Departure of our Blessed Mother Tamav Erene

Today we remember the departure of our blessed Mother Tamav Erene. Extracts below from selected books form the Convent of Abu Siefein (Old Cairo).

Tamav Erene speaking about St Mary's appearance to her mother

tamav-ereneWhen my parents saw how insistent I was to become a nun, they decided to fast and pray for 15 days. This took place before the Feast of the Nativity. Daily masses were held and they would not finish before 3pm. My mother could not attend the last mass, so she stayed in her room praying and doing metania, so that God would guide them to whatever was best for me. She then saw the following vision:

The room was lit brightly and she saw many angels building something. She asked them what they were doing, and they said, "We are building a foundation, a podium because the Queen, the Mother of the King, is coming". At once they built a podium on which they placed a gorgeous chair decorated with gold and jewels. St Mary arrived, and she was hailed and accompanied by angels. Then she sat on the throne.

My Mother knelt before St Mary whose presence inspired a great deal of awe. My mother said, "Peace by upon you Mother of Light". St Mary told her, "Have you forgotten what I told you when your oldest daughter was born? I said she is ours and I have chosen her as a bride for my Son. Don't worry about her. Let her be consecrated as a nun and she will always be in His protection. Otherwise, we will take her now."

So my mothers said, "All right, let it be as you said, my Lady the Virgin. She will become a nun and I will convince my family".

Miracle - Extract from Tamav Erene Book 5

One day in 1998, I decided to go by bicycle from our house in Heliopolis to the convent of Abu Siefein in Old Cairo, despite the warnings from my parents about the dangerous route.

I rode on Salah Salem road. At Al-Azhar Garden and before the citadel there is a slope. As I was there, I was taken back to see a car suddenly coming from a narrow side street. Just as it was about to hit me I felt as if someone had pushed me forward quickly down the slope. After having avoided the car, I thought that the push was due to the slope.

I continued riding uphill to the right side of the citadel. There a tourist bus hit my bike from the back. My bike made a whole circle but I did not fall off. I continued on my way as if nothing happened.

Before Al-Fostat Garden, there is a big store house of gas cylinders. A large truck filled with gas cylinders was passing before it. All of a sudden I lost control of my bike, which slid between the tyres of the lorry and came out the other side. There was not a single scratch on my body. Nor was my bike damages in any way.

I was horrified. I sat on the pavement for almost 15 mins trying to regain my breath and to figure out what had actually happened. I could not believe it. I then continued on my way until I reached the convent. I asked the nuns not to tell Tamav that I had come by bicycle.

While passing by the lift on my way to the visitors reception room, I was surprised to see Tamav coming out of it. It was 3.30pm. Tamav never came out of her cell during this time of the day. Besides, she never came down alone.

She then started rebuking me. She firmly told me, "What did you do? I was tired of running after you three times to save you! You have to listen to what your parents tell you. Didn't they tell you not to come here by bike?"

Tamav was actually like a mother. That is why I was not upset with her rebuke because I could still feel her great tenderness.

Tamav Erene speaking about her reluctance to become Mother Superior and Abu Siefien's insistence

I tried any means to avoid leadership. I was sure that I could never be Mother Superior of the convent of the Martyr Abu Siefein since I was the youngest nun and many devout nuns were already better qualified for this responsibility.

However I saw Abu Siefein a few months later. Our mother superior was then still alive. He told me, "Listen to me, I don't want anyone in charge of my convent except you. Even if you say, I can't, I am the youngest of them all, I don't want to, I have come to tell you the My God wants this and so do I"

I then saw him take the keys from Mother Hilaria and from every nun who had responsibility in the convent. He put them on a string and wanted to throw them at me. I tried to run away, so he put them around my neck. I asked him, "What are these?". He answered, "These are they keys of my convent; I don't want anyone else to be in charge of it. You are the one who is going to run it."

I told him, "No. Its none of my business". And I then took off the keys and threw them back to him while saying, "I don't want them". But he then put them on me again. Finally he drew me towards him and said, "There is no one else but you, and I mean it. There is no one else but you".

May the prayers and intercessions of this blessed Saint be with us all.

Amen

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

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