Coptic Synaxarium
The First Day
1. The Departure of St. Peter Elrahawy, Bishop of Gaza.
2. The Consecration of the Church of the Saint Abba Shenouda.

. This day marks the departure of St. Peter Elrahawy (the Iberian), Bishop of Gaza.
He was born in the year 409 A.D. in the City of Raha (Edessa) to a noble family. When
he was twenty years old, his parents gave him to the Emperor Theodosius II, to be one
of his attendants. But because he had forsaken the world and its glories, he practiced
asceticism and worship while living in the king's palace. He had parts of the relics of
the holy martyrs of Persia with him.
Abba Peter left the royal court and became a monk in a monastery. He fought a great
spiritual fight. Shortly after, they ordained him Bishop of Gaza and its surroundings,
against his will. It was said that when he celebrated his first Liturgy, blood flowed from
the Holy Body and filled the Paten.
Abba Peter took the body of St. James, the mangled, and relocated it to a monastery in
the city of Raha. When Marcian the Chalcedonian Emperor, started persecuting the
Orthodox Bishops, Abba Peter took the body of St. James and came to Egypt where he
dwelt in a monastery in El-Bahnasa. There he met the holy man Abba Isaiah the
After the end of Emperor Marcian's reign, Abba Peter went back to the land of Palestine
and went on confirming the believers.
One day while he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy, a few of the people present in the
church were conversing about earthly matters and were distracted from listening to the
prayers. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and reproached him because he did not
admonish those who were talking in the church.
Emperor Zeno heard of him and longed to see him, but was not able to do so because
Abba Peter did not like the glory of this world. Abba Peter went to the area between
Jerusalem and Damascus in Palestine, called Gaur.
On the feast day of St. Peter, 17th Pope of Alexandria, Abba Peter celebrated the
Divine Liturgy during which St. Peter appeared and told him, "Christ the Lord is calling
you to be with us." Abba Peter called the people and commanded them to be firm in
their Orthodox Faith, then he stretched out his hand and delivered up his soul in the
hands of the Lord.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
1-2. On this day also, is the commemoration of the consecration of the church of the
great saint, Abba Shenouda (Shenoute) the Archimandrite.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Second Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of the Saint Abba Hor, the Monk

This day marks the departure of the saint Abba Hor, the monk. This father was a
native of the city of Abraht, district of Ashmunein. He was a chosen monk that
surpassed many saints in his worship. He loved the solitary life so he lived in seclusion
in the desert. Satan envied him, so he appeared to Abba Hor and told him, "In the
desert you can conquer me because you are alone here, but if you are brave, go to
Alexandria and I will tempt you there." When Abba Hor heard that, he rose up
immediately and went to Alexandria. He remained there for a while drawing water for
the prisoners and the shut ins.
One day horses were galloping in the middle of the city, one of them hit a child and
killed him immediately. Saint Abba Hor was standing where the child was killed. Satan
entered the hearts of some of the people who were standing around and made them
shout saying, "The killer of this child was that old monk." Several people were passing
by and heard that. They gathered around and mocked Abba Hor. The saint, Abba Hor,
was not disturbed. He took the child in his arms, while praying to the Lord Christ in his
heart, then he made the sign of the honorable Cross over the child. The child's soul
returned to him, and Abba Hor delivered the child to his parents.
The people standing around marvelled and glorified God, and their hearts and minds
turned toward Abba Hor. Being afraid of vainglory, he escaped to the desert and stayed
there in one of the monasteries for the rest of his days.
When his departure from this futile world drew near, he saw the company of saints
calling him. He rejoiced exceedingly. He sent for his disciples, commanded them to
remain in the path of the ascetic life, and told them that he was about to depart to the
Lord Christ. They were sorrowful for his departure, and felt that they would be orphans
without him. After a short sickness, he delivered up his soul in the hands of the Lord.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Third Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Entrance of Saint Mary into the Temple at Jerusalem

On this day we commemorate the entrance of our holy Lady, the Virgin, Saint Mary,
the Theotokos, into the Temple when she was three years old, for she was dedicated to
God. Her mother, Anna (Hannah), was childless. The women who were in the Temple
stayed away from her. She was exceedingly sad and so was her husband Joachim who
was a blessed old man. She prayed to God fervently and with a contrite heart saying,
"If You give me a fruit, I will devote the child to Your Holy Temple." God answered her
prayers and she brought forth this pure saint and called her Mary.
She reared her for three years, after which she took her to live with the virgins in the
Temple. Saint Mary dwelt in the sanctuary for 12 years. She received her food from the
hands of the angels, until the time when our Lord Christ came into the world, and was
incarnated through her, the elect of all women.
When she had completed 12 years in the sanctuary, the priests took counsel together
concerning her, so that they might entrust her to someone who would protect her, for
she was consecrated to God and they were not allowed to keep her in the temple after
this age. They decided that she be engaged to a man who could take care of her and
who would look after her.
They gathered 12 righteous men from the house of David of the Tribe of Juda so they
might place her with one of them. They took their staffs inside the Sanctuary, and a
dove flew up and stood on the staff belonging to Joseph the carpenter who was a
righteous man. They knew that this was God's will.
Joseph took the holy Virgin St. Mary, and she dwelt with him until Gabriel, the Angel of
the Lord, came to her and announced to her that the Son of God was to be incarnated
from her, for the salvation of Adam and his posterity.
Her intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Martyrdom of St. Andrew the Apostle, the Brother of St. Peter

On this day, St. Andrew the Apostle, the brother of St. Peter, was martyred. He was
chosen to go to the city of Lydd and to Kurdistan. He entered the city of Lydd, where
most of its people had believed at the hands of St. Peter. He was accompanied by his
disciple, Philemon, who had a sweet voice and was a good reader. St. Andrew
commanded Philemon to go up to the pulpit and read.
When the priests of the idols heard of the arrival of Andrew the Apostle, they took their
spears and went to the church. They stood outside the church to hear if he was cursing
their gods or not. They heard Philemon reading the words of David the Prophet, "Their
idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not
speak: eyes they have but they do not see: They have ears, but they do not hear:
noses they have, but they do not smell: They have hands, but they do not handle: feet
they have, but they do not walk: nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who
make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them." (Psalm 115:4-8)
Their hearts rejoiced because of his sweet voice and their emotions mellowed. They
entered the church, and bowed down at the feet of Andrew the Apostle. He preached to
them and they believed in the Lord Christ. Then he baptized them with the rest of
those who worshipped idols. Andrew the Apostle, then left them and went to Kurdistan
and to the cities of Aksis, Aregnas and Henefores, to preach there.
He also went with St. Bartholomew to the city of Azrinos. Its people were wicked and
knew not God. They went on preaching and teaching them until they lead many of them
to the knowledge of God, because of the signs and wonders they performed before
them. Those who did not believe plotted against him. They sent for him so that when
he arrived, they would attack him and kill him. When their messengers came to St.
Andrew and heard his sincere teachings and saw his shining face, they believed in our
Lord Christ and did not return to those who had sent them. The unbelievers decided to
go to him and burn him. When they gathered around him to do what they had intended,
the Apostle prayed to the Lord, and immediately fire came down from heaven and
surrounded them. They were terrified and believed.
The report of St. Andrew the Apostle, was heard throughout all these countries and
many believed in the Lord. Nevertheless the priests of the idols did not cease looking
for him in order to kill him. Afterwards, they gathered and went to him; they bound him
and beat him severely. After they dragged him around the city naked, they cast him
into prison, so that they might crucify him the following day. Their custom was to stone
those who were to be killed by crucifixion. The Apostle spent his night praying to God.
The Lord Christ appeared to him and strengthened him saying, "Do not fear or worry for
the time of your departure from this world is near." He gave him peace and
disappeared. St. Andrew's soul rejoiced for what he saw.
On the next day, they hanged him upon a tree and stoned him until he departed.
Certain believers came and took his holy body and laid it with great honor in a private
grave. Many signs and wonders were made manifest from his body.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Departure of Nahum, the Prophet.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Victor (Boctor).
3. The Martyrdom of St. Isidore (Isidorus).

. On this day is the commemoration of the righteous Prophet Nahum, one of the
minor 12 prophets. He was born in the village of El-Kosh, one of the villages of Galilee.
He was of the tribe of Simeon, among the prophets, he was the 16th from Moses down.
He prophesied in the days of Amaziah the son of Joash, and in the days of Azariah, his
He rebuked the children of Israel because of their worship of idols and he revealed to
them that although God, the most High, is compassionate and abundant in mercy, yet
He is a jealous God Who will take vengeance on His adversaries. He prophesied
concerning the preaching of the Gospel and the apostles who should preach it, saying,
"Behold on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims
peace..." (Nahum 1:15)
Nahum prophesied about the destruction that would come upon Ninevah. That was
fulfilled since God had sent an earthquake and a fire which destroyed and burnt up the
people that returned from the way of righteousness and committed the sin. As for those
who were straight in their ways, no evil nor harm befell them.
When he completed his days in a life pleasing to God, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
5-2. On this day also St. Victor (Boctor) was martyred. He was born in a town, in the
province of Assiut, east of the Nile. He was appointed a soldier in the city of Shaou
(Shaw). During that time the Edict of Diocletian was issued to worship and raise
incense to the idols. When St. Victor refused to worship the idols, the Governor of
Shaou called him and tried to befriended him, but when he failed to persuade him, the
Governor finally cast him into prison. His parents came and encouraged him to face
Once again the Governor brought him from prison and ordered him to worship the idols,
but St. Victor refused. When the Governor of Shaou failed to make him renounce his
faith in the Lord Christ, he was enraged. He sent him to the Governor of the province of
Assiut, along with some soldiers, and a message informing him of what had happened.
When the Governor of Assiut read the message, he summoned Victor. When Victor
came before him, the Governor asked him, "Why did you disobey the Governor of Shaw?
Know, if you listen to me, I shall place you in a high honor, and I shall write to the
Emperor to appoint you as governor over one of the cities." The saint shouted with a
loud voice, saying, "The kingdoms of the world vanish, the gold perishes, the cloth
wears out, the beauty of the body will corrupt and be eaten by worms and will
disappear in graves, therefore I would not forsake my Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of
Heaven and Earth, and the Provider for everyone, to worship idols made of stone which
are inhabited by devils."
The Governor was enraged and ordered him to be tied to the tails of horses and be
dragged to the village of Ebesidia. There, they asked him again to worship the idols,
but he refused. The Governor ordered him to be killed by throwing him in boiling water
in the village of Mosha (Monshah), east of the village of Ebesidia (Ibsidya).
When they took him there, Victor asked the soldiers to wait in order that he might pray
first. He extended his arms and prayed to the Lord. The Angel of the Lord appeared to
him and promised him with many promises, and the everlasting blessings in the
kingdom of heaven. Then St. Victor looked to the soldiers and told them, "Finish what
you have been ordered to do." They bound him and cast him into the boiling water. He
endured to the end, completed his good strife, and received the crown of the Heavenly
Some Christians secretly recovered his body and hid it till the end of the Diocletian
reign. When they revealed it, the people who saw it testified that they found the body
whole, with not even one hair burned, and lying peacefully like a sleeping person.
They built a great church in his name, which still exists in the village of Mosha
(Monshah), province of Assiut. Many wonders and signs were manifested from his body
and still appear to this day.
His prayer be with us. Amen.
5-3. On this day also is the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Isidorus.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Departure of St. Abraam (Abraham), Ebn-Zaraa, 62nd Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Anatolius (Anatole).

