Coptic Synaxarium
The First Day
1.The Martyrdom of Saint Anastasia

On this day, St. Anastasia was martyred. This fighter was a native of Rome, and
the daughter of Christian parents. They raised her well and taught her the Christian
manners. When she grew up, her parents wanted her to get married, but she did not
agree with them for she had forsaken the vanities of the world and its lusts.
She instead chose to lead a spiritual life and longed for the heavenly glories since her
young age. She entered one of the convents of the virgins in Rome and put on the
monastic garb. She subdued her body with devoutness and asceticism. She did not eat
except once every two days. During the holy Lent she ate only on Saturdays and
Sundays after the prayer of the sixth hour of the day. Her food during all the days of
her monastic life was dry bread and salt.
It came to pass that some of the convents of virgins, nearby the convent where this
saint was staying, were celebrating a feast. The abbess took St. Anastasia, with some
of the virgins, and went to join in celebrating that feast. On their way, St. Anastasia
saw the soldiers of Emperor Decius the Infidel torturing some Christians and dragging
them. Her heart became inflamed with divine love and she shouted at them saying, "O
you hard-hearted men is that what you do to those whom God created in His own form
and image and for whom He gave Himself up?" One of the soldiers seized her and
brought her to the Governor who asked her saying, "Is it true that you are a Christian,
worshipping Him who was crucified?" She confessed the truth and did not deny it. He
inflicted her with severe tortures, then he crucified her and lit a fire under her, but it
did not harm her. When she did not give up her faith because of these pains, he
commanded that her head be cut off. She said a long prayer, then she bowed her head
and the swordsman cut off her neck and she received the crown of martyrdom.
Her intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Second Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Coming of Saint Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, to Egypt
On this day St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, came to Egypt in the days of Eustinos
the Emperor. This Emperor opposed the Orthodox belief, following that of the council
of Chalcedon. However Queen Theodora, his wife, was an Orthodox and she loved St.
Severus because of his Christian virtues and his true faith.
The Emperor called him one day and many discussions took place regarding the faith,
but the Emperor would not turn away from his wrong belief. The Emperor issued his
orders to slay St. Severus. The Queen besought the saint to escape to save himself
but he refused saying, "I am ready to die holding the Orthodox faith." However, as the
Queen and the God loving brethren insisted, he and some brethren left to Egypt.
When the Emperor sought St. Severus and did not find him, he sent soldiers after him.
But God hid St. Severus from the soldiers and they did not see him although he was
close to them. When he came to Egypt, he went disguised from place to place and
from monastery to monastery, and God made many signs and wonders by his hands.
One day, he went to the desert of Scete, at Wadi-El Natroun, and he entered the
church in a uniform of a stranger monk and a great miracle took place at that time. It
came to pass, that after the priest had placed the bread (Kourban) on the altar and
gone around the church offering the incenses, and after the reading of the Epistles and
the Gospel, he lifted off the Ebrospharin (altar covering), and did not find the Kourban
in the paten; so, the priest was disturbed and wept. He turned towards the
worshippers saying, "O my brethren, I did not find El-Kourban in the paten, and I know
not whether this thing has happened because of my sin or because of your sin." The
people wept; and straightaway, the angel of the Lord appeared to the priest and told
him, "This has happened not because of your sin or because of the sin of the
worshippers but because you offered El-Kourban in the presence of the Patriarch. The
priest replied, "And where is he, O my Lord?" The angel pointed towards St. Severus.
St. Severus was standing in a corner of the church and the priest recognized him by
the grace of the Holy Spirit. The priest came to Abba Severus, who commanded him to
continue the liturgy after they brought him to the altar with great honor. When the
priest had gone up to the altar he found the offering on the paten as before. They all
praised God and glorified His Holy Name.
St. Severus went forth from that place and came to the city of Sakha where he dwelt
with a noble, and righteous man named Dorotheus, and he remained there until his
His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Third Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of St. Simon II, 51st Pope of the See of St. Mark.
2. The Martyrdom of St. John the Soldier.

On this day of the year 822 A.D., the pure father Abba Simon II, 51st Pope of the
See of St. Mark, departed. This saint was the son of Orthodox Christian parents of the
nobles of Alexandria. He nursed the milk of the faith from his childhood and he learned
the doctrines of the church. He chose for himself the monastic life, so he went to the
desert of Scete. He became a monk in the cell of his predecessor Abba Jacob, the
Patriarch. He dwelt with Abba Jacob for many years during which he exhausted his
body by strenuous ascetic life, and many worships.
When Abba Marcus II became a Patriarch, he requested St. Simon from his spiritual
father Abba Jacob for what was known of his good reputation and his sound
judgement. He stayed with Abba Marcus until his departure. When Abba Jacob, his
spiritual father, became patriarch, he kept Abba Simon with him and he benefitted
from him often. When Abba Jacob departed, the bishops, priests, and elders
unanimously agreed with a spiritual unity to bring forward this father for what they
had seen of him (as to righteousness and Orthodox Faith) during his stay with the two
Patriarchs who proceeded him. They seized him, bound him and ordained him a
Patriarch. He perused an angelic life, which was well-pleasing to the Lord. And, as God
wished to repose him, he did not stay on the throne but for five and a half months and
departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
3-2. On this day also was the martyrdom of St. John the soldier, who was from
city of Ashrobah.
The blessing of his prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Martyrdom of St. Bacchus, the Friend of St. Sergius
On this day, St. Bacchus, the friend of St. Sergius, was martyred. When Emperor
Maximianus seized these saints, he tortured them severely. After having stripped them
of their military ranks, he sent them to Antiochus, King of Syria, who imprisoned St.
Sergius. However, he ordered St. Bacchus to be killed, his body made heavier by
attaching stones to him, then cast into the River Euphrates.
The Lord protected the body and the waves brought it to the shore near two ascetic
holy men who were brothers. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and commanded
them to go and carry away the body of the Saint. When they came to where the body
was, they found an eagle and a lion protecting it. The beasts spent a whole day and a
night guarding it without harming it, although they were beasts of prey, for they had
been commanded by divine providence to protect the body. The two holy men took the
body with great honor, singing hymns until they came to their cave where they buried
His prayers be with us and glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Martyrdom of St. Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople
On this day, St. Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, was martyred. He was a disciple of
Abba Alexandros, Patriarch of Constantinople. He was appointed to the patriarchy after
the departure of Abba Alexandros. When he sat on the patriarchal throne, he expelled
the followers of the Arian sect from Constantinople and its surroundings.
When Emperor Constantine, the Great, departed, his three sons reigned after him.
Constantine II reigned over Constantinople, Constans reigned over Rome and
Constantius reigned over France. Constantine II held the same belief as Arius. He was
sorry for what Abba Paul had done to the Arians. He asked him to stop
excommunicating them, but the Patriarch did not listen to him. The Emperor became
angry and exiled him from Constantinople as he had also exiled Abba Athanasius the
Apostolic from Alexandria.
The two Patriarchs met in Rome, and went to stand before Emperor Constans to inform
him of their concern. He wrote a letter to his brother on their behalf, ordering him to
accept them and threatened him if he did not receive them - there would be no peace
but war between them. When the two saints came to Constantinople, they gave the
letter to Emperor Constantine, who accepted his brother's letter and returned them to
their Chairs.
However, after the slaying of his brother, Emperor Constans, in Rome, Constantine II
exiled St. Paul again to the country of Armenia. A few days later, he sent to one of the
followers of Arius commanding him to catch up with St. Paul there and slay him. He
went to him at night and strangled him, thus he received the crown of martyrdom. He
stayed four years in office.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of the Righteous Hannah, the Prophetess Mother of Samuel, the

