Coptic Synaxarium




The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary The Mother of God
On this day the church celebrates the birth of the pure Virgin St. Mary, the Mother of
God (Theotokos), through whom Salvation came to mankind. She was born in the city
of Nazareth, where her parents lived. Her father was grieved in his heart for he could
not offer an offering to God for he did not have any children. In the fullness of time
according to the Divine Will, the angel of the Lord was sent to announce Joachim, her
father, while he was on the mountain praying, and said to him: "The Lord will give you
offspring through whom salvation comes to the world."
Immediately he went down the mountain believing what the angel told him, and he
told his wife Anna of what he saw and heard. She rejoiced, gave thanks to the Lord,
and vowed that the child who was to be born to her would become a servant in the
house of the Lord all the days of her/his life. She conceived, and gave birth to this
Saint and called her Mary who had become the Queen of all women of the world, and
through her we have received the grace.
May her intercession be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Second Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of the righteous Job.
2. The Departure of St. Tadros (Theodore), the disciple of St. Pachomius.
3. The Martyrdom of St. Philothaos.
1. On this day the righteous Job departed. He was a righteous man in his generation
and upright in his time, as the bible testified about him: "... there is none like him on
the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:8)
The devil envied him and asked God to allow him to harm Job and to destroy his
wealth. God allowed that, because of His foreknowledge of the patience and
perseverance of Job and that he would be an example and a model for those who
come after him as the bible said: "You have heard of the perseverance of Job
and seen the end intended by the Lord" (James 5:11). In one day, Job lost his sons
and daughters, his cattle, and all his wealth. In addition, the evil one also stricken his
body with a Leprosy from his head to his feet. In all this Job offered thanksgiving and
praise to God, and never murmured or grumbled against his Creator. All what he said
was: "May the day perish on which I was born" (Job 3:3). He said also about the loss
of his children: "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name
of the LORD." (Job 1:21) "In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job
1:22).
The thing that hurt Job the most, was the harsh words of his wife and his friends. His
wife advised him to blaspheme, but Job refused, and rebuked her saying: "You speak
as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall
we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips" (Job 2:10).
Job remained sick for 30 years until he was purified as gold is purified with fire. At
last the Lord spoke to him from the clouds and healed him from his sickness and
doubled the wealth he had and gave him other sons and daughters. He lived to a good
old age and departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also St. Tadros (Theodore) the disciple of St. Pachomius, the father of
the spiritual monastic communal life (Coenobitic system), departed. He became monk
at a young age under the guidance of Anba Pachomius and showed great asceticism,
with extraordinary obedience, so that St. Pachomius loved him and he delegated him
to preach to the brethren.
When St. Pachomius departed, St. Tadros replaced him. He was a good example in
meekness and patience. When he completed his course, and finished his strife, he
departed to the Lord whom he loved.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, St. Philothaos was martyred. He was from the people of "Doronka"
in the province of Assuit. He was tortured without denying his faith and finally he
received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1096 A.M.
May his intercession be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Third Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of St. Jason, one of the Seventy disciples.
2. The Departure of St. Otimus, the Priest.
3. The Departure of Pope Gabriel IV, the 86th. Patriarch of Alexandria.
1. On this day St. Jason, one of the seventy disciples who were chosen by the Lord,
departed. He ministered with the disciples before the passion of the Savior, and
performed many signs and wonders. Then he was supported by the grace and power
on the day of Pentecost.     He was born in Tarsus, and was the first to believe from
this city. He accompanied St. Paul on his evangelical missions, and journeyed with
him to many countries. He was arrested with St. Paul and Silas in Thesalonica, and
when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. (Acts 17:9)
He was ordained bishop by St. Paul over Tarsus where he shepherded the church of
Christ with the best of care. He preached the Gospel also in the city of Korkiras, many
believed on his hands and he baptized them. He built for them a church in the name
of St. Stephen the Archdeacon. When the Governor of the city knew about this, he
arrested him and imprisoned him. He met seven thieves in the prison, taught them
the faith and baptized them. They confessed their faith in the Lord Christ openly
before the Governor who put them in a caldron filled with tar and sulphur, they
departed and were granted the crown of martyrdom.
Then, the Governor brought St. Jason from the prison, and tortured him with much
torture but he was not harmed. The daughter of the Governor watched this torture
from her window and she believed in the Lord Christ, the God of St. Jason. She took
off her jewelry and ornaments and distributed them among the poor, and confessed
that she was Christian and believed in the God of Jason. Her father became angry, he
threw her in prison, and ordered to throw arrows at her. She gave up her pure spirit in
the hand of Christ whom she loved.
The Governor sent St. Jason to one of the islands to be tortured there. He took a boat
with some soldiers to this island, and God drowned them all and saved St. Jason, who
continued to teach and preach for many years until another Governor was installed.
The new Governor brought him and the Christians who were with him, and tortured
them much. When the Governor saw that his torture did not harm their bodies, he and
all those in his city also believed in the Lord Christ Who only Has the power to protect
His chosen one. The Saint baptized them all, taught them the commandments of the
Gospel, and built for them churches. God performed through him many miracles and
signs. He departed in a good old age.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Otimus the priest was martyred. He was born in Fowwa, and
because of his righteousness, he was ordained a priest for his city. He taught and
confirmed the faithful in the faith. Afterwards, he moved to mount Ansena. When
Emperor Diocletian incited the persecution against the Christians, the account of this
Saint reached Arianus the governor of Ansena. He brought him and offered him to
worship the idols, and the Saint did not hearken to his orders. He tortured him much,
but the Lord strengthened him. When the Governor became weary of his torturing, he
ordered him to be burned. He was burned and received the crown of martyrdom.
His body was taken by a God fearing priest, who shrouded the body and hid it in a
place until the end of the time of persecution. They built him a church where God
revealed many miracles. It is believed that his body still exists in the city of Kalabsha
near El-Santa.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also of the year 1094 A.M. (April 1378 A.D.), Pope Gabriel the fourth,
the 86th Patriarch, departed. He was the abbot of the monastery of El-Moharrak. He
sat on the apostolic throne on the 11th of Tubah, 1086 A.M. (January 6th, 1370 A.D.).
He was a great scholar and righteous ascetic. During his time, in the year 1370 A.D., a
great light appeared during the night which looked like a day light and lingered until
dawn. In 1371 A.D., there was a great flood in the river Nile valley which threatened
to drown all the land.
He was contemporary of El-Sultan Shabaan and El-Sultan Ali Ebn-Shabaan El Mansour.
He sat on the throne for 8 years, three months, and twenty two days. He was buried
beside Simeon the shoe maker.
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 Bashans
1. The Departure of Pope John (Youhanna) the First, the Twenty Ninth Patriarch of the
See of St. Mark.
2. The Departure of pope Yoannis the Fifth the Seventy Second Patriarch.
1. On this day of the year 221 A.M. (April 29th., 505 A.D.), Pope John the first, the
twenty ninth Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was born in Alexandria to
Christian parents, and was attracted since his youth to the monastic life. He became a
monk in the wilderness of St. Macarius, and he was chosen Patriarch after the
departure of his predecessor Pope Athanasius the second. He did not accept but was
taken by force by the bishops, priests, and lay leaders and ordained him on the first of
Babah of the year 213 A.M. (September 29th., 496 A.D.). After his enthronement, he
gave special attention to education and preaching for the edification and the
steadfastness of the faithful in the Orthodox faith. He was the first Patriarch to be
chosen from among the monks.
The Roman Emperor in Constantinople, at that time, was the righteous Emperor
Zenon. For this reason the hand of the Patriarch was strengthened in spreading the
Orthodox faith in all of Egypt. The Emperor sent all the needs of the monasteries from
wheat, oil, wine and money to renew the buildings of their cells and to restore their
churches. All the days of this pope were days of peace and tranquility. When he
finished his good course, he became sick for a short time, and then departed in peace,
after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for eight years and seven months.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 882 A.M. (April 29th., 1166 A.D.), Pope Yoannis the
fifth, the 72nd. Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was John the monk from the
monastery of Abu-Yehnis (John). He was enthroned on the 2nd. of El-Nasi (Intercalary
days), year 863 A.M. (August 25th., 1147 A.D.) He was a holy, righteous, and pure
man. In his days, the Copts (El-Nasarah - Christians) were persecuted by the Moslem
governors (Emams) and Khalifas, and many were killed or sold as slaves. A monk
named "Bashnouna" from the monastery of St. Macarius was martyred on the 24th. of
Bashons year 880 A.M. (1164 A.D.) and his body was burned for he refused to change
his faith. The bones of this Saint were preserved in the church of Abu-Serga. They also
destroyed the church of St. Mina in Haret El-Rome, and the church of El-Zohari and
many other churches in different parts of Cairo after they plundered what was in them.
But God permitted these churches to be rebuilt by the Coptic layman Abu El-Fakher
Salib Ebn-Mikhail.
The Patriarch was arrested during the days of El-Aadel Ebn El-Selar and was
imprisoned because he refused to ordain a Metropolitan for Ethiopia instead of its
Metropolitan who was still alive. The metropolitan name was Anba Michael El-Atfihi
who was ordained by Pope Macarius. The Pope was released two weeks later because
of the death of El-Aadel.
During the days of this Patriarch, the words "Life-giving" was added to the confession
which became: "This is the life-giving Flesh that Thine Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord,
God and Savior, Jesus Christ, took from our Lady ..."
He departed after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for 18 years, 8 month, and 4
days.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fifth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Martyrdom of St. Jeremiah the Prophet
On this day, the prophet Jeremiah, one of the major prophets, the son of Hilkiah the
priest, was martyred. He prophesied in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah
and Jehoiakim son of Josiah. God had chosen him for He said: "Before I formed you in
the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet
to the nations" (Jr 1:5). He rebuked the children of Israel for they left the worship of
God and rejected His Commandments. He warned them of the anger of God if they did
not return on their transgressions. When he saw their hard hearts and the fast
approaching judgement of the Lord, he prayed fervently weeping so that God might
forgive the sins of his people. God rejected his prayers with regard to those who did
not obey him, and He moved Nebuchadnezzar to besiege Jerusalem. His soldiers
conquered it under the leadership of Nebuzardan who killed many of them inside the
city. After they had taken all the precious possessions of the temple, the king's
palace, and the nobles of the people, they took with them all those who were left
alive to Babylon. Among those who were driven to exile was the prophet Jeremiah.
Nevertheless, when Nebuzardan saw him bound with the rest, he set him free. He
then wrote his "Lamentations" for the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, the temple
and the exile of his people for 70 years in babylon.
This Prophet prophesied about the coming of Our Lord and Savior, and His sufferings
and passion. His life ended when the jews themselves stoned him in Egypt, and he
died a martyr in prison.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Sixth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Martyrdom of St. Isaac El-Defrawi.
2. The Departure of St. Macarius of Alexandria.
3. The Departure of Father Paphnute of El-Bandarah.
1. On this day, St. Isaac El-Defrawi was martyred. He was born in the city of Defra,
district of Tanta. When he grew up, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision,
and told him to go to the town of Towwa, district of Beba, to receive the crown of
martyrdom. He instantly went to his parents to bid them farewell, they wept and
forbade him from doing that. The angel of the Lord appeared to him again and took
him out of the town. When he arrived to Towwa, he professed his faith before the
Governor saying: "I believe in the Lord Christ". The Governor placed him under guard
until he had returned from the city of Nakyos.
It happened when St. Isaac was passing by, with the soldier, a blind man, was sitting
on the wayside, asked him to give him sight. He said to him: "Do not say give me, but
let it be according to your faith", and then he prayed to the Lord Christ for his sake,
and the man was given sight straightaway. When the soldier saw that, he believed.
When the Governor returned, the soldier confessed the Lord Christ before him, he
ordered to cut off his head, and received the crown of martyrdom.
The Governor became angry at St. Isaac, and tormented him severely, then sent him
to the city of El-Bahnasa to be tortured there. It happened when he was in the boat,
he asked for a drink, and a sailor gave him little of water, and the man was with one
eye. The Saint took some of the water and poured it over him, and the man received
the sight in his blind eye immediately. When the Saint arrived to El-Bahnasa, the
Governor tortured him severely, but the Lord comforted and healed him and finally the
Governor ordered him to be beheaded, and he received the crown of life. Some of the
faithful took his body and carried it to his town Defra and buried him there. Then they
built a church after his name.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 395 A.D., the blessed father St. Macarius of Alexandria
departed. He was a contemporary of St. Macarius the great (Senior), the father of the
monks, and for this reason, he was called St. Macarius, the Junior. He became a monk
at one of the monasteries near by Alexandria. For his asceticism, he became the
father and the spiritual guide for all the monk's cells in the area that near by
Alexandria, so he was also called the father of the cells.