. On this day, of the year 970 A.D., the saint Anba Abraam, 62nd Pope of
Alexandria, departed. This father was a descendant of the Christians of the East, whose
name was Ebn-Zaraa the Syrian. He was a rich merchant who visited Egypt often, then
finally settled there.
He was blessed with many virtues, including mercy to the needy. His reputation of
righteousness and knowledge became well known. When the Patriarchal Chair became
vacant, the bishops and the learned elders all agreed to choose him as Patriarch. When
he sat on the chair of the See of St. Mark, he gave all his possessions to the poor and
During his days, Cosman Ebn-Mina, the Coptic minister, was appointed a Governor over
Palestine. Before his departure to his new position, he entrusted one hundred thousand
dinars to the father, the Patriarch, asking him to hold them until his return. He asked
the Pope to give the money to the poor, the needy, the churches and the monasteries,
if he died there. When the news of the taking over of Syria and Palestine by Hafktin
(Kormati), reached the Patriarch, he thought that Cosman had died. He distributed that
money according to Cosman's instructions. But Cosman was saved from death and
returned to Egypt. The father, the Patriarch, told him what he did with the money, and
Cosman was glad and exceedingly happy.
Among his accomplishments was the abolition of some corrupt and erroneous customs.
He prevented and excommunicated everyone who took bribes from anyone for the
purpose of gaining a clerical position. He also strongly forbade the keeping of
concubines. When the people who were practicing that knew his orders, the fear of God
moved them, for they also feared that the Patriarch might excommunicate them.
They set all their concubines free and went to the Patriarch repenting, except for one of
the rich men of the country. This man did not fear God nor did he heed the fact that
this father, who chided him repeatedly and was very patient with him, would
excommunicate him. He did not return from his evil way and was not afraid lest God
should destroy him. In spite of that, this father did not slacken in teaching and
rebuking him. Furthermore he humbled himself like Christ, his teacher, and he went to
that man's house. When the man heard of the arrival of the Patriarch to his house, he
shut the door and refused to let him in. The father remained standing at the door for
two hours knocking but the man neither opened the door for him, nor did he speak to
him. The father realized that this wretched man had intentionally separated himself
from the flock of Christ and became a corrupt member.
The Pope saw it fit to cut him from the body of the church, so as not to corrupt the rest
of the body. He excommunicated him saying, "Let his blood be on his own head," and
then the Pope shook off the dust from his sandals at the door of the house of that
man. At this moment God manifested a sign before the eyes of those who were
present, for the doorstep, which was made of granite, had split in two. Later on, the
Lord showed his might, and the man lost all his wealth and he was fired from his
position in disgrace. He became ill which led to his death in a horrible way. He became
an example to the others; since many sinners learned a lesson and were afraid as a
result of what happened to him.
During the days of this father, El-Mu'izz, the Khalifa, had a Jewish Vizier; his name
was, Jacob-Ebn- Yousef, who adopted the Muslim faith (Islam). That minister had a
Jewish friend (Ebn-Killis), who used to go with him frequently to the Khalifa and
converse with him. That Jew took advantage of the favor that his friend had with the
Khalifa, and found this to be an opportunity to ask for the presence of the father, the
Patriarch, in order that he might have a debate with him. Abba Abraam came along with
Anba Severus Ebn-EI-Mukafaa, Bishop of Ashmunein. El-Mu'izz ordered them to sit, so
they sat down silently. He asked, "Why are you not debating?" Anba Severus answered,
"How can we argue in the presence of El-Khalifa, with a man who is less intelligent
than an ox?" El-Mu'izz asked for an explanation. Anba Severus said, "God has declared
by the mouth of the prophet, 'The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib:
but Israel does not know."' (Isaiah 1:3) They debated that Jew and shamed him with all
the unrefutable arguments that prove the soundness of the Christian faith. Then they
left El-Mu'izz with great honor.
The minister and his Jewish friend were not able to bear the insults. So they sought the
chance to take revenge of on Christians.
A few days later, the Jewish Vizier; Jacob-Ebn-Yousef went to El-Mu'izz and maliciously
told him, "Your royal highness knows that the faith of the Christians does not have a
sound base. Their Bible states, 'If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall
say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move.' (Matthew 17:20)
Prince of the faithful knows the falsehood of these sayings. And to verify this, we will
summon the Patriarch to give us the proof that their Christ's sayings are true."
The Khalifa thought to himself, "If the saying of Christ is true, that would be of great
benefit to us, for the Mukatam mount is too close to Cairo. If the mountain can be
moved away, that would make the position of the city greater than what it is now. If
the saying is not true, that will give us the justification to persecute the Christians."
El-Mu'izz called the father, the Patriarch, and placed this saying before him, and asked
for the proof of its soundness. The Pope asked for a three-day respite, which was
granted. When the Pope left El-Khalifa, he gathered the monks and the bishops nearby
and they all stayed in El-Mualaqua (the Suspended) Church in Old Cairo, three days
fasting and supplicating God.
Before dawn of the third day as Abba Abraam dozed off out of sheer weariness, our
Holy Lady, the Virgin, St. Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to him and told him to rise
up and go to the street which leads to the market. There he would find a one-eyed man
bearing a pot of water on his shoulder. She instructed Abba Abraam to tell him that he
was the man designated by God to perform this sign.
This holy man's name was Simon and he was a Tanner. The father, the Patriarch, took
him along with some of the priests, monks and people to see El-Mu'izz, who was out
with the government leaders and the nobles of the city nearby the Mukatam Mountain.
The father, the Patriarch, stood with those who were with him on one side and El-Mu'izz
and his entourage stood on the other side.
The father, the Patriarch, and the believers prayed and knelt down three times, and
every time they knelt, they said, "Kirya-layson" Lord have mercy. Whenever the
Patriarch and the congregation lifted up their heads after each bow, the mountain would
lift up and when they bowed down, the mountain was lowered down to the ground, and
whenever they walked, the mountain moved before them.
A great fear came on the Khalifa and his companions and many fell on the ground. The
Khalifa advanced on his horse toward the Patriarch and said, "O great teacher, I now
know that you are a holy man, ask whatsoever you wish and I will give it to you." The
Patriarch refused to ask for anything; but when the Khalifa insisted, he asked the
Governor to allow him to build churches, especially the church of St. Mercurius (of the
two swords) which was in Old Cairo. He wrote him a decree permitting the building and
the renovation of churches and he gave him a large sum of money from the treasury.
The Patriarch thanked him and prayed for him, but he refused to take the money. As a
result, El-Mu'izz revered and respected him more for his piety and righteousness. When
they started building the church of St. Mercurius, some evil men prevented them from
working, whereupon El-Mu'izz came to the sight and kept the troublemakers away. He
remained there, standing until they completed laying the foundation.
This father renovated many churches all over the See of St. Mark. When he completed
his course, he departed in peace after he sat on the chair for 3 years and 6 days.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
6-2. On this day also we commemorate St. Anatolius (Anatole - Patlas), the priest and
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. Matthew the Poor

On this day, St. Matthew the Poor departed. This father was the Abbot of a
monastery in Aswan Mount. He had great virtues. The Lord granted him the gift of
healing the sick and casting off of evil spirits.
Once they brought him a woman with an unknown sickness, which the doctors failed to
cure, but he knew her problem through the Holy Spirit. He asked her to confess before
those who were present. She confessed that she was married to two brothers at the
same time, as a result, she was afflicted by that illness. The saint prayed for her and
she was healed instantly.
He reached a degree of piety to the point that the beasts did not fear him and ate their
food from his hand. When he finished his course, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Departure of St. Heraclas (Theoclas), 13th Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of the Saints: Barbara and Juliana.
3. The Martyrdom of the Saints: Esi (Isi) and His Sister Thecla.
4. The Departure of St. Samuel the Abbot of El-Qualamon Monastery (Abba Samuel
the Confessor).