On this day, the righteous Hannah, the prophetess, and mother of Samuel the
Prophet, departed. This just woman was of the tribe of Levi. Elkanah, the son of
Jeroham, married her. He also had another wife whose name was Peninnah.
Hannah had no children because she was barren. Peninnah was always reviling her
because she had no children. Hannah wept and did not eat. Elkanah, her husband,
comforted her saying, "Why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart
grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1: 8)
She did not accept his comfort and went up to the house of the Lord during the days of
Eli the priest. She prayed and wept before the Lord. Then she made a vow, and said,
"O Lord of hosts if you will give Your maid-servant a male child, then I will give him to
the Lord all the days of his life." (1 Samuel 1: 11) Eli the priest was watching her as
she stood silently, for she was praying in her heart.
Eli thought that she was drunk and he rebuked her but she told him, "No, my lord, I
am a woman of sorrowful spirit I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but
have poured out my spirit before the Lord." He answered her saying, "Go in peace and
the God of Israel grant your petition." (I Samuel 1:17) She believed his word, and
went home.
Then she conceived and brought forth a son, and she called him Samuel, which is
interpreted as "being asked for", because she said, "I have asked him of the Lord."
When she weaned him, she took him to the house of the Lord, as she had vowed. She
brought the child to Eli the priest, and she said, " ... I am the woman who stood by
you here praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my
petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as
he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." (I Samuel 1:26-28) Then she praised God in that
well-known praise attributed to her. She lived after this a life well-pleasing to God,
and departed in peace.
Her prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of St. Paul of Tamouh

On this day, Abba Paul (Paula) who was from Tamouh (El-Tamouhi) (Thmoui),
departed. Since he was inclined since his young age to solitary life, he went to Ansena
Mountain. There he lived with his disciple Ezekiel, who was the witness of his virtues.
For his exceeding love to the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory, he exhausted his body
with asceticism, forsaking earthly things, with fasting and many prayers in a way that
exceeds human endurance. For this, he deserved that the Lord Christ appear to him
and bless him for his conduct in this life, for such is the behavior of those who are
perfect and who fight against the flesh, the world and the devil till they overcome
them. St. Paul said to the Lord, "All that is due to Your care, O You creator and
redeemer of the human race, by Your death on our behalf, we the undeserving
sinners." The Lord Christ comforted and strengthened him.
When our father St. Bishoy went to Mount Ansena, he was joined by the saint Abba
Paula. The Lord Christ told Abba Paul (Paula), "Your body will be buried with that of My
chosen Bishoy." When Abba Paula departed, his body was placed with the body of St.
Bishoy. When they wanted to move the body of St. Bishoy to the wilderness of St.
Macarius in Scete, they carried it onto a boat and left St. Paul's body behind; however,
the boat would not move, until they brought the body of St. Paul and placed it beside
St. Bishoy's body. Then they brought them to the
wilderness of Sheheat (Scete).
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Matra.
2. The Martyrdom of the Saints Abba Hor, Tosia (Susanna) and Her Children, and
Abba Agathon, the Hermit.

8-1. On this day, St. Matra the elder
, was martyred. He was a native of Alexandria, a
believing Christian. When Decius reigned, he established the worship of idols. He
afflicted the Christian people in every place. When his edict reached Alexandria, its
people began also to be persecuted.
Some brought accusations against this saint. The Governor brought St. Matra to
question him about his faith. St. Matra confessed that the Lord Christ is a true God of
true God. The Governor commanded him to worship the idols and promised him much
money. When he refused, he threatened to punish him, but he did not give up his
faith. He shouted at the governor, "I do not worship but the Lord Christ, the creator of
heaven and earth." The Governor became angry with him, and ordered him beaten. He
was severely beaten and then hanged up by his arms. They then imprisoned him and
slit his face and his temples with a red hot rod. Finally, because he insisted on not
giving up his faith, they cut off his head outside the city.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
8-2. On this day also is the commemoration of St. Abba Hor, the commemoration of
St. Tosia and her children, the martyrs at Tamouh; and Saint Agathon, the hermit.
Their prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of St. Eumenius, the Seventh Pope of the See of St. Mark.
2. The Eclipse of the Sun in the Year 958 A.M.
3. The Commemoration of St. Simon (Simeon) the Bishop.

. On this day of the year 146 A.D., Saint Eumenius the seventh Pope of the See of
St. Mark, departed. Pope Abremius, the fifth Pope, ordained him a deacon and he
served 10 years in this position. When St. Yustus, the sixth Pope, was appointed, he
saw how Eumenius excelled in knowledge and faith, so he ordained him a priest. He
entrusted to him the teaching of the believers of the church of Alexandria, and asked
him to look after them and to instruct them in the principles of the Orthodox faith.
When Pope Yustus departed, this father was chosen Patriarch. He handed down the
care of the churches and the teaching of the believers to Father Marcianus who later
became his successor. He continually restored the strayed sinners, explaining to the
pagans plainly the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and His being one in His divine
essence. He stayed on the chair for 13 years and departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
9-2. On this day also, in the year 958 A.M., during the reign of King El-Saleh Ayoub
and the papacy of the father the Patriarch Abba Kyrillos III, 75th Pope of the See of
St. Mark, a stupendous thing happened in the world which amazed those who beheld it
or heard of it. The sun became gradually dark until darkness spread everywhere and
the stars were seen in the daytime.
People lit lamps and were struck with great fear. They cried out to God the Almighty
with all their hearts, asking for His compassion and mercy. The Lord had mercy upon
them, removed their fear and the darkness was lifted all at once and the sun appeared
to light up the world, and the lamps were extinguished. That occurred from 8:30 a.m.
to 9:30 a.m.
The people glorified God who was long suffering towards them and did not deal with
them according to their sins but according to His mercy and patience.
To Him is the Glory in His church. Amen.
9-3. On this day also is the commemoration of Saint Simon the Bishop.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Tenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Martyrdom of St. Sergius, the Friend of St. Bacchus

On this day, St. Sergius, the friend of St. Bacchus, was martyred. He was a high
ranking soldier, advanced in the court of Emperor Maximianus, who showed him great
favor. Because this Emperor was pagan and these two saints were people of faith, he
sent them to Antiochus, King of Syria, to torture them and slay them if they did not
forsake their faith.
Antiochus inflicted St. Bacchus with severe tortures and, when he did not dissuade him
from his Christianity, he ordered his men to slay him. They killed him and cast his
body into the River Euphrates. The waves brought him to the bank near two holy men.
The Lord sent an eagle to guard the pure body and inspired the two saints to take it.
They took the body with reverence and buried it. St. Sergius was sad for his friend
Bacchus until he saw him in his sleep in a beautiful palace, shining brightly; so his
soul was exceedingly comforted.
Later on, the Governor commanded to drive nails into St. Sergius' feet, and to send
him to El-Rusafa tied to the tails of the horses; his blood flowed down on the ground.
On their way, they met a virgin damsel, who gave them water to drink. When she saw
the condition the saint was in, she felt sad for him and she pitied his youth and his
fine form. The saint told her, "Come, follow me to the city of El-Rusafa to take my
body," and she followed him.
The Governor of El-Rusafa was a friend of St. Sergius, and it was through St. Sergius,
that the Governor had this position. The Governor tried to convince him to change his
mind to save his life. When St. Sergius did not accept his advice, he ordered his head
cut off. That virgin came and received the blood which flowed from his holy neck and
kept it in a clip of wool.
However, the holy body was kept until the end of the days of persecution when they
built a church for him at El-Rusafa. The church was consecrated by 15 bishops. They
laid his holy body in a coffin made of marble. Those who were present witnessed that
a fragrant oil flew from his body and it healed the sick.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Eleventh Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of St. James, Patriarch of Antioch.
2. The Departure of St. Pelagia.

. On this day, the holy father Abba James, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. Great
tribulations befell him, and he was exiled for the sake of guarding the Orthodox faith.
After he remained in exile for a period of time, the people of the city gathered and
brought him back. Then the Arians exiled him again and he stayed in exile for seven
more years, then departed in peace.
His intercession be for us. Amen.
11-2. On this day also, St. Pelagia, departed. This righteous woman was born in the
city of Antioch to pagan parents. Besides a corrupt faith, she had a corrupt manner of
life also.
She met a holy bishop, whose name was Paul, who preached to her. She believed in
the Lord Christ through him, and confessed to him everything she had done. He
encouraged her and taught her not to despair but to repent with a true determination.
Then he baptized her in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and
she was illuminated by the grace of baptism. She led a penitent life with a firm heart
and a pure determination. she exhausted her body with strenuous worship.
She dressed herself in the garb of men and went to Jerusalem where she worshipped
in its sanctuaries. She met Abba Alexandros, Patriarch of Jerusalem, who sent her to
one of the convents nearby Jerusalem. She dwelt there for 40 years and departed in
Her prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twelfth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of Abba Demetrius I, 12th Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Evangelist.
3. The Commemoration of the Archangel Michael.

