Coptic Synaxarium


1. The Departure of St. Silvanus the monk.
2. The Raid of the Arabs of Upper Egypt on the Wilderness of Scetis.
3. The Departure of Aaron the priest.
1. On this day the holy father Abba Silvanus the monk departed. This blessed man
became a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius, and he strove in every narrow path.
He fasted for long periods with prayers and many vigils in humility and love and he
became a great father. God had granted him to see Divine visions. He commanded his
disciples never to cease working with their hands, and to give alms with what
surpassed their needs.
One day a lazy monk saw him with his disciple absorbed in working with their hands,
and he said to them: "Do not labor for the food which perishes" for it is written: "Mary
has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." When the old man
Abba Silvanus heard that, he told his disciple: "Give the father a book, take him to the
church to read, and shut the door on him without leaving with him any thing to eat;"
and the disciple did as he was commanded. When the ninth hour came the old man
and his disciples ate and did not invite the monk. During that time the monk was
gazing with his eyes toward the door waiting for someone to invite him to eat.
When he became very hungry, he left the church and asked the old man: "Have the
brethren eaten to day?" and St. Silvanus replied "Yes". The monk asked: "Why you did
not call me to eat with them?" He replied: "You are a spiritual man has no need for
food for the body. You have chosen the good part, but we are humans in need of food
for the body, for this reason we need the work of our hands." The monk knew that he
had transgressed with his words and he bowed before the holy man asking for his
forgiveness. The holy man told the monk: "O my son we need to work, for Mary needs
Martha, and through Martha, Mary was praised." Thus the monk was rebuked by the
teaching of this father, and he worked with his hands continually, and he gave alms
with what remained over.
This father wrote many helpful discourses about the spiritual strife. When he finished
his strife in a  good old age, God made him know the time of his departure. He called
the monks that were near by, he was blessed by them, and he asked them to
remember him in their prayers, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also the Arabs of Upper Egypt rose up and attacked the desert of the
great St. Macarius. They plundered what was in the churches and monasteries. The
monks gathered together, prayed, and interceded with the holy fathers, and the Lord
Christ drove them out. The monks were saved from their hands and they gave thanks
unto God.
3. On this day also the righteous Aaron the priest, the brother of Moses the first
prophet of the Law, departed. He was from the tribe of Levi, and God wrought by his
hands many miracles in the land of Egypt. God chose him and his sons to be His
priests, and gave them the tithes and the offerings of the children of Israel. When the
sons of Korah rose up against him, God destroyed them, by commanding the earth to
open its mouth and swallowed them up alive. He pleased God by his good conduct,
keeping the Law, and then departed in peace.
And glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Second Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Christopher.
2. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Ninth, the Eighty First Patriarch.
1. On this day St. Christopher was martyred. He was from the country, whose people
were cannibals, those who believed on the hands of St. Matthias the apostle (As
mentioned in the eighth day of the month of Baramhat). He had unsightly look and
the body of a giant but his soul was good and gentle.
When he was captured by the soldiers of Emperor Decius the infidel he admonished
them for afflicting the Christians. The captain of these soldiers beat him severely, and
St. Christopher told him: "If it was not the command of Christ which teaches me not
to do unto others as they do unto us, other wise you and your soldiers could not be
delivered from me." The captain sent to inform Decius concerning him, who sent two
hundred soldiers to bring him. On their way, the bread they had was consumed except
for a little of it. He prayed and blessed that little of bread and became in abundance.
The soldiers marvelled exceedingly and believed on the Lord Christ the God of
Christopher. When they arrived to Antioch they were baptized by the hands of Abba
Paul the Patriarch.
When St. Christopher came before Decius, who became frightened from his
appearance, tried to charm, persuade and deceive him to deny Christ. Then he sent
two beautiful women to make him fall into sin with them. He rebuked and preached
them and they believed on the Lord Christ. They confessed their faith in the Lord
Before the Emperor, who ordered them to be beheaded and they received the crown of
martyrdom. As of this Saint, he was cast into a huge cauldron over hot fire, but no
harm whatsoever came to him. The people present were amazed and they believed on
the Lord Christ. They came forward to remove him out of the cauldron but the Emperor
ordered them to be cut off with the swords. The emperor finally ordered to cut off St.
Christopher's neck and he received the crown of martyrdom.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 1043 A.M., on the 29th of March 1327 A.D. Pope
Yoannis the ninth, the eighty first Pope departed. He was from Nephia - Menofia and
was known as Yoannis El-Nakady. During his days many tribulations befell the
Christians, who were killed or burned or crucified. The Moslems ridiculed them by
putting them on camels, dressing them with turbans and blue clothes. But the lord
had sympathy upon his people with His great mercy. The Pope departed at Haret
Zewaila and was buried at El Nastoor monastery after he had stayed on the Chair for 6
years and 6 months.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Third Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of St. John, Bishop of Jerusalem.
2. The Departure of the holy father Anba Michael, the Seventy First Pope of the See of
St. Mark.
1. On this day Anba John, Bishop of Jerusalem, departed. He was born to Jewish
parents, who kept the Law of the Torah. They instructed and taught him well and he
excelled in the Law of Moses. He argued and disputed with the Christians until he
became convinced of the coming of the Lord Christ, and that He was the true God. He
believed on the hand of St. Justus, Bishop of Jerusalem, who baptized and ordained
him a deacon. Because of his knowledge, and virtues they chose him a bishop of
Jerusalem after the departure of St. Justus.
When Andrianus reigned, he commanded to rebuild the ruined parts of the city, he
built a tower on the western gate (The gate of the Jewish temple) and he hanged an
engraved tablet with his name on the door of that gate. He prevented the Christians
from praying at the Golgotha and even passing through it. The Jews and the Gentiles
became powerful and troubled the Christians much. Because of that many tribulations
and sorrows befell this father, so he asked God that He might receive him. His
supplication was accepted and he departed in peace after he stayed on the Episcopal
Chair for two years.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 862 A.M. (March 29th. 1146 A.D.) the holy father Pope
Michael, the seventy first Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, departed. He longed to the
pure life since his young age so he became a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius.
He lived in the desert until he was an old man, in a good pleasing life to God.
When Pope Gabriel (70) departed, the bishops, the priests and the lay leaders spent
three month searching for who was best suited to succeed him. A monk from the
monastery of St. Macarius, called Yoannis Ebn Kedran, came forward nominating
himself supported in that by Anba Yacoub, bishop of Lekanah, Anba Christodolus,
bishop of Fowa, and Anba Michael, bishop of Tanta. Nevertheless, the bishops of
Upper Egypt, the priests of Alexandria and the lay leaders of Cairo did not accept that
choice. Finally they all agreed to choose three of the monks and those were: Yoannis
Abu El-Fatah, Michael of St. Macarius monastery, and Soliman El-Dekhiary of
El-Baramous monastery. They cast a lot among them, and the lot fell on the monk
Michael, and they ordained him a Patriarch on the 5th of Mesra, 861 A.M. (July 29th,
year 1145 A.D.). He was an honorable old man loving for the poor and the needy. He
took for himself a scribe to write his sermons and teachings that he sent to the
bishops and priests. When he fell sick, he went to the monastery of St. Macarius,
where he departed in peace, after he stayed on the Chair for eight month.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fourth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom Of The Saints Victor, Decius, Eirene the Virgin and those with them
men, women and virgins
On this day the saints Victor, Decius, Eirene the virgin and those with them from men,
women and virgins were martyred. These saints were during the reign of Emperor
Constantine and his son who destroyed many idol temples and changed them to
churches on the name of the Virgin Mary and the Saints. When Emperor Julian the
infidel reigned, he supported idol worshipping, honored their priests, and slew many
Christians. Some pagans informed the Emperor about these saints and how they
destroyed the temples and the idols. He seized them, tortured them with different
kinds of tortures and finally cut off their heads and they received the crowns of
martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fifth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Commemoration of the Great Prophet Ezekiel, the son of Buzi.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Hepatius, Bishop of Gangra.
1. On this day the great prophet Ezekiel the son of Buzi departed. This righteous man
was a priest, and Nebuchadnezzar exiled him with king Jehoiachin to Babylon. There in
the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar, the spirit of the Lord was upon him,
and he prophesied about wondrous things for twenty two years. He spoke concerning
the birth of the Lord Christ by the Lady the Virgin St. Mary and how after she had
borne Him, she would remain a virgin: "Then He brought me back to the outer gate of
the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. 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 44:1-2).
He prophesied concerning the baptism that sanctify the soul of the man and his body,
soften his stony heart, and make him a son of God by the descent of the Holy Spirit
upon him. He admonished the priests for their forsaken the teaching of the people,
warning them that God will ask for their souls from them if they neglect teaching
them. He prophesied concerning the common resurrection and the rising of the bodies
with their souls, and about their rewards for whatever they deserve. He said many
useful sayings which are of benefit to those who read them, and God manifested
through him many signs and great wonders. When the children of Israel worshipped
idols in Babylon, he rebuked them and their leaders rose up and killed him. They
buried him in the tomb of Shem and Arphaxad.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also St. Hepatius, Bishop of Gangra, in the province of Paphlognia
(Pavlagonia), was martyred. He was in the early part of the fourth century, and he
attended the first Universal Council at Nicea, year 325 A.D. He was one of the great
fathers that defended the Divinity of the Word of God and His equality with His Father
in essence, and refuted the error of the heresies of Arius, Appolonius, Novatius and
others.
God had honored him with the gift of performing wonders, and was called the wonder
worker. One of his wonders, during the days of Emperor Constans the son of
Constantine the great: A beast entered the royal barns. The Emperor sent to the Saint
asking him to go to the barns and kill that beast. The holy shepherd went there and
after he prayed, he asked the servants to collect  firewood in the yard of the city and
put it on fire and they did. The Saint took his staff and put it in the beast's mouth and
led it to the fire and it was burnt. As a commemoration of this miracle the Emperor
ordered to hang the saint's picture over the doors of the barns.
