It is not exactly known from what region St. Moses originally came, or to which tribe he belonged. It was said that he was from a Berber tribe, and the little that is known about his early years and his youth deserves little admiration.
In spite of Moses’ badness and his wicked before all the people, the merciful God found in Moses’ heart the readiness for a life with Him. From the time he heard about the saintly Fathers of the wilderness of Scetis, Moses was attracted by the purity of their lives and their wonderful endearment towards others. He looked at the sun, the only god he knew, saying, “O Sun, let me know if you are God. And You, the God that I do not know, acquaint me with You.” Then Moses heard from someone that the Monks of the Valley of Hebib (the wilderness of Scetis) knew God. So he immediately girded himself with his sword and went to the wilderness.
In the wilderness, he met with St. Isidorus and asked him to guide him to his salvation. St. Isidorus adopted him, taught him, and exhorted him greatly with words of God; he spoke to him about judgment and salvation. The living Word of God worked in his heart, completed its effectiveness within his soul, and his tears were like a flood. His soul was invaded with fiery repentance, his sleep was perturbed. He hated his wicked life and resolved to free himself from it, so he went to St. Isidorus once again.
He knelt before the Priest of Scetis and confessed his faults and the crimes of his past life, in a loud voice, and with great humility that compelled compassion in the midst of abundant tears. St. Isidorus took him to the dwelling of St. Macarius the Great, who started to teach him and guide him gently and with lenience. He then granted him the blessing of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. He confessed all his sins and his previous ugliness publicly in the church. During his confession, St. Macarius the Great saw a board with writings in black, and as Moses confessed an old sin, the Angel of God erased it, and when he finished his confession, the board was white.
When Moses heard the words of St. Isidorus, he dwelled with the brethren, the Monks, and it was said that at the beginning, they were frightened because in his previous life, he was “the terror of the region.” However, they soon found in him a model of humility, spiritual struggle and order. In view of the numerous visitors who came to him, St. Isidorus suggested that he withdraws from that place to solitary cell, in poverty. St. Moses obeyed immediately and went to his cell; he lived patiently in solitude, in spiritual struggle until it greatly developed within him, leading him to fasting, prayer, meditation and repentance. The devil could not endure the Saint’s behavior and started to fight him with all his might.
Copied from Saint Antony Coptic Orthodox Monastery, California, U.S.A.