. On this day of the year 224 A.D., the pure and celibate father, the fighter of
lusts, and the vanquisher of nature, Abba Demetrius I, 12th Pope of Alexandria,
departed. This saint was an illiterate farmer, and was married. He lived with his wife
47 years until he was chosen a Patriarch. They did not know one another as married
people, but remained throughout that period in their virginity and chastity, a fact
which no one knew.
When the departure of St. Yulianus, 11th Pope, drew near, the angel of the Lord
appeared to St. Yulianus in a vision and told him about this saint and that he was to
be the Patriarch after him. He gave him a sign saying, "Tomorrow a man shall come to
you having a cluster of grapes, seize him and pray over him." Then he woke from his
sleep, he told the bishops and the priests who were with him about this vision.
So it happened on the next day that St. Demetrius found a cluster of grapes that was
out of season. He carried it to St. Yulianus, to receive his blessing. The father, the
Patriarch, took him by the hand and told those who were present, "This is your
Patriarch who will be after me." Then he prayed over him; they held him and kept him
until the departure of Abba Yulianus, whereupon they finished the prayers of
ordination over him and he was filled with heavenly grace. The Lord enlightened his
mind and he learned reading and writing. He studied the church books and their
interpretations. Words of grace flew from his mouth when he preached.
He established the reckoning of the Epacts, by which the dates of fasting were
determined on a fixed basis. Christians used to fast the holy 40 days, Lent, right after
the feast of Epiphany, as the Lord Christ fasted after His baptism. Then they fasted
the Passion week separately, celebrating the Christian Passover on the Sunday that
followed the Jewish Passover.
Some of the Christians used to celebrate Easter on the fourteenth of Neesan (April)
and that meant they celebrated with the Jews, not recognizing that the Christian
Passover was to be in memory of the Resurrection of the Lord Christ which was after
the Mosaic Passover. For that reason, Pope Demetrius took interest in establishing a
fixed bases for fasts and Christian holy days. He appended the Holy Fast to the
Passion Week.
Pope Demetrius wrote in this respect to Agabius, Bishop of Jerusalem; to Maximus,
Patriarch of Antioch; to the Patriarch of Rome and to others. All approved of it and
continued to follow his rules up until the present. The Church of Rome deviated from
that and followed, since the 16th century, the Gregorian Calendar. To the Popes of the
Coptic Church was the prime credit in determining Easter Day; and they thus sent their
Easter messages all over the world, so that the Christians would celebrate Easter on
the same day forming a universal joy.
God was with Abba Demetrius because of his purity. God granted him a gift that after
he finished the Liturgy and the people came forward to partake of the Holy Mysteries,
he used to see the Lord Christ pushing forward with His Hand those who were worthy.
But if one came forward who was not worthy of partaking of the Holy Communion, the
Lord would reveal to the Pope his sins and the Pope would not allow him to partake of
it until he confessed his sins. The Pope would admonish him for them and would say
to him, "Turn away from your sin and repent, after that come and partake of the Holy
Mysteries." His flocks conduct was straightened during his time.
Because he rebuked the sinners much, and urged them on repentance and purity, some
of them murmured and said, "This man is married, how can he rebuke us?" The Lord
Almighty wished to reveal to them his virtues, so the angel of the Lord came to him at
night and told him, "O Demetrius, do not seek your salvation and let others be
destroyed with their doubt." The father asked him to clarify his statement and the
angel told him, "You must reveal the mystery which is between yourself and your wife
to the people that you might remove the doubt from them." On the following morning,
after he had celebrated the Divine Liturgy, he ordered the people not to leave the
church. He took red-hot coal and placed it in his wife's shawl and his pallium, then
they went around in the church and their clothes did not burn. The people were
amazed at this miracle. He told them that he and his wife did not know each other as
married people. The doubt was removed from the people and they realized the purity
of this father and his virginity.
During his time, some opposing men appeared whose names were Aklemos, Origen,
and Orianus and others who wrote forbidden books, so he excommunicated them.
During the days of his papacy, he did not stop teaching and confirming the believers in
the Orthodox Faith. When he had grown old and became weak, they carried him on a
litter to the church to teach the people. He was 105 years old, having spent 15 years
unmarried, 47 years until he became Patriarch and 43 years in office, then departed in
The blessings of his prayers be with us. Amen.
12-2. On this day also, St. Matthew the Evangelist, was martyred. He was one of the
Twelve Disciples and his name was Levi. He was the one sitting at the receipt of
custom outside the city of Capernaum, when the Lord Christ said to him, "Follow Me."
He left all, rose up, and followed Him. He made for the Lord Christ a great feast in his
own house. That made the Pharisees murmur against Him saying to His disciples,
"Why do your teacher eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered
and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are
sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:27-32)
He preached in the land of Palestine and Tyre and Sidon. Then he went to Ethiopia. He
entered the city of priests and converted them to the knowledge of God. When he
wished to enter the city, he met a young man who told him, "You will not be able to
go in unless you shave off the hair of your head and carry palm branches in your
hand." He did as the young man told him. And, as he was thinking about that, the
Lord Christ appeared to him in the form of the young man who had met him earlier,
and after He encouraged and comforted him, disappeared. He realized that this young
man was the Lord of Glory Himself.
He then entered the city as one of its priests. He went to the temple of Apollo and
found the high priest, and talked with him concerning the idols that they were
worshipping. He explained to him how those idols did not hear or sense anything and
how the true Mighty Lord is He who created the Heaven and Earth. The Lord made
through him a wonder: a table came down to them from Heaven and a great light
shone around them. When Hermes the priest saw this wonder, he asked him, "What is
the name of your God?" The apostle replied, "My God is the Lord Christ." Hermes, the
priest, believed in Christ and many people followed him.
When the Governor of the city knew that, he ordered them burned. It happened at that
time that the son of the Governor died. St. Matthew the Apostle prayed and made
supplications to God to raise the son and the Lord answered him and raised the child
from death. When the Governor saw that, he and the rest of the people of the city
believed. St. Matthew baptized them and ordained a bishop and priests, and built a
church for them.
After he had preached in other countries, he went back to Jerusalem. Some of the Jews
which had been preached to, and had believed and been baptized by him, asked him
to write down what he had preached to them. He wrote the beginning of the Gospel
attributed to him in the Hebrew language but he did not complete it. It was said that
he finished it during his preaching in India, in the first year of the reign of Claudius
and the ninth year of the Ascension.
His martyrdom was consummated by stoning by the hands of Justus the Governor, and
his body was buried in Carthage of Caesarea by some believers, in a holy place.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On the twelfth day of each Coptic month we celebrate, commemorating the
honorable Michael the Archangel, the head of the Heavenly Hosts, who stands at all
times before the throne of the Divine Majesty on behalf of the human race.
His intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of Saint Zacharias, the Monk

On this day, St. Zacharias the monk, departed. His father's name was Karyos. He
was married, but he longed for the monastic life. He told his wife about what was on
his mind and she agreed to it. Karyos had a son, called Zacharias and a daughter. He
left them with their mother and went to the desert of Scete and became a monk at the
hands of a holy old man.
Shortly after, there was a great famine in the country and the wife took the two
children and came to the desert where their father Karyos was. She complained to him
about the tribulation which had come upon her through the famine and handed him the
children. But Karyos told her, "God has divided the two children between us. You take
the girl and leave the boy with me." She took her daughter and departed. Karyos took
his son Zacharias and brought him to the elders who prayed over him and they
prophesied that he would become a perfect monk.
Zacharias was brought up well in the desert, and advanced in every virtue. Because he
was exceedingly handsome and his fair look, there were many murmurs in the desert
because of him and they said, "How is it, a boy like that dwells in the desert among
the monks?" When St. Zacharias heard that, he went to lake El-Natroun (which was
very salty) without telling anyone. He took off his apparel, plunged his body into the
lake, and remained in it for many hours. The color of his body became black and he
looked like a leper. Then he went forth from the water, put on his apparel and came to
his father who did not recognize him until he had stared at him closely. When he
asked him about what had changed his appearance, he told him what he had done.
When it was Sunday, he went with his father to the church to partake of the Holy
Mysteries. The Lord revealed to St. Isidore, the priest of Scete, what St. Zacharias had
done. He marvelled and said to the monks, "Zacharias received the offering last
Sunday as a man, but now he has become an angel."
This saint possessed many virtues, especially the virtue of humility in which he had
reached such a degree of perfection that his father said about him, "I have labored
greatly in the fight, but I have never attained the extent of my son Zacharias."
St. Zacharias lived a strenuous life and strove exceedingly hard for 45 years. When he
came to the desert, he was seven years old and all the days of his life numbered 52
years, then he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen

The Fourteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of St. Philip, One of the Seven Deacons

On this day, St. Philip, one of the Seven Deacons, departed. He was from
Caesarea, Palestine. When the Lord Christ, to Him is the glory, went through this
area, this saint heard Him teaching and followed Him immediately. When the Lord
chose the 70 Disciples and sent them forth to preach and heal the sick, this disciple
was one of them. The Twelve Apostles chose him as one of the Seven Deacons
appointed to serve.
This Apostle preached in the cities of Samaria and baptized its people. He also
baptized Simon the magician who perished when he tried to buy the gift of the Holy
Spirit with money.
One day the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, "Arise and go toward the south
along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." He rose and went and
behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, the Queen of
the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to
worship. As he was returning and sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the
prophet. Then the spirit said to Philip, "Go near and join this chariot." So Philip ran to
him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah and said, "Do you understand what you
are reading?"
And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up
and sit with him. The place in the scripture which he read was this, "He was led as a
sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb before its shearer is silent. So He opened not
his mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away. And who will declare His
generation? For His life is taken from the earth."
So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say
this, of himself or of some other man?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning
at this scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came
to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water; What hinders me from being
baptized?" Then Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may." And he
answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down
into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the
Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he
went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus and passing through he
preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:26-40)
He went around the countries of Asia and preached the living Gospel there. He had
four daughters who preached the word of God with him. He brought many of the Jews,
the Samaritans and others to the faith, and departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Fifteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Martyrdom of Saint Panteleimon, the Physician

On this day of the year 405 A.D., St. Panteleimon (Bandleamon), who was from
the city of Nicomedia, was martyred. His father worshipped idols but his mother was a
Christian. They educated him well and taught him the profession of medicine. He met
a priest whose name was Hermolaus (Armolas) who taught him the facts of the faith
of the Lord Christ and baptized him. He reached a high standard of virtuous life. God
wrought great wonders through him. Once, a blind man came to him to be treated by
his medicine. He made the sign of the Cross over his eyes in the Name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit and his eyes were healed and he regained his vision
When the Emperor heard the news of his healing this blind man, he had the blind man
brought to him and asked him about how his eyes were healed. He told him St.
Panteleimon healed them by laying his hand on them and by saying, "In the Name of
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." He confessed before the Emperor that he
was a Christian, so the Emperor immediately had his neck cut off.
The Emperor ordered that St. Panteleimon be brought to him and asked him about his
belief. He confessed that he was a Christian. He tried to persuade him by all means
and promised him many things, but he would not change his confession. Then he
shouted out to him and threatened to inflict upon him different kinds of tortures. But
he did not move. The Emperor inflicted upon him severe tortures on different days,
sometimes beating and suspending him and often times casting him into the sea or
into the fire. The Lord Christ appeared to him in the form of Hermolaus, the priest who
baptized him and taught him the facts of faith, to strengthen him, and walked with
him as if He was sharing with him every punishment which befell him.
Later on, the Emperor ordered to behead him. When St. Panteleimon went to the place
of execution, he prayed to the Lord Christ and supplicated Him. He heard a voice from
heaven announcing to him what had been prepared for him from heavenly joy. The
soldiers also heard that voice and immediately believed. They went forth to the
Emperor and confessed their faith in the Lord Christ. The Emperor ordered his men to
cut off their necks, too, and they all received the crown of martyrdom.
Their intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Sixteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of St. Agathon, 39th Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Commemoration of the Sts. Carpus, Apollos (Papylus) and Peter.

. On this day of the year 673 A.D., the holy father, the Patriarch Abba Agathon,
39th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was a disciple to the holy father Abba
Benjamin, 38th Pope. Abba Benjamin disappeared for a period of time from the face of
his Chalcedonian persecutors and left Agathon to preach to the believers and establish
them in the Orthodox faith. Agathon went around the streets and markets in the
daytime wearing a carpenter's apparel, and during the night wearing a priest's uniform.
He went around the houses also preaching and instructing the believers. He kept doing
this till the Arab conquest of Egypt and the return of the father the Patriarch Abba
Benjamin to his chair.
When Pope Benjamin departed, this saint was chosen to the honorable rank of
Patriarch. He faced great tribulations for the sake of keeping the Orthodox faith. For
example, a man whose name was Theodosius, a Malachite, went to the city of
Damascus and came before Yazeed-Eben-Moawia, the Arab Governor of Damascus. He
gave him much money and took from him an order to appoint him the Governor of
Alexandria, Behira and Marriot. When he became in charge of this position, he afflicted
our father the Patriarch and levied great taxes on him. Because of the excessive evil of
the Governor, and what he did to the father the Patriarch, the people hated and
avoided him. He put forth an order that any man who might find the Patriarch on his
way should slay him. The Patriarch remained in his cell until God destroyed that evil
In the days of this father, the building of St. Macarius' church in his monastery at
Wadi-El Natroun was completed.
One night the angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him about a holy monk from
the monastery of St. Macarius whose name was John and who lived in Fayyum. The
angel ordered him to bring him to help in preaching and teaching the people. The
angel told him that he would be Patriarch after him. Abba Agathon sent and brought
him and delivered to him the work of the churches, their organization, teaching the
believers and preaching to them.
Abba Agathon remained in the papacy for 19 years and departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
16-2. On this day also is the commemoration of the saints Carpus, Apollos (Papylus)
and Peter the disciple of Abba Isaiah the Anchorite.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of St. Dioscorus II 31st Pope of Alexandria

On this day of the year 511 A.D., the holy father Abba Dioscorus II, 31st Pope of
Alexandria, departed. He was chosen Patriarch by the guidance of the Holy Spirit after
the departure of his predecessor, St. John. This father was gentle in disposition, his
work and knowledge were outstanding, and he was perfect all his days; no one was
like him in his generation.
His first work after his enthronement to the See of St. Mark was writing an epistle to
the holy father Abba Severus, Patriarch of Antioch. This epistle contained the faith in
the Holy Trinity as equal in essence and divinity, and an explanation of the
Incarnation. He said that the Word of God was incarnated in a human body perfect in
everything, and united with it and became one Son, one Christ, one God, in
inseparable unity and that the Trinity is one before and after this unity and no
addition was effected to Him by the Incarnation.
When this epistle reached Abba Severus, he read it and rejoiced and made it known to
the people of Antioch. He felt optimistic with it and wrote to St. Dioscorus a reply to
the epistle congratulating him on his Christian presidency and on the Orthodox faith.
He commanded him not to turn aside from it, neither to the right nor to the left, and
to depend in all his sayings and works on the Orthodox faith which was established by
the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers in Nicea and according to what they
commanded in the Canon and the Law. When the message reached Abba Dioscorus, he
joyfully received it and commanded that it be read from the pulpit to be heard by all
the people.
This father read and taught continually, and urged and commanded the priests in every
city to shepherd and guard their flocks. Having ended his course, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Eighteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of the Honorable Father Saint Theophilus 23rd Pope of Alexandria