. On this day of the year 240 A.D., the holy father, Pope Heraclas, 13th Pope of
Alexandria, departed. He was born to pagan parents who believed and were baptized
after his birth. They taught him the Greek philosophy, then the Christian wisdom. He
also studied the four gospels and the epistles. St. Demetrius, 12th Pope of Alexandria,
ordained him deacon, then a priest over the church of Alexandria. He was successful in
the ministry and was faithful in all that was entrusted to him.
When Abba Demetrius departed, St. Heraclas was chosen as Patriarch. He shepherded
the flock of Christ well. He converted many pagans and baptized them. He devoted his
efforts to teaching, preaching and instructing the transgressors. He assigned to St.
Dionysius the work of judging between the believers, and taking care of their affairs.
Pope Heraclas sat on the throne of St. Mark for 13 years and departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
8-2. On this day also Sts. Barbara and Juliana, were martyred. Barbara was the
daughter of a noble man from one of the countries in the east, called Dioscorus, during
the days of Maximianus the Emperor, in the beginning of the third Christian century.
Because of his strong love for her, he built her a tower to live in. The saint always
raised up her eyes to the sky from the top of the tower and contemplated the beauty of
the sky and what was in it: the sun, the moon and the stars. She came to the
conclusion that they must have an able and wise maker and that would be none other
than the Almighty God who created them.
Origen, the scholar, happened to be in this area and was informed of the saint. He
went to her and taught her the principles of Christianity.
There were two windows in the bathroom and she ordered a third one to be opened and
a cross to be placed over the water basin. When her father came to see her and saw
the changes that were done, he asked her for the reason. She told him, "Don't you
know, my father, that with the Holy Trinity everything is complete, and here are three
windows in the name of the Holy Trinity. This sign is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
wherein was the salvation of the whole world. I ask you, O my dear father, to turn away
from the wrong way that you are in and worship the God Who created you."
When her father heard these words, he became angry, drew his sword and ran after her.
She fled, and he ran after her. There was a rock in front of her that split into two halves
and she went through. The rock then returned to its earlier state. Her father went
around the rock and found her hidden in a cave. He jumped over her like a wolf, seized
her and took her to Marcianus, the governor. The Governor talked to her kindly,
promising her many things. Then he threatened her, but could not take away her love
for the Lord Christ. Thereupon, he ordered her to be tortured with different kinds of
There was a damsel called Juliana, who watched St. Barbara while she was being
tortured and wept for her. Juliana saw the Lord Christ strengthening and comforting St.
Barbara; she was enlightened and believed in the Lord Christ. They cut off her head and
that of St. Barbara and they both received the crown of martyrdom.
St. Barbara's father perished shortly after and so did the Governor who tortured her.
The water of the basin that had the cross over it in the tower had the power to heal
everyone who washed with it.
They placed the bodies of these two saints in a church outside of the city of Galatia.
Years later, they relocated the body of St. Barbara to the church in Cairo which is
named after her to this day.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
8-3. On this day also was the martyrdom of St. Esi and his sister Thecla. They were
from the city of Abu-Sair, west of El-Ashmunein. St. Esi was a very rich man. He gave
the money which he earned from the shearing of his sheep to the needy.
When Esi knew that his friend Paul, whom he visited often for trading, was seriously ill
in the city of Alexandria, he went to visit him and remained with him until he recovered
from his illness. They both agreed to visit the saints who were in prison because of the
persecution. Some of the saints in prison prophesied that they would receive the crown
of martyrdom.
That was during the time when St. Victor, the son of Romanus (Ebn-Romanus) came to
Alexandria. When Esi and Paul knew of his good strife and of his renouncing of the
world, they wished to follow his example. Esi went to the Governor and confessed the
Lord Christ. The Governor ordered him to be tortured with the most severe kinds of
torture such as making him take off his clothes, binding and squeezing him, then
placing burning torches on his sides. They also ordered him to be cast on the ground
and beaten with whips, and to dismember parts of his body. Through it all he was
patient, and the Angel of the Lord strengthened him and healed his wounds. Paul, his
friend, was crying and praying along with his servants for Esi's sake.
The Angel of the Lord appeared to his sister Thecla and ordered her to go to her
brother. She went to the seashore and embarked on one of the ships. Therein, the
Virgin, the Mother of God, and Elizabeth, her kinswoman, appeared to her and
comforted her because of her brother. Elizabeth told her, "I have a son; they beheaded
him unjustly," and St. Mary told her, "I have a Son whom they crucified with envy."
Thecla did not recognize them at that time.
When she met her brother, they agreed together and went to the Governor confessing
the Lord Christ. He tortured them severely on the squeezing wheel (Hinbazeen), burned
them with fire, nailed them, and flayed the skin of their heads. But the Lord healed,
strengthened, and comforted them. When the Governor became weary of torturing
them, he handed them to his son, the Governor of the city of Antione (Ansena) in Upper
Egypt. When they had sailed for a short while, the wind died down so the boat stopped.
The Governor ordered the heads of Esi and Thecla, his sister, to be cut off and cast into
the weeds and the wild plants on the banks. They did so and thus they received the
crown of martyrdom.
The Lord commanded a priest called Abba Ori (Ari) from Shatanouf to go and take their
holy bodies. As for Paul, Esi's friend, and Ablanius, the son of Thecla, they were
martyred later on.
Their intercession be with us. Amen.
8-4. Also on this day the saint Abba Samuel, the head of El-Qualamon Monastery,
departed. He was born in the city of Dakluba, diocese of Masil, from holy parents and
he was their only child. Arselaos, his father, who was a priest, saw in a vision at night,
a resplendent man telling him, "Your son must be entrusted with a large congregation,
for he is chosen by the Lord to be His all the days of his life."
Samuel was pure from his youth, like Samuel the prophet, and he was always harboring
thoughts in his heart about the monastic life. One day he found a means to go to the
desert of Scete, but he did not know the way. The Angel of the Lord, in the form of a
monk, appeared to him and accompanied him as he was himself going to the
monastery, until they came to the desert of Scete. There, the Angel delivered him to a
holy man called Abba Agathon who accepted him as the Angel of the Lord instructed.
Abba Samuel lived with Abba Agathon for three years in total obedience in every way.
Later on, the holy old man Abba Agathon departed. Abba Samuel devoted himself to
many prayers and fasting. He fasted a week at a time. He was ordained a priest over
the church of St. Macarius in Scete.
An envoy came to the desert carrying Leo's Tome and when the envoy read it to the
elders, Abba Samuel became zealous, with the zeal of the Lord. He jumped up in the
middle of the gathered monks and seized the letter and rent it into pieces saying,
"Excommunicated is this tome and everyone who believes in it and cursed is everyone
who might change the Orthodox faith of our Holy Fathers." When the envoy saw this, he
became furious and angry. He ordered him to be beaten with pins and to be hanged up
by his arms, and that his face be smitten. One of these strikes enucleated one of St.
Samuel's eyes. Then he was driven away from the monastery. The Angel of the Lord
appeared to St. Samuel and commanded him to depart and to dwell in El-Qualamon. He
went there and built a monastery, lived in it for a while teaching those gathered around
him and confirming them in the Orthodox faith.
When El-Moquakas heard about Abba Samuel, he came to him and asked him to
recognize the Council of Chalcedon. When he did not listen to him, he smote him and
expelled him out of the monastery. He went and lived in one of the churches and after
a while he returned to the monastery.
When the Barbers raided the monastery, they took him with them on their way back to
their country. He prayed to the Lord Christ to rescue him from them. Whenever they set
him on a camel, the camel was unable to stand up with him on it, so they left him and
he went back to his monastery.
When the Barbers raided the wilderness again, they took St. Samuel with them to their
country. They had captured before Abba Yoannis the heagomen (Archpriest) of Scete. So
they were joined together and comforted each other. The captive of Abba Samuel tried
to persuade him to worship the sun. When he failed, he tied the leg of Abba Samuel to
the leg of one of his maidens and sent them to attend to the camels. He intended for
Abba Samuel to fall into sin with her and then he would submit to him, according to
Satan's advice. Through it all, the saint was gaining more courage and became
stout-hearted. He remained in these circumstances until the master's son fell ill and
was close to death; Abba Samuel prayed for him and the boy was healed of his
sickness. The news was spread all over this country and whosoever was sick came to
him; he prayed over him and anointed him with oil and the sick were healed.
His master loved him exceedingly, he apologized and asked for Abba Samuel's
forgiveness. He told him to ask for anything he wished. Abba Samuel asked to go back
to his monastery. His master allowed him to return.
When Abba Samuel returned, many of his sons gathered around him and they increased
in number until they became thousands. The Virgin, St. Mary, appeared to him and told
him, "This place shall be my abode forever," and from that day the Barbarians never
attacked this monastery again. Abba Samuel wrote many discourses and articles. He
prophesied concerning the coming of Islam to Egypt. When the time of his departure
drew near, he gathered together his sons and commanded them to be strong in the fear
of God, to walk according to His commandments and to fight for the sake of the
Orthodox faith till their last breath. Then he departed in peace.
May His prayers be with us. Amen.
On this day also is the departure of St. Yustus, the monk of St. Anthony's monastery.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. Poemin, the Confessor

On this day St. Poemin, the confessor, departed. He was from the village of
Bani-Khaseeb, district of El-Ashmunein. He was the steward of a rich man, whose wife
trusted him greatly. Because of his chastity and his righteousness, everybody loved him.
Because of his disdain for the vanities of this world, he left his work and went to a
monastery in this city wherein he became a monk. When the rich man, his employer,
knew about it, he and his wife went to him and asked him to come back to his job, for
they were sorrowful for his departure. When he did not go along with them, they
returned sad. The saint went on with his worship and asceticism, but he was not
satisfied with that, and longed to become a martyr by the shedding of his blood in the
Name of the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory.
He went to Ansena and found many Christians were being tortured for the Name of
Christ. He therefore went forward and confessed his faith. They tortured him severely
by beating him, burning him, by dismemberment of his body parts, and by squeezing
him on the Hinbazeen.
During all these tortures, the Lord Christ strengthened him and raised him up whole.
While he was suffering in this manner, the era of worshipping idols came to an end; for
Constantine the Just became emperor and ordered all those in prison, because of their
faith in the Lord Christ, to be set free.
The Lord Christ appeared to this saint and commanded him to make known to all the
saints in prison that the Lord, Whose Name be blessed, reckoned them among the
martyrs and called them the confessors. Emperor Constantine sent for 72 of them in
order to receive their blessings. They went to him along with St. Abanob, the confessor.
St. Poemin lived after that in a monastery outside the city of El-Ashmunein. God
granted him the gift of healing the sick and these reports spread in all the surrounding
districts. The Empress of Rome became sick with a grievous illness which was difficult
to treat. She visited many monasteries and churches but she was not healed of her
sickness. Finally she came to the city of Ansena, and the governor of the city and his
men accompanied her to the place where St. Poemin was.
When they informed him of the Empress' presence and expressed to him her desire to
see him, St. Poemin did not go out to meet her but said, "What have I to do with the
kings of the earth." When the brethren, the monks, besought him to go out to meet
her, he did so. When she saw him, she bowed down at his feet. The saint prayed over
some oil and anointed her and she was instantly healed of her sickness. The Empress
offered St. Poemin much money along with several expensive gifts but he did not
accept them, except for a few sacred vessels for the altar, a paten, a chalice, and a
cross of gold. The Empress returned to Rome glorifying God.
There was a holy bishop close to St. Poemin while he was celebrating the feast of some
martyrs with several believers in one of the monasteries. He knew that the Arian
heretics took a false bishop and lead many people astray. The bishop went to St.
Poemin and told him. St. Poemin took some monks and went where those heretics
were. He debated with them, explaining to them their evil counsel, and the Lord
dispersed them.
The saint went back to his monastery, until he became an old man. When he became
sick, he gathered the brethren and advised them, telling them that his time was
drawing nigh to be with the Lord. The brethren were sorrowful because of his
approaching separation from them. When he delivered up his soul, the brethren
swathed him and prayed over him. Many healing signs were manifested through his
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Tenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Relocation of the Body of St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch.
2. The Departure of St. Nicholas, the Confessor, Bishop of Myra (Mora).

. On this day, the body of St. Severus, Archbishop of Antioch, was relocated to the
Zogag Monastery. This holy man departed in the city of Sakha at the house of a
righteous wealthy man called Dorotheus, where he was hiding. Dorotheus sent the
body, in a ship, with trustworthy men to the Zogag Monastery, located to the west of
the city of Alexandria.
He commanded them not to enter the bay but to use the lake until they came to the
shore. When they came to Kartasa, facing north, they sailed towards the west, but they
did not find water deep enough to sail their ship and the crew was saddened and
God, the Lover of man, He Who saved the children of Israel from their enemies, and
opened up a way for them in the Red Sea and made them pass over, this same God
preserved the body of Saint Severus from those who hated him. God made manifest this
miracle. He made the ship sail in shallow water for six miles until they arrived to the
From there they took the body of the Saint, carried it to the Zogag Monastery and laid
it in the place which Dorotheus had built for it. There was great joy in the city of
Alexandria and God worked great signs and wonders through the body of His saint Abba
Severus. God honored St. Severus after his death even more than during his life.
His blessings be with us. Amen.
10-2. On this day also the righteous St. Nicholas, Bishop of Mora (Myra), departed. He
was from the city of Mora, his father's name was Epiphanius and the name of his
mother was Tona. They were rich, as well as God-fearing, people. They had no children
to bring joy to their hearts and to inherit their wealth after their deaths. They remained
without a son until they grew old and they were enveloped with despair. God had pity
on them and gave them this saint. He was filled with the Divine grace since his young
age. When he reached school age, he demonstrated, through intelligence and
knowledge, that he learned far more from the Holy Spirit than he did from his teachers.
He learned all the doctrine and the teachings of the church since his young age and was
ordained deacon.
Then he became a monk in a monastery wherein his cousin was the abbot. He lived an
ascetic and a righteous life, and was ordained a priest when he was 19 years old. God
gave him the gift to work signs and wonders and to heal the sick.
St. Nicholas is too illustrious to describe all the signs that were performed by his
hands, but an example of his good deeds and benevolent works follows:
There was a very rich man in the city of Mora who lost all his wealth. He had three
daughters who had passed the age of marriage, and he could not marry them because
of his poverty. Satan tempted the man to think that he should make his daughters live
in sin so that they might get their food by means of fornication. God revealed to St.
Nicholas the thoughts which were in this man's head, and what he intended to do. St.
Nicholas took 100 dinars of his father's money and tied it up in a sack. During the
night, secretly and without anyone seeing him, he threw the money into the window of
that poor man's house. When the man found the gold, he was astonished and rejoiced
exceedingly and was able to give his eldest daughter away in marriage. During another
night the saint threw another hundred dinars into the man's house and the man was
able to give his second daughter away in marriage. The man wanted to know who this
charitable person was. The third time when the saint threw the gold into the house, the
man was watching and immediately when he felt the drop of the sack, he ran out of his
house to see who was throwing the gold to him. He found the kind bishop St. Nicholas
and the man bowed down at his feet and paid him great homage and thanked him
because he saved his daughters from poverty and from a life of sin. The saint refused
to accept any thanks and asked them to thank the Lord Who put this thought in his
St. Nicholas drove out the devil and his angels from people, he healed many sick
people, and he blessed little bread to satisfy many people, with much more left over.
Before being selected bishop, he saw in a vision, a great throne and magnificent
vestments placed on it and a man said to him, "Put on these vestments and sit on this
throne." Another night he saw our Lady, St. Mary, giving him the vestments of the
priesthood and our Lord Jesus Christ gave him the Gospel.
When the Bishop of Mora departed, the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Archbishop
and told him the one who was chosen for this rank was Nicholas and described his
virtues to him. When he woke up he told the bishops what he had seen, and they all
believed that vision. They knew that it was from the Lord Jesus Christ. They took St.
Nicholas and made him Bishop over the city of Mora.
Shortly thereafter, Diocletian reigned, and incited the pagan worship. When Diocletian
arrested many of the believers, he heard about this saint. He seized him and tortured
him severely for many years. The Lord Christ strengthened him, protected him, and
raised him whole from all these tortures so that he might become a mighty branch of
the tree of faith. When Diocletian was tired of torturing him, he cast him into prison.
Saint Nicholas wrote to his congregation from prison to teach, encourage and confirm
them in the faith. He remained in prison until God perished Diocletian and established
the reign of Constantine the Just. Constantine brought out all the confessors from
prison, among them was St. Nicholas, who returned to his city.
When the Council of Nicea convened in the year 325 A.D. to judge Arius, he was one of
the 318 fathers assembled there.
Having finished his course and guarded his flock, he departed to be with the Lord. He
sat on the episcopal throne for more than 40 years, and all the days of his life were
about 80 years.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Eleventh Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of the Saint Abba Pijimi

