Coptic Synaxarium




The First Day
1. The Consecration of the church of St. Leontius of Tripoli.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Qozman El-Tahawy and his companions.
3. The Consecration of the church of St. Abe-Fam (Epipham) the soldier.
1. This day marks the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St. Leontius
(Laventius) the Syrian. This Saint was martyred in the city of Tripoli on the
twenty-second of Abib. A Christian woman, the wife of a great nobleman and
prominent army commander, gave much money to the soldiers, and took his holy body.
She wrapped it in expensive cloth and laid it in a coffer inside her house. She made a
picture of him and she hung a lighted lamp before it.
It happened that Diocletian became angry with her husband and shut him up in prison
in the city of Antioch. She became sad, and prayed to God, interceding with His saint
Leontius, to save her husband from prison. God accepted her prayers. St. Leontius
appeared to her husband in prison and told him, "Do not grieve or be sorrowful, for you
shall be delivered tomorrow, and you shall eat with the Emperor at his table, and you
shall return safely to your house." The Saint, then, went to the Emperor, and woke him
up. When the Emperor saw the Saint, he became terrified. The Saint told the Emperor,
"I have come to you, O Emperor, to order the release of the army commander. Honor
him, and let him go to his house, lest you be destroyed." The Emperor, who was
trembling, replied saying, "Whatever you command me, O my lord, I will do." The next
morning, the Emperor brought the commander out of prison, honored him, and dined
with him at his own table. The Emperor told him about the horseman that appeared to
him, then dismissed him to return to his home town.
When he arrived in Tripoli, his home town, he told his wife and his family what had
happened to him. His wife told him, "The good that happened to you was through the
blessings of St. Leontius." Then she uncovered the body of the Saint, and he took the
blessing of the Saint. When he saw his face, he realized that he was the one that had
appeared to him in prison. After the perishing of Diocletian, they built a church in his
name, relocated the body to it with great veneration, and the church was consecrated
on this day.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Qozman (Cosmas) El-Tahawy and his companions were
martyred.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
3. Today also, the church commemorates the great saint Abe-Fam (Bifam or
Phoebammon) the soldier. This Saint was born in the city of Oseem (Giza). His father's
name was Anastasius, who had a high ranking position, and his mother was a holy
woman whose name was Susanna. He distributed his money on the works of
righteousness and went before Armanius, governor of Alexandria, during the reign of
Diocletian, to be martyred. Armanius tortured him much, then sent him to Arianus,
governor of Ansena (Mallawy), who tortured him, excessively. However, the angel of
the Lord appeared to him, and strengthened him. Saint Abe-Fam always lifted his eyes
up toward heaven and finally they beheaded him. The believers then took the body and
buried him with veneration in a hill of sand west of Tema (Souhag). This Saint
completed his strife on the twenty-seventh of the month of Tubah during the reign of
Diocletian, in the Fourth century. A church was built after his name in Tema and
another in Oseem.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen
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The Second Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Commemoration of the Appearance of the Bodies of St. John the Baptist and
Elisha the Prophet.
2. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Eighteenth, the 107th. Pope of Alexandria.
1. On this day, the church celebrates the appearance of the bodies of St. John the
Baptist and Elisha the Prophet, the disciple of Elijah the Prophet, in the city of
Alexandria.
Julian the Infidel wished to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem, having been destroyed by
Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus. He intended with malice to prove the invalidity
of the saying of the Lord in the Holy Gospel: "Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone
shall be left her upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2). He
supplied the Jewish people with money to rebuild it. He put Elebius, who asked the
Jews to assist him secretly, in charge.
Many of the Jews, men, women, old and young, gathered. They started digging the
foundation with eagerness, transferring the dirt and rocks away, some with baskets
and the others in the tails of their dresses. St. Kyrillos (Cyril), bishop of Jerusalem,
ridiculed what they were doing.
When they finished raising the rocks of the old foundation, they started to put down
the new one. A severe earthquake took place, filled the excavation with dirt, dispersed
the building material and killed many of the workers. The Jews were not terrified of
that, and returned to the work again. Out of the depths of the earth, fiery balls came,
showering the workers with rocks and hitting them so they stopped building. Many of
them believed because of that and especially because they had fulfilled the prophesy
of the Lord Christ, with their hands, about the destruction of the building of the temple
from its foundation.