On this day of the year 404 A.D., the holy father Abba Theophilus, 23rd Pope of
Alexandria, departed. He was a disciple of St. Athanasius the Apostolic. He was
brought up by him and learned all the spiritual doctrine from him.
When Pope Timothy I departed, this father was chosen to take his place. Abba
Theophilus was knowledgeable, well read in the church books with full understanding
of their interpretation. He wrote many discourses and works of exhortation urging on
the works of charity and mercy, and warnings to the people about receiving the Divine
Mysteries without being prepared, and concerning the Resurrection and the punishment
which is prepared for sinners and many other useful teachings.
The holy father Abba Kyrillos was his nephew and Abba Theophilus took care of his
education by sending him to Abba Serapion in the desert of Scete. There Kyrillos
studied the books of the church and all its subjects and stayed there five years, then
went back to his uncle. When Abba Theophilus was with Abba Athanasius the
Apostolic, he heard him one day saying while looking at the hills before his cell, "If I
find time, I will clear away these hills and build a church in their place for St. John the
Baptist and Elisha the prophet."
When Abba Theophilus became Patriarch, he remembered that saying and he talked
about it often. In the city of Rome, the husband of a rich woman died and left her with
two sons. She took them and much money and an icon of the Archangel Raphael and
came to Alexandria. When she heard about the interest of the father the Patriarch in
removing those hills, she went to him with truezeal and gave him enough money to
fulfill his desire. After the work was done, a treasure appeared under the hills and was
covered with a slab of stone engraved in Coptic, with three characters of theta, O.
When Abba Theophilus saw them, he knew, guided by the Holy Spirit, the secret of
these three letters and said, "Behold the time has come for this treasure to be
uncovered because these three thetas were gathered together at the same time and
they are: Thoes, that of God; and Theodosius the Emperor, son of Arcadius, son of
Theodosius the Great; and Theophilus the Patriarch - meaning himself. He found that
this treasure dated to the Era of Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian which
was 700 years before.
The Patriarch sent to the Emperor to inform him about the treasure and asked him to
come. The Emperor came and saw the treasure, and gave a large sum of money to
Abba Theophilus. He built many churches. He began by building a church in the name
of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet, and he transferred their relics that
church. That church was known at that time by the Demas. Then he built a church by
the name of our Lady the Virgin Mary, then a church in the name of the Archangel
Raphael at El-Gizira and seven other churches.
As for the two sons of the woman who came from Rome, he ordained them bishops.
When the Emperor saw the love of the Abba the Patriarch for building churches, he
gave him all the houses of idols and Abba Theophilus changed them to churches and
lodging houses for strangers, and endowed them with land.
Having fulfilled his days in a life pleasing to God, he departed from this world in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Assembly of the Council of Antioch against Paul of Samosata.
2. The Martyrdom of Sts. Theophilus and His Wife in Fayyum.

On this day of the year 280 A.D. a Holy Council assembled in an Antiochian
church to judge Paul of Samosata. He was a native of Samosata, and he was chosen a
Patriarch of Antioch. Satan sowed in his mind the belief that the Lord Christ was a
simple, ordinary man whom God had created and chosen to redeem the human beings;
and that Christ was entirely Mary's offspring and that Divinity did not unite with Jesus
but joined Him by the will only and that God is one person, so he did not believe in
the Son or the Holy Spirit.
Because of him, a council assembled in the city of Antioch during the reign of Emperor
Valerian and the papacy of Abba Dionysius, 14th Pope of Alexandria, which was 45
years before the Council of Nicea. Because Abba Dionysius was old, he was not able to
convene with them, so he wrote a letter stating the belief that the Lord Christ is the
Word of God, and His Son, and is equal to Him in essence, in divinity and in being
eternal. The Holy Trinity is Three Persons by character, in one God-head. One Person
of the Trinity is the Son incarnated and became in Hypostatic Union, a complete man.
Abba Dionysius testified concerning these things using many testimonies from the Old
and the New Testaments and he sent this letter with two priests of the church
Thirteen bishops and the two priests assembled in that council. They brought that Paul
and asked him about the heresy that he was teaching. He declared it to them and did
not deny anything. They debated the matter with him and read to him the letter of
Abba Dionysius and made him listen to what the Apostles said about the Lord Christ
the Word of God that He is, "The brightness of His glory. And the express image of His
person." (Hebrews 1:3) But he did not accept their words, and he would not turn from
his infidel opinion. They excommunicated him, and all those who believed his words,
and they exiled him. The fathers put forth the Canons, which are still in the hands of
the believers who follow them to this day.
The blessings of their prayers be with us. Amen.
19-2. On this day also, St. Theophilus and his wife in Fayyum, was martyred, in the
days of Emperor Diocletian the infidel.
Some brought accusation against them before the Governor of being Christians. The
Governor brought them and questioned them. They confessed our Lord Christ, to Him
is the glory, before him. He commanded that a deep pit be dug for them, that they be
cast into it, and covered by stones. They did so and St. Theophilus and his wife
received the crown of martyrdom.
Their intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twentieth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
The Departure of the Great St. John Colobos (the Short)

On this day, the great light and saint, the hegumen Abba John (Yoannis) Colobos
(the Short), departed. He was a native of Betsa in upper Egypt and he had one
brother. His parents were righteous and God-fearing people, rich in faith and good
When he was 8 years old, his heart turned away from the futility of this world, its
lusts and its glory, and he desired the monastic life. The grace of God moved him to
go to the desert of Scete and there he came upon a tried and holy man whose name
was Abba Pemwah from El-Bahnasa. John asked Abba Pemwah to allow him to stay
with him. The old man answered, trying him, "My son, you cannot stay with us for this
is a very hard desert and those who dwell in it eat from the work of their hands,
besides observing many fasts, prayers, and sleeping on the floor and many other
forms of asceticism. Go back to the world and live in the fear of God." Abba John told
him, "Do not send me away, for God's sake, because I came to be in your obedience
and prayers. If you accept me, I believe that God will make your heart well-pleased
with me."
Abba Pemwah was in the habit of not doing anything hastily. He asked the Lord Christ
to reveal to him the matter of this young man. The angel of the Lord appeared to him
and said, "Accept him, for he shall become a chosen vessel." Abba Pemwah brought
him and he shaved the hair of his head. He laid out the garb of the monk, and he
prayed over it for three days and three nights and when he put the garb on him, he
saw an angel making the sign of the Cross over it.
Saint John started his monastic life with great asceticism and splendid works. One day
Abba Pemwah wanted to test him, so he expelled him from his cell saying, "I cannot
live with you." Abba John stayed out by the door of his cell for seven days. Every day
Abba Pemwah went out and smote him with a palm branch and Abba John bowed down
before him saying, "I have sinned." On the seventh day, the old man went out to go to
the church and he saw seven angels with seven crowns placing them on the head of
Abba John. Since that day, he was held by him in honor and reverence.
One day Abba Pemwah found a piece of dry wood and gave it to Abba John and said to
him, "Take this wood, plant and water it." St. John obeyed and went on watering it
twice a day even though the water was about 12 miles from where they lived. After
three years, that piece of wood sprouted and grew into a fruitful tree. Abba Pemwah
took some of that fruit and went around to all the elder monks saying, "Take, eat from
the fruit of obedience." This tree still exists in its place in his monastery.
Abba Pemwah fell sick for 12 years and Abba John ministered unto him all this time
during which he never heard from his teacher that he fell short in his service. Abba
Pemwah was an experienced old man who had been tried much, and sickness had
emaciated him until he became like a piece of dry wood, so that he would be a chosen
When Abba Pemwah was about to die, he gathered together the elder monks and he
held the hand of Abba John and gave him to them saying, "Take him and keep him, for
he is an angel, not a man." He commanded Abba John to stay in the place where he
had planted the tree. After that Abba John's older brother came to the monastery and
was ordained a monk with him. He also became an honorable monk.
It happened when the father the Patriarch Abba Theophilus was ordaining Abba John
hegumen and abbot over his church, and as he placed his hand over his head, a voice
from heaven was heard by the people present saying, "Axios, Axios, Axios (That is to
say he is worthy)." When this saint consecrated the offering, he was able to know
those who were worthy to partake of it and those who were not worthy.
Abba Theophilus the Patriarch built a church for the Three Young Men in Alexandria,
and he wished to bring their bodies and place them in it. He brought Abba John and
asked him to travel to Babylon, and to bring the holy bodies. After much forebearing,
Abba John accepted to go on this mission. When he left the Patriarch, a cloud carried
him away to Babylon. He entered the city and saw its monuments, rivers, and palaces
and found the bodies of the saints. When he started moving them from their place, a
voice came out from the holy bodies and said to him, "This is the Will of God that we
do not leave this place until the day of the Resurrection. Nevertheless, because of the
love of Abba Theophilus the Patriarch, and your labor, too, you should inform the
Patriarch to gather the people in the church and to put oil in the lamps without
lighting them and we will appear in the church and a sign will be made manifest to
Then Abba John left and went back to Alexandria and told the Patriarch what the
saints had said. It happened when the Patriarch and the people were in the church,
the lamps were lit up suddenly and they all glorified the Lord.
One day, a monk came into the cell of Abba John. He found him lying down with
angels waving their wings over him.
Later on, the Berbers attacked the desert of Scete and he left it. When he was asked
why he left, he replied that he did not leave because he was afraid of death, but
because he feared a Berber would slay him and go to hell, for though he is against his
worship, he is his brother in form. Then he went to the mountain of Abba Anthony on
the Red Sea. There he dwelt by the side of a village and God sent him a believer who
served him.
When the Lord wished to grant him rest and to end his strife in this world, He sent
him His two righteous saints Abba Macarius and Abba Anthony to comfort him and to
inform him about his departure. On the eve of Sunday, he fell sick and sent his
attendant to bring him something from the village. The angels and the host of saints
came and received his pure soul and took it up to heaven.
At that time, his servant came back and saw the soul of the saint surrounded by the
host of saints and angels singing before them. Before them all, there was one shining
like the sun and singing. The servant marvelled at this magnificent sight. An angel
came to him and told him the name of each one of the saints. Then the servant asked
the angel, "Who is this one in front of them all, who is shining like the sun?" The
angel replied, "This is Abba Anthony, the father of all the monks."
When the servant went into the cell, he found the body of the saint kneeling to the
ground, as he had given up his soul while kneeling. The attendant wept sorrowfully
over him and went in a hurry to the people of the village and told them what had
happened. They came and carried his holy body with great honor. When they brought
him into the village, great wonders and miracles were performed through his body.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-First Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Commemoration of the Theotokos.
2. The Commemoration of the Relocation of the Body of Lazarus.
3. The Departure of Joel the Prophet.
4. The Departure of St. Freig (Abba Tegi, Anba Roweiss).

