Amma Syncletica left a life of luxury in the third century to face a life of storms in the desert. Known as one of the “Desert Mothers” of the ancient Church, she was born in Alexandria into a well-respected Christian family of Macedonian heritage. Well-educated, Syncletica had a reputation for her beauty.
Her two brothers died at a relatively young age and her sister was blind. At the death of her parents, she sold her possessions, giving them to the poor. She then moved with her sister to the family tomb outside Alexandria where she lived into her 80s.
Put Up the Cross for Our Sail
Offering sage spiritual direction toward the end of her life, Amma Syncletica provides us with fortitude for our journey.
“If you have begun some good work, you should not be turned from it by the enemy’s attempts to hinder you, indeed your endurance will overthrow the enemy. Sailors beginning a voyage set the sails and look for a favorable wind, and later they meet a contrary wind. Just because the wind has turned, they do not throw the cargo overboard or abandon ship; they wait a while and struggle against the storm until they can set a direct course again. When we run into headwinds, let us put up the cross for our sail, and we shall voyage through the world in safety”