His Life Story
The writer of the manuscript containing the biography of Abba Rewis advises us saying "Hear, O ye people assembled today (21 Paopi) in this holy church to commemorate a spiritual feast befitting this great and honored Father, select among the saints…. denuded of all vice, and clothed with all virtue…attend to this blessed biography...for good and pleasant is his memory"
"O Proclaimer of the Truth; Declarer of the Faith; You have trampled on the works of the nations and proved their vanity; you haved vanquished their pride by glorying in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ".
"Strengthen me, O my honored Father, that I may show your wonders unto the edification of the hearers and the readers in the Peace of the Lord, Amen.
1. His upbringing
He was born in a village called Miniet Yameen in the Delta. His father, Isaac and his mother, Sarah, called him Freig. They were poor peasants, but brought up their son in the fear of the Lord. And because of their poverty, Freig had to work from his boyhood to help his father earn a living. Nonetheless, he had a camel that he called Rewis (which meant small head), because when the camel found him oversleeping, he would squat near his feet and pass his head smoothly and gently over them to wake him up. Also, this camel was so obedient that Freig would often cite him as an example of perfect obedience
Freig lived this simple frugal life for twenty years. As he grew, his heart blazed with love for his Lord, his Church, and his people. Such was his ardor that he learned by memory whatever he heard of the Holy Bible, the Divine Liturgy, and the sayings of the Fathers. Suddenly, persecutions flared up with fierceness and brutality and Freig, frightened lest some Copts weaken and deny their Lord, left his village and went to Cairo, intending to strengthen the hearts.
3. His Vision, and his Going to Upper Egypt
Feeling tired, he slept under a tree by the roadside. In his sleep, he saw a brilliant vision: two radiant men appeared before him and said, “You are weary and hungry, come, partake of the heavenly food.” They led him to the Sanctuary where he took communion then took him back to where he was.
Waking up refreshed and joyous, he went to Cairo, and from there, to Upper Egypt. On this journey he took for himself the name of his camel out of humility. Like unto his Lord, he had nowhere to lay his head. As he journeyed he preached words of comfort and strength. At the same time, he worked for a living. Nevertheless, he still spent his nights watching and praying and because he prayed with fervor, humility, and tears, many joined him and were thus consoled.
His disdain of the world and its glitter was such that he slept on the earth, with the sky for a cover. And once, he warned a disciple of his saying, "Mind the scorpion under your foot." The disciple discovered that it was a gold dinar.
He started training himself in abstinence, and succeeded in remaining twenty?six days without eating. On his visits to families in their homes, he would pray for them, bless each member, fill them with the Peace of his Lord, and heal their sick.
4. His Persistence in Taking Communion
In his deep love for the Christ the King, he persisted in partaking of Holy Communion, being fully convinced of its awesome power. He both advised and warned his disciples to prepare their spirits incessantly that they deserve this wondrous mystery. And they all noted that whenever he was about to take communion he would go backwards a little, then go forward. On asking him why he replied, "Because I see the Guardian Angel overshadowing the Divine Eucharist." He also was blessed to see the Glory of God filling the Sanctuary, and His Light over the head of each communicant.