. On this day we celebrate the commemoration of our holy lady, the Mother of
Light, the Virgin St. Mary. Salutation to you O Mary, the Mother of God, the eternal
Word, because through you was the salvation of the human race.
Her intercession be for us. Amen.
21-2. On this day also we celebrate the commemoration of the relocation of the body
of Lazarus,whom our Lord raised from the dead. It was relocated by one of the
Christian Emperors to  Constantinople. When he heard that the body was on the island
of Cyprus, he sent some of the trusted bishops to the island where they found the
holy body laid in a sarcophagus buried under ground.
The inscription on the coffin read, "This is the body of Lazarus, the friend of the Lord
Christ, whom He raised from the dead, after he had been buried for four days." They
rejoiced at it and carried it to the city of Constantinople. The priests went out and
received the body with great honor and veneration, and with prayers and incense. They
laid it in a sanctuary until they built a church for it and then relocated the body to the
church where they celebrated a holy day for him.
His intercession be for us. Amen.
21-3. Today also, the great Prophet Joel, the son of Phanuel, from the tribe of
Reuben, departed. He prophesied in the days of Abya the son of Jeroboam the son of
Solomon the King. He taught the people and admonished them and prophesied
concerning the dwelling of God in Zion, His passion, and the coming of the Holy Spirit,
the comforter upon the holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost. He prophesied that
their sons and daughters will prophesy and their young men will see visions and their
old men will dream dreams.
This prophet prophesied also concerning the going forth of the law of the Gospel from
Zion when he said, "A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the
valley of Acacias." (Joel 3:18) And he revealed that wars will break out on the earth
after the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke also concerning the day of
Resurrection more than a thousand years before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He said, "The sun and the moon will grow dark and the stars will diminish their
brightness." (Joel 3:15) He pleased God and departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
21-4. On this day also in the year 1405 A.D. (1121 of martyrs) St. Freig, who is known
as Abba Roweiss, departed. This saint was from a village called Miniet-Yamin (about
130 kilometers north of Cairo). His father's name was Isaac and his mother's name
was Sarah. When he was born, they called him Freig. He worked with his father in
farming and he had a small camel on which he carried salt and sold it. He called the
camel "Roweiss" (i.e. small head). The camel used to put his head against his cheek
as if he was kissing him. Because of his humility, he called himself after his camel.
Persecutions befell the Christians, so he came to Cairo and not having a house or
shelter, he went from one place to another. He spent most of his nights in prayers and
wailing. He did not own a coat or any clothes or a cover for his head. He was naked
except for that with which he covered his loins, and his head was uncovered. He
looked like the hermits of the desert; his eyes were red because of much weeping and
he never cut the hair of his head. He was a man of few words -once an evil man smote
him severely but he did not open his mouth. St. Marcus El-Antoni was present at that
time and he rebuked the evil man.
During the later part of his life, he used to say, "O Virgin, take me because my burden
is heavy." He meant the burden of carrying the sin of the people for which he often
rebuked them though they did not listen to him.
He lived in the days of the holy father Pope Mattheos, 87th Patriarch, and St. Marcus
El-Antoni, in the days of El-Sultan El-Zaher Barkuk.
He shut himself up in a small storeroom at the place of his disciple Michael the
builder, in Meniet Syreg. He stayed in that place for 9 years until his departure on the
twenty-first of Babah of the year 1121 of the martyrs. He was buried in the church of
the Virgin, in Deir El-Khandaq. He performed many wonders such as healing the sick,
prophesying and saving many from their troubles.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Second Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Martyrdom of Saint Luke the Evangelist
On this day, St. Luke the Evangelist and physician, was martyred. He was one of the
70 disciples mentioned in the tenth chapter of his gospel. He accompanied the
Apostles Peter and Paul and wrote their account.
After the martyrdom of these two Apostles, he went through Rome preaching. Those
who worshipped idols and the Jews in Rome agreed among themselves and went to
Nero the Emperor accusing St. Luke of attracting many men to his teaching with his
sorcery. Nero commanded that St. Luke be brought before him. When St. Luke knew
that, he gave all the books he had to a fisherman and told him, "Take these and keep
them for they will be useful to you and will show you God's way."
When St. Luke came before Nero the Emperor, the Emperor asked him, "How long will
you lead the people astray?" St. Luke replied, "I am not a magician, but I am an
Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God." The Emperor commanded
his men to cut off his right hand saying, "Cut off this hand which wrote the books."
The saint replied to him, "We do not fear death, nor the departure from this world, and
to realize the power of my Master." He took up his severed hand and made it reattach
to its proper place, then he separated it. Those who were present marvelled and the
head of the Emperor's cabinet and his wife believed as well as many others and it was
said that they numbered 276. The Emperor wrote their decree and ordered that their
heads be cut off together with that of the Apostle St. Luke; thus their martyrdom was
They placed the body of the saint in a hair sack and cast it in the sea. By God's will,
the waves of the sea brought it to an island. A believer found it, took it and buried it
with great honor. This saint wrote the Gospel bearing his name and the "Acts of the
Apostles" addressing his words to his disciple Theophilus who was a gentile.
His blessings be upon us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Third Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of St. Yousab, 52nd Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth.

