Saint of the Day – 29 October – Saint Abraham Kidunaia (c 296-c 366) Priest, Confessor, Hermit, Missionary. Born in c 296 at Edessa, Osrhoene, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) and died in c 366 at Edessa, Osrhoene, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) of natural causes. The Vita of St Abraham was written by his friend, St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church. Also known as – Abraham the Great of Kidunja, Abraham of Edessa, Abraham of Kidunja, Abrhahn of Kidunaja.
Abraham Kidunaia was born to a wealthy family during the third century. After receiving an excellent education, Abraham was encouraged to get married. He followed the wishes of his parents but after the wedding ceremony, he told his bride his desire to remain a virgin and dedicate his life to God. His bride accepted this resolution and Abraham retired to a hermitage near Edessa, a City near Mesopotamia.
Ten years after he retreated from the world, his parents died and left a great amount of wealth to Abraham. As soon as he was aware of this, he asked a friend to distribute the sum to charitable causes. Through actions like this and his deep prayer life, Abraham became known throughout the region as a holy man and many came to him for guidance.
His reputation even came to the ears of the Bishop, and when Edessa became poisoned with sin and idolatry, Abraham was Ordained and asked to go to the City preaching reform. Abraham was greatly distressed by this, but obeyed the wishes of the Bishop.
When Abraham arrived in Edessa, none of the residents would listen to his words. Needless to say, the infuriated inhabitants beat him and expelled him from their midst. In the morning he was back, praying in his Church and from there went out to preach again to the the people, urging them to give up their superstitions and abominations. This time, he was stoned and left for dead but recovering, again returned and bearing insults, isolation and mistreatment, he persevered. After three years, the inhabitants of Beth-Kiduna realised that there was something to this man’s meekness and patience, and began to listen to him.
Eventually, through constant prayer, Abraham converted them. After baptising and confirming the many converts in the region, Abraham passed his apostolic work onto another. Abraham returned to his hermitage to continue his life of solitary prayer.
He lived for many years until his death at the age of seventy,.around the year 366 Abraham had lived a life of faithful service to God.