This day marks the departure of the saint Abba Pijimi. He was a native of Feesha,
diocese of Masil. When he was 12 years old, and while he was shepherding his father's
sheep, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the form of a young man and told him,
"Let us go and become monks." Abba Pijimi agreed and went with him to the desert of
Scete; to a place where three elder monks dwelled, then the angel disappeared. The
saint dwelt with them for 24 years until they departed.
Then he left that place and went into the desert, a distance of three days travel. The
devils appeared to him in the form of wild beasts, pigs and serpents. They surrounded
him to devour him. He was able to discern their intent by the spirit. He prayed and they
were vanished. Then he lived in a valley there for three years, fasting a week at a time;
and at the end of the week, he ate a handful of dates and drank a little water.
He prayed the Lord's prayer: "Our Father, who art in heaven...", he recited it day and
night. Once he fasted for 40 days and another time he fasted for 80 days, to the point
that his skin cleaved to his bones. Then an angel brought him bread to eat and water
to drink. That bread and water lasted for many years.
Afterwards, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision at night and commanded
him to return to his city. Abba Pijimi built a small cell on the outskirts of his city. He
dwelt there alone, devoting himself to worshiping and asceticism. He became a good
model and a good example for everyone who saw him. The people of his town came to
him to be nourished with his spiritual teachings.
One day the angel of the Lord lifted him up and brought him to the land of Euphrates,
for its people had gone out of the Orthodox way. He converted them all to the Faith
and returned to his place.
Once he was carrying some baskets to the village to sell and he became weary and sat
down to rest. The power of the Lord lifted him up with his baskets and carried him to
where he wished to go.
One day the great saint Abba Shenouda saw an exceedingly shining pillar and heard a
voice telling him, "This is Abba Pijimi." Abba Shenouda went to him, walking until he
came to Abba Pijimi's city. They recognized each other through the divine guidance.
Abba Shenouda visited with him for a few days then returned to his monastery.
When the day of his departure from this world drew near, he called his disciple and
informed him of his departure and commanded him to bury his body in the place where
he was. He fell ill and was feverish and, while in this condition, he saw a company of
saints approaching him. He delivered up his soul into the hands of God. The angels
carried his soul and ascended with it, chanting hymns.
Abba Pijimi lived for 70 years, 12 years in the world and 58 in worship.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twelfth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Commemoration of the Honorable Michael, the Archangel.
2. The Departure of St. Hedra, Bishop of Aswan.
3. The Commemoration of St. John the Confessor.
4. Assembly of a Council in Rome Against Bena
tes (Novatus) the Priest.

12- 1. On this day is the commemoration of the honorable angel Michael, the
Archangel, who is standing before God the Almighty interceding on behalf of the human
race saying, "O Thou Who art not prone to anger, do not be angry. O Righteous One,
have mercy on Your creation. O Thou Who is long suffering, do not destroy the work of
Thy Hands."
His intercession be with us. Amen.
12- 2. On this day also, the great father Abba Hedra, Bishop of Aswan, departed. His
parents, who were Christians, raised him and taught him the fear of God since an early
age. When he was 18 years old, his parents wanted him to marry one of his relatives,
but he refused with the excuse that he was ill. That morning he went to church early,
prayed with the congregation asking the Lord Christ to reveal to him, through the
readings of the scriptures, what was His will for him. He heard what comforted him.
When he left the church, he saw a deceased person was carried and on his way to the
cemetery. He walked among the mourners, talking to himself saying, "Listen Hedra, it is
not this one that died but you yourself who died from this futile world." When they
arrived at the cemetery and buried the deceased, he did not go back to his home but
joined the monastery and lived among the monks.
When his family and friends heard what he did, they went and told him, "In so doing
you have brought grief to us and have saddened your fiancee's heart." They added,
"You can worship God in any place you desire." When they failed to change his mind,
they went back with grief-filled hearts for his separation.
Henceforth St. Hedra went on in intense worship, asceticism, continuous fasting,
uninterrupted prayers, and numerous metanias. He was a contemporary of St. Poemin
and became his disciple. St. Hedra was guided by Anba Poemin's teachings and his
good example.
Eight years later, he asked to live a solitary life in the desert. Anba Poemin asked him
to read the biography of the great saint Anba Antonius (Antony) the father of all
monks, in order to learn how to fight the evil enemy, Satan. When the elders allowed
him, he went in the desert until he found a cave wherein he lived. He lived there for
many years fighting the devil and his soldiers.
The devil tempted him frequently. One time the devil appeared with a sword in his hand
and wanted to cut off Anba Hedra's hands. The saint cried to the Lord and the devil
disappeared at once. One day he left his cave and when he came back, he found a huge
dragon in the cave. He prayed to the Lord saying, "My Lord and Master, if it is Your will
for me to live with this beast, so be it" He then looked at the dragon and found that it
was cut into three pieces.
He was in a continuous war with the devils, awakened during the night and unsettled
during the day, but the Lord saved him from them all. The defiled spirits cried saying,
"Woe to you Hedra for your prayers burnt us and expelled us from the wilderness."
He shut himself up in his cell. Nevertheless, they brought the sick and those with evil
spirits to him, he prayed over oil, anointed them with it, and they were healed
Syrian monks came to him, asking about unclear issues in the Scriptures (Holy Books).
He explained all to them and they marvelled at his knowledge, saying, "We have been
in many monasteries and mountains, visited teachers and philosophers, but we did not
find anyone to explain these issues as St. Hedra did."
When the bishop of the city of Aswan departed, some of the people of the city went to
the monastery. There they met the Syrian monks who praised St. Hedra highly. They
went to St. Hedra and took him, against his will, and travelled to Alexandria. Anba
Theophilus, Pope of Alexandria, ordained him bishop over them. When he sat on his
chair, he went on preaching to his people and teaching them the way of life. He
performed many miracles and lived the rest of his life in a good demeanor then
departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
12-3. Today we also commemorate the departure of St. John the Confessor.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
12- 4. Also on this day, of the year 249 A.D., a holy Council was assembled in the city
of Rome. This was in the first year of the reign of Decius, the infidel, and during the
days of Cornelius, Pope of Rome, Dionysius, Pope of Alexandria, Flavianus, Patriarch of
Antioch, and Germanus, Archbishop of Jerusalem.
They assembled to judge Novatus (Benates), a priest who said that whoever denied
Christ and forsook the faith in the time of persecution, will not be accepted when he
repents. Those who committed fornication shall not be accepted when they repent.
Abba Cornelius rebuked him for what he was saying, but he did not hearken. Abba
Cornelius gathered a Council of 60 bishops and 18 learned priests and deacons of Rome
to debate with Novatus his teachings.
These, he said were based on the words of St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, "For
it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly
gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of
God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to
repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an
open shame." (Hebrews 6:4-6)
The fathers replied and explained to him that the Apostle did not say this concerning
the man who repents but concerning the man who intends to be baptized every time he
is fallen into sin, for baptism can be carried on only once. Therefore, the Apostle went
on saying, "They crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open
shame." The Apostle here explains that since the crucifixion happened only once, so it
is for baptism. As for the door to repentance, it is open to every repentant, otherwise
everyone who falls in the sin of denying Christ or sins again will not be accepted even if
he repents.
That would mean then that David's repentance was not accepted, and when Peter
denied the Lord Jesus, his repentance also was not accepted. Therefore, the coming of
the Holy Spirit upon St. Peter would be worthless also, setting him to shepherd His
flock, invalid, and that would nullify every baptism he performed. On the whole,
according to Novatus' opinion, everyone would have perished and that is extreme
Christ the Lord came to the world to save sinners and to lead them to repentance for
He said, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)
All those who gathered against Novatus advised him to abandon his erroneous opinion
and repent for it. They told him, "Do not be an enemy of God, yourself and of all
mankind." Since Novatus did not relinquish his opinion, the Council exiled him, and
excommunicated him and all those who believed in his word.
The prayers of those saints be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Martyrdom of St. Barsanuphius.
2. The Departure of St. Abracius (Apraxios).
3. The Consecration of the Church of St. Misaeal (Misayil), the Anchorite.