On his way back, from Nicea after attending the first Universal Council, to Gangra, a
group of heretics were waiting for him by the road, attacked him, stoned him and he
was martyred (On the 31st. day of March) then threw his body in a hay barn. When
the people of the city of Gangra knew of the departure of their good shepherd, they
went in hast to the place where he was martyred and took the holy remains with great
honor and buried him in the city.
May his blessings be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Sixth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Commemoration of the Appearance of the Lord to Thomas the Apostle after His
Resurrection.
2. The Departure of St. Mary of Egypt.
1. On this day is the commemoration of the appearance of the Lord Christ, to Whom is
the glory, to Thomas the apostle on the eighth day from the glorious Resurrection as
the Bible said: "And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was
with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said,
"Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My
hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but
believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said
to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those
who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:26-29) When St. Thomas put his
hand in the side of the Lord, his hand was about to be burned by the fire of the
Divinity, and when he confessed His Divinity his hand was healed from the pain of the
burning.
May the prayers of this Apostle be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 137 A.M. (421 A.D.) the hermit St. Mary of Egypt
departed. She was born in the city of Alexandria about the year 61 A.M. (345 A.D.)
from Christian parents. When she became twelve years old, Satan the enemy of the
human race, seduced her, led her astray, and made her his net through which he
caught innumerable souls.
She continued in this sinful conduct for seventeen years until the mercy of God
touched her life, she met people going to Jerusalem and she went with them. Since
she did not have what to pay for the trip, she gave her self to the owners of the ship
in return, until she came to Jerusalem. She also went on doing the same there. She
wished to enter through the door of the church of the Resurrection, but she felt a
hidden power pulling her from the back preventing her from entering the church.
Whenever she tried to enter she felt as someone preventing her from doing so, and
right away she realized that was because of her uncleanliness. She lifted up her eyes
with a broken heart, and she wept interceding with St. Mary and asked her to
intercede on her behalf before her Beloved Son. She felt encouraged and wished to
enter with those entering, nothing prevented her from entering, and she prayed
therein to God asking Him to guide her for what was pleasing to Him.
She stood before the icon of the blessed and pure Virgin, and asked her fervently to
guide her that she might save her soul. A voice came out of the icon saying: "If you
cross the Jordan river you will find rest and salvation." She rose in haste and when she
left the court yard of the resurrection and on her way she met a man who gave her
three small coins with which she bought bread. Then she crossed the Jordan river to
the wilderness where she lived for forty seven years. She strove strenuously for
seventeen years, Satan fought against her by the fornication that she repented from.
She overcame with the grace of God and she ate all this period the herbs of the
desert. In the forty fifth year of her living in the desert, St. Zosima went to the
wilderness, according to the custom of the monks there, during the holy Forty Days of
fast for devotion and asceticism.
While he was walking in the desert he saw this Saint from far and he thought that she
was a shadow or mirage. He prayed to God to reveal to him the fact about this
mirage, and he was inspired that it was a human being. He went toward the shadow,
but it fled from him. When she saw that he is insisting on following her, she called
him from behind a hill saying: "O Zosima if you wish to talk to me, throw me a rag
that I may cover myself for I am naked." He marvelled for she called him by his name,
he threw to her what she covered herself with, and she came to him. After the
greetings and the metanias, she asked him to pray for her because he was a priest.
He asked her to tell him the story of her life from the beginning to the present time.
After she told him, she asked him to bring with him in the next year the Holy Eucharist
to partake of it. In the next year he came to her and she partook of the Holy
Mysteries, then he gave her what he had from dates and lentils, she only took a
handful of lentils, and she asked him to come to her in the next year. When he came
to her in the next year he found that she had departed, a lion standing beside her and
writing beside her saying " Bury Mary, the poor woman, in the dust of which she was
created." He marvelled from the writing and from the lion that was protecting her body
and while he was thinking how he was going to dig to bury her, the lion came and dug
a grave for her. He prayed over her and buried her. When he returned to his
monastery, he told the monks the story of the strife of this holy woman, and they all
increased in steadfastness in the Divine Mercy and progressed in the spiritual life. All
the years of her life were seventy six years.
May her prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Seventh Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of the Righteous Joachim, The Lord Christ Grandfather.
2. The Departure of St. Macrobius.
3. The Departure of Sts. Agapius, Theodora, and Metruf.
1. On this day the righteous Joachim (Yonakhir - Zadok) departed. He was the father
of St. Mary, the Theotokos, the mother of God incarnate. He was of the seed of David,
and of the tribe of Judah, for he was the son of Jotham, the son of Lazarus, the son of
Eldad who ascended up in genealogy to Solomon the king, the son of David whom God
promised that his seed should reign over the children of Israel for ever. The wife of
this righteous man, Hannah was barren, and both of them prayed and entreated God
continually to give them a child. Having accepted their petition He gave them a good
and sweet fruit, which satisfied all the men of the world, and removed from them the
bitterness of servitude, and He made Joachim worthy to be called the father of the
Lord Christ in regard of His marvelous and wondrous Incarnation. After God had
pleased him with the birth of our Lady, his heart was rejoiced and he offered his
offerings, and the shame had been removed from him, he departed in peace when the
Virgin was three years old.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also the saint Anba Macrobius, the son of the governor of the city of
Kaw, departed in peace. When Anba Severus, Archbishop of Antioch, was wondering
around the cities of Upper Egypt, he came to the city of Kaw and Macrobius ministered
unto him. He accompanied Anba Severus in his visit to the monastery of Anba Moses,
where he saw from the holiness of the monks, their asceticism and devoutness, made
him ask Anba Moses to accept him as a monk. Anba Moses indicated to him the
hardship of the monastic life and its difficulties especially he was raised in luxury and
family wealth, and the one that slept on silk, could not take the rough life. When
Anba Moses saw the insistence of Macrobius on the monastic life he asked him first to
resign his job that he took after his father, and to relinquish all his money and
possessions. He went to his city Kaw, appointed his brother in his place, returned and
put on the monastic garb. When his brothers Paul, Ilias, and Joseph saw what their
brother had done, they came to him and became monks by the hands of Anba Moses.
Anba Macrobius built many monasteries and many monks, about a thousand gathered
around him, and he also built convents for about a thousand nuns. He used his money
to build many places for those that did not desire the monastic life, and he supported
those who sought his help. Then he sent to Anba Moses asking to send him brethren
to prepare those gathered around him for the monastic life, they came and put on
them the monastic garb.
Christians from the cities of Assuit, Shatb, and neighboring cities came and gave him
many gifts and much money to help him in building the churches and monasteries. He
accepted it from them and blessed them. Anba Macrobius increased in virtues,
asceticism and giving alms to the weak, needy, widows, orphans and the lonely,
beside caring for his monasteries. His alms were from his own money not from that
was offered. God granted St. Macrobius the gift of healing, they brought him the sick
and he healed them with the power of God and the strength of their faith. The father
the Patriarch Anba Theodosius, heard about him and he wrote to him praising and
encouraging him to be steadfast in virtue, asceticism and loving the strangers and
asked him to come for the people of Alexandria to be blessed by him. When he came
to the Patriarch, he rejoiced with him and called the people of Alexandria to receive
the blessing from him, and he ordained him a priest. Macrobius returned to his
monastery, the people of Assuit and Shatb received him with songs and hymns until
they came to the monastery. Many miracles were performed through his hands, and
when he finished his good strife, he departed in peace. Multitudes gathered from
Assuit, Shatb, Abu-Sergah, Kaw and the neighboring cities, and his brother Anba
Yousab, who was appointed as his successor in running the monasteries in the fear of
God, prayed and buried him.
The appearance of his body was on the seventh day of the blessed month of Tubah,
seven hundred thirty three years after his departure by the hands of the deacon Los
El-Talawy the servant of his monastery's church, during the days of Anba Yousab,
bishop of Akhmeem and the notable Isaac the scribe of the prince Eiz-Eldeen
El-Hamawy. Anba Yousab, bishop of Akhmeem, took the body out of its tomb in the
mountain, down to the church of the monastery, where they buried him with hymns
and praises.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also is the commemoration of the departure of Sts. Agapius and
Theodora the martyrs, and the commemoration of St. Metruf the spiritual son of Anba
Moses the Abbot of El-Baliana monastery.
May their intercession be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Eighth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of the Holy Virgins: Agape, Eirene, and Shiona.
2. The Martyrdom of the One Hundred and Fifty believers by the hand of king of Persia.
1. On this day the three holy virgins: Agape, Eirene, and Shiona (Susinia) were
martyred. They were from Thessalonica, and worshipped Christ as their parents. They
chose the life of chastity and they agreed to devote themselves to the ascetic life.
They fasted and prayed unceasingly, visited the convents often and participated with
the virgins in their prayers and asceticism. When Maximianus the infidel, reigned, he
restored the worship of the idols and shed the blood of many Christians. These saints
were afraid and they fled to the mountain and hid themselves in a cave devoting
themselves to their worship and asceticism.
Every week, an aged Christian woman visited them bringing all things needed and
took the work of their hands to sell it, and distributed the remainder as alms to the
poor. One day a malicious person observed the frequent visits of this old woman to
the mountain, he followed her secretly until he knew the cave that she entered. He
hid himself so she did not see him on her way back, and he thought that she was
hiding precious things in it. After she left the cave by a distance he entered the cave
and he found the precious pearls the prides of the Christ standing praying. He bound
them, dragged them away, and brought them to the Governor of Thessalonica. He
asked them about their faith, they confessed that they were Christians worshipping
that Who was Crucified. The Governor became wrath with them, tortured them much,
then cast them into the fire, and they delivered up their souls and received the crown
of martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also is the commemoration of the incident of the martyrdom of one
hundred and fifty believers by the king of Persia. This king besieged Christian cities
which were near the borders of his country, and captured many of them. When they
refused to worship the sun and the stars, he commanded to cut off their heads, and
they received the crowns of martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Ninth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of St. Zosimus (Zocima).
