|Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.|
Abba Samuel spent most of his early years at the monastery of St. Macarius the Great in Wadi Natrun, Egypt, and was a disciple of Abba Aghathon. He was ordained a priest, and God gave him the gift of healing and performing miracles.
While at St. Macarius Monastery, St. Samuel was severely tortured and lost one of his eyes at the hands of imperial officers because of his Non-Chalcedonian faith. Later the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and commanded him to depart and dwell in Mount Qalamon in the region of the Fayoum Oasis in Egypt. St. Samuel obeyed, went there and built a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Many of his spiritual sons gathered around him and they increased in number until they became thousands of monks.
St. Samuel also suffered at the hands of sun-worshiping Berbers who took him captive for some time before releasing him to return back to his monastery in Mount Qalamon. The Blessed Holy Virgin Mary then appeared to him and told him, "This place shall be my abode forever," and from that day the Berbers never attacked this monastery again.
Abba Samuel the Confessor departed in 693 AD. The al-Qalamoun Monastery he built continues to flourish to this day.
Source and further biographical details
- "The Departure of St. Samuel the Abbot of El-Qualamon Monastery (Abba Samuel the Confessor)" from the Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium for Kiahk 8 (December 17)