He practiced many worships and possessed many virtues in his ascetic life. Among
these practices, he once stayed for five days with his thoughts in heaven, occupied
with early Saints, prophets, angels, apostles and the Lord Christ, while he was
standing on his sleeping mat. After two nights, the devils started to scratch his feet,
twisting themselves as snakes around his feet. They also showed him fire in his cell,
however with patience, the fire and the phantoms disappeared. On the fifth day, he
could not control his thoughts with regards to the needs of life. This happened so that
he would not become proud of what he had spiritually achieved. He said to himself: "I
have remained in the ascetic life for 50 years, and they had not been like these five
days."
After he had managed the schools of those were seeking to be baptized, he lived
alone (Recluse) in the year 335 A.D. in el-Natroun desert, where he became the abbot
of all the monasteries in this desert.
It happened that he walked in the desert for several days in unpaved road, and was
placing sticks of reed during the way to help him recognize the way to come back.
When he wanted to return, he found the devil had removed all the sticks to mislead
him. When he became thirsty, God sent him a wild cow, and he drank from its milk,
until he returned to his cell.
One day a hyena came to him and pulled his garment. He followed her to her den, and
it brought out her three young ones. He found that they were all malformed, and was
amazed from the intelligence of the animal. He prayed and put his hands on them,
and they were healed. The hyena disappeared for a while, and she came back with a
sheep skin which he used to sleep on until his departure.
At one time, the thoughts of pride disturbed him until he was weary of it. These
thoughts invited him to come to Rome to heal the sick there, instead of them
suffering the travel to him. He slept in his cell, and extended his feet outside the cell,
and said to his thoughts: "You can travel now if you can." When his thoughts went on
disturbing him, he carried on his shoulder a basket full of sand, and walked in the
desert until he became physically tired, the thoughts of pride left him, and he rested.
Once, he went to the monastery of St. Pachomius in a layman's garment, and stayed
there during the forty days of Lent. No one saw him eating or sitting down. He was
making baskets of palm leaves while he was standing. The monks said to St.
Pachomius: "Cast out this man from here, for he is not human." He asked them to be
patient until God reveals his story to them. St. Pachomius inquired of God about him,
and God told him that he was St. Macarius of Alexandria. They were all happy to hear
that, they welcomed him and received his blessings. When he found that his virtues
have been revealed, he returned to his monastery.
It happened that it did not rain for some time in Alexandria, and the Patriarch called
him. When he arrived to Alexandria, the rain started to fall, and it continued to rain
until they asked him to stop it. He prayed and God stopped it.
Emperor Valens exiled him with St. Macarius the great to one of the islands. They
guided its people to the Christian faith, and then they returned to their monasteries.
He considered that the virtue that was revealed and became known to everyone, was
rendered useless. When he heard that someone had a virtue that he did not have, he
practiced this virtue until he mastered it more than him.
He completed his life in a good spiritual conduct until he reached a good old age, and
departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, father Papnoda (Paphnute) who was from El-Bandarah, departed.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Seventh Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure of St. Athanasius the Apostolic the 20th. Pope of Alexandria
On this day of the year 89 A.M. (373 A.D.) the great Pope Anba Athanasius the
apostolic, the 20th. Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was born to pagan parents
about the year 295 - 298 A.D. It happened that when he was in school, he saw some
Christian children acting the Christian retuals some as priests, some as deacons and
one of them as a bishop. He asked their permission to participate with them, but they
refused saying: "You are pagan, and you are not allowed to mix with us." He answered
them: "I am from now on a Christian." They rejoiced with him, they made him a
patriarch over them in the play, they enthroned him on a high place, and they offered
him honor and respect. At that time pope Alexandros passed by, when he saw them,
he said to those who were with him about Athanasius: "This child would be in a great
position one day."
When Athanasius' father died, his mother brought him to Pope Alexandros, who taught
them the principles of the Christian faith and baptized them. They gave their money
to the poor, and stayed with the Pope, who taught Athanasius the church subjects,
and ordained him deacon and made him a personal secretary. The gifts of the Holy
spirit increased in him. He was chosen Patriarch on the 8th. of Bashans of the year 44
A.M. (May 5th., 328 A.D.) after the departure of Pope Alexanderos.
Pope Alexanderos had recommended Athanasius, his deacon, for the Papacy, who lived
with St. Antonios the father of the monks and followed his example in asceticism. He
manifested his brilliancy in exposing "Arius" in the universal council, when Arius said
about Christ that he was "similar" in essence with the Father, St. Athanasius said:
"One in essence with the Father." In this fashion he manifested his excellence.
St. Athanasius hid himself in the mountains, after the departure of Pope Alexanderos
for he believed of his unworthiness to this serious and important position. The people
sought him until they found him, and brought him to the bishops, and was ordained
Pope in 328 A.D. The historian Socrates testified about him saying: "Athanasius
fluency in speech and his outspokenness in the council of Nicea brought over him all
the hardships that he encountered in his life."
After he became a Pope, he ordained for Ethiopia its first Metropolitan whose name
was Anba "Salama". The church of Ethiopia have followed the church of Alexandria
since that time. The spiritual and religious state in Ethiopia had established and
settled since that time.
St. Athanasius was exiled away from his Chair five times:
1. The First Exile:
Arius, after he had been excommunicated, tried to return to Alexandria, by sending a
misleading and flattering letter to Emperor Constantine, which touched him. The
Emperor asked Pope Athanasius to take him back. Athanasius refused to accept him
because that would be a contradiction to the decision of the Universal Council.
The Arians accused Pope Athanasius with these charges:
1. That he supported pope Philominus who rebelled against the government.
2. That he broke the communion cup of the priest Eskira, and destroyed his altar.
3. That he killed bishop Arsanius, and used his arms in sorcery.
4. That he also raped a nun.
The Pope cleared himself from the first charge. A council was assembled in Tyre, most
of the attendants were Arians, were against Athanasius to look into these charges. In
the second charge, the Lord moved the priest Eskira's heart, who had conspired with
them to testify falsely against him, and he cleared the Pope from that charge.
With regard of the third charge, Arsanius the bishop, who had agreed with them to
accuse the Pope falsely for his murder, came to the council. Pope Athanasius kept him
in an adjacent room. The Arians brought two arms of a dead person and claimed that
they were the arms of Arsanius. Then Arsanius was brought in, and showed his arms
to the council and declared his regrets. The Arians said that Athanasius was a sorcerer
and he was able to make arms for him. They became violent against Arsanius who left
the council and went to the Emperor.
Then they looked in the matter of the rape, they brought a harlot who claimed that
Athanasius raped her. One of the entourage of Pope Athanasius, a priest called
Timothy said to her: "How dare you to say that I came to your house, and
overpowered your will?" She thought that the priest was Athanasius for she did not
know him, and she said: "You are". At once the false claim was exposed.
Athanasius could not meet the Emperor because of the interferences of the Arians,
who accused him before the Emperor that he prevented the export of the wheat from
Alexandria to the Emperor. The Emperor gave his order to exile Athanasius to Trefe
(Treves) in France in February 5th., 335 A.D. where its bishop had met him with great
honor.
Arius died a horrible death as Socrates said: "God made Arius to die in a public
washroom, where his bowels poured out of his body, and the people regarded his
death as a punishment from the Divine Justice."
When the Emperor heard about the death of Arius, he recognized the innocence of
Athanasius, and recommended while he was on his death bed, in the year 337 A.D.
that Athanasius be returned to Alexandria. After the departure of Constantine, the
Empire was divided, Constantine II over France, Egypt became under the rule of
Constantius, and Constance over Italy.
With the mediation of Constantine, the Pope returned in the year 338 A.D. The people
of Alexandria received him with great joy.
2. The Second Exile:
The Arians did not stop at that, but assembled a council, where they excommunicated
Athanasius. They appointed instead someone called Gregory, and they sent their
decision to Julius, Bishop of Rome. Pope Athanasius assembled a council in Alexandria
in 340 A.D. where he protested against the Arians, then he wrote a letter to all the
churches to declare his innocence.
However, the Arians influenced Philogorius to help to install their appointed Patriarch
Gregory to take over the churches of Alexandria, and they also influenced Emperor
Constantius. The people of Alexandria were horrified, and decided to resist, but the
Arians attacked the churches in Alexandria on Good Friday, raped and slained many
worshipers.
Pope Athanasius sought the help of all the churches in the world, left his Chair, and
traveled to Rome. A council was assembled in Sardica, where they declared:
a. The innocence of Pope Athanasius
b. Confirmed the cannons and the Creed of faith of the Council of Nicea.
c. They excommunicated the Arian bishops.
d. Deposed Gregory from his office.
They delegated two bishops to meet Emperor Constans, the ruler of Italy, who agreed
on what the council had decided, and threatened his brother Emperor Constantius with
war if he did not return Athanasius to Alexandria. At the same time, some Egyptian
radicals rose up and killed Gregory in 349 A.D. Athanasius returned for the second
time to his Chair, and the people received him with joy. Gregory the Theologian, the
writer of the liturgy, described this reception saying: "The people came as the flood of
the Nile," and he also pointed out to the palm branches, the carpets, and the many
clapping hands.
3. The Third Exile:
The Arians did not like the return of Athanasius to Alexandria, and waited unwillingly
until the death of Emperor Constans. The Arians accused Athanasius before
Constantius that he collaborated with Magneutius who was the enemy of the Emperor.
Constantius obtained a condemnation of Athanasius and his exile from a council
assembled at Arles and another one at Milan. The soldiers went to the church of St.
Mary which was built by Pope Theonas (The 16th. Patriarch). Athanasius was praying
the Vespers service. The soldiers rushed inside the church to arrest him, but God
blinded them from recognizing him from the rest of the people and the lamps were
extinguished. Athanasius escaped and went to the desert, and remained for sometime
with the monks. The Arians appointed George of Cappadocia, bishop on Alexandria,
but the Orthodox refused to accept him and anathematized him. He took over all the
churches and its properties. Nevertheless, the pagans whom he persecuted, killed him
and burnt his body.
4. The Fourth Exile:
After the death of Constantius, Julian his cousin became Emperor. He wanted to rally
the people of Alexandria so he returned Athanasius. Athanasius assembled a council
in 362 A.D., and provided conditions for the acceptance of the Arians that wish to
return to the church. He also gave a special attention to the preaching among the
pagans. This was not appreciated by Emperor Julian, who loved and supported the
pagans.
He ordered the arrest of Athanasius. Athanasius went out of Alexandria, and took a
boat to Upper Egypt. The Governor followed him in another boat, and when he
approached the boat of Athanasius, he asked about the boat of the Pope. They said to
him that he was not too far away. The Governor went on his way in hurry but he did
not find Athanasius, for he hid himself in another place.
Those around the Pope were greatly saddened because of the much tribulations that
befell him. Athanasius told them, that in times of persecution, he felt great inner
peace and that God took care of him and embraced him with His grace more than any
other time in his life. He also said: "The persecution of Emperor Julian is like a
summer cloud that will go away." While they were in these conversation, the news
came to them that Julian was killed in his war with the Persians, and that he was
killed by St. Mercurius (Abu Sefain), and that he said just before his death: "You have
overcome me, O You son of Mary."
5. The Fifth Exile:
Jovian became Emperor after Julian had been killed, then Valens became Emperor and
he was Arian. In 367 A.D. valens ordered the exile of Athanasius again. Athanasius
was forced to leave Alexandria and hid in the tomb of his father. Meanwhile, the
Emperor killed 30 bishops who were pro-Athanasius. The Emperor saw the
determination of the Copts, and decided to lift the persecution, and to return
Athanasius to his Chair in 368 A.D.
Although Athanasius reached the age of 72, he did not compromise in performing his
duties. For his steadfastness and his firm stand for justice, the world described him by
the saying: "Athanasius against the world."
He wrote several books about the Arians, on the Incarnation, and other subjects. Abba
Cosma (The 44th. Patriarch) praised these publications by saying: "I ask anyone who
would find the books of Athanasius to write them on paper, and for those who could
not find paper, to write them on their clothes."
Athanasius was the first Pope to wear the monastic tunic from the hand of St.
Antonios. He made it the uniform for bishops and patriarchs. He was the one who
ordained St. Antonios a priest, and then Archpriest.