2. The commemoration of the Wonder that took place on the hand of Pope Sinuthius
(Shenouda I) the Fifty Fifth Patriarch.
1. On this day in the middle of the fifth century the ascetic father and the struggling
monk Abba Zocima the priest, departed. This Saint was born about the middle of the
fourth century from Christian and holy parents, who were from Palestine. When he was
five years old they handed him to a righteous old monk, who raised him in a Christian
manner and taught him the doctrine of the church, and shortly after they ordained him
a deacon. He became a righteous monk and grew in virtues.
He was continually praising God and he read the Scriptures day and night and during
work also. When he had completed thirty five years in the monastery they ordained
him a priest. Then he increased his ascetic labors and struggle. After spending
thirteen years in this struggle the enemy sowed in his mind the evil thought that he
was superior to all his contemporaries in virtues and righteousness. But the Lord
willed to turn him away from this thought. He sent an angel to him  and commanded
him to go to the monastery which was near the river Jordan. He rose up and went to
the monastery and he found therein righteous old men who were more perfect in their
contending than him. He realized that he was far from what he thought in himself and
he stayed there with them.
The custom of those monks during the Holy Lent, was that after they had fasted the
first weak they partook the Holy Communion, then they left the monastery singing the
twenty six psalm, and at the end of it, they prayed together. Then the abbot blessed
them and they bed farewell to each other. Then they dispersed in the desert of Jordan
and each of them carried out his spiritual fight by himself. St. Zosimus used to go out
with them each year wondering in the desert asking God to show him who was more
perfect than him.
As he was wondering about he met Mary the Egyptian (Coptic). He learned from her
about her life history and the reason for her wondering in the desert. She asked him to
visit her after one year to give her the Holy Mysteries. He came to her in the next year
and gave her the Holy Communion. In the year after he revisited her again but he
found her had departed and he buried her and told the monks of the monastery
concerning her strife. After he had lived ninety nine years he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also a great sign was made manifest through our holy father Pope
Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the fifty fifth Pope of Alexandria. This Pope went to the desert
of Scetis in order to fast the Holy Lent with the fathers the monks. On Palm Sunday
many Arabs came to the desert of Scetis to plunder the monasteries. They stood on
the rock east of the church of St. Macarius. Their swords were drawn in their hands
ready to kill and steal. The bishops and the monks gathered together and decided to
leave the desert before the Holy Feast of Resurrection (Easter) and they took counsel
with Pope Shenouda who told them; "As for me I will not leave the desert until I
complete the Pascal week. On Maundy Thursday the situation became worse. The Pope
took his staff that had the sign of the cross on it and he wanted to go out to meet the
Arabs saying: "It is better for me to die with the people of God" but they prevented
him from going out, but instead, he strengthened and comforted them. Then he went
forth to meet the Arabs with his staff in his hand. When they saw him, they retreated
and fled away as if they were pursued by an army of soldiers and from this day
onwards they never came back to do any harm.
The prayers of this father be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Tenth Day of The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of Anba Isaac, the Disciple of Anba Apollo.
2. The Departure of Pope Gabriel II, the Seventy Pope of Alexandria, who was known
as Ibn Turaik.
1. On this day the holy father Anba Isaac the Disciple of the great father Anba Apollo,
departed. This holy man renounced the world since his young age. He became a monk
in the wilderness of Sheahat (Scetis), and a disciple of Anba Apollo for twenty five
years. He fought a strenuous fight that weakened his body to kill his body desires,
and control his will. He mastered the virtue of silence and quietness especially during
the prayers and the Liturgies. He used to stand during the liturgy with his hands
clasped and his head bent until the end of the prayer then he returned to his cell,
shutting his door, and did not associate with any one that day. When they asked him:
"Why do you not talk to anyone who wish to talk to you during prayers or the Liturgy?"
He answered saying: "There is time for talking and there is time for praying." When
his departure drew near the fathers the monks gathered around him to receive his
blessing and they asked him: "Why did you flee from men." He answered them: "I was
not fleeing from men but from Satan. If a man hold a lighted lamp in the wind, it will
be extinguished. So, it is with us when our hearts and minds shine because of the
prayers and the Liturgy then we talk with each other, our hearts and minds become
dark." And this holy father having finished his good spiritual strife, departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 861 A.M. (April 5th., 1145 A.D.) the great and holy
father Pope Gabriel II, the seventy Pope of the See of St. Mark, who was known as Ibn
Turaik, departed. This Pope was from the nobles of Cairo, and he was a writer, scribe,
distinguished scholar, with a commendable conduct. He transcribed with his hand
many Arabic and Coptic books, he retained its contents and comprehended its
interpretations. The elders of the people and the clergy chose him for the Patriarchal
Chair, and his enthronement was on the 9th. of Amshir, 847 A.M. (February 3rd., 1131
A.D.).
When he prayed his first Divine Liturgy in St. Macarius monastery as the custom of the
previous Patriarchs, at the end of the Liturgy, he added to the profession after the
saying: "I believe and confess to the last breath, that this is the life-giving Flesh that
Thine Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, took from our Lady,
the Lady of us all, the holy Mother of God, Saint Mary," this sentence "He made it one
with His Divinity." The monks objected, lest it would be understood from that there
was mingling between His Divinity and His Humanity, and asked him to refrain from
using it. He refused saying: "This statement was added by a decree from the council
of bishops." After a great and lengthy discussion, they decided to add this sentence:
"Without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration," because of the fear of
falling in the heresy of Eutyches, and he agreed with them.
During his papacy, he ordained 53 bishops and many priests, he drew up Canons and
laws concerning inheritance, and many other matters. He never took any money from
anyone, nor he touched the revenue of the churches, or that of the religious
endowments for the poor. When the governor of that time asked him for money, the
nobles and people collected three hundred Dinars in gold and gave them to the
governor on his behalf. He remained on the Episcopal Chair for fourteen years, two
month and two days, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Eleventh Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of st. Theodora.
2. The Departure of St. John, Bishop of Gaza.
1. On this day, the pure and holy mother Theodora, departed. This holy woman was
the only daughter of noble and Christian parents of Alexandria.
Her parents Provided for her costly apparels and many gold and silver accessories, for
they wished to give her in marriage. This Saint refused that, for she desired in her
heart the worship of God and the strife for His Name's sake. She sold all what her
father bought her, gave to the needy, and then built a church outside the city of
Alexandria, towards the west.
Then she went to the holy father Abba Athanasius, the apostolic (Fourth century), who
shaved her hair and made her a nun in one of the convents outside the city of
Alexandria. She devoted herself to the ascetic life, fought the spiritual fight, and
became worthy to see divine visions, distinguish angels from satan, and know the
thoughts of the minds.
Pope Athanasius visited her often and instructed her with his teachings. When he was
exiled, he sent her many letters full of valuable sermons, and she was steadfast in
her strife until the end of her life. She was contemporary to five Patriarchs:
Alexandros, Athanasius, Petros, Timotheos and Theophilos. She put down many useful
sayings, some of them by the grace that was in her; the others were from what she
learned from those fathers.
Once she was asked: "If a man talked to another evil words, would he silence him, or
rebuke him, or close the ears and not listen to him?" She replied saying: "If a man put
in front of you a table with good and bad foods, you can not say to him "Take this or
that for it is harmful for me,' but you overlook it and eat what you desired, so nothing
should be said to who speak bad words to others but it is enough that the man does
not let his ears enjoy what he is hearing."
She was also asked: "How can the human overcome his enemy Satan?" She answered
saying: "With fasting, prayer, and humility."
When she finished her strife, she departed in peace and was one hundred years old.
Her prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of the departure of Anba John, Bishop of
Gaza.
His intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twelfth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of St. Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem.
2. The Commemoration of St. Antonios, Bishop of Tamoui.
1. On this day, the holy father Anba Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, departed. This
holy father was Bishop of Cappadocia, and he came to the city of Jerusalem to receive
the blessing of the holy places and then return to his country.
St. Narcissus, who was the Bishop of Jerusalem at that time (Second century - his
departure on the first day of Baramhat), was advanced in age and had reached over
110 years. He often asked his people that he wished to retire from his See, but they
refused. When St. Alexander finished his visit and decided to return to his Chair in
Cappadocia, the people of Jerusalem heard a voice from heaven saying: "Go to the
gate of the city, and the first one to enter it, seize him and make him stay with
Narcissus to assist him." When they went to the gate they met the Bishop Alexander,
and they pleaded with him to stay with Abba Narcissus to assist him. He refused
because he could not leave his flock that the Lord Christ had entrusted him with. They
told him about the voice which they had heard from heaven and that it was God's Will.
He accepted and wrote to the people of his parish what had happened, apologized,
and allowed them to appoint another bishop in his place. He remained in Jerusalem,
assisting its bishop Anba Narcissus, for about 5 years.
After the departure of St. Narcissus, he continued to shepherd the people of Jerusalem
with the best of care, until Maximianus, the infidel, seized him, inflicted him with
severe tortures of every kind, and then imprisoned him. When Gordianus reigned, he
released him, and when he died and Philip reigned, he released the rest of the
confessors. This father sat in quietness and peace until Decius rose, killed Philip, and
reigned in his stead.
Decius afflicted the Christians exceedingly; he seized this holy father and many
others, and tortured them, especially this father. He beat him cruelly with sharp pins
until he broke his ribs, then commanded to drag him by his feet and throw him in
prison. He remained there until he delivered his pure soul in the hand of the Lord, and
received the kingdom which is prepared for the saints.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of St. Antonios, Bishop of Tamoui.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of the Sts. Joshua and Joseph.
2. The Commemoration of Dionisa (Denisa) the Deaconess and Medius the Martyr.
3. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Seventeenth, the 105th. Patriarch of Alexandria.