. This day marks the martyrdom of St. Barsanuphius the monk in the early days of
the Islamic era in Egypt. He lived in the church of Mari Mina in the old district of Cairo
(Fum-El-Khaleeg). He worshipped God with dedication and piety. He fasted two days at
a time, praying incessantly with numerous metanias.
Some wicked people accused him of cursing the judges and the Muslim sheikhs. They
brought him and tortured him severely, then they finally cut off his head, thus St.
Barsanuphius received the crown of martyrdom.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
13-2. On this day also, the father St. Abracius (Apraxios) departed. He was from upper
Egypt and became a monk in one of the monasteries when he was 20 years old.
He fought a perfect fight until Satan grew tired of tempting him. Satan faced him
saying, "You still have 50 more years to live in this world," wishing by these words to
cast the saint into despair. The saint replied, "You have made me sorrowful for I have
thought that I had another hundred years to live and I have slackened in my fight and
in my worship. If this is the case, I have to fight harder before I die." In this way, he
overcame the devil that tried to put slackness in his heart.
He fought strenuously and departed in peace in the same year after spending 70 years
of worship and asceticism.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
13-3. On this day also we commemorate the consecration of the church of St. Misaeal,
the Anchorite. While Abba Isaac, the head of El-Qualamoon monastery, was sitting in
the monastery a young man came to him. Abba Isaac made the sign of the cross over
his face as is the custom of the monks and allowed him to draw near. The young man
came closer and prostrated himself before the saint and told him, "My father, Abba
Isaac, accept my weakness for the sake of the Lord Christ. Help me to save my soul
and count me among your children." The abbot marvelled, for he called him by his name
and asked him, "Who told you about my name?" The young man replied, "The grace
that dwells in you informed me."
The abbot asked Misaeal to sit down and he told him, "May God Almighty make you a
holy temple. And now tell me about yourself." The young man replied, "My name is
Misaeal. My father loved the world which kept him from worshipping God and he was
sad because he did not have children. One day he hosted a holy old monk and
expressed to him his sorrow for not having a child to inherit his wealth. The monk told
him, 'Reform your way with the Lord, the Lover of mankind, Who will give you a blessed
son.' He asked the monk, 'How can I go about that?' The holy old monk replied, 'Live a
perfect life and live according to the commandments of the church that are required of
the believers; do not stay away from the holy church and have a priest to consult with,
in all your affairs. If you do that, you and your wife will have what you wish.'" St.
Misaeal said, "My father did all that the holy old monk commanded, and his words were
fulfilled and my mother gave birth to a son, me."
"When I was six years old, my parents departed. The father, the bishop, took care of
raising me, he also took care of my education and of managing my money. When I
studied the Scripture, I longed for the monastic life, so I came here." The abbot was
pleased as a result of what the young man, Misaeal, told him. He entrusted him to one
of the elders in the monastery who trained him in asceticism, in worship and in the
fight in the spiritual life. Afterwards, they put on him the garb of the monastic life and
the holy Eskeem. From there on, he lived a solitary life in worship and asceticism.
One day, one of the brothers in the monastery came to Abba Misaeal. He found him
standing up praying and when he knocked at the door of his cell, he opened it to him.
They prayed together, blessed each other and sat discussing the ways to overcome the
evil enemy. St. Misaeal told him, "The devil flees away when our spiritual prayers are
sincere and warm." After they ended their spiritual talk, they praised God and the
brother left him. After a while that brother came to Abba Misaeal and found him praying
saying, "O Lord save me, look upon my meekness; wash me of my iniquities, for my
mother and father have forsaken me but the Lord accepted me." When the brother saw
how thin he was and how his skin cleaved to his bones, he cried and told Abba Miseael,
"Your body looks like it has been burnt." The saint told him, "I thank my God for he has
given me my eyesight and my hearing to read the Scriptures (Holy Books) and hear the
word of God and he also gave me the strength to stand as I pray."
When the abbot of the monastery heard about St. Miseael's asceticism, he came to
visit him. St. Misaeal told the abbot, "My holy father, after three days some people
looking like soldiers will come and ask you about me. Do not keep me away from them.
Do not be afraid or sorrowful for it is the Will of God. Also you should know that a
famine will happen next year and I shall come back to see you at that time." After a
while, the people resembling soldiers came, took the saint and left.
The abbot listened to what the saint said and he bought much of the grain. As St.
Misaeal predicted, the famine took place and wheat was in shortage. The Governor
came with his men to take whatever grains he might find in the monastery. Soldiers
appeared and prevented him from doing so and he went back empty handed. The abbot
welcomed those soldiers, thanked them and offered them food to eat. They told him,
"We do not need any of that food." One of the them came forward, took the abbot's
hand, and took him aside and told him, "I am your son Misaeal and those people who
look like soldiers are hermits who came last year and took me with them. I ask you now
to go to Abba Athanasius, the bishop of my town where I was raised; tell him about
me, and ask him for my father's money with which you should build a church in my
name. Then call our father, the bishop, to consecrate it."
The abbot did as St. Misaeal asked. He went to the bishop and took the gold, the
silver, many books and 500 heads of sheep from him. Besides, he also received fabrics,
jewels and utensils that belonged to the saint. The abbot tore down the saint's old
house, bought the land next to the house and built the church there. While the father,
the Bishop, was celebrating the consecration of the church, St. Misaeal and the fathers,
the hermits, came and attended the consecration prayers. St. Misaeal told the abbot of
the monastery, Abba Isaac, that he would depart from this world in the following year.
Then they went back to wherever they came from.
The prayers of these saints be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Fourteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Martyrdom of Saints Behnam and Sarah, His Sister.
2. The Departure of Saint Christodoulos.
3. The Martyrdom of Saints Simeon of Menouf, Abba Hor, and Abba Mina the Elder.
4. The Martyrdom of Saint Ammonius, Bishop of Esna (Latopolis).

. On this day, Saints Behnam and Sarah, his sister, the children of Sennacherib,
King of Persia, were martyred. One day Behnam was out with 40 of his slaves hunting
in the wilderness. He saw a huge wild beast, so he went after it for a long distance,
and he was separated from his slaves. Night fell upon him and he had to sleep in that
place. During his sleep he saw someone who told him to go to St. Matthew who dwelt
in that mountain and he would pray for his sister so that the Lord would heal her. His
sister was afflicted with an incurable disease, she was leprous.
When St. Behnam woke up and was joined by his slaves, they searched for St. Matthew
until they found him in a cave. He knelt between his hands, told him about the vision
and they asked him to accompany them to the city. Behnam went before him to the city
and told his mother about the vision and the presence of St. Matthew out of the city.
Because of her love and trust in Behnam she allowed his sister to go with him in secret.
When they arrived to where the saint was, he prayed for her and the Lord healed her.
St. Matthew preached and taught them the way of life. He prayed also and a spring of
water rushed forth and he baptized them in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit, the one God, then he returned to his cave.
When King Sennacherib knew that his daughter was cured, he called her and asked her
how she was cured. She told him, "The Lord Jesus Christ granted me the healing at the
hands of St. Matthew and not through the stars that you worship." The king became
angry and threatened to punish them if they did not change their noble opinion.
During the night, St. Behnam and his sister decided to go together to St. Matthew
before their deaths. While on their way secretly to the saint, surrounded by some of
their friends, their father became aware of what they were about to do, and he sent his
men after them. They found them on their way to the saint and they slew them. St.
Behnam, his sister and their companions received the crown of life in the Kingdom of
When the men that killed St. Behnam and his sister went back, they found the king
possessed by an evil spirit, which tormented him painfully. The queen sent for St.
Matthew, begging him to come. When he arrived, he prayed for the king and the Lord
healed him immediately. The saint preached to them, and the king and his wife, along
with all those in the city, believed. The king built a monastery for St. Matthew and
placed the bodies of St. Behnam, and his sister, his children, in it. St. Matthew dwelt in
it for a long while. The Lord worked many signs of healing and wonders through the
bodies of Sts. Behnam and Sarah, his sister.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
14-2. On this day also was the departure of St. Christodoulos the jeweler. He was from
the city of Ayn-Shems. One day a beautiful woman brought him a broken vessel of gold
and tried to tempt him. She uncovered her hands and told him, "Make rings for these
fingers, bracelets for these arms, a cross for this chest and earrings for these ears." He
replied, "Today I am ill and as for tomorrow, may it be the will of God." He closed his
shop, went home and started rebuking himself saying, "I am not any stronger than the
saints Anthony the Great or Macarius or Pachomius and the others that escaped from
this world and lived in the wilderness. O my soul escape from this world if you wish to
be saved."
He recounted what happened to him to his mother and he asked her with flowing tears
to allow him to go to the wilderness. She said, "If this was the case, as you indicated,
take me first to a convent where I can be a nun, and as for you, may the Lord be with
you." He took her to one of the convents and entrusted her to the head of the convent.
He gave her whatever money she needed, then he gave the rest to the poor and went
toward the mountain.
After walking three days, he saw three men, each one with a cross in his hand and a
shining light brighter than the sun shining from the crosses. He went to them, was
blessed by them and then he asked them to advise him as to what he should do to
save himself. They guided him to a valley which had fruitful trees and a spring of fresh
water. He remained there for many years in continuous prayers, and readings of the
psalms with many long fasts. He ate the fruits of the trees of that valley.
When satan failed to overcome him, he appeared to evil men, in the form of a
barbarian, and told them, "There is a great treasure in the valley. A man found it and is
living beside it. Come with me, I will show it to you." They followed him to the
mountain but they were not able to go down to the valley. The devil went in a monk's
attire to St. Christodoulos and told him, "On the top of the mountain, there are some
monks who lost their way; they are tired and will die of thirst. Go to them and give
them something to eat and drink so that they may survive." The saint made the sign of
the cross over his face as was the custom of the monks and immediately the devil
turned into smoke and disappeared. In this way, St. Christodoulos was always able to
overcome the devil with the sign of the cross.
He increased in his worship and he lived until a good old age. When the day of his
departure drew near, the three hermits who guided him to the valley came and prayed
together. After they blessed each other they told him, "The Lord sent us to write down
your biography for the benefit of others." He told them all that had happened to him.
After a short illness he departed in peace. They prayed over him and buried him.
His prayers be with us. Amen
14-3. Today also was the martyrdom of St. Simeon of Menouf in the days of the Arabs
and the commemoration of the martyrdom of Saints Abba Hor and Abba Mina.
Their intercession be with us. Amen.
14-4. On this day also the great father Abba Ammonius, Bishop of the city of Esna
(Latopolis), was martyred. He was extremely well mannered since a young age and his
virtues were well known. Anba Peter, Pope of Alexandria, ordained him a bishop over
the city of Esna.
Because of his strong desire for a solitary life, he built a monastery at the foot of the
mountain beside a spring of water. He prepared a cave for his stay all week and went
down to church on Saturday. He served the Holy liturgy on Sunday, met with his people,
preached to them and settled their disputes. He spent Monday with them also, then
returned to his cave to continue his worship and asceticism.
During his days, many of his people were martyred. When Arianus the Infidel went to
upper Egypt, on his way he persecuted Christians. He ordered them to worship idols and
those who refused were tortured and slain. He continued doing that until he reached
Esna, where he met four young men driving asses loaded with melons. One of the
governor's soldiers asked them about their belief. They answered, "We are Christians,"
so they seized them. When their mother knew what happened, she went in haste to
encourage them saying to the soldiers, "We love Jesus Christ and do not worship your
despicable idols." The governor ordered that she be cast into prison.
In the middle of the night the Virgin, St. Mary, appeared to this mother and told her,
"Know that my Son the Savior and the Lord has called you and your blessed sons
Sarous, Herman, Banouf and Bistay to the kingdom of heaven." St. Mary bid her peace
then ascended to heaven. The next morning the governor summoned them and asked
them to worship the idols but they refused courageously. As a result, he ordered that
their heads be cut off. That took place on the 6th day of the Coptic month of Bashans.
The believers took their bodies and hid them in their homes. Many wonders and signs
were manifested through their bodies.
There were also four notable persons who worked as tax collectors in the city of Esna.
While they were going over the account of their work with Arianus, one of them
mentioned the Name of Christ. Arianus became enraged and ordered that they be
tortured. When he saw their endurance, he ordered that their heads be cut off, so they
received their martyrdom on the 6th day of the month of Baounah. Many were martyred
along with them, women, men and monks.
When Arianus went to Armunt, two women called Thecla and Martha who were from
Esna went there in hast and confessed Christ before him. Arianus addressed the people
of Armunt around him and said, "Why did you say that there were no Christians in your
city?" They investigated and found out that the two women were from Esna. They went
to Arianus and told him that they were strangers and that they did not belong to their
city which loved the emperors and the gods (idols). Arianus ordered their heads to be
cut off, and that was on the 17th day of the month of Abib. As for St. Ammonius, the
angel of the Lord appeared to him when he was in the desert and told him, "Hail to you
Ammonius, the Lord accepted your prayers on behalf of your people and prepared
crowns for you. Arise, go down and preach to them and instruct them to be steadfast in
confessing the Lord Christ." The angel bid him peace and departed.
The saint arose and went down immediately to the city. He gathered the people,
preached to them and informed them of what the angel had told him. They all cried out
saying, "Our father, we are ready to withstand any suffering in the Name of the Lord
Christ, even unto death." That took place on the feast of St. Isaac, so he took his
people up to the Mount of Katoun, which means the mount of good things, to celebrate
the feast there.
Arianus departed from Armunt to a village called Helwan, west of Esna. All its citizens
came out and confessed the Name of Christ before him. He ordered them beheaded and
they received the crown of martyrdom. Then Arianus entered Esna and wandered in its
streets which were empty until he came to the southern gate which is called the gate of
thanksgiving, because Anba Armanius had prayed there with his people, the prayers of
Thanksgiving. There he found an infirm old woman who was left behind because she
could not go up the mountain with them. He asked her about the whereabouts of the
people of the city. She replied, "The people heard that the infidel governor was coming
to slay the Christians; so they went up to the mountain to celebrate the feast of St.
Isaac before they faced martyrdom." He asked her which one of the gods she
worshipped. She replied, "I am a Christian," and she was immediately beheaded.
Arianus then went out of the city going towards Mount Katoun, passing on the way
through the village of El-Mabgalah where he found a group of people who declared
themselves Christians and those he promptly beheaded. He continued through the
villages of Harmajahat and Seroya where he executed the Christians.
He executed every Christian he met in his way till he finally reached Mount Katoun
where all the people greeted him with one accord shouting, "We are Christians."
Arianus threatened them and as this had no effect, he ordered his soldiers to draw their
swords and to slay them all. Each one brought forth his daughter or his son to the
swordsman saying, "Go forward to the true bridegroom that does not die." They all went
to death saying, "We are going to the everlasting joy in the kingdom of heaven." They
fulfilled their martyrdom on the 19th day of the Coptic month of Abib.
On their way back to Esna, the soldiers met three men who were crying, "We are
Christians." The soldiers told them, "Our swords are dull from much use." So the men
told the soldiers, "Here are our axes." The soldiers took their axes and the men put
their heads on a stone beside the western gate of the city. The soldiers beheaded them
and the men received the crown of martyrdom. As for the bishop, Anba Ammonius, they
seized him and brought him before Arianus, and in rage he ordered the saint to be tied
behind the horses on their way to the boat which was sailing to Aswan. Then they
threw him in the stern of the ship. Arianus brought him out every now and then and
asked him to raise the incense before the idols but the saint refused. Finally he ordered
his men to burn the saint who received the crown of martyrdom on the 14th day of the
Coptic month of Kiahk.
The believers took his body which was untouched and unharmed by the fire. They
shrouded it and hid it until the end of the era of persecution. When the people of his
diocese came to transfer the body to their city, they heard a voice from the body
saying, "This is the place that God chose for me."
The prayers of all these saints be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Fifteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. Gregory, Patriarch of the Armenians