He departed in peace after he had been on the Apostolic Throne for forty five years.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Eighth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Martyrdom of St. John of Senhout.
2. The Departure of St. Daniel the Archpriest of Sheahat (Scetis).
1. On this day St. John of Senhout, departed. He was born in Senhout, his father's
name was Macarius and his mother's name was Anna.
It came to pass that when he was tending the sheep flock of his father, the angel of
the Lord appeared to him, showed him a crown of light and said to him: "Why are you
sitting here while many others are persecuted, now rise up and go to the city of Atrib
(Banha), struggle for the Name of the Lord Christ"; then the angel gave him the
salutation of peace and departed from him. He bade farewell to his parents, went to
the Governor, and confessed the Lord Christ before him. The Governor delivered him to
one of the soldiers to entreat him kindly that perhaps he would change his mind and
be obedient to him. However the Saint performed several miracles before the soldier
that made him also believe in the Lord Christ and received the crown of martyrdom by
the hands of the Governor. The Governor became angry and tortured the Saint with
every kind of torture, but the Lord strengthened him and made him to endure it. Then
the Saint was sent to Ansena (Antinoe), where he was again tortured. At the end they
cut off his head by the sword. Julius El Akfahasy took his body, shrouded, and sent it
to his town Senhout. The people received him with hymns and praise, and placed him
in the church. The body of the Saint now is located in Shoubra El-Khema in Egypt.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also the holy father Anba Daniel the Archpriest of Sheahat (Scetis),
departed. He was perfect and pure father. When his fame was noised abroad, many
came to him among whom was St. Anastasia disguised in a man's apparel. She
became a nun, and lived in a cell near him for 28 years and no one knew who he (She)
was.
One day, the Saint saw a person whose name was Olagi (Eulogius), who worked as a
stone cutter for a Karat of gold each day. With a very small portion of this he lived
and with the remainder he fed the poor without saving any thing. When Abba Daniel
saw his good fight and the excellence of his deeds, he asked God to give Olagi more
money to increase his deeds of mercy. God answered his prayer, and Olagi found a
treasure when he was cutting the stones, which he took and went to Constantinople.
With the newly found money he became a minister to the Emperor, and forsake the
deeds of mercy.
When St. Daniel heard about this, he went to Constantinople, and found what had
become of Olagi, and that he had abandoned his deeds of mercy. Then the Saint saw
in a vision as if the Lord Christ is sitting judging among the people and that he
commanded to crucify St. Daniel and demanded from him the lost soul of Olagi. When
the Saint rose up from his sleep, he went back to his monastery, and entreated God
to bring Olagi back to his former state. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and
rebuked him for rejecting God's judgement of His creation. Afterwards, the Emperor of
Constantinople died and another reigned who dismissed Olagi and took his money and
wanted to kill him. He escaped in order to save his life and returned to his town to cut
the stones as before. Anba Daniel met Olagi and told him all what had happened to
him because of him.
Many hardships befell St. Daniel because of the faith, and God manifested many
miracles through him. He knew in advance the time of his departure from this world,
he gathered all the monks around him, commanded, strengthened, and comforted
them and then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Ninth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of St. Helena, The Empress.
2. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Eleventh, the 89th. Patriarch of Alexandra.
3. The Departure of St. Gabriel the Eighth, the 97th. Patriarch of Alexandria.
1. On this day of 327 A.D., St. Helena the Empress, departed. She was born in the city
of Raha (Edessa) for Christian parents about the year 247 A.D. They brought her up in
a Christian manner, taught her the doctrine of the church and the religious ethics. She
was very beautiful. When Emperor Constantius the First, Emperor of Byzantium, came
to the city of Raha, and heard about this Saint, he sought her out and married her.
She gave birth to Constantine who became the first Christian Emperor. She raised him
up well, and taught him philosophy, wisdom and knighthood. During the reign of her
son, she saw a vision at night as if one said to her: "Go to Jerusalem and search
carefully for the Honorable Cross and the Holy places." When she informed her son
about this, he sent her with many soldiers to Jerusalem.
She searched for the wood of the Honorable Cross until she found it along with the
other two crosses whereon the two thieves were crucified. She wanted to know which
was the cross of the Lord Christ. St. Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, told her that it
was the cross that was written on the top of it: "This is Jesus, king of the Jews." She
asked him that she wished to see a miracle to make sure that it was the cross of the
Lord. By the Will of God, a procession of a dead man was passing by at that time. She
placed the other two crosses on the body of the dead man, but he did not rise. When
she placed the third cross, straightway the dead rose up. Her faith increased and her
joy multiplied. She built many churches as it is written under the 17th. day of the
month of Tute. She gave the needed money to build the churches to St. Macarius, she
took the honorable Cross and the nails and returned to her righteous son Emperor
Constantine. He kissed the Cross and placed it in a case made of gold and decorated
with precious stones, and placed some of the nails in his helmet.
St. Helena led a righteous life, and she endowed many endowments for the churches,
monasteries and the poor. She departed at age of eighty.
May her prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 1168 A.M. (May 4th., 1452 A.D.) Pope Yoannis the
eleventh, the 89th. Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was known as Yoannis
El-Maksi for he was from El-Maksa in Cairo. His name was Farag before his ordination.
He was enthroned Patriarch on the 16th. of Bashans, 1143 A.M. (May 11th., 1427
A.D.). He sat on the throne of St. Mark for 24 years, 11 month, and 23 days. His
residence was in the patriarchal cell in Haret Zewala. When he departed, he was
buried in the tomb of the monastery of El-Khandak. The Chair remained unoccupied
after his departure, for four month and six days. He was contemporary to the rulers
El-Ashraf, El-Aziz, El-Zaher, and El-Mansour. He encountered many hardships that
required the intervention of the kings of Ethiopia who threatened the Egyptian
government to cut the flow of the Nile because of the persecution of El-Nasara (The
Copts, the Nazarenes). The Patriarch was forbidden to communicate with the kings of
Ethiopia and Nubia without the permission and knowledge of the rulers of the
government.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also of the year 1319 A.M. (May 14th., 1603 A.D.), Pope Gabriel the
eighth, the 97th. Patriarch of Alexandria, departed during the reign of Sultan Ahmad
the first, the Ottoman. He was from Meer, and became a monk in Anba Bishoy
monastery in the wilderness of Sheahat (Scetis). His name was Shenouda, and was
ordained Patriarch on sunday the 16th. of Baounah 1303 A.M. (June 20th., 1587 A.D.).
The enthronement celebration was headed by Anba Zacharias, Bishop of Jerusalem,
and Anba Kyrellos El-Khiami, in the church of St. Mercurius in Old Cairo. At the time of
his ordination, the Copts were divided, and they chose for themselves four patriarchs,
and they deposed him. He returned later on to his Chair at the time of Sultan Mourad
the third, the Ottoman and his papacy was confirmed.
It came to pass (As was written in a document in St. Antonios monastery) that he
decreed that the fast of the Apostles must start on the 21st. of Baounah until the
5th. of Abib, and that there should be no fasting during the three days of Nineva, the
Advent fast should start on the first of Kiahk, and that the fast of the Virgin be left
optional. All the Copts at that time approved what he had decreed. However, after his
departure, they returned back to the old tradition of fasting.
He departed in the monastery of the Virgin Mary known as El-Sourian, after he had
been on the throne of St. Mark for fifteen years, ten month, and twenty four days.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Tenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure of the Three Hebrew Young Men Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael
On this day is the commemoration of the departure of the three young men the
Saints: Hananiah (Ananias), Azariah (Azarias) and Mishael (Misael). These Saints were
the sons of Jehoiakim king of Judah. They were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon.
When Nebuchadnezzar chose some of the exiled young men to be in his service.
These young men and Daniel, their cousin, among those who were chosen. Ashpenaz
the master of the eunuchs gave them other names: he gave Daniel the name
Belteshazzar, to Hananiah : Shadrach; to Mishael : Meshach; and to Azariah :
Abed-Nego.
These young men purposed in their heart that they would not defile themselves with
the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore they
requested of the chief of the eunuchs that they might not defile themselves. The chief
of the eunuchs said to them, "I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food
and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who
are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king." They said to the
steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over them: "Please test your servants
for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our
countenances be examined before you, and the countenances of the young men who
eat the portion of the king's delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your
servants." So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And
at the end of ten days their countenance appeared better and fatter in flesh than all
the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies. As for these four young
men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had
understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days, when the king
had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in
before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, and among them all none
was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before
the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king
examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and
astrologers who were in all his realm, and he appointed them governors on all the
provinces of Babylon. (Daniel 1:8-20)
When the king made an image of gold, and the three Hebrew young men did not
worship it, those envious of them, accused them before the king that they did not
worship the image. The king brought them and asked them about that and they
confessed that they only worship the true God. He commanded them to be casted in a
burning fiery furnace. The Lord sent His angel, who protected them and made the fire
as a cool dew although it burnt the men that threw them in the fiery furnace. When
the king saw that, he believed in their God and promoted them in the province of
Babylon.
On the tenth day of Bashans, while they were praying, and kneeling down, they gave
up the spirit at the hand of the Lord. A great earthquake occurred. The king was
terrified, and inquired from Daniel about what had happened, who told him that the
three Hebrew young men had died. The king came to the place and mourned them. He
ordered that three beds made of ebony be made, and their bodies be wrapped in silk,
and then placed on the beds. He also ordered a bed made of gold for himself, so that
when he died, they would place him on it among them.
Pope Theophilos, the 23rd. Patriarch, built a church after their names and wanted to
relocate their bodies to it. He delegated St. John the short and sent him to Babylon.
When he arrived to the place where they were buried, he heard a voice saying: "The
Lord has ordained that our bodies remain in this place, but because of your labor of
love, when you return, say to the Patriarch to fill the oil lamps with oil on the night of
the consecration of the church, and the power of God will be revealed." When he
returned, and told the Pope, he did as he was commanded, and the oil lamps
(Kandeels) lighted up. They glorified God, and completed the consecration after the
names of these Saints.
May their prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Eleventh Day Of the Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Martyrdom of St. Theoclia, the wife of St. Justus.
2. The Departure of St. Paphnotius (St. Paphnuti), the Bishop.
1. On this day, St. Theoclia, the wife of St. Justus (Whose commemoration is on the
10th. day of Amshir - Vol.II, P.261) was martyred. After the Roman Emperor Diocletian
had sent them to the Governor of Alexandria, he separated them. He sent St. Justus
to Ansena (Antinoe), where he was martyred, and he sent St. Theoclia to Sa El-Hagar.
When the Governor saw, her he was astonished, for those who leave the kingdom
preferring to die instead. He first tried to persuade her, but she refused to accept his
words saying: "I have left my kingdom, accepted the separation of my husband since
my youth, and I have been comforted for my son for the sake of the Lord Christ, so
what could you give me?" He ordered her to be beaten until her flesh was torn and
then placed her in prison. The angel of the Lord appeared to her, comforted and
strengthened her. When the prisoners witnessed that her wounds had been healed,
they believed in the Lord Christ, and they received the crown of martyrdom. Then the
Governor ordered her beheaded and she received the crown of martyrdom. Some
believers came, paid the soldier silver, took her body, shrouded and placed it in a
coffin until the end of the days of persecution.
May her prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also St. Paphnuti, the Bishop, departed. He became a monk in the
wilderness of St. Macarius. He exerted himself in asceticism and worship and lived his
monastic life eating dry beans and fasted for days. He learned how to read and write,
and learned the doctrines of the church. He was ordained a priest, and stayed in the
wilderness for thirty-five years. His virtues became known to everyone, and Pope
Philotheos I, the sixty-third Patriarch of Alexandria, called him, and ordained him
bishop.
He did not change his clothing except on the day of celebrating the Eucharist, then he
put on his sackcloth that made of hair again. His spiritual fighting and asceticism were
so intense that his body languished and he became ill. He asked God in his prayer: "O
My Lord Jesus Christ, do not take away from me Your blessings for the sake of my
office of bishop." The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: "You know that
when you were in the wilderness, there was no one to take care of you in your
sickness, there was no one to minister to you, you could not find medications to
relieve you, but God supported, sustained you, and kept sickness away from you.
However, you are now in the world, and there are many who can take care of you, and
offer you medications in your sickness."
He was a bishop for thirty two years. When the day of his departure drew near, he
called the priests and the deacons, handed over to them the sacred property of the
church and all its possessions, and told them: "Behold know that I am departing to
the Lord Christ. I have walked among you, and the Lord Jesus to Whom I am about to
stand before, testifies that I have never taken even one dinar from all the money
which came to me from the bishop's office." He blessed them, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twelfth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the church of St. Demiana.