1. On this day, the holy monks Anba Joshua and Anba Joseph were martyred. They
were the disciples of St. Melius in the mount of Khorasan, and their biography is
mentioned in the 28th day of Baramoudah, which is the day of martyrdom of their
spiritual teacher Anba Melius.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of St. Dionisa (Denisa), the deaconess who
was appointed by the apostles and the commemoration of St. Medius the martyr.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, the distinguished Pope and prudent pontiff, Anba Yoannis the
seventeenth, 105th Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. The parents of this father were
pious Christians from the city of Mallawy, in Upper Egypt. When he was 25 years old,
he left this futile world and went to the monastery of St. Antonios. He became a monk
there and his name was Abdel Sayed. Then he went to the monastery of Anba Paula,
after its renovation. He exerted himself in worship, and educated himself. He learned
reading and writing, for he was illiterate, then he thoroughly studied the holy books.
After he exerted himself in asceticism and a virtuous life, studying the church subjects
and its books, the fathers the monks chose him as a priest for them. Pope Yoannis,
103rd Patriarch ordained him along with his fellow Mourgan El-Assuity, who became,
later on, Pope Petros VI, 104th Patriarch. When Pope Petros VI, 104th Patriarch
departed, the fathers the bishops, priests, and lay leaders discussed who would be fit
for the Patriarchal Chair. They chose this father among others, and brought them from
the monasteries to Cairo. After they prayed the Divine Liturgy for three days, they
cast the lot, which fell on this father.
He was ordained a Patriarch in the church of the martyr Mercurius Abu Saifain, in Old
Cairo, on Sunday, the sixth of Tubah, 1443 A.M. (January 12th., 1727 A.D.). After his
ordination and before the reading of the Gospel, they opened the door to the tomb of
the fathers the Patriarchs, as the custom, for the newly elected Pope to go down and
take the cross and staff from the hand of his departed predecessor. After he went
down and took the cross, the bones in the tomb crepitated, and he was terrified, so
he ordered to stop this practice, saying that the crosses and staffs were in abundance.
The purpose of this custom was that the successor will take a lesson from his
departed predecessor, so he would not be deceived by the position and become
arrogant, and seeing the fate of his predecessor would be a lesson and example
before him always. The Pope stayed after his enthronement a week in Old Cairo, then
went to the Patriarchal residence in Haret El-Rum.
This Pope dedicated himself to building churches and monasteries, their renovation
and consecration. During his Papacy, a wonderful church was built in the monastery of
Anba Paula, the first hermit in the Nemr Mount, and consecrated it himself. He was
accompanied by Anba Ebraam, Bishop of El-Bahnasa, and an assembly of the
notables. Among them was the archon Girgis El-Sourogy, who paid for the building of
this church.
After that, Pope Youannis built a church, refectory, and other buildings in the
monastery of the honorable saint Anba Antonios, the father of all monks. He
consecrated it by his blessed hands and ordained there hegumens, priests, and
deacons. The honorable archon Girgis El-Sourogy also paid for these buildings.
In the ninth year of his Papacy, in 1451 A.M., the Sultan ordered to raise the taxes for
the Christians and Jews three folds. Later, these taxes were raised more and imposed
over the monks, priests, children, poor, and beggars without exempting anyone, so
the time of this father was difficult and sorrowful for the poor, professionals and trade
workers.
During his time, there was also a great increase in prices and a severe earthquake
shook Cairo in the middle of the night, which lasted for about an hour. The foundation
of the earth violently shook, houses were destroyed, and people trembled then God
Had mercy on his people and removed from them these bitter tribulations.
When Anba Khristozolo III, 102nd Metropolitan of the Chair of Ethiopia, departed, a
group of Ethiopian lay leaders came to Pope Yoannis, in the 17th year of his Papacy,
in 1460 A.M. (1744 AD.), and asked him to ordain for them a Metropolitan. He
ordained for them the monk John (Youhanna), one of the priests of the monastery of
our great father Anba Antonios, and called him Youannis XIV, and returned with joy
with him.
This Pope lived long and lived until a good old age shepherding his flock with the best
of care. When he finished his strife, he fell sick for a short illness and then departed
in peace on the Monday of the Paschal week, the thirteenth of Baramoudah, year 1461
A.M. (April 20th., 1745 A.D.). He sat on the Chair 18 years, 3 months, and 8 days, and
was buried in the tomb of the Patriarchs in the church of St. Mercurius Abu-Saifain in
Old Cairo. He was contemporary to the Sultan Ahmed III and the Sultan Mahmoud I.
The Chair remained vacant one month and ten days after his departure.
His blessings be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Fourteenth Day of the Blessed Mouth of Baramouda
The Departure of the Holy Father Anba Maximus The Fifteenth Pope of Alexandria
On this day, that coincides with the ninth of April, 282 A.D., the holy father Anba
Maximus, 15th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was born in Alexandria from
Christian parents who raised and educated him well. He excelled in the Greek
language. Then he learned the doctrine of the church and was a man that feared God.
Pope Heraclas, 13th Pope, ordained him deacon on the church of Alexandria. Then
Pope Dionysius, 14th Pope, ordained him priest. Because of his advancement in
virtues and knowledge, the fathers the bishops chose him for the Episcopal Chair after
the departure of Pope Dionysius, and he was ordained on the twelfth of Hatour
(November 9th., 264 A.D.).
Shortly after his enthronement, he received a letter from the council of Antioch, which
included the grounds for excommunicating Paul of Samosata and his followers. He read
it to the priests of Alexandria and issued a letter and sent it along with the letter of
the council to all the cities of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nuba. This was to warn them from
the heresy of Paul of Samosata, which was abolished by the death of this heretic.
Pope Maximus fought and guarded his flock, confirmed them in the faith with sermons
and admonitions for seventeen years and five days, then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Fifteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the first altar for St. Nicholas, Bishop of
Mora for the Jacobite Christians.
2. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the church of St. Agabus, the Apostle.
3. The Departure of St. Alexandra, the Empress.
4. The Departure of Pope Mark (Marcus) VI, the 101st. Patriarch.
1. On this day, the church commemorates the consecration of the first altar that was
built by the Jacobite Christians, who were residing in the land of Egypt for St.
Nicholas, bishop of Mora. St. Nicholas was one of the fathers of the council of Nicea,
the Three Hundred and Eighteen. This altar was built in the church of the saint Anba
Shenouda, to the east of the city.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also, marks the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St.
Agabus, one of the Seventy Apostles. He prophesied about the events that afflicted
St. Paul saying: "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the
man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" (Acts
21:10-11)
His prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, St. Alexandra, the Empress, Emperor Diocletian's wife, departed.
When the great martyr, St. George deluded Emperor Diocletian that he would worship
his idols, the Emperor embraced his head and brought him into his royal palace. The
Saint prayed and read some of the Psalms before Empress Alexandra and interpreted
to her what he read. He explained to her the Divinity of the Lord Christ. His words
entered her heart and she believed in the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory.
When the Saint stood before the idols, he called the Name of the Lord Christ, and the
idols were destroyed. The Emperor and those with him were humiliated. When the
Emperor returned to the palace and told the Empress what had happened, she told
him: "Did I not tell you not to set yourself against the Galilean, for their God is strong
and powerful?" Diocletian became extremely raged, tortured her severely, then threw
her in prison where she departed in peace.
Her prayers be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, of the year 1372 A.M. (April 20th., 1656 A.D).), Pope Mark
(Marcus) VI, 101st Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was known as Marcus
El-Bahgoury. He was from Bahgourah, and became a monk in the monastery of St.
Antonios.
When Pope Matteos III, 100th Pope, departed, the archon Beshara, the lay leader of
that time, agreed with the people on ordaining this father. Anba Khristozolo, Bishop of
Jerusalem, headed the celebration of the enthronement, on Sunday, the fifteenth of
Barmoudah, 1362 A.M. (April 20th. 1646 A.D.), and was called Marcus VI. After his
ordination, a vast dispute took place between him and the archon Beshara.
From his famous achievements, he issued an order preventing the monks from living in
the world, ordering them to return to their monasteries. The monks were raged
because of this order, did not consent to it, and refrained from obeying it. Satan, the
enemy of the good, moved one of the monks called Kodsy, to write a petition to the
Governor (Basha), accusing the Pope that he tortured the people and killed them. The
Governor ordered an investigation to uncover the truth. During the inquiry, the monk
denied writing the petition. The Pope was exonerated from the accusations that were
in the complainant petition, but he was ordered to pay a heavy fine which was paid by
the lay leaders of the country.
On the 21st of Tubah, 1365 A.M., an order was issued to prevent Christians from
riding horses, wearing red caftans (A long sleeved outer garment), and red broadcloth
skull caps. However they were to wear blue caftans thirty feet long.
The Patriarch went to Upper Egypt and stayed there for four years, during which he
collected much money and was foolish in his conduct, to the point that all the people,
bishops, priests, and lay leaders, were exasperated. The dispute, existed between him
and the archon Beshara, went on until he returned to Cairo. He then reconciled with
him, and his behavior was straighten after that. He built the prayer hall in the convent
of the church of the virgin in Haret Zeewaila in Cairo.
Pope Marcus departed on the fifteenth of Barmoudah, 1372 A.M. (April 20th. 1656
AD.). He was buried in the church of Abu Saifain in Old Cairo, after he stayed on the
Chair for ten full years. He was a contemporary to El Sultan Ibrahim I and El Sultan
Mohammed IV, and the Chair was vacant for four years, seven months and sixteen
days after him.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Sixteenth day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. Antipas, Bishop of Pergamos
On this day, St. Antipas, bishop of Pergamos, was martyred. He was a disciple of St.
John the evangelist (Rev. 2).
Domitianus started persecuting and killing the Christians because he heard, that they
were saying, that Christ was their God and King. This Saint was one of them. He was
tortured severely, but adhered more to the faith. During his imprisonment, St. John
the evangelist sent him a message to comfort and strengthen him. In his message, he
called him faithful priest and good shepherd.
Finally, the Emperor placed him in a bull of brass and lighted fire under him until he
delivered up his soul in the hand of the Lord. The believers took his body and placed it
with great honor in the church.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. James the Apostle Brother of St. John the Apostle
On this day, St. James the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. John,
the Apostle, was martyred. After he had preached the Gospel in Judea and Samaria,
he went to Spain. He preached the Gospel there, and its people believed in the Lord
Christ. He returned to Jerusalem and pursued his ministry.
