HADRA OF ASWAN, SAINT, fifth-century hermit who became a bishop (feast day: 12 Kiyahk). Hadra was the son of Christian parents, who brought him up in the fear of God. When he reached the age of eighteen, they married him to a young girl of their kindred. He decided to remain virgin. The day after his marriage after going early to the church, he met a funeral procession and said to himself, "O Hadra, it is not this man who is dead today, but you." He did not return home, but joined the cortege that was conveying the deceased to the monastery, where he asked to be admitted. His parents and friends tried to persuade him not to forsake his wife, but he refused to return to the world. The SYNAXARION states precisely that Hadra lived in the time of Saint Biman (no doubt POEMEN), whose disciple he became. After eight years spent with him, he asked to live as a hermit in the desert. He lived in a cave and applied himself to the study of the life of Saint ANTONY. At the end of some time, he went off and lived as a recluse in a cell, the door of which was shut. The Synaxarion speaks of his miracles, and in particular of those people, possessed by demons in the first days of the crescent moon, whom he delivered; and the sick whom he cured, thanks to the oil blessed by him. Syrians consulted him on obscure points of scripture; the saint gave them explanations they had not obtained from numerous doctors and philosophers. When the bishop of Aswan died, the inhabitants and the neighboring monks took hold of Hadra, opening his cell by force. They brought him to Alexandria, where he was consecrated by the patriarch THEOPHILUS (385-412).
Hadra was an exemplary bishop, and at his death the angels accompanied his spirit. The present-day Monastery of Saint Symeon is in fact DAYR ANBA HADRA.
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