The monks of the upper Nile lived as hermits, devoting their time to contemplation & fasting, meeting only on Sundayís for Mass. They had a reputation for holiness and were sought out for guidance and their intercessory prayersÖthese stories are about one of them; Abba Aaron.
ìNow it happened that one day two Nubians were walking together on their way to Aswan. One of them had only one eye. His friend said to him ìcome on, lets receive a blessing at the hands of this great manî The one-eyed man said ìhe isnít a great man; if he really is, let him open my eyeî and while the words were still in his mouth, his eye ówhich had been blindó regained its sight, but his good eye became blind !.
When his friend saw what had happened, he was utterly amazed, and said to him, ìDidnít I tell you that he is a very great man ?î The one-eyed man said ìits no great loss, for one eye has been shut while the other has been opened. However lets go to him; perhaps heíll give light to the other eyeî So the two of them came to the holy man Abba Aaron. My father said to the Nubian, who was not a believer, ìsince you think its no great loss, why are you here ?î
Immediately he became very fearful and reverent, saying ìopen my eyeî And immediately he was able to see with the other eye. And the two believed, and went away joyful, and they proclaimed throughout the whole country the miracle which had taken place.î
ìNow it happened that on another day ,a certain Nubian came out from the mountain with his son to drink water from the river, and when his son put his hand into the river to scoop up some water, a huge crocodile seized him, dragged him under and fled. His father threw himself to the ground and cried out and wept bitterly, for besides that son he had no other.
Now as the man ran up the mountain crying out, he cut himself against the sharp edges of the rocks and severely injured himself. When I saw how heartbroken he was, I told my father. He got up and came to the door and gestured to the Nubian with his hand to come to him. And when he had come, Abba Aaron saw the wounds on his body, and he wiped away the blood that had run over his body and took him inside his home. He brought him in by force and made him sit down.
Now when he had questioned him about what had happened (he could not understand what the Nubian was saying to him), my father said to me, ìRise, see if you can find anyone on the road. Call him. Perhaps you can find someone who knows how to speak with himî When I went out I found a man from Philae who was going to Aswan riding a donkey. I called to him and said to him, ìdo you understand the language of the Nubians ?î He said, ìyesî. I took him to my father. Now when the man saw the Nubian and the wounds all over his body, he was astonished and said to him, ìHow were you wounded ?î. And the Nubian told him what had happened. The holy man Abba Aaron took a piece of wood and gave it to him, saying, ìtake it and throw it into the river where the crocodile seized your son.î And he went and did as Abba Aaron had told him.
Now it happened that when he threw the piece of wood into the water, a huge crocodile appeared and cast the little boy up on the shore and he had not been injured in any way ! And his father took him by the hand and brought him to the holy old man. And when the Nubian saw the miracle he shouted with joy and hugged Abba Aaron and kissed him. Now the interpreter went to Philae and did not go to Aswan that day; instead, he went about proclaiming the miracle that had taken place, he went home glorifying God and proclaiming what had happened. All of those who heard glorified God and the holy man Abba Aaron until this very day.