He always advised his flock to give alms to the poor, the needy, and the weak. They
accused him before Herod who called him and asked him: "Are you the one that
instigating the people not to give the taxes to Caesar but to give it to the poor and
the churches?" Then he smote him with the sword, cutting off his head, and St. James
received the crown of martyrdom.
Clement of Alexandria, from the fathers of the second century, said: "The soldier that
seized the Saint, when he saw his courage, he realized that there must be a better
life and asked the Saint for his forgiveness. Then the soldier confessed Christianity
and received the crown of martyrdom (Acts 12:1,2) along with the Apostle in the year
44 A.D."
Because Herod saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also.
So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four
squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after
Passover. (Acts 12:3-4)
So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration
to them. And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" Then
immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God. And
he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:21- 23)
As of the body of St. James, the believers took it, shrouded it, and buried it by the
Temple. It was said that the body of St. James was translated to Spain, where James
the elder considered to be its Apostle.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Eighteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. Arsenius, Slave of St. Sousnyous
On this day St. Arsenius, the slave of St. Sousnyous, was martyred. When Emperor
Diocletian was torturing St. Sousnyous, St. Sousnyous father told the Emperor that
Sousnyous had a slave, whose name is Arsenius and that he worshiped Christ and
denounced the worship of the idols.
The Emperor brought the slave and asked him about his belief. Arsenius confessed the
Divinity of the Lord Christ, and also admonished the Emperor for deserting the worship
of the true God and his insistence on worshiping the idols. The Emperor became
furious and ordered him to beheaded him before his master, and thus he received the
crown of martyrdom.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Mouth of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Simeon the Armenian, Bishop of the country of Persia and 150
with him.
2. The Martyrdom of the blessed Youhanna (John) Abu Nagaah El-Kabeer.
3. The Martyrdom of the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd ibn Ibrahim and his companions.
4. The Martyrdom of Daoud (David), the Monk.
1. On this day, St. Simeon the Armenian, Bishop of the country of Persia, and 150 with
him, were martyred. This Bishop lived during the reign of Sapor (Shapur), the son of
Hormiz, king of Persia, who was unjust and oppressive to the Christians.
This Saint wrote a letter to king Sapor and told him: "Those whom the Lord Christ has
bought with His honorable Blood had rid themselves from the servitude of men, and it
is not conceivable for them to be in servitude for those who transgress the Law."
When the king had read this letter, he became exceedingly wrath. He brought him,
bound him with chains, and cast him into the prison. In prison, he found prisoners who
worshipped the sun. The Saint rebuked them, taught them, and they believed in the
Lord Christ.
They confessed their faith before the king, who brought the Saint from the prison,
because he preached them the faith. The king ordered to cut off the heads of the
Saint and the 150 persons with him, and they received the crown of martyrdom.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 719 A.M., the blessed Youhanna (John) Abu Nagaah
El-Kabeer, was martyred. He was one of the nobel Copts in the tenth and eleventh
centuries. He was the head scribe in his time, as he was the lay leader during the
reign of Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah the Fatimid Caliph. This great elder was a
contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, who was enthroned on March 28th.
979 A.D. and departed on November 8th. 1003 A.D.
Youhanna was a devout Christian, righteous, virtuous, charitable, and loving to the
church. He was zealous in the Orthodox faith. When Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah completed
the extermination of the people close to him and the leaders of the army, he turned to
the notables and chiefs of the scribes. He called ten of them and offered them to
adopt Islam. Youhanna, who was their head, was called first. Al-Hakim told him: "I
want you to leave your faith and adopt my faith, the Islam. I will make you my
minister to manage the affairs of my kingdom." Youhanna replied saying: "Give me a
chance until tomorrow to deliberate the matter with myself".
Youhanna went to his house, called his friends, informed them with what had
happened, and told them: "I am ready to die in the Name of the Lord Christ, and my
reason for asking for the delay, not to deliberate the matter with myself but to see
you and my family, to bid you and my family farewell, and to commend you and them.
Now my brothers, do not ask for this vain glory, for you will loose the eternal glory of
the Lord Christ Who satisfied us with the richness of the world, and now with His
mercy, He had called us to the Kingdom of Heaven, so strengthen your hearts."
His golden words, which were full of wisdom, influenced those who heard them,
strengthened their hearts, and they decided to die in the Name of the Lord Christ
also. He made a great feast for them, and then they went to their homes. The next
morning, Youhanna went to Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah who asked him: "O Nagaah, have
you decided?" Youhanna (John) replied saying "Yes". The Caliph asked: "Which way
have you decided?" Youhanna answered steadfastly and with courage: "Remaining in
my faith."
The Governor attempted with all ways of persuasion and threatening to make him
forsake Christianity. John was steadfast as a rock; nothing shook him away from the
Christian faith, and the Governor could not with all his powers make him renounce the
faith of his fathers.
When the Governor failed with Youhanna, he ordered to remove his clothes, be tied to
the squeezing wheels, and be beaten. They beat him five hundred lashes on his
delicate body, and his flesh was torn and his blood flew as water. The whips that were
used were made of cow hides; even the mighty ones could not bear one lash from it
on their bodies, much less, this gentle branch.
Then the Governor ordered to beat him up to one thousand lashes. After he was
beaten three hundred more lashes, he said as his Master: "I am thirsty." They stopped
beating him and informed the Governor who told them: "Water him after you tell him
forsake your faith." When they came to him with the water and told him as the Caliph
ordered, Youhanna replied with pride and dignity: "Take the water back to him, for I
do not need it, because My Master Jesus Christ had watered me and quenched my
thirst." The people who were standing around testified that they saw at this moment
water dripping from his beard. When he said that, he delivered up his soul.
When they told the tyrant Governor about his death, he ordered them to beat the
dead body to complete the one thousand lashes, and thus he was martyred, and
received the crown of martyrdom that was prepared for him by the Great King Jesus
Christ.
The History of the Patriarch did not mention the day that he was martyred, but
El-Makrizi in his manuscripts said: "The Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, one of the ten men
and the companion of Youhanna Ibn Nagaah, was slained in the nineteenth of
Barmoudah, 719 A.M. (April 14th., 1003 A.D.)" The martyrdom of the blessed
Youhanna Ibn Nagaah was mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs, before the
mentioning of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim. Youhanna, in the feast
that he made for his friends and kinfolks among whom were the other nine chosen
ones, did not mention the account of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd in what he said
during the feast. Accordingly, the martyrdom of this Saint was on the same day of the
martyrdom of the Vizier fahd.
His blessings be with us. Amen.
3. This day also marks the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Elder the Vizier
Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, who was distinguished in the later half of the tenth
century and early the eleventh century. He was also contemporary to Pope Philotheos,
63rd Patriarch, and from the Fatimid Caliphs, Al Emam Al-Azeez Be Allah, and his son
Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah.
He was an Orthodox Archon, adhered to his faith, faithful to his church, and charitable.
During his life, he never turned down anyone who asked him. Whenever he went
through the streets riding and one asked him, he would extend the sleeve of his cloak
and the one asking would find much good in it, and that to hide his virtue of giving.
This vizier was one of the powerful and influential men of the government during the
Fatimid Rule. Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah appointed him head of all the scribes and
department heads. He built the church of the martyr St. Mercurius in the present
monastery of Anba Rowais, which was known then by Dair El-Khandaq.
It is documented in the History of the Patriarchs that when Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah
wanted to make the notable Coptic scribes apostatize their faith, the Vizier Fahd was
one of the ten that was chosen for that purpose. He brought him and told him: "You
know that I have chosen and appointed you ahead of all the men in my government,
then listen to me and be with me in my religion, so I will promote you more than what
you are in now and be like a brother to me." When he did not answer him, he ordered
his neck to be cut off and to burn his body. The fire remained burning for three days
and the body did not burn, and his right hand that he extended to give alms, was
sound at all the time as the fire never touched it.
It was mentioned also in the book of El-Khetat El-Tawfikiah that the Vizier Abu Elaala
Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was discussing the affairs of the government with the head of the
army, El-Housain Ibn Gawhar, and El-Hakim was luring him to apostatize his faith with
many promises. When Fahd refused, he ordered his head to be cut off and to burn his
body but God protected his body from burning. He was buried in the southern corner of
the church of St. Mercurius, which he built in Dair El-khandaq. El-Makrizi wrote in his
manuscripts: "Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was killed after he had remained as a chief minister of
the government for five years, nine months and twelve days."
God had took revenge severely from the wicked people that discredited Abu Elaala
Fahd before the Caliph and changed his heart against him. Twenty-nine days after the
departure of Fahd, the wicked man, Aly Ibn Omar Ibn El-addas, was killed, then his
companion, Taher Mahmoud Ibn El-Nahawy, was killed.
The church also commemorates the rest of the ten chief ministers that the Governor
asked them to apostatize their faith. When they refused and disobeyed him, he
ordered to torture them. They were beaten with whips, and when the beating became
cruel, four of them became Muslims, one of them died the same night, and the other
three returned to their Christian Faith after the end of the time of persecution. The
rest departed while they were being tortured and received the crown of martyrdom and
acquired the eternal life.
4. On this day also, Daoud Ibn Ghobrial El-Bargy, the monk, was martyred. He was
from the village of Berkit Karmout. He was tortured severely but did not forsake the
faith, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1099 A.M.
Their intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twentieth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. Babnuda (Paphnute)
On this day, St. Babnuda (Paphnute), who was from Dandara (Dendereh), was
martyred. This Saint was a hermit monk. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and
told him to put on the priesthood vestments and go appear before Arianus, the
governor.