This day marks the departure of St. Gregory, the Patriarch of the Armenians who
was a martyr, without bloodshed (A Confessor). This saint, as it was mentioned on the
19th day of the Coptic month of Tute, was tortured by Tiridates, the Armenian king, in
the year 272 A.D. for disobeying the king and refusing to worship the idols. The king
cast the saint into an empty pit where he lived for 15 years, during which God took care
of him.
Near the pit lived an old widow, who saw, in a vision, someone telling her to make
bread regularly and cast it into this pit. She continued to do so for 15 years. Because of
the length of time, no one in his congregation knew if he was alive or dead.
When the king killed Arbsima, the virgin, and all the virgins who were with her, he also
ordered that their bodies be cast away on the mountains. Later on he regretted what he
did for he wanted to marry Arbsima.
When the king's family and close advisers saw how he grieved for killing St. Arbsima,
they advised him to go out for hunting to recreate himself. While he was riding his
horse the Devil jumped on him and cast him on the ground. King Tiridates became
possessed with an evil spirit and assumed the appearance and manners of a wild boar,
to an extent that no one was able to go near him safely. Many of the people of his
kingdom had the same fate. Great fear and crying was heard all over the palace and the
kingdom as a result of what had happened to the king and many others as a result of
what the king did to the virgins.
The king's sister saw a vision on three consecutive nights. A man was telling her that
unless she brought St. Gregory out of the pit, the King would not be saved nor would be
cured. The people were surprised, since they believed that he was dead. They went to
the pit and dropped a rope and called his name. When the saint moved the rope, they
knew that he was still alive, they asked him to tie the rope around him and they pulled
him out.
The people took the Saint with great honor to the palace. They asked him to heal the
king of his sickness. The Saint asked him if he would go back to his evil deeds. When
the king expressed no intention of going back to his evil works, the saint prayed for
him, and the evil spirit departed from him. His personality and his mind were restored,
but he was not completely cured. The nails of his hands and feet remained like those of
a boar as a punishment and as a reminder to him of what he was and in order for him
not to go back to his evil works.
The saint inquired about the whereabouts of the bodies of the virgins. He went and
found them undecayed and he placed them in an honorable place.
St. Gregory cured all who were sick and cast out many devils. The king and his people
believed. He taught and baptized them. He built many churches, ordained bishops and
priests for them and he instituted laws for them to follow.
When he completed his strife, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Sixteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Departure of the Righteous Gideon, One of the Judges of Israel.
2. The Martyrdom of Saints Harouadi, Ananias and Khouzi.
3. The Consecration of the Church of St. James, the Persian.

. On this day, of the year 1349 B.C., the righteous Gideon, one of the Judges of
Israel, departed. He was from the tribe of Manasseh and his father's name was "Joash".
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man
of valor." (Judges 6:13) Gideon said to him, "O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then
has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us
about saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken
us and delivered us into the hands of Midianites." Then the Lord turned to him and
said, "Go in this might of yours and you shall save Israel from the hand of the
Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel?
Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my Father's house."
The Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as
one man." Then Gideon said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show
me a sign that it is You Who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come
to You and bring out my offering and set it before You."
He said, "I will wait until you come back." Then Gideon went in and prepared his
offerings and brought them out to Him and presented them. And they were accepted.
(Judges 6:11-21) The Lord then commanded him to destroy the idols and their altars
and to build an altar for the Lord and to offer the sacrifices and burn them with the
wood, of which the idols were made. He did so as the Lord commanded him. (Judges
When God commanded him to fight the Midianites, he asked Him to show him a sign to
encourage him and said, "Look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if
there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that
You will save Israel by my hand as You have said." And it was so.
Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more;
Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the
fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew." And God did so that night. (Judges
Then Gideon and all the people who were with him rose up early and encamped
opposite the camp of the Midianites. The Lord said to Gideon, "The people who are with
you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory
for itself against Me saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' Now therefore, proclaim in
the hearing of the people saying, 'Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart
at once from Mount Gilead.'" Twenty-two thousand of the people returned and ten
thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Bring them down to the
water and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you,
'This one shall go with you,' the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you,
'This one shall not go with you,' the same shall not go."
So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, "Everyone
who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself;
likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." The number of those who
lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men, but all the rest of
the people got down on their knees to drink water.
Then the Lord said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped, I will save you
and deliver the Midianites into your hand." (Judges 7:1-7) With this number of people
Gideon overcame the Midianites and the people with him captured the loots and gave
them to Gideon and they put him in charge of them. The Lord God was with Gideon in
all that he did. He departed and was buried in the tomb of his father.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
16-2. On this days also, St. Harouadi, St. Ananias and St. Khouzi, who were from
El-Fayyoum (in other texts, Akhmim), were martyred.
Their prayers be with us all. Amen.
16-3. Also, on this day is the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St.
James the Persian, known as the mangled.
His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Commemoration of the Departure of St. Luke the Stylite and the Relocation of
His Holy Relics

On this day we commemorate the departure of St. Luke, the Stylite, and the
relocation of his holy relics. He was born in Persia, to Christian parents. He became a
soldier and was promoted until he became a centurion (an officer over a hundred
Later in his life, he wanted to live a solitary life. He left the world and all its vainglory
and became a monk in one of the monasteries of the east. When his virtues were
known, he was ordained a priest for that monastery.
From this time on, he devoted himself to the ascetic life in continual prayers and
fasting. He used to fast six days at a time and then break his fast on the seventh day
after Mass, by eating a "Korbana" and some green pulses (beans). Then he lived on the
top of a high rock for 3 years. One day, he heard the voice of an angel calling him by
his name to go down. When he went down, the angel showed him a cross of light. He
followed the voice and the cross went before him until he came to some mountains.
There he stayed for some time, teaching his visitors the way of salvation.
He was inspired by God to go near Constantinople. He went and dwelt in a village
nearby, on the top of a rock, in the shape of a pillar, for 45 years fighting the spiritual
fight. God granted him the gift of prophecy and the gift of performing miracles. He
healed everyone who went to him.
When he completed his holy course, he departed on the 15th day of Kiahk. His disciple
went and told the Patriarch about his departure. The Patriarch went with the priests,
crosses and censors and came to where the body of the saint was. They carried him to
Constantinople on the third day of his departure, with hymns and prayers, and they
placed him in the sanctuary and that was on the 17th day of Kiahk. After they prayed
on him the third day prayer and the believers present received the blessing of his pure
body, they put him in a marble sarcophagus next to the bodies of the saints. God
revealed many signs and miracles from his body.
His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Eighteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Commemoration of the Relocation of the Relics of St. Titus to Constantinople.
2. The Commemoration of St. Heracleas the Martyr and St. Philemon the Priest.

. On this day, the relics of the great St. Titus, the Apostle, and the disciple of St.
Paul, were transferred from Crete to Constantinople at the order of Emperor
Constantine the great. When Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, he paid his
attention to the affairs of the churches in his empire, decorating them with the best
paintings and precious stones, especially those churches in Constantinople, the capital
of his empire. He also wanted to enrich the churches with the precious spiritual jewels,
by collecting the relics of the saintly apostles and the honored
When he heard that the relics of St. Titus were on the island of Crete, he sent some
bishops there, and they carried the relics with great honor and brought them to
Constantinople. He built for it a splendid sanctuary, placed the body in a coffin which
was placed inside the sanctuary.
God honored this saint by manifesting many miracles and signs from his sacred relics.
Among them, when they carried the relics to the Sanctuary (the Hekal) of the church,
the stone coffer fell on and broke the foot of one of the carriers. The man took some of
the oil of the lamp (Kandeel) that was hanging in front of the icon of the saint, and
anointed his foot with it, then wrapped it.
He remained in the church that night beside the coffer, for he could not go to his home.
The following morning, his foot was cured. What remained on it were only traces of
blood. He and all those who saw him marvelled. He washed the blood and walked on
his feet as usual without pain, glorifying the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the
One God, and witnessing to this miracle.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
18-2. On this day also, the church commemorates Saint Heracleas, the martyr, and the
hermit, St. Philemon the priest.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. John, Bishop of El-Borollos Who Gathered the Biographies of
the Saints (The Synaxarion)

On this day St. John, Bishop of El-Borollos, departed. He came from a wealthy
family and from priestly ancestors. His parents were charitable and gave generously to
the poor. When they died, St. John took the money they left and built a hostel for
strangers. He gathered the sick, served them himself, and offered them what they
Once a monk visited him and saw his good deeds, he praised him and praised
monasticism in his presence, showing him its honor. The saint was attracted to the
monastic life and he had a deep love in his heart for it. After the monk departed, the
saint distributed his wealth among the poor and went into the wilderness of "Shiheet"
(Scetis). He became a monk under the guidance of St. Daniel the archpriest of the
wilderness. St. John was known for his zeal for worship and for his great asceticism. He
lived alone in a secluded building. Satan and his soldiers envied his good deeds, and
they gathered against him and painfully beat him. He was sick for so many days, after
which the Lord Christ healed him. He regained his strength and overcame the devil.
God then called him to become a bishop of Borollos. At this time, there were some
heresies and he made a great effort to eradicate them, and converted the heretics to
the Orthodox Faith. Also in his time, a monk from upper Egypt claimed that he could
reveal certain things which were imparted to him by the Archangel Michael, and he
misled many by his deception. St. John saw that the monk's deeds were from the devil.
He commanded that the monk be beaten until he confessed his sins and he drove him
out of the country. Another claimed that Habakkuk, the prophet, appeared and revealed
hidden things to him and, as a result, he was followed by many. St. John drove him out
of the country, after he had exposed his deception. He also put an end to the use of
several bad books.
Every time this saint went up to the sanctuary (Hekal) to serve the divine liturgy, his
face and all his body were flushed red, as though he came out of a fiery furnace, and
his tears poured heavily on his cheeks, for he was beholding the heavenly hosts on the
altar. Three times when he placed his finger in the chalice to make the sign of the
Cross during the fraction prayer, he found that the cup was as hot as fire.
Furthermore, in his days, some infidels were partaking of the Holy Mysteries without
having fasted. The saint rebuked them, but since they did not hearken to him, he
excommunicated them and forbade them from the fellowship of the church. When they
disobeyed his order, he entreated God, so fire came down from heaven, and the fire
burned their leader. Fear fell upon the rest and they repented.
When the Lord wanted to repose him from the toil of this world, He sent to him St.
Antony and St. Macarius to tell him of the day of his departure. He called his people
and commended them then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twentieth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of the Upright Haggai the Prophet

On this day, the upright Haggai, the Prophet, departed. This righteous man was a
descendant of Aaron, the priest, and from the tribe of Levi. He was one of the twelve
minor prophets. When King Nebuchadnezzar captured the Jews of Jerusalem and took
them to Babylon, the parents of this prophet were among them, and he was born in
exile. This prophet returned to Jerusalem along with Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
governor of Judah and the rest of the people of Israel. He prophesied in the second
year of the reign of Darius, King of Persia, who reigned in the year 3484 of the world
and that was 15 years after the return of the people of Israel from the Babylonian exile.
This prophet directed his prophecies by the command of God to Zerubbabel, then to
Joshua the son of Jehozidak, the high priest. He incited the Jews to complete the
rebuilding of the temple of Solomon, the son of David. They had started rebuilding the
temple after they returned from captivity, then they abandoned it to build their own
homes. The prophet rebuked them saying, "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your
paneled houses and this temple to be in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of
hosts, 'Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do
not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but
no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag of holes.'"
(Haggai 1:4-6) Those who were upright amongst the people of Israel feared the threats
of the Lord and built the house of the Lord as they were supposed to. Haggai the
prophet had announced to the people after they finished building it, that the Lord was
pleased by that.
This prophet lived more than 70 years, and he was 430 years before the advent of our
Lord Christ. He departed in peace and was buried in the tomb of the priests in
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-First Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Commemoration of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Barnabas, One of the Seventy Apostles.