2. The Commemoration of the Relocation of the relics of St. John Chrysostom.
3. The Commemoration of the Appearance of a Cross of light above Golgotha.
4. The Departure of Pope Mark the Seventh, the 106th. Patriarch of Alexandria.
5. The Commemoration of the Martyrdom of Master (Moallem) Malati.
1. On this day, the church commemorates the consecration of the church of the virgin
St. Demiana. This pure and fighting virgin was the daughter of Mark, who was the
governor of El-Borollus, El-Zaafran and the valley of Saisaban. She was the only child
of her parents. When she was one year old, her father took her to the church that was
in the monastery of El-Maima. He offered gifts there so that God might bless this
daughter and keep her safe Him.
When she was fifteen years old, her father wanted to get her married. She refused
and told him that she had vowed herself a bride for the Lord Christ. When she found
that her father was pleased of her decision, she asked him to build her an isolated
palace, so that she could worship God with her virgin friends, and right away he did
what she asked. He built the palace where she and the forty virgins lived in. They
spent their time by reading the Holy Bible and praying fervently to God.
Shortly after, Emperor Diocletian sent for Mark her father and ordered him to worship
the idols, but he refused at first. However, after some persuasion, Mark obeyed him
and worshipped the idols, forsaking the creator of the universe.
When Mark returned, and St. Demiana knew of what her father had done, she rushed
to meet him without a greeting saying: "What have I heard about you? I wished I
have Heard the news of your death, and not knowing that you have forsaken God who
have created you and worshipped what is made by hands. If you insist on what you
have done and you do not relent by denouncing the idols, you are not my father, and I
am not your daughter." She also said to him: "It is better for you, O my father, that
you die a martyr and live with Christ in heaven forever, than you live as a pagan here
and die with the devil in hades forever." Then she left him. Her father was moved by
what she said and wept bitterly. He went in hurry to Diocletian and confessed the Lord
Christ before him. When Diocletian could not change his mind, he ordered him to be
beheaded.
When Diocletian knew that the one who turned Mark away from worshipping the idols
was his daughter Demiana, he sent to her a prince to persuade her at first, and if she
did not obey, he would cut off her head. The Prince came to her with an entourage of
one hundred soldiers armed with all instruments of torture. When he arrived to her
palace, he went to her and said: "I am an envoy sent by Emperor Diocletian. I came to
ask you, according to his orders, to worship his gods, so he might grant you
whatsoever you wish." St. Demiana shouted at the prince saying: "Curse the
messenger and he who sent him. Are you not ashamed to call stones and wood gods
that only dwelt by devils? There is no other God in heaven or on earth except the one
God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Creator, Who has no beginning and
no end, the Omnipresent, and the Omniscient God, who will throw you in hell for
eternal condemnation. As for me, I worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His
Good Father and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity. I profess Him, depend on Him, and
in His name I die and by Him I will live forever." The Prince became angry of what she
said, and ordered her to be placed in the body press. Her blood poured out on the
ground, and the virgins were standing, weeping for her. Then they put her in prison,
where the angel of the Lord appeared to her and touched her body with his celestial
wings and healed her from all her wounds.
The Prince was creative in the ways he tortured St. Demiana, sometimes by rending
her flesh, or placing her in boiling grease and oil. In all that, the Lord strengthened
her and raised her up whole. When the Prince saw that his efforts were of no avail and
the steadfastness of this pure virgin, he ordered her to be beheaded with all the
virgins with her. They all received the crowns of martyrdom. (The account of her
martyrdom is mentioned in the thirteenth day of the month of Tubah)
The Prince returned to Antioch, the city of the Emperor. The faithful came and
gathered the bodies of the martyrs and kept them until the end of the days of
persecution and the reign of the righteous Emperor the Christ-loving Constantine the
great. He ordered to destroy the idol temples and built many churches after the
names of the martyrs. He gathered the bodies of the martyrs in every place and
placed them in the churches. He endowed the churches with the necessary income to
maintain them.
When Constantine knew of all what had happened to St. Demiana, and how she
endured for a long time in the valley of El-Saisaban, he delegated his blessed mother
St. Helena to take burial clothing, go to El-Zaafran, and build a church in the name of
St. Demiana and the forty virgins, there.
St. Helena came to the valley, went up to the palace, and found that the bodies were
unharmed. She found St. Demiana in the place where she used to sit and around her
the forty virgins. She kissed the body, taking the blessing of the Saint and wrapped
the bodies with expensive shrouds. She gathered the craftsmen and architects, tore
down the palace, and built instead a well built tomb (Cellar) underground. She laid the
body of St. Demiana on an ivory bed, and covered her with a precious bedspread and
laid the forty virgins around her in it. Then she built a small and beautiful church
which had one dome on the top of it. The church was consecrated by Pope Alexandros,
the nineteenth Patriarch of Alexandria, on the 12th. of Bashans. He also ordained a
saintly bishop, priests, and deacons to serve in the church day and night in prayers.
The bishop of this area, El-Zaafran and El-Borollus, was martyred and his body was
placed in this  church among the bodies of other martyrs. Abba Yoannis, Bishop of El
Borullus, said in his book, The History of the Church: "The church was destroyed in the
8th. century by one of the Arab rulers, who built in its place a palace for his residence."
At this time, the water of the Mediterranean sea flooded the Delta of the Nile river
until it reached the city of Samannoud to the western side of the church that called
"Zion" by the old citadel. This flooding was caused by the deterioration of the barrier,
which held back the sea water. When the news reached the king Hassan Ibn Atahia,
he was saddened because this district brought the government much money because
it was rich in its highly priced aromatic plants. One of his close aids, who was a Jew,
told the king to bring the Patriarch of the Copts and order him to pray in faith to
return everything to where they were before the flood.
God assisted this Patriarch through the help of one of the holy men who was known as
El-Toffahi in this trying time. The Patriarch prayed in the church at Samannoud in the
presence of the king. Then the Patriarch went out of the church raising the Cross. The
people were saying Lord have mercy and the holy man, El-Toffahi, behind him.
Instantly, the water receded to the north before them. The Patriarch, behind him
El-Toffahi, the priests, the people, and the king continued to walk until they arrived to
El-Zaafran where they erected tents for the king beside the destroyed palace, under
which the body of St. Demiana along with the bodies of the forty martyrs were kept.
The Patriarch prayed and knelt to the ground with all the people with him. At this
moment, a great miracle and sign occurred that amazed everyone. A great wind blew
in the sea and the waves became very high, which caused great quantities of sand to
form a great barrier with the power of God almighty which was stronger than the
original one. Then the winds calmed down. The Patriarch returned to the king, who
received him with honor and told him: "O Patriarch, ask from me, something to do for
you." The Patriarch replied: "I need your assistance in building a church in this place
because it contains the bodies of Saints who were martyred, for they refused to
worship idols. The king ordered that the place be cleaned. The Patriarch opened the
door of the cellar, went down, and found the forty bodies of the martyrs around the
bed of St. Demiana. The king ordered at once to build a church with one dome, which
was consecrated by the Patriarch on the 12th. day of Bashans.
The news of this church spread in all the country and the people came with their
offerings to it. The church was consecrated for the first time during the reign of
Constantine and the second time was on this day.
The king ordered that no one disturb the Copts, so it was a peaceful and tranquil time
in all Egypt. The king returned to his palace in Misr (Cairo) and always asked the
Patriarch to visit him periodically. He came to visit the king with great honor till his
departure.
The king of Egypt at that time was Hassan Ibn Atahia, who was just, loved the
churches, and treated the bishops and the monks with great respect. He loved Pope
Khail the first, the forty-sixth Patriarch of Alexandria (743 - 767 A.D.), and came often
to visit him. He discussed the affairs of the country with him.
May the prayers of St. Demiana be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of the relocation of the relics of St. John
Chrysostom (Of the Golden Mouth), from the city of Cuma, where he departed to the
city of Constantinople, in the year 437 A.D., with honor and respect befitting him.
They laid him in the church of the holy Apostles, and this was during the reign of
Emperor Theodosius II.
Empress Eudoxia, the wife of Emperor Arcadius, had exiled St. John, for he prevented
her from attending the church and partaking from the Holy Mysteries, because she
took by force a garden owned by a widow, and for other reasons. God avenged
because of the Empress' evil deeds; she became sick and spent large sums of money.
The Saint had departed in his exile and the Empress went to his tomb, wept, and
asked his forgiveness. She was healed.
The biography of the Saint is under the 17th. day of the month of Hatour.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, of the year 351 A.D., during the time of St. Kyrillos (Cyril),
Patriarch of Jerusalem, and during the reign of Emperor Constantius, the sign of the
honorable Cross appeared in the sky at the third hour of the day. The sign of the cross
was surrounded with a light which exceeded the light of the sun, covering the area
above Jerusalem, from Golgotha to the mount of Olive. All those who were in
Jerusalem saw it, and they all rushed to the church of the resurrection, and were
astonished and overwhelmed from the greatness of the sign. Many believed at that
time.
The Patriarch wrote to Emperor Constantius saying: "In the days of your blessed
father, the sign of the Cross made of stars, appeared in the middle of the sky, and in
your days, the sign of the Cross appeared also surrounded with great light. He forbade
him from following the heresy of Arius. He also made this day a memorial in Jerusalem
and one of the feasts celebrated there, and all other churches followed this tradition
until today. For through the Cross we received the Salvation, and it is our armor
against all our enemies if we armored ourselves with it in a strong faith.
May the blessing of the Cross be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, of the year 1485 A.M. (May 18th., 1769 A.D.), Pope Mark the
Seventh, the one-hundred and sixth Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was from
the city of Klosna, in the district of El-Bahnasa. His name was Simeon, and he went to
the monastery of St. Antonios at a young age. He stayed there for a time and visited
often the monastery of St. Paul in mount Nimra, where he became a monk and was
ordained a priest. When Pope Yoannis the Seventeenth (The 105th. Patriarch)
departed, he was chosen to succeed him on the Patriarchal Chair. They brought him
from the monastery and ordained him Patriarch on Sunday, the 24th. of Bashans, 1461
A.M. (May 30th., 1745 A.D.) on the day of the feast of the entry of the Lord Jesus to
Egypt.
This Pope was kind, with a very beautiful voice, and was very fluent in speech. After
two years of his enthronement, there was a mutiny among the soldiers. Many of the
princes were killed, some escaped to upper Egypt, and some escaped to the Arabian
Peninsula. The Pope suffered a great deal in these days, from inside the church and
from outside. God removed these tribulations after it had lingered for a time.
This pope ordained Abba Peter, a Metropolitan over Upper Egypt, to shepherd his flock
from the snatching wolves. At the end of his days, Abba Yoannis the 14h.,
Metropolitan of Ethiopia the 103rd., departed. A delegation was sent by the king of
Ethiopia, came to the Pope asking to ordain a Metropolitan for them. The Pope
ordained Abba Yousab the 4th., six months before his departure, and Abba Yousab
left Egypt to his Chair in Ethiopia, after the departure of Pope Mark. He departed when
he was residing in the church of the virgin, in the monastery known as Adawiyya, in
El-Maadi near Cairo. Before he delivered up his soul, he saw St. Antonios and St.
Paula at the second hour of Thursday. The church was celebrating the feast of St.
Demiana, the commemoration of Archangel Michael, and the departure of St. John
Chrysostom.
Right after his departure, they took his body by a boat to the monastery of St.
George, and placed it in the convent under the shrine. On Friday, the 13th. of
Bashans, Metropolitan Yousab of Ethiopia, Abba Peter bishop of Upper Egypt, and all
the archpriests, priests, deacons, and lay leaders washed the face of the departed
Pope: his hands and his feet with rose water. They prepared him with precious spices,
put on him his priestly clothing, and placed him in a coffin. They carried him in a
procession to the church of St. Marcurius (Abu Saifain), where they prayed over him as
befitting his honor and buried him in the tomb of the Patriarchs. He stayed on the
Patriarchal Chair for twenty-three years, eleven months and eighteen days, and the
Chair was vacant five months and five days after his departure. He was a
contemporary to El-Sultans Mahmoud I, Osman III, and Moustafa III.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
5. On this day also, of the year 1519 A.M. (May 19th., 1803 A.D.), the church
commemorates the martyrdom of Master (Moallem) Malati. He was a scribe to Ayyoub
Beck El-Defterdar, of the Mamaliks of Mohammed Beck Abu El-Dahab.