Arianus arrived with his ship and embarked by the city of Dandara, looking for that
Saint. The Saint came to Arianus and cried out in his face with a loud voice, saying: "I
am Christian, and I believe in the lord Christ." When the Governor knew that he was
the anchorite for whom he sought, he ordered him to be tortured severely. He chained
him with iron fetters and cast him in a dark prison. A heavenly light shone upon him
and an angel of the Lord appeared to him, healed his wounds, and comforted him.
There was in the city a man, whose name was Kyrillos, with his wife, his daughter,
and twelve young men. The Saint preached them and confirmed them in faith. They
were all martyred by cutting of their heads, and they received the crown of martyrdom.
The Governor was raged of him and ordered to hang a rock in his neck and cast him in
the sea, and St. Babnuda received the crown of martyrdom.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty First Day of the Blessed Month of Barnmoudah
1. The Commemoration of the Lady the Theotokos.
2. The Departure of St. Hierotheos, of Athens.
1. On this day, we celebrate the commemoration of the Lady Virgin Mary, the Mother
of God the Word.
Her intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Hierotheos (Berutawos) of Athens, departed. This father was
one of the learned men in the city of Athens. He met the Apostle St. Paul, and many
discussions took place between them which led to his belief on the Apostle's hand. He
baptized him, taught him the Ordinances and Law of the church, and then ordained
him a priest for this city. He frequently visited St. Dionysius the Areopagite, who was
also one of the learned men in Athens.
This Saint was present at the time of the departure of the Lady Virgin Mary, and he
stood in the midst of the apostles and comforted them with spiritual songs and hymns
which he sang accompanied with musical instruments.
He converted many Jews and Gentiles to the knowledge of the Lord Christ. When the
people wished to ordain him a bishop, he refused saying: "I just wish to be able to
perform the duties of a priest." Having finished his good strife, he went to the Lord
Whom he loved.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Second Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of St. Isaac (Ishaq), of Hourin.
2. The Departure of St. Alexander I, 19th Pope of the See of St. Mark.
3. The Departure of St. Mark 11, 49th Pope of the See of St. Mark.
4. The Departure of St. Michael 11, 53rd Pope of the See of St. Mark.
1. On this day the holy father Anba Isaac (Ishaq) departed. He was born in the city of
Hourin - Shabas, from unblemished parents. His father's name was Abraham, and his
mother's name was Susannah. His mother departed when he was a child, and his
father, shortly after, married another wife.
In those days there was a famine, and his step-mother hated him. She only gave him
a little bread, which he gave to the shepherds that he worked with. He fasted until
sunset, although he was only five years old. When his father knew that, he went to
see him to inquire into that. Knowing the matter, before his father came to him, he
tied up three pieces of mud in his cloak, so that his father might think when he saw
them from far that they were bread. When his father came and unrolled the cloak, he
found three pieces of bread. The shepherds who were present testified that the boy
had given them all what he had of bread, and others saw him tieing the pieces of mud
in his cloak. His father marvelled and glorified God.
When Isaac grew up, he went and became a monk with a righteous man whose name
was Elias, and he lived with him for many years. After the departure of Anba Elias, he
went to the mount of Barnug and lived with an old man whose name was Anba
Zacharias. His father went about everywhere trying to find him. When he found his
son living with St. Zacharias, he asked him to return with him. His teacher Anba
Zacharias advised him to obey his father and return with him.
He returned and stayed until his father's departure. He distributed all what his father
left him to the poor and needy. He then built for himself a place out side the city,
where he dwelt there alone. He went on asceticism and worship until he departed in
peace.
They buried him in his place of worship, and the place was forgotten. After many
years, God willed to reveal his body, and a great light appeared above his grave,
which was seen by reapers for three consecutive days. The believers came, took his
body, laid it on a camel, and journeyed with it until they came to a place between
Horein and Nashrat. The camel stopped, knelt down, and would not get up again. They
knew that this was the Lord's Will and they built a church for him in that place where
they placed the body with great honor.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 44 A.M. (April 17th., 328 A.D.) the holy father Pope
Alexander (Alexandros), 19th Pope of the See of St. Mark, departed.
This Pope was born in the city of Alexandria from Christian parents, and he grew up in
serving the church. Pope Maximus ordained him a reader, Pope Theonas ordained him
a deacon. Pope Peter (Petros the Seal of the Martyrs) ordained him a priest, and he
was virgin and chaste.
When the time of Pope Petros (Peter) martyrdom drew near, Alexander and father
Archelaus, who became Patriarch before him, went to him in prison, and asked him to
lift the excommunication from Arius. Anba Petros excommunicated Arius again in their
presence, and informed them that the Lord Christ had appeared to him and ordered
him not to receive him again and that father Archelaus will be Patriarch after him and
after Abba Archelaus, Pope Alexander will be ordained. He commanded that to the
priests of Alexandria and ordered them not to accept Arius, and to have no fellowship
with him. When Pope Archelaus sat on the Chair and received Arius, he only lived for
six months and died. When Pope Alexandros sat, the lay leaders came and asked him
to receive Arius, but he refused and added curses to what were already upon him. He
told them: "Pope Petros had commanded Pope Archelaus and myself to do that, and
when Pope Archelaus had received Arius, God speedily removed him from his office."
Pope Alexander expelled Arius from the country. Arius went to Emperor Constantine
and complained of the unjust treatment of this Pope. Emperor Constantine assembled
the Ecumenical Council of the Three Hundred and Eighteen in the city of Nicea. The
council was presided by Pope Alexander. He debated with Arius and revealed his
denial of Christ, then excommunicated him and those who follow his belief.
Alexander, along with the rest of the fathers, uttered the Creed, and drew up the
Canon, the Law, and the Statutes that are still in the hands of Christians until this
day. After he put down regulations for Lent and the feast of Easter, he returned to his
Chair, victorious and triumphant. He shepherded his flock with the best of care. He sat
on the throne of the See of St. Mark for 15 years, 9 months and 20 days, then
departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, of the year 535 A.M. (April 17th., 819 A.D.), the blessed father
Pope Mark (Marcus), 49th Pope of the See of St. Mark, departed.
This Pope was from Alexandria, and he a was chaste, learned, and honorable man.
Pope John ordained him a deacon, and he was an eloquent speaker. His voice was
sweet and all those who heard him rejoiced in him. The Pope handed him the
administration of the papal place, and he did nothing without his advice. When Pope
John put on him the garb of monks in the monastery, one of the elder monks shouted
saying: "This deacon whose name is Mark shall, rightly and fittingly sit upon the
throne of his father Mark, the Evangelist."
When pope John departed, the bishops unanimously agreed to choose him Patriarch.
He fled to the desert, but they caught up with him, brought him back, and enthroned
him Patriarch on the second of Amshir, 515 A.M. (January 26th., 799 A.D.).
He tended to the churches needs, and restored those that were in a ruinous state. He
returned many of the heretics to the Orthodox faith, healed many of the sick, and cast
out, of many of them, devils. He told them: "What had happened to you was because
you dared to partake of the Holy Mysteries with irreverence, so keep yourselves
henceforward from the evil words that come out of your mouth." In his days, the
Muslim Arabs conquered the Greek Isles, captured many of their women and children,
brought them to Alexandria, and started to sell them. The Pope gathered money from
the believers, and beside the funds of the monasteries that he had, he was able to
pay three thousand Dinars to save and free them. He wrote for them bills of
manumission and set them free. He provided those who wished to return to their
country with whatever they needed, and those who wished to stay, he gave them in
marriage and protected them. He took thought for the church of the Redeemer in
Alexandria and restored it, but some evil men burned it, so he restored it again.
When the Lord willed to give him rest, he became sick. He prayed the Divine Liturgy
and partook of the Holy Mysteries. He bade the bishops that were present farewell
and departed in peace after staying on the Chair 20 years, 2 months and 21 days.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, of the year 567 A.M. (April 17th., 851 A.D.), the holy father Pope
Michael (Khail), 53rd Pope of Alexandria, departed.
This father was a righteous monk, and he was ordained hegumen for the monastery of
the saint Abba John. Because of his good conduct, they chose him Patriarch, and he
was enthroned in the 24th. of Hatour 566 A.M. (November 20th., 849 A.D.).
When the Holy Fast came, he went to the desert of Scetis to keep the fast there. He
remembered his earlier life in the wilderness, so he asked God with tears and
supplication saying: "O God, you know how much I love solitary life and I have no
aptitude for the position that I am in." The Lord accepted his petition and he departed
in peace after the feast of Passover.
He stayed on the Chair one year, four months and twenty-eight days.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Third Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. George Prince of the Martyrs
On this day, of the year 307 A.D., the great among the martyrs St. George, was
martyred. He was born in Cappadocia; his father's name was Anastasius, and his
mother's name was Theobaste. When he was twenty years old, his father died, and he
went to Emperor Diocletian to take over his father's position. He found that the
Emperor had apostatized the faith and ordered the worship of idols. George was
sorrowful, and he gave all his wealth to the poor and needy and set free his slaves.
When he saw the edict of the Emperor against the Christians, he became raged and
tore it. They took him before the Emperor, and he cried in their middest saying: "For
how long you shall pour your anger against the innocent Christians, and force those
who know the true faith to adopt the faith that you are in doubt of because it is
fraudulent? So, either you believe on this true faith, or at least do not disturb with
foolishness those who are steadfast in it." The Emperor asked Mephnanius, one of his
ministers, to pacify and persuade him. He asked him: "Who taught you to be daring
like this." The Saint answered: "It is the truth," then started to explain it to him. The
Emperor interrupted, reminding the Saint with the ranks that he bestowed on him, and
promised him with more if he denied his Christ. The Saint refused with pride all these
vain propositions. The Emperor tortured him severely, but the Lord strengthened him
and healed all his wounds.
When the Emperor was weary of torturing him, he brought a magician, whose name
was Athanasius, who gave the Saint a cup full of poison to drink. St. George made the
sign of the cross over the cup then drank it. When no harm came upon him, the
magician believed in the Lord Christ, and received the crown of martyrdom. The
Emperor became raged and ordered to squeeze him until he delivered up his soul, and
they cast his body out side the city.
