Virgin Abbess Sarah of Sketis in Libya

It is written in The Paradise of the Fathers that Mother Sarah spoke these words: “If I were to ask God that all people might be built up through me, I would be found expressing contrition at the door of each one who repents. But I pray to God especially that my heart may be pure with Him and with everyone.”

Once two great Elders and anchorites left Mount Pelusium (in the northeastern Nile Delta) and went to see Amma Sarah. Speaking among themselves they said, “Let us humble this old woman.” When they came to her she said, “Be careful, you may be humbled by the words you have spoken. Behold, anchorites have come to one who is a woman. According to nature, I am a woman, but not according to my worth.”

Once she went to Sketis, and she was offered some food. She did not eat any of the best food however, she ate only the plain food. This was because she did not want to use her journey and her visit as an excuse to relax her fasting. Then they said to her, “Truly, you are like those who dwell at Sketis.”

It was said of Amma Sarah, the ascetic of Sketis, that the blessed one lived above a river for sixty years, but she never looked out from her abode to see it.

Mother Sarah said, “It is a good thing for a person to give alms, even if he does so in order to win the approval of others, because by doing this, he will come to do it for God’s sake.”

Saint Sarah brought many women to monasticism by the example of her holy and God-pleasing life. She reposed in peace in the year 370 at the age of eighty.