When the French occupied Egypt, they formed a department to look after national
problems, and made Moallem Malati a general manager to it with the consent of the
Christian and Moslem members, for his great managerial ability and wisdom. After the
French had been driven out of Egypt, Moallem Gergis El-Gawhary, Moallem Wasef, and
Moallem Malati were protected by the rulers of Egypt. However, in a disturbance at the
time of Taher Pasha,the governor of Egypt, they arrested Moallem Malati, and cut off
his head at Bab Zoweila in Cairo, and he received the crown of martyrdom.
May his intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Thirteenth Day Of The Blessed Month OF Bashans
The Departure Of St. Arsanius The Tutor Of the Emperor's Children
On this day, of the year 445 A.D., the ascetic, fighter, and wise father St. Arsanius
departed. He was born in Rome from a very rich Christian parents. They taught him
church subjects and ordained him a deacon. He was highly knowledgeable in the Greek
culture and endowed with great Christian values. When Emperor Theodosius the Great
sought for a good and wise man to teach his sons Honorius and Arcadius, he could not
find a better person than Arsanius. He brought him to his palace and entrusted the
teaching of his sons to him. St. Arsanius taught them and admonished them, as was
fitting. Since he devoted much exertion and toil in teaching them, he inflicted them
once with painful beatings.
When Emperor Theodosius their father died, Honorius reigned over Rome and Arcadius
reigned over Constantinople. The Saint remembered that he once beat them, and that
Honorius desired to do him harm. While he was thinking of this, a voice came from the
Lord saying: "O Arsani, get out from this world and you shall be saved." Once he
heard this voice, he did not tarry, changed his clothing, and came to the city
Alexandria. Then he went to the wilderness of St. Macarius (Sheahat - Scete), where
he fought a great fight with fasting, prayer and long vigils.
At the beginning of his monastic life, he reviewed his thoughts to a simple monk for
advice. The monks were surprised and said to him: "Does someone like Arsanius who
is very well versed in Greek and Roman culture, need the advice of this simple monk?"
He told them that the Coptic Alpha Beta of this monk had not been mastered by
Arsanius. He meant by this the virtues of that monk.
A messenger came from Rome carrying a will of one of St. Arsanius' relatives who had
departed, granting all his possessions to the Saint. The Saint asked: "When did this
man die?" The messenger answered: "One year ago." The Saint said: "I have died
eleven years ago, and those who died to the world can not inherit others who died."
One of the noble women of Rome came to visit him because she heard of his
righteousness. After she visited with him for a short while, she asked him to
remember her in his prayer. He said to her: "May God erase all your memory from my
mind." She returned sorrowful and complained to the Pope in objection to this
statement. Pope Theophylus clarified to her what he meant, that he was afraid, that
the devil might use her memory to tempt him.
When Arsanius started his monastic life, he used to select for himself the white beans
for his food. When the Abbot of the monastery noticed, he gently struck the monk,
who was sitting beside Arsanius saying: "It is not right that you distinguish yourself
from your brethren by selecting the white beans." Arsanius said: "This stroke is
directed to you, O Arsanius!"
Arsanius mastered the virtue of silence. When he was asked about that, he said:
"Many times I regretted that I have spoken, but I have never regretted on being
silent." He was a very humble and modest man, who lived from selling the works of
his hands by pleating palm leaves, and giving the rest to the poor. He put down many
useful sayings and teachings. Whenever he entered the church, he hid behind a pillar
of the church so no one would see him.
His appearance was good, his face was bright and very cheerful. He was tall in
stature, but he became bowed because of his age. He visited Jerusalem when he was
seventy years old, to be blessed by the holy places, and then he returned to Sheahat.
When he departed, he was ninety-five years old: He spent forty years in Rome, forty
years in the wilderness of St. Macarius, ten years in Mount Torah, three years in the
monasteries of Alexandria, then he returned to Mount Torah and lived there for two
years.
He had commanded his disciples to throw his body on a certain mountain, so that wild
beasts and vultures would eat him. However, fear gripped him, just before his soul
departed from his body and his disciples said to him: "Is someone like Arsanius
fearing death?" He replied: "Since I had become a monk, I dreaded this hour." He
became calm, his soul was comforted, and a peaceful look covered his face as if he
was saying: " Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil; For You are with me" (Psalms 23:4). He departed in peace in the year 445 A.D.
When Theodosius II, the son of Arcadius, knew of his death, he brought his body to
Constantinople. He built a monastery on the same place where he departed, which
was known in history as the monastery of El-Kosair.
From his sayings: An old monk was sitting in his cell, heard a voice saying to him: "Go
out so I might show you the deeds of people." When he went out, he saw a man
cutting wood. When he tried to carry it, he could not, and instead of reducing his load,
he increased it, and tried to carry it again, but failed, and did this again and again.
Then he walked away and saw another man getting water from a well and pouring it in
a pot with a hole in it, and the man could not fill it. Then he saw two men riding on
two horses, carrying a pole from each side. When they came to the door, their pride
prevented that one would stay behind in order to get the pole in, and therefore they
remained outside.
St. Arsanius explained this vision to them, saying: "The wood cutter was a man with a
multitude of sins. Instead of repenting, he added more and more to his sins. The man
who wanted to fill the pot with water was a charitable man who gave alms from what
he earned unjustly, and his reward was lost. The two men carrying the pole were
carrying the burden of our Lord Christ, but with great pride, and therefore they both
stayed outside the kingdom.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fourteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of St. Pachomius (Pakhom), the Father of the Spiritual Communal
Monastic life (Cenobitic life).
2. The Martyrdom of St. Epimachus (Ephimachus) of Pelusium.
1. On this day, of the year 64 A.M. (348 A.D.), Abba Pachomius, the father of the
spiritual communal life (Cenobitic life), departed. He was born in Thebes (Luxor) from
pagan parents, who forced him to worship idols. He rejected and mocked this worship,
then became a monk with St. Balamon (Palaemon). He lived in submission to him for
many years, and he mastered well the ways of the monastic life. Then the angel of
the Lord appeared to him and commanded him to establish a communal and holy
monastic life. Many monks gathered together to him, and he built for them many
monasteries and established for them a system of manual labor, the times of prayers,
and eating. He was the father of them all, with an Abbot in every monastery. He
visited all the monasteries, from Aswan to Edfu to Donasa to the end of Upper Egypt
to the north. He did not permit any one of his sons to become a priest for the sake of
the vainglory of this world, and not to overlook the purpose of their monastic life of
worship by being away from the world. He invited a priest from outside for each
monastery to officiate the Divine Liturgy. When Pope Athanasius wanted to ordain him
a priest, he fled from him. St. Athanasius asked his disciples to tell him that he who
built his house on the rock that can not be shaken, and fled from the vainglory of the
world, is blessed, and his disciples are also blessed.
He desired once to see Hades, and he saw in a night vision the habitation of the
sinners and places of torment.
He remained the father of the Cenobites for forty years. When the time of his
departure drew near, he called the monks, strengthened their faith, and appointed
someone to take over his place after him, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Epimachus was martyred. He was born in Pelusium (Farma).
He was a weaver along with his two companions: Theodore and Callinicos. When he
heard that "Youlamis" the governor of Egypt, had come to torture the Christians, he
preached his friends explaining the vainglory of this world, then he bade them farewell
and went to El-Bakroug, which was near Demera. He came to the Governor who was
torturing a woman, and then threw her in a furnace. The fiery furnace became like cool
dew to her. The Governor then took her out of the furnace and cut off her head.
When Epimachus saw that, he came before the Governor, and confessed the Lord
Christ, to Him is the glory. The Governor tortured him severely. He was twenty-seven
years old. Then he ordered him to be squeezed on the wheel, and a drop of his blood
splashed on the eyes of a blind maiden, and right away she was able to see. Her
family believed in the Lord Christ. They were all martyred and received the crown of
martyrdom. The Governor became angry and ordered him to be crucified, and then his
head to be cut off. The executioner drew his sword but his strength failed and was
unable to raise his sword. The same thing happened when another executioner tried
and so with fourteen other executioners. When they failed to cut off his head, they
tied a rope around his neck and dragged him until he delivered his soul into the hand
of the Lord and received the crown of martyrdom.
One of the soldiers, who was deaf and dumb, carried the body to cast it away. When
he touched the body, instantly he heard and spoke. Some of the believers from the
city of Edku came and took the body and many signs and wonders took place from it.
When the people from Demera came to console his family and saw the signs and
wonders which were revealed through him, they believed and were baptized. They
numbered one thousand, seven-hundred and fifty, men, women, and children. His
kinsfolk carried him to El-Barmoun with great honor. The Governor of El-Barmoun
shrouded him with expensive shrouds from his own money and they built a church
after his name.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fifteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Martyrdom of St. Simon the Zealot, the Apostle who is known by (Simon the
Canaanite).
2. The Martyrdom of 400 martyrs in Dandara (Denderah).
3. The Commemoration of St. Mina the Deacon.
1. On this day, St. Simon the Zealot, the apostle of our Lord (Whose name also is
Nathanael, Jn 1:45-55), was martyred. He was born in Cana of Galilee, and was expert
in the Law and books of the prophets. He had a fervor zeal, so he was called the
Zealot, and he was righteous, pious, and did not show favor to anyone. So when Philip
the Apostle said to him: "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the
prophets, wrote; Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can
anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw
Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom
is no guile!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said
to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathanael, who realized that He knew the hidden secrets, answered and said to Him:
"Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
It was said that when he was a young man, he quarrelled with a man, killed him, and
buried himunder the fig tree, and no one knew about it. It was also said that at the
time of the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem by Herod, his mother hid him under
a fig tree that was in her house. She nursed him during the night and hid him during
the day, and continued to do so until the persecution of Herod died down. His mother
did not tell him about this until he was fully grown and he never told anyone about
this. When Jesus revealed that to him, he realized that He was the omniscient God,
bowed before him, and was obedient to Him. He believed, followed Him, and became
one of His twelve disciples.
After he had received the grace of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he spoke
with tongues, enlightened the world with his evangelism, and returned many to the
faith in the Lord Christ. He preached in Africa, and in the country of El-Bejah which
extended from Aswan to the Red sea. He also preached in the island of Bertanah,
which was probably one of the islands by the shore of the Red sea. He preached there
with the Name of Christ, and many tribulations befell him, but God added to his
courage and strength. God manifested on his hands many signs, and finally he was
martyred, crucified on a tree, and he received the crown of martyrdom.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, four hundred Saints were martyred in Dendera, after they had
suffered many tortures. This was at the end of the reign of Emperor Diocletian.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, is the commemoration of Deacon Mina the anchorite.
May his prayers guard us, and glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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The Sixteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Commemoration of St. John The Evangelist
On this day the church commemorates St. John the Evangelist and his preaching in
Asia Minor, the city of Ephesus, and the cities that are around it. Commemorates, the
afflictions that he suffered and what befell him from the evil men who worshipped
idols until he brought them to the knowledge of God and delivered them from the error
of Satan by his teachings. The miracles that God performed through him. The writing
of his Gospel, uttering in it with the eternity of the Son and His incarnation. His
ascension to heaven in the Spirit, he saw the heavenly ranks and heard their praising
and wrote about it in the book of Revelation.
This was during the reign of Emperor Domitianus (Domitian), when he exiled St. John,
after he placed him in a cauldron filled with boiling oil, and was not harmed, to the
island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation.
After Domitian had been killed in the year 96 A.D., St. John returned to Ephesus. He
found some  heretics of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:6) who taught that Christ's birth was a
natural birth from both Joseph and Mary. For this reason, he wrote his Gospel to refute
their heresy.
St. John had ardent zeal for the salvation of sinners. Once he saved a youth, delivered
him to the bishop, and told him: "I entrust you with the safe keeping of this soul," but
the youth, because of his bad conduct and the evil company that he kept, spoiled his
morals and he became the head of a band of robbers. When St. John returned, he
asked the bishop about the young man, who expressed his sorrow to St. John for the
condition that became of this young man and told him what had happened. St. John
rode a horse, took with him a guide, and travelled to his place. When he arrived to
that place, he was caught by the thieves and they took him to their leader. When the
leader saw St. John, he knew him, and was ashamed and tried to flee. St. John told
him: "My son, be merciful to yourself, because the door of hope is still open for your
salvation, and I will be your intercessor before the Lord Christ." Then, the young man
wept, returned repenting, and St. John administered to him the Holy Communion to
strengthen him.