The Lord Christ raised him up, and the Saint returned to the city. When the people
saw him, three thousand and seven hundred souls believed. The Emperor ordered to
cut off their heads and they received the crown of martyrdom.
When St. George stood before Emperor Diocletian, along with seventy kings that were
sitting around him, they asked the Saint: "We wish you to make these chairs that we
are sitting on to put forth leaves, and bear fruit." The Saint prayed to the Lord Christ,
the Lord accepted his supplication and the chairs put forth leaves and bore fruit.
They took him once to a cemetery and asked him to raise the dead therein. He prayed
to the Lord Christ. The Lord raised them and after they talked to them, they returned
to their graves and died. A poor woman, brought her son, who was blind, deaf and
dumb, he prayed to the Lord Christ then made the sign of the cross over him, and he
was healed right away.
Diocletain, during all that, went on torturing St. George, until he was weary and bored
of that. He started to be pleasant to the Saint and promised to give him his daughter
in marriage if he would offer the incense to his gods. The Saint pretended that he
accepted his offer, and the Emperor rejoiced and brought him into the royal palace.
While St. George was praying the Psalms, the Empress heard him and asked him to
explain to her what he had said. He began to interpret to her all the events from the
creation of the world to the Incarnation of the Lord Christ, and his words entered her
heart and she believed in the Lord Christ, to Whom is the Glory.
The Emperor ordered to call upon all the men of the city to gather, in order to see
Saint George offering the incense to the Emperor's gods. When multitude gathered by
the idols, Gawargios (George) stood and cried at the idols in the Name of the Lord
Christ the Savior of the world. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed all the
idols. The Emperor and all those who were with him were ashamed and he returned to
his palace full of fury and wrath. The Empress told him: "Didn't I tell you not to
oppose the Galileans, for their God is strong and mighty?" The Emperor was
exceedingly wrath with her, for he knew that St. George had brought her also to his
faith. The Emperor with rage ordered to comb her body with a steel comb, then cut off
her head, and she received the crown of martyrdom. Finally, Diocletian decided to put
an end to the humiliation that befell him, so he ordered to cut off the head of St.
George, and he received the crown of martyrdom. A Christian took the body, wrapped
it in expensive shrouds, and took it to the city of Lydda, his home town, and they built
a great church on his name there.
His intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I), 55th Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Sina, the Soldier.
1. On this day, of the year 596 A.M. (April 19th., 880 A.D.), the great father Pope
Sinuthius (Shenouda I), 55th Pope of the See of St. Mark, departed. This holy father
was a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. He advanced in righteousness and
worship, and was ordained archpriest for the monastery.
Shortly after, he was chosen for the Patriarchate with the recommendation of the
people and bishops. He was enthroned on the 13th. of Tubah 575 A.D. (January 8th.,
859 A.D.), and great tribulations and severe persecutions befell him. God performed
through him many signs and healed many grievous sicknesses.
Once there was a drought in the city of Mariout for three years, the wells dried up and
the farm land became barren. This father came to the church of St. Mina, celebrated
the Divine Liturgy, and supplicated God to have mercy upon His creation. At the
setting of the sun of that day, the rain began lightly then ceased. This father entered
his room and stood up praying and he said: "O My Lord Christ, have mercy on Thy
people with the riches of Thy compassion, and let them be filled with Thy good
pleasure." Before he finished his prayer, mighty thunders and lightnings started, and
the rain descended like a flood, until the wells, the vineyards, and the farms were
filled with water. The people rejoiced, glorifying God the wonder worker.
When this father was in the wilderness visiting the monasteries, the Arabs of Upper
Egypt came to the desert of Scetis to plunder the monasteries and kill the monks. The
Pope took his staff that had the sign of the cross on it and he went forth to meet
them, when they saw the Cross they retreated and fled away. (The account of this
wonder is mentioned in the ninth day of the month of Baramoudah).
Some men, in a village called Boukhnessa, one of the villages of Mariout, said that He
Who suffered for us was only a man and that the Divinity had departed from Him. This
Pope wrote a letter and sent it during the Holy Fast (Lent) to be read in all the
churches. He said in it, "God the Word suffered for us in His Body, and His Divinity
was not separated from His humanity, not for a twinkling of an eye. The pain and
suffering did not touch and affect the Divinity, as when you hammer a red hot iron,
the iron suffers from the hammering but not the flame. For the passion of the
Humanity to be of value, the Hypostatic union with the Divinity was a must, and
through this passion Christ redeemed all the humanity."
Also, some men from the city of El-Balyana, and their bishops, said that the Divine
Nature died. When the father heard that, he wrote to them saying: "The Nature of
God, the Word, is unknowable, intangible, and impassable for it was impossible for
the pain to affect its essence. The participation of the Divinity with the humanity in
passion is moral participation, to give a value to these sufferings, to pay the debt of
the humanity to God the Omnipresent, and that would only be possible if the Divinity
would participate morally without affecting His essence. So we say "Holy God, Who
was crucified for us, have mercy upon us." When his letter reached them, they turned
from their error, and the bishops came and confessed the true and right faith before
the Pope and asked for forgiveness.
Pope Shenouda I, cared greatly for the churches, their buildings, and their needs. He
also cared for the places wherein pilgrims sojourned, and what money has left to him,
he gave to the poor and the needy. When he finished his good course, he departed in
peace. He stayed on the Chair of St. Mark for 21 years, 3 months and 11 days.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Sina, the companion of St. Isidore, was martyred. After the
Governor of Farma had tortured the two friends and St. Isidore was martyred, he kept
St. Sina in the prison until he was removed.
When the new Governor took charge with the command not to keep any one who
confessed the Name of Christ, he heard about the presence of Sina in prison, and that
he was a captain of soldiers. St. Sina was tortured much but did not turn from his
counsel. The Governor immediately ordered to cut off his head and he received the
crown of martyrdom. His mother was beside him when he was martyred, and she saw
a multitude of angels carrying away his soul as she saw St. Isidore's soul at the time
of his martyrdom before.
They took his body, shrouded it, laid it with the body of his friend St. Isidore in the
city of Samanoud, and many signs and wonders appeared from them.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Sarah, and her two sons.
2. The Commemoration of Sts. Babnuda (Paphnute) the hermit, Theodore the
worshipper, and the One hundred martyrs.
1. On this day, St. Sarah and her two sons, were martyred. She was from the city of
Antioch, the wife of a man whose name was Socrates, one of the governors of Emperor
Diocletian. This Governor had denied Christ to please Diocletian, pretending before his
wife that he did that because of his fear from the Emperor.
Sarah had two sons, she could not baptize in Antioch, because of her fear from the
Emperor and her husband. She took them and sailed to Alexandria to baptize them
there. God willed to reveal the greatness of her faith as a lesson to the generations to
come. God brought forth a great tempest and the ship was about to be wrecked and
drown. Sarah was afraid that her sons would be drowned without being baptized. She
prayed a long prayer, then she wounded her right breast, took some of her blood,
anointed them making the sign of the cross upon the foreheads, and over the hearts.
Then she dipped them in the sea three times saying: "In the Name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit."
After that, the winds died down, a great calm came on the sea, and the ship sailed
toward Alexandria. When she arrived, took her sons, went to the church, and handed
them to Pope Peter, the seal of the martyrs. He baptized them, together with the
children of the city. When the Pope carried one of her sons to baptize him, the water
froze. The Pope went on baptizing other children and came back to her sons, but the
water froze again. The same thing occurred on the third attempt. The Pope was
amazed and asked their mother about her story. She told him about all what
happened to her at sea and what she did for her sons. He glorified God and said: "It is
indeed one baptism."
When the woman returned to Antioch, her husband denounced what she had done. He
related what happened to the Emperor accusing his wife with adultery. The Emperor
brought her and reproached her saying: "Why did you go to Alexandria to commit
adultery with the Christians?" The Saint answered him: "Christians do not commit
adultery, and do not worship idols, and after this do what you wish, for you will not
hear another word from me."
The Emperor asked her: "Tell me what did you do in Alexandria?" When she did not
answer him, he ordered to tie her hands behind her, and to place her two sons on her
belly, and to bum all three of them. She turned her face to the east and prayed. They
burnt her, with her sons. She delivered up her pure soul along with her sons, and they
all received the crown of martyrdom.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of Sts. Babnuda (Paphnute) the hermit,
Theodore the worshipper, and the One hundred martyrs, who were martyred in Persia.
Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Sousenyos.
2. The Departure of Pope Youannis VII, 78th. Patriarch.
1. On this day, St. Sousenyos was martyred. This Saint was the son of one of the
friends of Emperor Diocletian. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and strengthened
his heart on receiving the crown of martyrdom, and he kept this in his heart.
The Emperor sent him to the city of Nicomedia to restore the worship of idols. This
Saint sorrowed exceedingly. He sent and brought a priest who taught him the doctrine
of the church, the facts of the faith and baptized him.
When his father knew that, he accused him to the Emperor that he did not worship the
idols. The Emperor ordered to torture him with severe tortures, but the Lord
strengthened and comforted him. Finally, they cut off his head, and he received the
crown of martyrdom.
The number of those who had seen him during his torture and believed because of
him, were eleven hundred and seventy. They were martyred and received the crown of
martyrdom,
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 1009 A.M. (April 21st, 1293 A.D.), Pope Youannis VII,
78th Patriarch, departed. After the lay leaders of Cairo had nominated Pope Gabriel III
for the Papacy, some of the lay leaders of Egypt agreed to choose Youannis Ebn
Abi-Saaid El-Soukary. They threw an altar lot which fell on Gabriel, but Youannis, the
above mentioned, along with his supporters, quarreled with Gabriel. Youannis nullified
the result of the lot and was enthroned in the 6th. of Tubah 978 A.M. (January 15th.,
1262 A.D.), after the departure of Pope Athanasius III, his predecessor.
He remained on the Patriarchal Chair six years, nine months, and nineteen days, then
he was dismissed. Pope Gabriel took over his place from the 24th. of Babah 985 A.M.
to the 6th. of Tubah 987 A.M., then he was dismissed. Youannis was reinstated by the
order of El-Sultan on the 7th. of Tubah. During Pope Youannis' days, in the year 980
A.M., El-Sultan ordered to dig a huge pit and throw the Christians in it, to be burned.
