established two; Dayr Hamyur is situated on the bank of the river, the monastery of Dandarah is located near that town. Pagans lived in a not far from his monastery. One night they observed a great flame rising from the desert. They wished to go and see, but could not enter the monastery, since they were pinned to the spot. They implored the saint to deliver them. He did, and they went off praising God.

Toward the end of his life, Hadra suffered violent headaches, but he did not relax his asceticism and his devotion. His cures were many, and he was as patient as Job.

RENÉ-GEORGES COQUIN