The biography of St. John is written under the fourth day of Tubah. This feast is a
commemoration for his evangelism, and also because on this day a church was
consecrated after his name in the city of Alexandria.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Seventeenth Day of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure of St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus
On this day, of the year 402 A.D., the great father St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus,
departed. He was born to Jewish parents, his father died, and left him with a sister
and their mother brought them up well.
His father left him an untrained donkey and his mother asked him to sell it. He met a
Christian man called Philotheus who wanted to buy the donkey, but the donkey kicked
Epiphanius in his thigh, and he fell down on the ground unconscious. Philotheus made
the sign of the cross over the place of injury and Epiphanius was cured of his pain
instantly. Then Philotheus cried out over that donkey asking God that the donkey
would die God answered his prayer, and the donkey fell down and died. Epiphanius
inquired about the secret of the donkey's death and Philotheus told him that it was
the cross. He guided him to the crucified Christ, the Son of God, Whom the Jews
crucified in Jerusalem by His own will for the Salvation of the world. This remained in
the mind of Epiphanius.
When one of the rich Jewish men died and had no one to inherit him, he left all his
inheritance to Epiphanius. He used this inheritance to spend on the teachers of
religion and Law. Once, when he was walking in the road, he saw a poor man asking
for charity from one of the monks, and as the monk did not have any money to give,
he took off his garment and gave it to him. As the poor man took this garment, St.
Epiphanius saw a white dress coming down from heaven upon the monk instead off
the garment that he gave away. He was astonished and went to the monk and asked
him: "Who are you and what is your faith?" The monk told him that he was Christian.
He asked the monk to guide him to the facts of the Christian faith. The monk brought
him to the bishop who taught him the law of the Christian faith and baptized him.
Epiphanius desired to become a monk, and the bishop sent him to the monastery of
St. Lucianus. He became a disciple to St. Hilarion, and the grace of God was with him.
He excelled in the church subjects, monastic virtues, and its cannons.
St. Hilarion prophesied that he would become a bishop and commanded him to go to
Cyprus, and not to refuse the office of bishop if it was offered to him. When the
bishop of Cyprus departed, it happened that Epiphanius entered the city to buy certain
necessities, and he had two monks with him. A saintly bishop was inspired to go to
the market place to choose the monk that had two clusters of grapes, whose name
was Epiphanius, to ordain him a bishop for Cyprus. When the bishop went to the
market, he found him with the other two monks, with two clusters of grapes in his
hand. He asked him about his name and he knew that he was the chosen one by God.
He took him to the church and ordained him deacon, priest, then bishop. He revealed
to the people his vision about him and the prophecy of St. Helarion was fulfilled.
St. Epiphanius followed a right course of conduct in his diocese, which was well
pleasing to God. He wrote many books and discourses and he always preached about
mercy. It happened that John, bishop of Jerusalem, was not merciful, so St.
Epiphanius borrowed from him some of his gold and silver table vessels, and sold
them and gave its price to the poor and the needy. When Abba John asked him to
return them, he struck him in his eyes and he became blind. John asked the Saint to
pray to heal him, and he prayed, and God opened one of John's eyes.
In the year 402 A.D., Empress Eudoxia called Epiphanius to help her to drive out St.
John Chrysostom (Of the Golden Mouth) from Constantinople. However, he tried to
reconcile them together, but he failed. She threatened him that she would open the
temples of idols and close the churches if he did not work on his removal. But since he
could not reconcile the differences between her and St. John, he returned to Cyprus
and departed in the same year. (His body was relocated on the 28th. of Bashans).
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Eighteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of St. George (Ga'orgi), the Friend of St. Abraam.
2. The Commemoration of the feast of Pentecost.
1. On this day, St. George (Ga'orgi), the companion of St. Abraam, departed. He was
born to saintly Christian parents, and he shepherded the sheep of his father. He
desired to become a monk, so he left the tending of the sheep, and he was fourteen
years old. He went to the wilderness of St. Macarius. While he was walking on the
road, the devil appeared to him in the form of an old man, and said to him: "Your
father thought that a wild beast has killed you, and he rent his garment, grieving over
you. It is meet that you should return to your father to comfort his heart first then
return to the wilderness". The Saint was astonished for that, and thought in himself
saying: "The Holy Bible says: 'He who loves father or mother more than Me is not
worthy of Me.'" (Matthew 10:37) When he said that, the devil became like smoke and
fled from him. Immediately, the angel of the Lord in the form of a monk appeared to
him, and guided him to the monastery of Abba Orion (Arion). He remained there under
the guidance of a holy monk for ten years, during which he never ate any cooked food
or fruit and never drank wine.
He then desired to live alone in the inner wilderness and went to the monastery of the
Roman Saints Maximus and Domadius in Scetis. At the same time, St. Abraam arrived
to the monastery. They went together to the monastery of St. Macarius and met St.
Yoannis, the archpriest of Sheahat. He gave them a cell close by him to live in, which
was known as the cell of Bageeg, where St. Abraam departed, and after him St.
George departed also, and he was seventy-two years old.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon
the holy disciples in the upper room of Zion. They spoke with different tongues and it
is called the feast of Pentecost. The details of this feast are mentioned at the end of
Vol. IV of the Synexarium.
May the blessings of the Pentecost be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Nineteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Commemoration of the Departure of Abba Isaac, the Priest of El-Qalali (Cells).
2. The Commemoration of the Martyrdom of St. Isidorus (Isidore) of Antioch.
1. On this day, the church commemorates the holy father Abba Isaac, the priest of
El-Qalali (Cells). He was born in an Egyptian village from poor parents, but he was rich
in his righteous works. He took the opportunity of the presence of the elders of the
monks in the village to sell the works of their hands, and followed them to the
wilderness. He served them under the yoke of obedience. When he became a monk,
he excelled in asceticism and worship to the point that he never possessed two
garments at the same time. They asked him once: "Why don't you possess two
garments?" He answered: "Because when I was in the world before being a monk, I
did not have two garments at the same time."
He wept very often during his prayers, and he mixed his bread with the ashes of the
censer and ate it. Once he became sick of a grievous sickness, and some of the
brethren brought him food, but he did not eat it. One of the brethren described to him
the benefits of food and urged him again to eat some of it. He insisted on not eating
anything of it, and said to him: "Believe me my brother that I desire to remain sick for
thirty years."
When he became seasoned and everyone heard about his virtues, the fathers by
consensus decided to ordain him a priest. He fled and disappeared among the fields.
When they were looking for him, they passed by the field, where he was hiding in and
sat to rest. They had with them a donkey, which went into the field and stood where
the father was. When they went after the donkey to catch it, they found him, and they
wanted to bind him so that he could not escape again. He said to them: "I will not
escape now, for I know that this is the will of God." He went with them, and they
ordained him a priest, and he increased in obedience to the elders and in teaching the
beginners the virtues. When the time of his departure drew near, they asked him:
"What can we do after you leave us?" He told them: "Do exactly as you have seen me
do, if you wish to steadfast in the wilderness", then he departed in peace.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Isidore. He was
born in Antioch and his father's name was Bandalaon, who was one of the noble men
in the empire of Diocletian, and his mother's name was Sofia. He had a sister whose
name was Ophimia, and their parents taught them the Christian faith.
When Diocletian apostatized, St. Bandalaon and his son Isidore left all their
possessions and went secretly to a mountain where they lived with a holy man whose
name was Abba Samuel.
When the Emperor knew of what had happened, he brought them before him, and he
tried to persuade Bandalaon with promises, then threatened him. When he refused,
not paying attention to what he was saying, he cut off his head. St. Isidore, who was
only twelve years old, was tortured with different kinds of tortures. His mother and
sister were beside him, comforting him and strengthening him to endure. Then the
Emperor ordered them to be beheaded. They received the crowns of life.
God performed many miracles on the hands of this Saint, and many believed through
him and were martyred.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twentieth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure Of St. Ammonius The Hermit
On this day, of the year 73 A.M. (357 A.D.), the holy father Abba Ammonius departed.
He was born in 294 A.D., in a village near Mariot. He was, as St. Antony was, born to
a righteous and rich Christian family. He lost his parents while he was young and
became under the guardianship of his uncle. He longed for the life of purity, chastity,
and holiness. Nevertheless, his uncle forced him to be engaged to a rich girl against
his will. Since he could not disobey his uncle, he talked to his bride to be, with a
spiritual dialogue and through his holy life, he was able to have a good influence on
her. He made her long to the life of purity and planted in her heart the desire to
consecrate her self a bride for the True Bridegroom Jesus Christ. Thus they decided to
accept the marriage but decided to live as a brother and sister.
They remained like this for seventeen years, keeping themselves pure and chaste,
after which his wife departed to the eternal bliss. The Saint saw in a vision St.
Antonios calling him to put on the monastic garb. When he woke from his sleep, he
rose up and went to St. Isidore, who put on him the holy Eskeem. He dwelt with him
for some time, after which he went to mount Tounah, where was St. Antonios.
St. Ammonius remained with St. Antonios for a while and became his disciple, and
studied on his hands the cannons of the holy monasticism. He built for himself a cell
in mount Tounah. He fervently worshipped God there, and the devil envied him. He
came to him in the form of a nun and knocked his door. When he opened and asked
the devil to pray with him, the devil became like a flame of fire. Then the devil went
and dwelt in a woman and moved her to entice the Saint to fall in sin with her. She
wore the best of her clothing and came to him at dusk, and knocked the door of his
cell, saying: "I am a traveling woman, and I had lost my way, and it is dark now.
Please do not let me stay outside lest the wild beasts kill me, and you become
responsible for my blood." When he opened the door and knew the snare of the devil
who sent her, he started to preach her and put the fear in her heart of the tortures of
hell which is awaiting the sinners, and indicated to her the delight and the bliss which
is awaiting the righteous. God opened her heart, and she understood what he said to
her. She knelt to his feet weeping and asked him to accept her and assist her in
saving her soul. She took off her apparel and he put on her a sackcloth of hair. He cut
off her hair and called her "The simple minded or the naive". He taught her the way to
righteousness and she excelled through many prayers and fasting, and surpassed
many saints by her fasting and perpetual prayers.
The devil tried to snare him again. This time in the form of a monk who went around
in the monasteries weeping and saying: "Abba Ammonius the hermit had married and
he kept the woman with him in his cell. He had put the monks to shame and disgraced
the monastic garb." When Abba Apollo (Ebelo), who was like the angels, heard of
that, he took with him Abba Yousab and Abba Nohi (Bohi), and came to mount Tounah
to the cell of Abba Ammonius. They knocked on the door of the cell, and when she
opened to them they realized the matter. They entered and prayed together as the
custom and sat to talk about the greatness of God. At the end of the day, Abba
Ammonius told them, let us go to see the "Naive" for she was baking some bread.
When they went out to where she was, they saw her standing in the midst of a great
fire, and her hands were stretched out towards heaven praying. They marvelled
exceedingly and glorified God. After they had eaten the bread, everyone went
separately to sleep and the angel of the Lord revealed the story of the "Naive" with
St. Ammonius to Abba Apollo, and that God brought them there to be present at the
time of her departure.
About the third hour of the night, she became sick with fever. She knelt down and
delivered up her soul at the hand of the Lord. They swathed her, and after praying
over her, they buried her. Then Abba Ammonius told them about her virtues, and that
for the eighteen years that she stayed with him, she never raised her face to look at
him, and that her food was bread and salt. After this, St. Antonios sent him to
El-Natroun valley to establish there new monasteries, and many believers followed
him. He organized for them their livelihood and directed them with excellence. Soon
after, this holy father departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty First Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Commemoration of the Holy and Pure Virgin Mary.
2. The Departure of St. Marcian (Martinianus).
1. On this day, the church commemorates the pure and Virgin St. Mary, the mother of
the Savior of the world, the intercessor of all the Christians, from whom came the
salvation of Adam and his posterity.
May her intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Marcian departed. He was born in the city of Caesarea of
Palestine. He became a monk since his young age at an elderly holy man living on a
mountain near by his town called mount El-Safina (The ship). He fought a great and
strenuous fight with many worships and he lived there for sixty six years, and his
virtues became known.