. On this day the church celebrates the commemoration of the pure lady, the
Virgin, St. Mary, the mother of Light, the mother of the Savior of the world.
Her intercession be with us. Amen.
21-2. On this day also, St. Barnabas, one of the seventy apostles, was martyred. He
was from the tribe of Levi. His ancestors left Judea long before he was born and moved
to the island of Cyprus. His name was Joses. Our Lord, to Whom is the glory, gave him
the name "Barnabas", which means son of "encouragement" or "consolation", when He
called him to become an apostle. He received the gift of the Holy Spirit in the upper
room with the disciples. He preached the gospel with them and witnessed to the Name
of Christ.
He had a field which he sold and brought the price and placed it at the feet of the
apostles. (Acts 4:36-37) The apostles honored him for his many virtues and for his
honesty. When St. Paul believed in the Lord Christ, St. Barnabas presented him to the
rest of the disciples in Jerusalem, three years after his conversion. St. Barnabas told
the apostles how the Lord appeared to St. Paul near Damascus and attested to his zeal
before them. The apostles accepted St. Paul in their fellowship. The Holy Spirit said to
the disciples, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have
called them." (Acts 13:2)
St. Paul and St. Barnabas travelled together to many countries preaching the Name of
the Lord Christ. When they entered Lystra and St. Paul healed the man who was
crippled from his mother's womb (Acts 14:8-18), the people of Lystra thought that they
were gods, and they brought oxen and garlands to the gates intending to sacrifice them
at the feet of the apostles. St. Paul and St. Barnabas forbade them and rejected the
glory of men. They tore their clothes saying that they were men with the same nature
as they.
After they travelled together to many cities, they were separated from each other. St.
Barnabas took with him St. Mark and went to Cyprus. They preached there and
converted many people to the faith of the Lord Christ and baptized them. The Jews
resented them. So they falsely accused them before the governor. They seized St.
Barnabas and brutally beat him, then they stoned him and finally burnt his body with
fire. Thus, his strife was completed and he received the crown of martyrdom. After the
people had left, St. Mark came and carried the body, wrapped it, and placed it in a cave
in Cyprus. St. Mark then went to Alexandria to preach there.
The prayers of these two apostles be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Second Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Commemoration of the Archangel Gabriel.
2. The Departure of St. Anastasius, 36th Pope of Alexandria.

. This day marks the commemoration of the honorable archangel Gabriel, the
announcer, the consecration of his church in Caesaria and the appearance of many
miracles in it.
He was the angel who was sent to the Virgin Mary to announce her with the glorious
birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. He came to her and said, "Rejoice, highly favored one,
the Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28) He also announced the birth of John the Baptist to
Zacharias. (Luke 1: 11-22) As much as this announcement has of great joy and
gladness, we should also rejoice in his feast and pray intently with supplications,
asking for his intercession before God, to preserve us from being ensnared by the devil
and to grant us salvation from our sins.
The intercession of this honored angel be with us. Amen.
22-2. On this day also of the year 611 A.D., St. Anastasius, 36th Pope of Alexandria,
departed. He was one of the great noblemen of Alexandria. Before he became a Pope,
he was an overseer of the patriarchal court, then he became a priest for the church of
Alexandria. Shortly afterwards, he was chosen to be Pope.
He devoted much of his attention to the churches and he ordained bishops and priests
to fill the vacant posts. He built several churches and regained from the "Melkites"
(those who were appointed by the Roman Emperor) those that they took over by force.
Because he was loved by them for his knowledge, virtues and righteousness, he
brought many of them back to the Orthodox faith.
When the Emperor of Constantinople died, some wicked people spoke evil of the Pope
to his successor, that when the Pope was ordained he anathematized
(excommunicated) the Emperor and his belief. The Emperor was enraged and sent to
the Governor of Alexandria, commanding him to take the church of "St. Cosmas and St.
Damian" and all its properties by force and to give it to the Roman Patriarch "Ologius".
St. Anastasius was exceedingly sad, but the Lord comforted him in another matter.
Peter, the heretic, Bishop of Antioch, died. A well informed saintly monk called
Athanasius of the Orthodox Faith was ordained in his place. As soon as Athanasius
became Patriarch, he renewed the union between the Church of Antioch and the Church
of Alexandria. He wrote an epistle, stating in it his Orthodox faith, and sent it to St.
Anastasius, who rejoiced and gathered the bishops and the priests and read it to them.
He wrote back to Abba Athanasius indicating his desire to see him.
Abba Athanasius went to Alexandria with his bishops and priests. When Abba
Anastasius learned of his arrival, as he was in "Scetis", he departed to Alexandria. He
went directly to the sea along with the bishops and priests to receive Abba Athanasius
and welcome him to Alexandria with great respect and honor. They held a council in one
of the monasteries that was at the sea coast, which lasted one month, to discuss the
doctrines of the church. Then, the Antiochian Patriarch went back to his See in peace.
St. Anastasius continued to teach his flock in person and through his books. Because of
his great knowledge, he was able to write a book every year. He remained on his throne
for 12 years, 6 months and 10 days. During this period, he wrote twelve books and gave
them the Coptic alphabet as titles. His first book was Alpha (&), his second was Beta
(B) and so on, then he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Third Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Departure of David, the Prophet and King.
2. The Departure of St. Timothy, the Anchorite.

. On this day, of the year 2990 of the world, the great King and the saintly
honored prophet David, the son of Jesse, departed.
He was the second king over the children of Israel and the first among their kings to
walk in virtue and in justice. He was from the tribe of Judah from Bethlehem. God chose
him to be a king over Israel, when Saul, the son of Kish, disobeyed the commandment
of God.
God commanded the Prophet Samuel to anoint for Him one of the children of Jesse, a
king over Israel. Samuel chose the eldest son who had a good appearance and was tall
in stature, but God rejected him and said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or
at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man
sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I
Samuel 16:7)
Jesse called all his sons and showed them to Samuel and he chose David and anointed
him king. God was with him in all his ways, for his purity of heart and his meekness. He
overcame Saul who wanted to kill him on several occasions. Once Saul went out to kill
David and he went into a cave to attend to his needs. David came to him secretly and
cut off a corner of Saul's robe (I Samuel 24:4) to show him that he wouldn't stretch his
hand to kill him. Another time David found him sleeping and he took his spear and a
jug of water that was by his head and did not hurt him and spared his life for the
second time. (I Samuel 26:1-25) When David's men told him to destroy Saul, David
said, "The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed." (I
Samuel 26:11)
When a man announced to David the news about the death of his rival Saul saying, "I
stood over him and killed him," David took hold of his own clothes and tore them and
he mourned him. David called one of the young men and said, "Go near and execute
him," (2 Samuel 1: 11-15) and he struck the man so that he died.
God honored this Prophet over all mankind, for he had many virtues. Besides the virtue
of humility, he was a prophet, a righteous man, and a just king. In spite of that, he
called himself a "dead dog" and a "flea". (I Samuel 24:14) God praised him by saying, "I
have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."
(Acts 13:22; Psalms 89:20; 1 Samuel 13:14) God protected Jerusalem for his sake
during his lifetime and after his death, and He made the kings of the people of Israel
from his seed, and He called Himself "his Son." He prophesied in the Book of Psalms,
which is a book full of useful teachings and good instructions. David's might and power
were supported by God. When he was young and guarding his father's sheep, once a
bear and another time a lion attacked his sheep and David killed both the bear and the
When the army of Israel faced the army of the Philistines and Goliath, the champion of
the Philistines, whose height was six cubits and a span, and who was armored with a
bronze helmet on his head and a coat weighing five thousand shekels of bronze, and he
had bronze grieves on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders and the staff
of his spear was like a weaver's beam and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred
shekels; Goliath went out, stood up and cried out to the armies of Israel, "I defy the
armies of Israel this day; give us a man that we may fight together." The Philistine
presented himself for forty days, morning and evening. All of Israel heard these words
and were dismayed and greatly afraid.
When David came to visit his brothers and brought provisions to their camp, he saw
and heard Goliath. David was moved with divine zeal and said to him, "You come to me
with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the Name of the
Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." David took out a
stone and he slung it and he struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone
sank in his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground. David ran and stood over the
Philistine, took his sword and cut off his head and removed the reproach of Israel. (I
Samuel 17)
David lived 70 years, 30 years of which were before he became a king. He was born one
thousand, one hundred and twenty years before Christ.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
23-2. On this day also, the fighter, St. Timothy the Anchorite (Pilgrim), departed. He
was born of God-loving parents, who educated and raised him according to the church
disciplines. He desired the monastic life and became a monk in one of the monasteries.
He loved the solitary life and lived in a cell alone near the monastery. He lived there for
some time, making a living from his handiwork.
The enemy of everything that is good tried to deceive him by appearing to him in the
form of a nun who approached him to buy his handiwork. Because of her frequent visits,
a special relationship developed between them. They sat to eat together at one table.
After a short time, the saint realized the trick of the devil to make him fall in sin. He
remembered the hour of death and the awesome nature of Judgement; consequently,
he arose and took flight from that place. God guided him to another place with a spring
of water and a palm tree. He stayed there
practicing worship and asceticism. He reached a great level in his ascetic life, to the
extent that the wild beasts befriended him. This continued for 30 years, during which
his hair became very long and spared him of wearing clothes.
When he finished his course and fought the good fight, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Martyrdom of St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Antioch.
2. The Departure of St. Philogonus, Patriarch of Antioch.
3. The Birth of St. Takla Haymanot, the Ethiopian.

