Saint David of Egypt before his entry into a monastery was the leader of a band of bandits in Egypt, in the desert of Hermopolis. He had committed many murders and other wicked deeds. As he grew older, he contemplated his life and was filled with fear because of his past crimes. Leaving his gang of bandits, he went to the monastery intending to repent of his wickedness.
He begged the igumen to accept him as one of the brethren, but the igumen refused. He explained to David that their monastic life was very severe and would be beyond his strength. David persisted and finally, he revealed to the igumen, that he was the notorious robber David. He said that if they did not accept him, he would return to his former life, then come back and plunder the monastery and kill the monks.
Then the igumen allowed him into the monastery, and to the surprise of all, David became an excellent monk. By his severe efforts David surpassed all the monks. After a certain time the Lord sent the Archangel Gabriel to David to say that the Lord had forgiven him. St David, in his great humility, could not believe that the Lord would forgive such a great sinner as he was, in such a short time. The Archangel then said to him, that because of his doubt David would become speechless. David asked that he should be permitted to say his prayers, monastic rule and share in the church services. This was granted him, but the rest of the time he remained speechless. Towards the end of his life, St David received from God the power to perform miracles. He healed many of the sick and cast out evil spirits. Having lived in such manner for many years, he fell asleep in the Lord.