On this day of the year 841 A.D., the holy father Abba Yousab (Joseph), 52nd
Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was the son of one of the rich nobles of Menuf.
When his parents departed and left him, certain believers raised him. When he grew
up he gave most of his money as alms, then went to the desert of St. Macarius and
became monk with a holy old man. When Abba Marcus II became the 49th Pope of
Alexandria and heard about Yousab's conduct, he called him. When Yousab wished to
go back to the desert, Abba Marcus ordained him a priest and sent him back. He
stayed in the desert for a period of time till the departure of Abba Simon II, 51st Pope.
The papal throne remained unoccupied until some of the bishops agreed with some of
the laymen of Alexandria to choose a married man who had bribed them. When the
rest of the bishops knew that, they detested their action and prayed to God to guide
them to whom He choose. The Lord guided them to Abba Yousab and they
remembered his good conduct and management while he was with the father Abba
They sent some of the bishops to bring him. They prayed to God saying, "We beseech
Thee, O Lord, if Thou have chosen this father for this honor, let the sign be that we
find his door open upon our arrival." When they arrived they found his door open, for
he was bidding farewell to some visiting monks. When he was about to close his door,
he saw them coming, so he received them with joy and welcomed them to his cell.
When they entered, they seized him and told him, "Axios" (i.e He is worthy). He cried
out and wept. He started to reveal to them his shortcomings and sins. But they did
not accept his excuses and they took him to Alexandria and placed their hands over
When he sat upon the throne of St. Mark, he greatly cared for the churches. He
bought, with what remained of his own income, properties and bestowed them on the
churches. He continually taught the people and did not neglect any of them.
However, Satan became envious and brought much sorrow upon him. The bishops of
Tanes and Miser (Cairo), angered the people of their parishes (because of the matter
of dues). Abba Yousab condemned their actions and asked them often to be merciful
to their flocks, but they would not accept his behest. Their flocks cried out to him
saying, "If you force us to obey them, we shall turn to another denomination." He
exerted a great effort to reconcile between them, but it was in vain. He called the
bishops from their parishes and told them about these two bishops and repudiated
their works. The bishops excommunicated them.
When they were excommunicated, they went to the Governor in Cairo and brought a
false accusation against this father. The Governor sent his brother, the Prince, with
some soldiers to bring the Patriarch to him. When they came to the Patriarch, the
Governor's brother drew his sword to kill him. But the Lord thrust aside his hand and
the sword struck a pillar and was broken. The Prince became furiously angry, so he
drew his dagger and drove it with all his might into the side of this father. The dagger
did not do any harm to him other than cutting his apparel, and it did not reach his
The Prince realized that the Patriarch had divine grace, and heavenly protection
guarded him from being slain. He respected him and brought him to his brother and
told him about what had happened. The Governor also respected and feared him. The
Governor asked the Patriarch about the accusation that was made against him. The
Patriarch proved to him the falsehoods of these accusations and informed him about
the matter of the two bishops. The Governor was convinced and honored the Patriarch
and ordered that no one should disobey him in any ordination or removal of any
bishops or in any other work concerning the church.
He continually preached to the sinners and admonished the disobedient, establishing
the people in the Orthodox faith which he had received from his fathers. He
interpreted to them what was hard for them to understand, guarding them with his
teachings and prayers. God made manifest great signs and wonders through this holy
Having finished this pleasing life to God, he departed in peace after having sat on the
throne of St. Mark 19 years and having been a monk for 39 years, before which he had
lived about 20 years.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
23_2. On this day also is the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Dionysius,
bishop of Corinth, who became a martyr in the days of Diocletian and Maximianus. He
endured many severe tortures for the sake of his faith in Jesus, to Whom is the Glory,
until finally they cut off his neck, and he received the crown of eternal glory.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of the Righteous Father Abba Hilarion.
2. The Martyrdom of the Sts. Paul, Longinus and Deenah (Zena).

. On this day in the year 472 A.D. the righteous father, Saint Hilarion, the
Anchorite, departed. He was a native of Gaza, the son of pagan parents. They taught
him the Greek literature and culture. He excelled and surpassed his peers, but he
wished still to master it. Since there was no one in his city who could help him to
fulfill his desire, he went to the city of Alexandria and joined its school. There he
acquired many kinds of knowledge.
The divine zeal moved him to learn also the Christian doctrines and books. He asked
for the books of the church and read them, and Abba Alexandros explained to him
what was difficult for him to understand. In a short time Abba Hilarion believed in the
Lord Christ, to Whom is the Glory, and the father, the Patriarch, baptized him and he
received the Divine Grace.
Abba Hilarion stayed with Abba Alexandros for a short time, then went to the great St.
Anthony. When Abba Hilarion saw St. Anthony, he marvelled at his profound reverence
and his fair appearance that was shining with the grace of the Holy Spirit. His heart
was deeply moved and he desired to join the monastic life. He took off his worldly
clothes and put on the monastic garb. He started practicing the monastic works with a
diligent devotion, following the footsteps of his teacher.
Shortly after, he learned that his parents had died, so he went back to his city and
took whatever they had left and gave it to the poor and needy. Then he joined one of
the monasteries of Syria and followed the path of asceticism with great devotion. He
fasted for the whole week, eating grass and legumes. God enlightened his mind, gave
him the gift of prophecy, and of working signs.
Later on, St. Epiphanius became a monk in the same monastery, and the abbot
handed him to St. Hilarion. St. Hilarion taught him the ways of the monastic life and
the doctrines of the church and prophesied that St. Epiphanius would become the
bishop of Cyprus.
The days of this father were 80 years: 10 years were spent in the house of his father,
7 years in the city of Alexandria and 63 years in worship. He pleased God and departed
at a good old age. St. John Chrysostom (of the Golden Mouth) praised him in some of
his articles and St. Basil mentioned him in some of his homilies.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
24_2. On this day also is the commemoration of the martyrdom of Sts. Paul, Longinus
and Deenah (Zena).
Their intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Departure of the Saints Apollo and Abib.
2. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of Saint Julius
El-Akfahsee (Aqfahs).

. On this day, the righteous saints Abba Apollo, who was like the angels, and
Abba Abib, the pious worshipper, departed.
Abba Apollo was born in the city of Akhmim. His father's name was Amani (Hamai) and
his mother's name was Eyse (Isa). They were righteous before God, walking in His
way, and loving to the strangers and saints.
They did not have a son. One night Abba Apollo's mother saw in a dream a shining
man, who had a tree with him. He planted it in her house and it grew and bore fruit.
He told her, "Whosoever shall eat of this fruit shall live forever." She ate from it and
found it sweet and she said, "I wonder if I would have a fruit?" When she awoke from
her sleep, she told her husband about what she had seen. He told her that he had
seen the same vision, and they glorified the Lord. They added to their works of
righteousness and to their striving. They fasted for two days on only bread and salt.
After a while she conceived, and she prayed fervently until the child was born. They
called him Apollo and they advanced in their piety.
When the boy had grown up and studied theology, he longed for the monastic life.
This longing grew when he met a friend called Abib. They went together to one of the
monasteries and became monks there. They practiced many ascetic works. They lived
a good life that was pleasing to God. The saint Abba Abib departed on the 25th of
Thereupon St. Apollo went to Ablug Mount and many gathered around him. He taught
them the fear of God and the acceptable worship. On the 25th of Babah they
celebrated the commemoration of the saint Abba Abib to fulfill the saying of the Holy
Bible, "The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." (Psalm 112:6) Abba Apollo
lived for many years after that and he had monasteries and many brethren.
He was a contemporary of St. Macarius the Great who, when heard about St. Apollo,
rejoiced. St. Macarius wrote him a letter to comfort him and the brothers and to
confirm them in their obedience to the Lord. Abba Apollo knew by the spirit that St.
Macarius was writing them a letter. There were many around him speaking the Word of
God. He said to them "Listen my brethren, behold the great Abba Macarius is writing
to us a letter full of comforting and spiritual teachings." When the brother arrived with
the letter, they received him with joy then read it and their hearts were consoled.
St. Apollo was the one who went to St. Ammonius and saw the holy woman who stood
in the middle of the fire but did not burn. When the Lord Christ wished to relieve him
from the labor of this world, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
25_2. On this day also was the consecration of the church of St. Julius El-Akfahsee
(Aqfahs). This saint was martyred in the city of Tewa. This took place after the
perishing of Diocletian and during the reign of Constantine, a short while before he
was baptized. When Constantine was baptized, the Christian kingdom spread and the
churches were built in the names of the martyrs that were slain by the infidel
Emperor Constantine heard the reports of St. Julius and how the Lord had chosen St.
Julius and preserved him along with his men to care for the bodies of the martyrs. He
carried their bodies, shrouded them, wrote their biographies and how they were finally
martyred. He sent each martyr to his home town.
The Emperor praised the strife of this saint and blessed his work. He sent much money
to Egypt, and commanded that a church be built for him in Alexandria. The church was
built and his body was transferred to it. The church was consecrated by the Patriarch
Abba Alexandros with some bishops. A feast was arranged on this day.
His intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Martyrdom of Saint Timon the Apostle.
2. The Commemoration of the Seven Martyrs on the Mount of St. Antonius.