An evil woman heard of him, and she said to some of those who talked about his
virtues: "For how long you will continue to praise him, while he is in a wilderness
where he does not see the face of a women? If he saw me, I would stain his virginity
and defile his holiness". They rebuked her for what she said, because of what they
knew of the purity and holiness of this Saint, but she made a wager with them that
she would go to him and make him fall in sin. She straightway, rose up, took her
ornaments, her expensive apparels and her perfumes in a piece of cloth, and put on
an ugly dress and covered her face. She went to a place close by where the Saint was
and waited until the evening, then knocked on the door of his cell, weeping,
pretending that she had lost her way, and asked him to let her stay with him until the
morning. The Saint pondered about her, if he left her outside, the wild beasts might
eat her, and if he brought her in, the warfare would increase against him because of
her. Finally, he opened the door to her, and went to another place in the cell. She
arrayed herself in her beautiful apparel, adorned and perfumed herself, then attacked
him tempting him to commit sin with her. He knew that she was a snare of Satan
plotted up for him. He told her: "Wait a little for me until I look at the road, for some
people are used to come to me here every now and then." He went out and lighted a
great fire, and he started throwing himself in the fire time after time saying to
himself: "If you can't bear the pain of a little fire, how can you bear the torment of
the fire of hell?" Then he fell on the ground weeping from the severity of the pain from
the burns that he suffered on his feet and his fingers. As he tarried, she came out and
saw him in that condition. She was terrified and she returned to her senses. She
stripped off her expensive raiment, knelt at his feet, and begged him to help her to
save her soul. He started to preach her telling her about the vanity of this world and
its lusts, and she repented with all her heart. He took her to one of the convents, and
asked the abbess to take charge of her and she lived there a life of purity and
ascetism that was pleasing to God to the end of her life. She reached a high degree of
holliness, received the gift of healing and she healed many from their infermities.
But as for St. Martinianus, fearing lest the enemy might bring to him another woman,
departed to an island in the middle of the sea. He made an agreement with a sailor to
sell the works of his hand, and to bring him food. However, a ship was wrecked near
by the island, and a woman managed to hang on to one of the planks, and the waves
washed her to this island. When the Saint saw her, he was preplexed and wanted to
leave the island. The woman asked him to make her a nun and he did as she wished
then gave her all what he had of bread. He crossed himself with the sign of the cross,
and threw himself in the sea, hanging on the plank that she hung on and he put
himself in the hand of the Almighty. The waves threw him on the land, and he
wandered about in the mountains and deserts for two years until he arrived to the city
of Athens, where he became ill. He called the bishop, and told him all what had
happened to him, and then he gave up his soul in the hand of the Lord, and they
buried him with great honor.
The woman that remained on the island, the sailor continued to bring her food until
she departed, then he took her body to his country.
May the prayers of this saint be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Second Day Of the Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure of St. Andronicus One of the Seventy Disciples
On this day, St. Andronicus departed. This disciple was chosen by the Lord to be
among the seventy disciples whom He sent before Him to preach the kingdom of God.
He received the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room on the day of the Pentecost. St. Paul
mentioned his name in (Romans 16:7) saying: "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my
kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were
in Christ before me."
He preached the Gospel in many cities in the company of Junia, and they guided many
to the Christian faith, and performed many miracles, healed the sick, and transformed
the temples of idols to churches. When they completed their course, and the Lord
willed to take them from this world, Andronicus became ill for a short time and
departed in peace. Junia buried him in a cave, and he prayed to the Lord to take him
also. He departed on the next day.
May their prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Third Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of St. Junia, One of the Seventy Disciples.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Julian (Yulianus) and his mother in Alexandria.
1. On this day, St. Junia, one of the seventy disciples, departed. He was born in Beth
Gubrin (Jibrin) from the tribe of Judah. He was chosen by the Lord to be one of the
seventy disciples, and received the Holy Spirit. He preached the Gospel with the
disciples and suffered many hardships. He accompanied
St. Andronicus in his preaching of the Gospel as it is mentioned on the 22nd. day of
Bashans. St. Junia buried St. Andronicus, and he prayed that the Lord would take him
also, and he departed in the following day. St. Paul mentioned him in Romans Chapter
16.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Julian and his mother were martyred in the city of Alexandria.
May their prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fourth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Commemoration of the Entry of the Lord Christ to Egypt.
2. The Departure of the Prophet Habakkuk.
3. The Martyrdom of the Monk St. Bashnouna El-Maqari
1. On this day, our Lord Jesus Christ came to the land of Egypt when He was a two
years old child, as the Bible says in (Mt. 2:13) that the angel of the Lord appeared to
Joseph in a dream, saying: "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy
Him." This was for two reasons: A. If He fell in the hand of Herod, and Herod could
not kill Him, he would have thought that His flesh was a phantom.
B. The second reason was to bless the people of Egypt by being among them, so that
the prophecy of Hosea (11:1) could be fulfilled which says: "... out of Egypt I called
My Son." And also the prophecy of Isaiah (19:1) be fulfilled: "Behold, the Lord rides on
a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt, the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence,
and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst."
The Lord Jesus came to Egypt with Joseph, and His Virgin mother, and Salome. They
passed in an estate called "Basta" where the Holy Family drank from a well, and the
water of the well became a curing water for all sicknesses. Then they went to "Meniet
Samannoud" and crossed the Nile to the western side. In this place, the Lord Jesus
put His foot on a stone, and the trace of His foot appeared, and the stone was called
"Picha Isos" in Coptic (or The heal of Jesus). From there, they went westward to Wadi
El-Natroun, and St. Mary blessed the place, for her knowledge that many monasteries
would be built there. Then they went to "Al-Ashmoneen" where they settled for
several days, after which they went to Mount "Qosqam", where the monastery of St.
Mary was later built, which has been known with the name "El-Moharrak monastery".
When Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying: "Arise,
take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who
sought the young Child's life are dead." (Mt. 2:20-21). They came back to Cairo, and
on their return they stayed in a cave which is today located in the church of Abu-Serga
in Old Cairo. Then they passed by El-Mataryia, and they washed there from a well, and
the well has been blessed since, and a tree of Balsam grew beside it, from its oil the
Chrism (El-Myroun) is made which is used to consecrate new churches. From there, the
Holy Family walked to El-Mahama (Mustorod), and from there to Israel.
We ought to celebrate this feast spiritually with joy, for Our Lord Jesus honored our
land.
Glory to His Holy Name for ever. Amen.
2. On this day also, the prophet Habakkuk departed. He was one of the twelve minor
prophets, and he was from the tribe of Levi. He was a singer using stringed musical
instruments as it is indicated in this verse: "The Lord God is my strength; He will
make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills. To the chief
musician. With my stringed instruments." (Habakkuk 3:19).
He prophesied at the time of king Jehoiakim. He lived long enough to see the return
of the children of Israel from exile, and he prayed saying: (Habakkuk 3:2) He
prophesied about the Incarnation of Christ and His birth, saying: (Habakkuk 3:3).
He finished his course, and departed in peace. A church after his name was built in
Bartsa - El-Behera in Egypt at the time of the Christian Emperor Anastasius, and
consecrated on the twenty fourth of Bashans.
May the prayers of this prophet be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, of the year 880 A.M. (May 19th., 1164 A.D.), St. Bashnouna was
martyred. He was a monk in St. Macarius (Abu Maquar) monastery. During the fighting
between the men of prince Dergham and the men of El-Wazir Shawer in the Fatimid
rule, the monk was arrested. He was threatened with death if he did not convert to
Islam, but he refused. They burned him alive, and he received the crown of
martyrdom. The faithful took his bones and carried them to the church of Abu Serga in
Old Cairo, in the place of wax, and they buried him there.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fifth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Martyrdom of St. Colluthus of Antinoe (Known as Abu Colta).
2. The Departure of the most honored Layman Ibrahim El-Gohari.
1. On this day, St. Colluthus of Antinoe was martyred. He was the son of God fearing
parents. His father was a governor over Antinoe. He was praying to the Lord Jesus to
give him a son, and God gave him this saint. He taught him the Christian principles
and the church doctrine. He was pure from his youth. His father wanted him to get
married, but he did not accept. However, his sister was married to Arianus who
became the governor after her father. When the Saint's parents departed, he built a
hostel for the strangers. He also studied medicine and practiced it to cure the sick
without charging them money.
When Diocletian apostatized, Arianus the governor followed him to keep his position,
and started to persecute Christians. Then St. Colluthus rebuked him for forsaking the
worship of the True God, and the Saint cursed the idols of the Emperor. Arianus did
not hurt him for the sake of his sister, but he sent him to the governor of El-Bahnasa,
where he was in prison for three years. His sister meditated for his release until
another governor took over who threatened the saint and tortured him. The angel of
the lord came to him to comfort and strengthen him. At last, the governor cut off his
head, and he was granted the crown of Martyrdom. His family prepared his body for
burial and kept him in a place until the end of the persecution, when they built a
church for him. Many miracles appeared from his body.
The saint has a church from antiquity in "Refa" near Assuit. A memorial is celebrated
every year on the day of his martyrdom. The visitors who come are blessed by the
saint and his intercessions, For they are healed from their sicknesses. It is worth it to
mention that this church contains a stone which has a great influence to keep
scorpions away until this day.
May his prayers be with us, Amen.
2. On this day also of the year 1511 A.M. (1795 A.D.), the great layman Ibrahim
El-Gohari, departed. He was born in the eighteenth century, and his parents were
poor. His fathers name was Yousef El-Gohari whose trade was making clothing in
Kalube. They taught him writing and arithmetic, and he excelled in them. He used to
trans-scribe the religion books, and distribute them to the church at his own expense.
He brought the books to Pope John (Youhanna) the Eighteenth, and 107th patriarch of
Alexandria Who was enthroned from 1486-1512 A.M. (1769-1796 A.D.) The many
books presented to the church by Ibrahim El-Gohari got the attention of the pope,
together with the high cost of transcribing the books and binding them. The pope
asked Ibrahim about his resource, and Ibrahim revealed to them his zealously and his
godly life. The pope blessed him saying:"may the lord uplift your name and bless your
work, and keep your memory forever." The relation between Ibrahim El-Gohari and the
pope became stronger from that time. When he started to work, Ibrahim was a scribe
to one of the mamalik- The pope mediated with Moalem Rizk the chief scribe, and he
took him as his private scribe. He continued in his position until the end of Ali Bek
El-Kebir when Mohammed Abu- El-Daheb became the governor, and Ibrahim El-Gohari
became the chief scribe of all of egypt, a position which is equal to prime minister
today.
Ibrahim El-Gohari became more humble, generous, and charitable. He attracted to him
the hearts of all the people. Ibrahim then married a righteous woman who shared with
him his good nature and character. She helped him in his charitable deeds, and
encouraged him to build and maintain churches. A son was born to them whom they
called joseph, and a daughter whom they called Demiana. They lived in a place called
"Kantaret-ElDekka".
When his son grew up, his father prepared for him a private home furnished with the
est of furniture, and prepared for his wedding day. But God chose that his son be with
him before his marriage, and Ibrahim was greatly grieved. He then closed the home,
and it remained closed. The death of his son was the most shocking event in his life,
but his desire to help the widows, the orphans and the poor intensely increased.
Everyone was so astonished for his endurance, patience, and his great control over his
disappoint When his wife resented the will of god, St. Anthony the great appeared to
her in a dream, and comforted her saying,"you must know that god loved your son,
and he took him in his youth, and he loves his father for a reason, to keep his name
pure, for the popularity of his father might have caused his son to shame him and ruin
his reputation. this is a reward from God to your husband for his godliness and his
righteousness. Be comforted, and continue in your good deeds." St. Anthony also
appeared to Ibrahim El-Gohari, and he comforted him and strengthened his faith.
When his wife rose up, and told her husband about her dream, he told her that he
also saw the same dream that same night. They surrendered their will to god, and
they changed their mourning clothes , and put on regular clothes. Their hearts were
filled with comfort, and continued in their good and charitable deeds. Their Daughter
Demiana also died shortly afterwards and she was a young virgin.
Ibrahim El-Gohari remained in his office until a coup occurred which forced Ibrahim Bek
and Murad Bek together with Ibrahim El-Gohari to flee to upper egypt. The new
Governor Hasan Qubtan persecuted the copts and forbade them to ride horses with
saddles, and forbade them to use moslems as servants in their homes, and did not
allow them to buy slaves. The copts responded by hiding in their homes and not
leaving for many days. He also ordered to have an account of the endowments that
Ibrahim El- Gohary's wife hid herself in a moslem home to which her had made great
favors. But some of those who did not honor his favors, betrayed him by telling his
wile was hiding. the governor forced her to tell him about the places they hied their
possessions, and they confiscated all the silver and gold utensils and their horses
saddles, and sold them for low prices. Some also Guided the governor to the house of
his son which was looked after his death, and they also confiscated all its contents of
furniture, and took them many days to sell them for they were plenty. The governor
was called back to istanbul, and Ibrahim Bek and Mourad Bek returned to cairo on
August 7, 1791 A.D. and Ibrahim El-Gohari returned to his former position, but he did
not continue for more than four years, and he was loved by everyone. The people
called Ibrahim El-Gohari the "The Sultan of the Copts" as it is indicated on the
iconstasis of one of the churches in the monastery of St. Paula in the eastern desert,
and also in the "Katamares" kept in the same monastery.