He brought the Patriarch and mandated him to pay fifty thousand Dinars, which took
two years to collect. Consequently, they released the Christians who suffered much
tribulations in his time, and the bishops suffered much afflictions. Pope Gabriel, his
predecessor,.317 departed during Pope Youannis second period of heading the church,
so he was listed in the list of the Patriarchs before Youannis.
Pope Youannis remained on the Chair in his second time of heading the church 22
years, 3 months, and 19 days, and departed in peace in the 26th. of Baramoudah 1009
A.M. He was buried in the gardens of El-Nastour monastery.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. Boctor Ebn Romanus
On this day, the honorable Saint Boctor (Victor) Ebn Romanus, the minister of Emperor
Diocletian, was martyred. His mother Martha had reared him in the Christian ethics.
He was promoted in the ranks in the kingdom until he became the third in succession.
He was then twenty years old.
He prayed and fasted much, visited the prisoners and assisted the poor and needy.
When they cut off the head of St. Theodata, the mother of Sts. Cosmas and Damian,
no one dared to bury her because they feared the Emperor. This Saint went forth and
took the body, shrouded it, then buried her, not caring about the Emperor's order.
St. Boctor often admonished his father for worshipping the idols, so his father accused
him before the Emperor. The Emperor had him brought and asked him to worship the
idols to obey the imperial order. The saint took off his soldier girdle and threw it in his
face saying: "Take your gift that you gave me." His father suggested to the Emperor
to send him to Alexandria to be tortured there.
On their way, his mother bid him farewell, crying, and he asked her to care for the
poor, the widows, and the lonely. When he arrived to Alexandria, the governor
Armanius tortured him many tortures, then he sent him to the governor of Ansena,
who tortured him also, then cut off his tongue and plucked out his eyes. The Lord
strengthened and comforted him every time. There was a fifteen years old girl who
was watching his torture from the window of her house. She saw a crown coming down
over his head. She confessed that before the governor and all those who were
present. The Governor ordered her head to be cut off and also the head of St. Boctor.
They received the crown of life in the Kingdom of Heaven.
There is a district in Alexandria until now known as El Boctoriah (Victoria), named
after this Saint, because probably there was a church on his name in this district.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of St. Milius, The Ascetic
On this day, St. Milius, the ascetic, was martyred. This father was an ascetic and
fighter all the days of his life. He dwelt in a cave with his two disciples in mount
Khurasan.
The two sons of the king of Khurasan went out to hunt wild animals and they set up
their nets. This Saint fell in their net, and he was dressed in sackcloth made of hair,
and his hair was exceedingly long. When they saw him they were afraid of him and
asked him: "Are you a man or a demon?" He answered: "I am a sinful man and I dwell
here in this mount to worship the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God." They
told him: "There is no God except the sun and the fire, offer the sacrifices to them
lest we kill you." He answered them: "These things have been created by God. You are
not aware of the truth. It is preferable for you to worship the true God, the creator of
all these things." They asked him: "Do you claim that he Whom the Jews crucified is
God?" He said to them: "Yes, He Who was crucified for our sins, and Who was killed
and died, is God indeed." The two princes were raged of him. They seized his two
disciples, tortured, and then slew them.
As for St. Milius, they continued to torture him for two weeks. Finally, they made him
stand up between them and shot arrows at him until he departed in peace. On the
following day they went on hunting, followed a wild beast, and shot arrows at him,
and God turned their arrows into their own hearts killing them.
The prayers of this Saint be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
1. The Departure of St. Erastus, the Apostle.
2. The Departure of St. Acacius, Bishop of Jerusalem.
1. On this day, St. Erastus, one of the Seventy Apostles, departed. He received the
grace of the holy spirit in the upper room of Zion with the Disciples. He preached,
ministered, and suffered along with them frequently.
They laid the hands on him, and ordained him bishop for Jerusalem. He taught there
and in many other places, and God worked great signs and wonders on his hands. As
example he changed bitter salty water to sweet water.
He labored with St. Paul the apostle in his many journeys, for he ministered unto him.
He is mentioned in chapter nineteen of the Acts of the Apostles. After he reached a
good old age, he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Acacius, Bishop of Jerusalem, departed. He was a pure and
righteous man. He was persecuted for a long time, and God wrought many signs and
wonders by his hands, then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah
The Martyrdom of the Great Saint Mark, the Apostle The Evangelist of the Land of
Egypt
On this day, which coincided with the 26th. of April 68 A.D., the great apostle St.
Mark, the evangelist of the land of Egypt, was martyred. He was the first Pope of
Alexandria and one of the Seventy Apostles.
His name was John, as the Holy Bible says: "He came to the house of Mary, the
mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together
praying" (Acts 12:12). He was the one that the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory,
meant when He said: "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The Teacher
says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples"
(Matthew 26:18).
His house was the first Christian church, where they ate the Passover, hid after the
death of the Lord Christ, and in its upper room the Holy Spirit came upon them.
This Saint was born in Cyrene (One of the Five Western cities, Pentapolis - in North
Africa). His father's name was Aristopolus and his mother's name was Mary. They were
Jewish in faith, rich and of great honor. They educated him with the Greek and Hebrew
cultures. He was called Mark after they emigrated to Jerusalem, where St. Peter had
become a disciple to the Lord Christ. St. Peter was married to the cousin of
Aristopolus. Mark visited St. Peter's house often, and from him he learned the
Christian teachings.
Once Aristopolus and his son Mark were walking near the Jordan river, close by the
desert, they encountered a raving lion and a lioness. It was evident to Aristopolus
that it would be his end and the end of his Son, Mark. His compassion for his son
compelled him to order him to escape to save himself. Mark answered, "Christ, in
whose hands our lives are committed, will not let them prey on us." Saying this, he
prayed, "O, Christ, Son of God protect us from the evil of these two beasts and
terminate their offspring from this wilderness." Immediately, God granted this prayer,
and the two beasts fell dead. His father marvelled and asked his son to tell him about
the Lord Christ. He believed in the Lord Christ at the hands of his son who baptized
him.
After the ascension of the Lord Christ, he accompanied Paul and Barnabas to preach
the Gospel in Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus, Salamis, and Perga Pamphylia where he left
them and returned to Jerusalem. After the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, he went
with Barnabas to Cyprus.
After the departure of Barnabas, with the order of the Lord Christ, St. Mark went to
Afrikia, Berka, and the Five Western cities. He preached the Gospel in these parts,
and believed on his hands most of its people. From there, he went to Alexandria in
the 1st. of Bashans 61 A.D.
When he entered the city, his shoe was torn because of the much walking in preaching
and evangelism. He went to a cobbler in the city, called Anianus, to repair it. While he
was repairing it the awl pierced his finger. Anianus shouted in Greek saying "EIS
THEOS" which means "O, ONE GOD". When St. Mark heard these words his heart
rejoiced exceedingly. He found it suitable to talk to him about the One God. The
Apostle took some clay, spat on it and applied it to Anianus' finger, saying in the
Name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the wound healed immediately, as if
nothing happened to it.
Anianus was exceedingly amazed from this miracle that happened in the Name of
Jesus Christ, and his heart opened to the word of God. The Apostle asked him about
who was the only God that he cried for when he was injured. Anianus replied "I heard
about him, but I do not know him." St. Mark started explaining to him from the
beginning, the creation of heaven and earth, the transgression and fall of Adam, the
flood, how God sent Moses, who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave
them the Law, the captivity of the children of Israel to Babylon, and the prophecies
that foretold the coming of Christ.
Anianus invited him to go to his house and brought to him his children. The Saint
preached and baptized them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
When the believers in the Name of Christ increased and the pagan people of the city
heard that, they were raged with anger and thought of slaying St. Mark. The faithful
advised him to get away for a short while for the sake of the safety of the church and
its care. St. Mark ordained St. Anianus a Bishop for Alexandria, three priests and
seven deacons. He went to the Five Western Cities, remained there for two years
preaching, and ordained bishops, priests, and deacons.
He returned to Alexandria where he found the believers had increased in number, and
built a church for them in the place known as Bokalia (The place of cows), east of
Alexandria on the sea shore.
It came to pass, when he was celebrating the feast of the Resurrection on the 29th
day of Baramudah, year 68 A.D., the same day coincided with the great pagan
Celebration for the feast of the god Syrabis, a multitude of them assembled and
attacked the church at Bokalia and forced their way in. They seized St. Mark, bound
him with a thick rope and dragged him in the roads and streets crying, "Drag the
dragon to the place of Cows." They continued dragging him with severe cruelty. His
flesh was torn and scattered everywhere, and the ground of the city was covered with
his blood. They cast him that night into a dark prison.
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him: "O Mark, the good servant,
rejoice for your name has been written in the book of life, and you have been counted
among the congregation of the saints." The angel disappeared, then the Lord Christ
appeared to him, and gave him peace. His soul rejoiced and was glad.
The next morning (30th of Baramudah), the pagans took St. Mark from the prison.
They tied his neck with a thick rope and did the same as the day before, dragging him
over the rocks and stones. Finally, St. Mark delivered up his pure soul in the hand of
God, and received the crown of martyrdom, the apostolic crown, the crown of
evangelism, and the crown of virginity.
Nevertheless, St. Mark's death did not satisfy the rage of the pagans and their hatred.
They gathered much firewood and prepared an inferno to burn him. A severe storm
blew and heavy rains fell. The pagans became frightened, and they fled away in fear.
The believers came and took the holy body, carried it to the church they built at
Bokalia, wrapped it up, prayed over him and place it in a coffin. They laid it in a secret
place in this church.
The prayers of this great Saint and honorable Evangelist be with us and Glory be to
our God forever. Amen.
  • The Blessed Month Of Baramoudah
The First Day