St. Freig, commonly known as St. Reweis, was born in a small village called Meniyet Yameen, Gharbia Province, in the Egyptian Delta region. His parents Isaac and Sarah were poor farmers. They were pious people who brought him up in the fear of God. At an early age, St. Freig had to work selling salt. He transported the salt on the back of his camel named Reweis (which means small head). It is said that this camel was so friendly and obedient that it used to bow down its head whenever it heard its name called.
St. Freig lived a simple Christian life growing in the love of the Lord and the Church. when he was twenty years old, the persecution of Christians suddenly flared up with fierceness and brutality that many Christians weakened and under pressure renounced their faith, among those was St. Freig’s father, this grieved him very much; but having faith in the Lord, he kept praying for his father with tears until he repented. After this bitter experience, and seeing what was happening to the Christians around the country, St. Freig left his village and set off to Cairo to encourage the faithful and strengthen them. On his way, he felt tired and slept under a tree. In his sleep, he saw a vision: two radiant men appeared before him and said “You are weary and hungry, come partake of the heavenly food.” They carried him to a celestial church where he received the Holy Communion; then they took him back to where he was. On this journey, he took for himself the name of his camel, ‘Reweis’, out of sheer humility.
As he journeyed, he preached words of comfort having one aim to strengthen the faith of the persecuted Christians. During this time, he worked for a living and spent his nights watching and praying. He moved constantly from one place to another to keep away from vainglory; for many people became aware of his righteousness. St. Reweis abstained from every comfort of life.
Through his prayers and humility, St. Reweis reached a high level of spirituality and the Lord gave him the gifts of spiritual vision, uncovering secrets and performing miracles, which he used only for the glory of God. This caused many people to gather around him and become his disciples following him wherever he went.
St. Reweis endured all afflictions for the glory of God. His life reminds us of the living example St. Paul has given us in his letter to the Corinthians “We are fools for Christs sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now” (1 Cor 4:10-13).