. On this day, the honorable St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Antioch, was martyred. He
was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist and travelled with him to many cities. St. John
ordained him Patriarch of Antioch where he preached the life giving Gospel, converted
many to the knowledge of God, baptized them, illumined them, and showed them the
error of worshipping idols.
The pagans were enraged, they seized him and tortured him with various tortures. They
put burning coals in his hands and pressed his hands for about two hours. Then they
burnt his side with red hot pitch and burning oil. They combed his body with iron combs.
When they became tired of torturing him, they cast him in prison where he stayed for a
long time. When they remembered him, they brought him out and promised him great
rewards and then threatened him. As he was steadfast in his faith, they threw him to
the wild beasts and they devoured him and rendered him into pieces. He delivered up
his pure spirit in the hand of the Lord Whom he loved.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
24-2. On this day also, St. Philogonus, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. This saint was
married and had a daughter. When his wife died, he became a monk. For his great
virtue, his bountiful knowledge, his ascetic life, and his deep devotion, he was chosen
Patriarch over the city of Antioch. He shepherded the flock of Christ well and protected
it from the Arian wolves and the followers of Macdonius and Sabilius.
As a patriarch, he lived in piety and asceticism, renouncing the world, and never owning
one dinari or a second tunic. He completed his strife and departed in peace. St. John
Chrysostom had praised him in his sermons.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
24-3. Today also, we commemorate the birthday of St. Takla Haymanot (Thecla
Hemanot), the great Ethiopian saint.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. John Kama (Khame)

On this day, the great Saint John Kama departed. He was from "Shubramento" of
the region of "Sa". His parents were God-fearing Christians and he was their only child.
They forced him to marry against his will. When he entered his wife's room, he stood,
prayed for a long time, then came near the young girl and said to her, "My sister, you
know that the world and all of its lusts will go away. Do you agree with me to keep our
bodies pure and clean?" She answered and said, "My brother, the Lord's Name lives.
This also is my desire and now the Lord has given me what my heart desires."
They mutually agreed to live together as brother and sister and to keep their virginity.
When they slept, the angel of the Lord came and covered them with his wings. For their
many virtues, God planted a vine for them which grew up and covered their place of
sleep. That was a sign of their purity and holiness; for what they did was above human
nature, that two young people, a man and a woman, would sleep next to each other
without being driven by the lust of the flesh; for who can come near a fire and not be
burnt, unless it is God's divine power and care that keeps them and preserves them.
When their parents saw that they lived together for a long time without having any
children, they thought that this was due to the fact that they were young. One day John
said to his wife, "My sister, I desire to go into the wilderness to become a monk and I
cannot do that without your permission." She gave him her permission and he placed
her in one of the virgins' convents. There she became a virtuous nun and she performed
many miracles, so they chose her to become the abbess of the convent.
As for St. John, when he left his town, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and
guided him to the wilderness of Scetis "Shiheet". He went there and became a monk in
the cell of Saint "Darudi" in the monastery of St. Macarius. He stayed with this saint
learning piety from him until the saint departed.
Then the angel of the Lord told him to go west of the monastery of St. John the Short
and to build a cell for himself there. He went and did as the angel commanded him.
Three hundred brethren gathered around him and became his disciples. They built a
church and a house with a garden for themselves and Saint John Kama taught them
how to pray and the use of the "Epsalmodia".
One night, St. Athanasius the Apostolic appeared to them while they were singing the
song of the three young men. St. Athanasius revealed many mysteries to him. Another
time, St. Mary appeared to him and told him, "This is my dwelling forever, and I shall
be with them as I have been with you and this monastery will be named after me." The
church of the monastery was named after the Virgin St. Mary.
Some of the monks of upper Egypt desired to be under the guidance of St. John Kama
and they asked him to come to see them. He called a brother named Shenouda, and
gave him the responsibility of caring for the brethren until his return. When he returned,
he found that he performed the task perfectly.
When St. John Kama completed his course, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
1. The Martyrdom of St. Anastasia.
2. The Commemoration of St. Juliana the Martyr.

. On this day, of the year 304 A.D., St. Anastasia, was martyred.
She was born in the city of Rome in the year 275 A.D., to a pagan father whose name
was "Britastanos" and a Christian mother whose name was "Flavia". Her mother
baptized her secretly without her father's knowledge and she brought her up in the
teachings of the Christian faith. She was steadfast in her faith and no one was able to
dissuade her.
When she was of marriage age, her father gave her in marriage to a pagan youth,
against her wishes. St. Anastasia prayed to the Lord Christ with fervent supplications,
asking Him to separate her from this pagan youth who was away from the faith.
When her husband left to go to his work, she also left to visit those who were
imprisoned for their faith and she ministered to them, comforted them, and offered
them whatever they needed. When her husband learned about this, he shut her up in
the house and placed guards over her. She continued to pray and ask God with tears
and supplications to save her from the hands of her husband. God answered her prayer
and speeded up his death. She distributed her wealth among the poor and those who
were in prison, the confessors and the strivers, for the sake of the faith. When her
fame reached "Florus", the Governor, he brought her before him to inquire about her
religion. She confessed that she was a Christian. He tried to entice her to leave her
faith by promising her many precious gifts. When she did not listen to his promises, he
punished her by torturing her with various tortures and when he became weary of her he
ordered her to be drowned. She came out from the sea unharmed with the grace of God.
When the governor learned that she was still alive, he ordered that she be tied up to
four pegs on the ground and be beaten ferociously, then be thrown into a pit of fire.
They did so until she gave up her pure soul and received the crown of martyrdom.
Her prayers be with us. Amen.
26-2. On this day also is the commemoration of St. Juliana the martyr.
Her prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Martyrdom of St. Anba "Bisadi" (Psote), the Bishop

On this day, the great saint Bisadi, the Bishop of "Ebsay", was martyred. When
Emperor Diocletian heard that Anba Bisadi and Anba "Ghellanicus" were confirming the
Christians in the faith and hampering the worship of idols, he sent to bring them before
him. Anba Bisadi asked the messenger to give him a chance for one night. He went to
the church and called his people and celebrated the divine liturgy and administered to
them the Holy Communion.
He commanded them to be firm in their Orthodox Faith, then he bade them farewell and
submitted himself to the Lord. He went with the messenger to Arianus, the Governor of
Ansena, and when the latter saw his illumined face and his reverence, he had
compassion upon him and said, "You are a man of great dignity and you should have
pity upon yourself and obey the command of the Emperor." Anba Bisadi answered and
said, "It is impossible for me to replace the kingdom of heaven with this temporal life."
After a lengthy negotiation with him, the Governor ordered Anba Bisadi to be tortured
and then thrown in a very hot water bath. God preserved him and raised him unharmed
and without any pain. The Governor then ordered him beheaded. Thus, he received the
crown of life in the kingdom of heaven.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Martyrdom of 150 Men and 24 Women from Ansena

On this day, 150 men and 24 women were martyred. They were from the city of
Ansena (Antione) and they worshipped idols. They came once to the Governor's place
and they watched the torture of St. Paul the Syrian. The Governor ordered the soldiers
to gouge out the saint's eyes with red-hot nails then they cast him in prison.
The following morning when they brought him, these men and women were present and
they saw that his eyes were whole as they were before. They marvelled saying, "No one
can do this sign except God alone Who is the Creator of nature from nonexistent." They
cried with one accord, "We believe in the God of St. Paul." They came and bowed down
at the saint's feet asking him to pray for them. He lifted them up and blessed them.
Then they went before the Governor and confessed the Name of the Lord Christ. He
ordered them beheaded and they received the crown of martyrdom.
Their intercessions be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

The Twenty-Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas)

On this day, of the year 5501 of the world, as calculated by our glorious church,
we celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God in the Flesh from the
virgin St. Mary.
Through the Divine plan of God and His foreknowledge, Caesar Augustus issued a
decree for a general census in all the Roman Empire. For that reason, Joseph rose, and
the virgin with him, and went from the city of Nazareth to "Bethlehem" to be counted in
the census there because he was from the tribe of Judah, from the house of David.
Bethlehem was the city of David. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the Virgin gave birth
to her first born child and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and put him in a
manger, for they did not have a place for them in the inn.
Now there were, in the same country, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch
over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the
glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said
to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will
be to all the people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, Who
is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes lying in a manger." Suddenly there was, with the angel, a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds
said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to
pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found the
Babe, Mary, Joseph, and Salomi. The place was shining with light. Now when they had
seen him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this
child. Then they worshipped the child and they returned, glorifying and praising God for
all that they had heard and seen. (Luke 2:1-20)
On this day, the prophecies about the birth of the Lord from a chaste virgin had been
fulfilled. Isaiah the prophet said, "Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and
shall call His Name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
Ezekiel the prophet also said about this wonderful mystery, "And the Lord said to me,
'This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because
the Lord God of Israel has entered by it, therefore it shall be shut."' (Ezekiel 44:2)
About this child, Daniel the prophet said, "I was watching in the night visions, and
behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the
Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given
dominion and glory and the Kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should
serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His
Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14) Jeremiah the prophet
said, "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of
Righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgement and
righteousness in the earth. In His days, Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His Name by which He will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness."
(Jeremiah 23:5-6) We must therefore now direct our minds toward the manger of
Bethlehem, where the Son of God was lying in it in the flesh at the time of His birth,
contemplating in silence and reverence worthy of the mystery of the incarnation of God,
and His birth in a manger for our salvation. Knowing that He teaches us through this
mystery to despise the world and all the vain things in it, and that He urges us to be
humble and to love our neighbor seeking his own good, and that we should live in
virtue and holiness according to the Christian ethics; not ignoring the great dignity that
has been granted to us by this Divine Incarnation.
Since we have kept this fast before the Advent, and have arrived at this glorious feast,
we should receive it with purity and every good thing. We should extend our hand to
comfort the weak, to help the poor, and to be instruments of peace and reconciliation
among the people, taking our Lord Who has made an eternal peace by His Incarnation
as our example. We should ask God in supplications to have compassion upon us and
to forgive our sins, and to bless our gatherings, and to keep the life of His Holiness
Pope ... , Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, to keep his
pontificate for many years with the joy, peace and the safety of the church, and the
advancement of his people in virtue. May God grant us many returns of this feast, filled
with the blessings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who came for our salvation.
To Him be the Glory and Honor forever. Amen.

The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
The Departure of St. John, Archpriest of Scetis

On this day, St. John (Youannis), the archpriest (Heagomen) of Shiheet (Scetis)
departed. When he was ordained archpriest for the monastery of St. Macarius, the
whole wilderness was illumined by him and he became a father to many of the saints.
Among those saints were Anba Gawarga and Anba Abraam, the two great stars, and
Anba Mina, bishop of Tamai "Tamuz", and Anba Zacharias and many others, through
whom many souls were saved.
Because of his holiness and his great piety, when he was administering Holy
Communion to the people, he was able to recognize those who were sinners and those
who were righteous. Several times he saw Christ and the angels surrounding Him upon
the altar.
He once saw one of the priests, who was of bad reputation, coming to the church and
the evil spirits surrounding him. When the priest arrived at the door of the church, the
angel of the Lord came out from the sanctuary (Hekal) with a fiery sword in his hand
and dismissed the unclean spirits. The priest entered the church and put on the service
clothes and administered the liturgy and gave the Holy Communion to the people. After
he was finished, he took off the service clothes and went out of the church, the evil
spirits returned to him. This was what St. John said to his brethren the monks, to make
them aware that there was no difference between a sinful and an unsinful priest in
ministering the church sacraments. For it is for the sake of the people that the bread
and the wine are transubstantiated to the Body and the Blood of Christ.
He told them a parable, "As the picture of the emperor is imprinted on his seal that is
made from iron or gold, and the seal is one, also the priesthood is one with the sinner
and the righteous, and the Lord rewards everyone according to his deeds."
This saint suffered many tribulations. The "Berbers" took him captive to their country.
He stayed there for many years, during which he was tortured. He met St. Samuel, the
abbot of the monastery of Qualamon, during his captivity.
By the grace of God, he returned to his monastery. When he knew in a vision the day of
his departure, he called the brethren and commanded them to keep the Commandments
of the Lord, and to walk in the pathway of the saintly fathers, to share with them the
good portion and the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. Shortly after, he became ill
and he saw a crowd of saints were coming to take his spirit, and he gave up the spirit
in the hand of the Lord. His brethren carried him to the church and because of their
strong love for him and their firm belief in his holiness, they kept a portion of his burial
clothes which was a source of healing for many sicknesses. This father lived for 90
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
The Blessed Month of Kiahk