. On this day, St. Timon the Apostle, was martyred. He was one of the 70
Apostles, who were chosen and distinguished by the Lord. This saint had the gifts and
the ability to heal the sick and to cast out devils. He followed the Lord until His
Ascension into heaven and after that, he continued to minister unto the disciples till
the grace of the Holy Spirit came upon them all. The Disciples elected him one of the
Seven Deacons who were appointed to serve tables. The Bible testified that they were
full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. (Acts 6:2-6)
After he had remained in the deaconate for a period of time, they laid the hands on
him, a bishop of the city of western Besra, in Greece. He preached the Lord Christ to
them and baptized many of the Greeks and the Jews. The Governor seized him, and
inflicted on him many tortures. He finally burned him and he received the crown of
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
26_2. On this day also is the commemoration of the Seven Martyrs. They were
martyred by the hand of the Barbers on the mount of the great Saint Abba Antonius,
the father of all monks.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Martyrdom of the Righteous Father Saint Macarius Bishop of Edkow (Tkoou)
On this day, the blessed father St. Macarius, Bishop of Edkow, was martyred. In this
holy man, the words of David the Prophet were fulfilled saying, "Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits
in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he
meditates day and night." (Psalms 1:1-2) This saint kept the commandments of His
Master; traded with his talents and gained. Many were the signs and wonders God did
through his hands.
In the city of Edkow, every time he went up on the pulpit to preach to the people, he
wept. When one of his disciples asked him the reason for his weeping, he answered
that he saw the sins of the people and their ungodly works. On another occasion he
saw our Lord Christ at the altar, and the angels bringing unto Him the works of the
people, one after the other. Anba Macarius heard a voice saying, "Why, bishop, are
you slack in preaching to your people?" He replied, "My Lord, they do not accept my
words." So the Lord said to him, "It is meet for the bishop to preach to the people and
if they do not accept his words, their blood be upon their own heads."
He was invited to go to the council of Chalcedon with Abba Dioscorus. On arriving at
the royal palace, the guards prevented him from entering because of his modest
clothes, until Abba Dioscorus told them that he was the bishop of Edkow. When he
had gone in and heard what the infidels were saying about the Lord Christ, he
excommunicated the Emperor in the council. He was ready to deliver himself to death
for the sake of keeping the Orthodox faith. They exiled him with Abba Dioscorus to the
island of Gagra. From there Abba Dioscorus sent him with a believing merchant to
Alexandria saying to him, "There you have a crown of martyrdom awaiting you." Shortly
after, he arrived in the city of Alexandria, the messenger of the Emperor arrived with
the new Chalcedonian creed which stated the two natures of Christ. The Emperor had
commanded him saying that, "He who writes his name first on this creed will be the
Patriarch of the city." In the city, the head of the priests was Brotarios. He took the
paper to write his name first but St. Macarius the Bishop reminded him of what Abba
Dioscorus had told him before he went to the council saying, "You shall possess my
church after me." Brotarios remembered that and refrained from writing.
When the Emperor's messenger knew that the Bishop disagreed with the creed of the
Emperor and did not write his name also, he jumped over the Bishop and kicked him.
St. Macarius died on the spot and thus received the crown of martyrdom. The believers
took his holy body and buried it with the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the
Prophet. That fulfilled what these two saints had told this father, the Bishop, in a
vision, that his body would be with their bodies. He departed to the Lord Christ
winning the crown of glory.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

Martyrdom of the Sts. Marcian (Marcianus) and Mercurius
On this day of the year 351 A.D., the great saints Marcianus and Mercurius became
martyrs. They were disciples of St. Paul the Martyr, Patriarch of Constantinople. When
Emperor Constantine II, the son of Constantine the Great, adopted the belief of Arius,
Abba Paul the Patriarch opposed him - so he exiled him to Armenia, where he was
killed by strangulation.
These two saints cried over St. Paul on the day he was exiled. They characterized the
Emperor, saying that he was a follower of the belief of Arius the Infidel. A certain
Arian man made an accusation against them to the Emperor when he was on one of
the plantations. He had them brought to him and ordered them slain with the sword.
They were killed and buried, and their bodies remained there until the time of St. John
Chrysostom (of the Golden Mouth). When he heard their history, he sent and brought
their honorable bodies to the city of Constantinople. He built a church for them and
transferred their bodies to it and celebrated a feast for them.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah

The Martyrdom of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica
On this day, the great St. Demetrius, was martyred, in the days of Maximianus the
Emperor. He was a pious Christian young man from the city of Thessalonica. He
learned various subjects, and most of all, those of the Orthodox Church. He taught
and preached diligently in the Name of the Lord Christ. He converted many to the faith.
Some made accusations against him to Emperor Maximianus who ordered that he be
brought to him. It happened that when he came before the Emperor, a wrestler whose
body was strong and huge, and who surpassed the people of his time in strength, was
present. The Emperor loved this man and was proud of him to the point that he
specified a large sum of money for whoever could vanquish him. A Christian man
whose name was Nostor came from among the people who were present at that time
and asked St. Demetrius to pray for him and to make the sign of the Cross with his
holy hand over his body. The saint prayed and made over him the sign of the Holy
which makes those who believed therein invincible.
Nostor went and asked to fight that fighter about whom the Emperor was boasting.
Nostor fought him and vanquished him. The Emperor was very sorry and ashamed. The
Emperor wondered how Nostor conquered him. He asked the soldiers for the secret
behind that. They told him that a man called Demetrius prayed over him and made the
sign of the Cross over his face.
The Emperor became angry with the saint and ordered that he be beaten until he
offered incense to his idols and worshipped them. When St. Demetrius disobeyed them
the Emperor ordered his men to thrust spears at him until his body would be torn to
pieces and he would die. They told the saint that to frighten him and make him turn
away from his faith in the Lord Christ and worship the idols. He told them, "Do
whatever you please, for I will neither worship nor offer incense except to my Lord
Christ the True God." The soldiers drove the spears into him until he delivered his pure
When they threw away his holy body, some Christians took it and laid it in a coffin
made out of marbles. The body remained hidden until the end of the days of
persecution, when the one who had hidden it revealed it. A great church was built for
him in Thessalonica, and they laid his body therein.
Many great signs were made by his name. Each day, sweet oil was distilled from his
body which cured those who used it with faith, especially on the day of his feast. On
his feast day, the oil flowed in a larger quantity than on any other day, and it dripped
from the walls of the church and the pillars. Though the gathering was huge, they all
received their share, from what they took off the walls and put in their containers.
Those of the righteous priests who had seen this told and testified to that.
His intercession be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Babah
1. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of St. Mark the
Evangelist and the Appearance of His Holy Head.
2. The Departure of St. Ibrahim (Ibraham) the Hermit.

. On this day is the commemoration of the consecration of the church of the pure
St. Mark the Evangelist, the founder of the church in Egypt, and the appearance of his
holy head in the city of Alexandria.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
30_2. On this day also, the great saint, the worshipper and fighter St. Ibrahim, the
hermit, departed. This father was from the city of Menuf, a son of rich, Christian
parents. When he grew up he longed for the monastic life. He went to Akhmeem and
from there he came to St. Pachomius, who put the monastic garb on him. St. Ibrahim
exhausted his body with ascetic practices and worship. He stayed with St. Pachomius
for 23 years, then he wished for the solitary life in some of the caves. St. Pachomius
allowed him to do so.
He made nets to catch fish. One of the laymen used to come, take the work of his
hands to sell it, buy beans for him, and give the rest of the money as alms on his
behalf. He led this life for 13th years; his food each evening was a handful of salted
beans soaked in water. Because the apparel that he went forth with from the
monastery was worn out, he covered himself with a piece of sackcloth (Khaish). He
went to the monastery every two or three years to partake of the Holy Communion.
The devil fought with him much at the beginning of his dwelling in that cave. They
disturbed him with strange voices and terrified him with fearful images. But with the
grace of God he used to overcome them and drive them away.
When his departure drew near, he sent the lay brother who used to serve him to the
monastery to bring Abba Tadros, the disciple of St. Pachomius. When Abba Tadros
came to him, he bowed down and asked him to remember him in his prayers. Then St.
Ibrahim rose up and prayed with St. Tadros. He laid down facing the east and gave up
his soul. When St. Tadros sent the news to the monastery the monks came and carried
him. Then they all prayed over him, were blessed by him and laid him with the bodies
of the saints.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
The Blessed Month of Babah