The famous historian El-Gabarty said about him: "He had made Egypt great by his
capability which endured for long time. He was one of the great world statesmen with
a great decisive mind. He treated everyone according to their abilities, and did things
that attracted the hearts and the love of the people to him. In Ramadan, he used to
send gifts to prominent and non-prominent moslems. In his days, many churches and
monasteries were built and maintained, and many endowment of the best of land
were given, with the necessary provisions and salaries. Anba Yousab the bishop of
Girga and Ekhmim said about him: "He was one of the great people of his day, who
was God-loving, giving all his possessions to the poor, and caring about the
construction of churches. He loved all people of different religions, making peace with
all, filling all the needs of everyone without prejudice."
His religious work is as follows: Ibrahim El-Gohari was famous for his love of the
construction of churches and monasteries, and repairing what was destroyed by the
evil hands. Because of his influential position in the government, and his great favor
to the moslem rulers, he was able to issue regulations (Fatawi) to permit Copts to
rebuild the destroyed churches and monasteries. He also donated many endowment of
good land and money for the reconstruction, that amounted to 238 endowments as
documented in the patriarchate.
He was also popular for the trans-scrubbing of rare books, and giving them as gifts to
the churches and monasteries.
He was the first to build St. Mark cathedral in El-Azbakiya. The Copts were not
allowed to build new churches or to repair the old ones, unless they get permission
from the government, which were rarely granted.
One of the princesses came from Istanboul (Estana) on a pilgrimage to Mecca passing
by Egypt, Ibrahim El-Gohari made everything possible to her comfort during her stay,
and offered her many gifts. She wanted to reward him, and he asked her to get an
order from the Sultan (Faraman) to permit the construction of a church in El-Azbakiya
where he lived, and asked her about some other things needed by the Copts. The
Sultan issued the permit, but he died before the construction of the church, and his
brother Girgis El-Gohari completed it.
In order that the time of prayers be maintained in the church of the Virgin in
Haret-Zoweila, he built a small church after the name of St. Mercurius (Abu-Saifain)
beside it. This allowed him and the government Christian employees to attend the
services and return to their work as the government allowed.
He also prepared the materials for the oil of Chrism (Myroun) from his own money, and
his brother Girgis carried them to the Pope.
In 1499 A.M. (1783 A.D.), Ibrahim El-Gohari built all the northern wall of St. Antonios
monastery, and built a water wheel. He built before that the southern and the western
walls in 1498 A.M. The wall is known until today as El-Gohari's wall. He also renovated
the building of the church of the Virgin in Haret
El-Roum in 1508 A.M. (1792 A.D.). He also built the church of Abu Saifain in the
monastery of St. Paula in the Eastern desert, and in the monastery of El-Baramouse,
he built the church of Sts. Apollo and Abib (The church was demolished in 1881 A.D. to
enlarge the church of St. John). He also built palaces to the Lady Virgin in
El-Baramouse and the Syrian monastery. He also built an extension to the southern
end of the monastery of El-Baramouse, with a wall around it, and the extension was
about 2400 square meter.
In summary, he built and maintained many churches and monasteries. He took care of
the monks, and offered many offerings, candles, oil, veils, and church books to all the
churches of Egypt. He also distributed charities among the poor and the needy
everywhere, and gave them food and clothing. He gave special attention to widows
and the orphans who had no one to help them, and provided monthly provisions for all
their needs. his deeds were made known in his funeral eulogy by Pope Youannis, the
107th. Patriarch. He departed to his eternal home on Monday the 25th. of Bashans,
1511 A.M. (May 31st., 1795 A.D.) everyone grieved his departure including the
governor Ibrahim Bek who walked in his funeral procession to honor him as he had
honored him before his death. Pope Youannis eulogized him for his great love to him.
He was buried in the private tomb that he built for himself beside the church of St.
George in Old Cairo which had an oil lamp that was lit day and night. He died without
leaving a posterity, but his memory lives forever.
The society for the revival of the Coptic churches in Cairo took action to renovate his
tomb in Old cairo, and it has become a tourist attraction to all those who have heard
about Ibrahim and his brother Girgis El-Gohari.
The biography of his brother Girgis is under the 17th. day of the month of Tute. He
departed on the 17th. of Tute, 1557 A.M. (September 27th., 1810 A.D.)
May their prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Six Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Martyrdom Of St. Thomas, the Apostle
On this day St. Thomas the apostle was martyred. He was born in Galilee, and the
Lord chose him among the twelve disciples (Mathew 10:3). When the Lord wanted to
go to raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas said to the other disciples: " (John 11:16).
He also asked the Lord at the supper: " (John 14:5-6). When the Lord Christ appeared
to the disciples after the resurrection, and said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit",
Thomas was absent. On his return, the disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord."
He said to them: " (John 20:19-29).
After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the Upper room in
Zion, the apostles dispersed everywhere to preach the Gospel, Thomas went to India.
He worked there as a slave at one of the friends of the king, whose name was Lukios,
who brought him to the king who inquired about his profession. Thomas said: "I am
builder, carpenter and a physician. He preached in his master's palace, and Lukios'
wife believed and all his household.
The king asked him about his achievements, and he said: "The palaces that I built
were the souls that have become the temples of the King of Glory; the carpentry that
I did was the Gospel that removes the thorns of sin; and the medicines I practiced are
the Holy Mysteries which heal the poison of the evil one. The king became angry and
tortured him, and bound him among four poles, cut off his skin and rubbed his wounds
with salt and lime. The apostle Thomas endured the pains. Lukios' wife saw him
suffering, and she fell from the window and died. Lukios came to him and said: "If you
raise my wife from the dead, I believe in your God." Thomas went to the room where
the dead body was, and said: "Arsabona (Arsonia), rise up in the Name of the Lord
Jesus Christ." She rose instantly and bowed to the Saint. When her husband saw that,
he believed and many more with him from the people of the city, and Thomas
baptized them.
Once the sea drove a huge tree to the shore that no one could lift it up. St. Thomas
asked the king for permission to lift it up and to use its wood in building a church. He
got the permission, he made the sign of the cross, and he raised it and later he built
the church, to which he ordained a bishop and priests.
St. Thomas left and went to a city called "Kantoura" (Kontaria), where he found an old
man weeping bitterly because the king killed his six children. The Saint prayed over
them, and the Lord raised them up. The idol priests were angry, and wanted to stone
him. The first raised a stone to throw it at him, and his hand was paralyzed. The Saint
prayed over his hand, he was healed instantly, and all the idol priests believed in the
Lord Christ. Then St. Thomas went to the city of "Parkenas" and other cities, where he
preached in the Name of Jesus Christ. The king heard about him, and he put him in
prison. When he found out that he was teaching the prisoners the way of God, he
tortured him, and at last he cut his head off, and he received the crown of martyrdom.
He was buried in "Melibar", then his body was relocated to El-Raha.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Seventh Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of Pope Youannis the Second, the 30th. Patriarch of the See of St.
Mark.
2. The Departure of Lazarus the beloved of the Lord.
1. On this day of the year 232 A.M. (May 22nd., 516 A.D.), the saint Pope Youannis
the second, the 30th. Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was a monk since his
youth, and lived a solitary life. His reputation, because of his godly life spread
everywhere, and was chosen a patriarch of the great city of Alexandria on the third of
Baouna, 221 A.M. (May 29th., 505 A.D.). He wrote the biographies of the saints and
sermons. The church lived in peace and tranquility at the time of the Orthodox
Emperor Anastasius. St. Sawirus was the patriarch of Antioch, and he wrote a
message to Pope Youannis on the one nature of Christ saying: "Jesus Christ after the
union with flesh has become of one nature with one Will without separation, and I
believe in the same faith of Pope Cyril and Pope Dioscorus."
When Pope Youannis received this message, he was pleased, and he replied with a
message filled with faith that testified to the union of the essence of God, and the
trinity of His characters, and by the incarnation of the eternal Son of God, the Divine
and the human nature have become one and no longer two natures, without
separation, mingling, or confusion. He anathematized those who separate the two
natures, those who confuse them and those who said that the suffering crucified
Christ was only a man, and those who say that His Divine nature also suffered and
died. He said that the Orthodox faith was to profess that God the word suffered by
the flesh that united with. When Abba Sawiris read his message, he received it with
joy, and made it public in all Antioch.
This Pope continued to take care about his people for 10 years, 10 months, and 23
days, and he departed.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Lazarus, the brother of mary and Martha, and the beloved of
the Lord, departed after he had become the bishop of Cyprus.
After he had been raised from the dead by Our Lord, he followed the disciples. After
the pentecost, they ordained him a bishop over Cyprus. He lived for forty years, and
departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Eighth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The commemoration of the Relocation of the Body of St. Epiphanius
On this day of the year 403 A.D., the body of St. Epiphanius (His biography is under
the 17th. of Bashans), arrived to the island of Cyprus. The boat that carried his body
arrived to Cyprus from Constantinople on the 28th. day of Bashans. The priests and
the people came with crosses, gospels, candles and incense and carried his body to
the church. When they started to dig his tomb, two deacons did not allow them. They
were excommunicated by the saints for their bad reputation. The body remained in the
church for four days without a change or a stench. His body looked as if he was
asleep. A saintly deacon came near the body and said: "I know of your relationship
with God, and that you can restrain these evil opponents." He then took an ax and hit
the ground with it. The two opposing deacons fell on their faces immediately, and
they were carried to their homes and died on the third day.
The body of the Saint was anointed and wrapped, they buried him in a marble
sarcophagus in he church. Many miracles appeared from his body.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Ninth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The Departure Of St. Simon the Stylite
On this day of the year 461 A.D., St. Simon departed. He was born in Antioch in 392
A.D. His father's name was John, and his mother's name was Martha. Many miraculous
things happened because of him. Before his mother had conceived of him, St. John the
Baptist appeared to her in a dream and told her of her conception and what he would
become. At age sixteen, he became a monk in the mountain of Antioch, and he led a
great ascetic life in worship and prayer. An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
dream and guided him in his monastic life to the life of St. Pachomius. He excelled in
his worship to a level beyond the normal human level, so that he lived alone on a high
place like a pillar, for 45 years, during which he ate grass.
This father wrote many useful ascetic teachings, and explained many church books. He
departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Thirtieth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Bashans
1. The Departure of Pope Mikhail the First, the 68th. Patriarch of Alexandria.
2. The Departure of St. Fournous, one of the seventy disciples.
1. On this day of the year 818 A.M. (May 25th., 1102 A.D.), the holy father Pope
Mikhail, the sixty eighth Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was knowledgeable in the
church books from his youth, and recited them from memory. He desired to worship
God, and went to the wilderness and became a monk in St. Macarius monastery. He
was ordained a priest, then he went to a place near Singar, and lived there in a cave
for more than 20 years, fighting the good spiritual war. His virtues were known to
everyone. He was chosen to the Throne of St Mark and was enthroned on the 12th of
Babah, 809 A.M. (October 9th., 1092 A.D.), after he had proclaimed the Orthodox
faith. He took care of the priests of the churches of Alexandria. He did not allow
"Simony", and returned all the properties of the church that the Pope before him took
to himself. He never too to himself even one Dinar. He lived on very little money, and
spent most of it to feed the poor and the needy. He paid the taxes for those who
could not pay, and spent money to buy new vessels and books for the churches. He
taught his people through preaching and sermons. When he completed his course, he
gave his soul by the hand of the Lord Whom he loved. He was Pope for 9 years, 7
months,and 17 days.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the disciple Phorus (Fournous), one of the seventy disciples,
departed. He served Christ for 3 years. After the ascension of the Lord, he served the
apostles, and was filled with the Holy Spirit, the comforter on the day of Pentecost.
Then he served St. Paul, and carried his epistles to many countries, and taught the
Jews and pagans and baptized them. He suffered many afflictions, and departed in
peace.
May his prayers be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
  • The Blessed Month Of Bashans
The First Day