From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers
Abba Poemen said, “If you take little account of yourself, you will have peace wherever you live.” He also said, “If you are silent, you will have peace wherever you live.”
Because no one among mortals lives without tasting death, the father of Abba Bishoy died and the care of the children fell to his most noble wife who suffered alone. Of all the children, the youngest was Bishoy and, because of his age, he gave his other the most concern, so a kind-looking angel of the Lord appeared unexpectedly in the middle of the night. “God, the father of orphans, has sent me,” he said. “Why do you appear so downhearted? Is it because you have to care for the children and think that you alone are responsible for all of them and God does not care about them? Do not be discouraged. Dedicate one of your sons to God Most High; through him, God’s all-holy name, which is always glorified, will be glorified.”
She said, “All my children are God’s. May he take whomever is pleasing to him.”
The angel who appeared to her took Bishoy by the hand. “This one,” he said, “pleases the Lord.”
She said, “He is not capable of serving God; he is too young. Take one of the older ones instead, whoever is old enough.”
The divine angel said to her, “No, most noble of women, God’s power is accustomed to manifesting itself through the weak. (Luke 1:48) This one is God’s chosen; he will please God.”
Having said these words, he disappeared.