St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom had mentioned this incident. The
Jewish historian Emian, in the fifth century, had mentioned this account also
incidentally in his writings.
Nevertheless, the Jews told the Emperor, "The reason for what happened is the
presence of the bodies of Christian leaders in that place. They must be removed from
it, otherwise the temple will not be built." Julian ordered that the bodies of the saints
be removed from the place and burned. When they took the bodies of St. John the
Baptist and Elisha the Prophet to burn them, some believers came forward to the
soldiers, gave them a sum of silver and took the two bodies. They brought them to St.
Athanasius, Pope of Alexandria. He was pleased and placed them in a special place
until he could build a church for them.
One day St. Athanasius was sitting in the garden with his scribe, the one to be Pope
Theophilos (23rd Pope) who succeeded him on the Chair, and told him, "If God gives
me long days, I will build in this place a church in the names of St. John the Baptist
and Elisha the Prophet, and I will lay their bodies in it."
When Pope Theophilos was enthroned on the Chair of the See of St. Mark, he
remembered what Pope Athanasius had told him. He built the church and relocated the
pure bodies to it. On their way to the church carrying the holy bodies, they passed by a
house of a pagan woman. This woman was in labor for the last four days. She had a
difficult labor and she was in severe pain. When she heard the singing and the
chanting of the people as they passed by, and when she knew what was happening,
she vowed, saying, "O John, the saint of God, if you deliver me from this tribulation, I
will become a Christian." Before she had finished what she was saying, she gave birth
to a boy, and she called him John. Then, her family and she were baptized. They laid
the bodies with great honor in the church. Many miracles and wonders were manifested
through them.
As of the end of Julian the infidel was as follows:
He decided to declare a war against Sapor, King of Persia.
St. Basilius the Great, the author of the liturgy, and some bishops went to meet him.
Emperor Julian asked them, "Why have you come." St. Basilius replied, "We came
asking for a shepherd" He mocked them saying, "Where did you leave the son of the
carpenter?" The Saint answered with courage and pride, "We left him making a coffin
for you, for you have lost all wisdom and knowledge." Julian told him, "I have read and
memorized it." St. Basilius replied, "But you did not comprehend it." Julian became
angry and ordered them seized, to be slain after his return from the war with Sapor. St.
Basilius told him, "You will not come back, for God has spoken by my mouth." The
Emperor ordered them imprisoned.
The Emperor went to the war. St. Basilius prayed before the icon of St. Marcurius
Abu-saifain, asking for the chastisement of the Emperor because he insulted his Lord
Christ. St. Marcurius disappeared from the icon, and when he returned, his sword was
dripping blood.
During the war, Julian was shot by an arrow in his liver. Thlodoritius said in his history
of the church: "When this infidel Emperor was stabbed, he took a handful of the blood
that was pouring out of his side and scattered it toward the heaven, saying, 'You have
defeated me O Son of Mary.'" The prophesy of St. Basilius was fulfilled in him and the
church was saved from his evil. When St. Macarius, Bishop of Edko, was martyred, they
placed his body with the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the church celebrates the departure of Pope Yoannis (John) the
Eighteenth, the 107th Pope of Alexandria. He was of the people of El-Fayyoum and his
name was Joseph. He became a monk in the monastery of the great St. Antonios on
the mount of El-Araba. When Pope Marcus the seventh, his predecessor, departed, the
bishops, priests, and the notables of the people unanimously agreed on choosing him a
Patriarch. They brought him and ordained him a Patriarch in the church of the martyr St.
Marcurius in Old Cairo. That was on Sunday, 15th of Babah, 1486 A.M. (October 23,
1769 A.D.). He was called Yoannis the Eighteenth, the 107th Pope of Alexandria.
During his days, the Pope of Rome attempted to attract the Eastern Churches and
especially the Orthodox Church of Egypt (The Coptic Church) to the Catholic rite. He
published the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedone in a book and distributed it in
all the countries of the East. This council had caused the schism of the church, and the
Saint Pope Dioscorus (25th Patriarch) had refused to recognize the legitimacy of this
council.
The Pope of Rome then sent an envoy to Pope Yoannis carrying a message inviting him
to be united with him. Pope Yoannis gave this message to Anba Yusab El-Abbah,
bishop of Girga. He asked him to study it and to respond to it. This great scholar and
distinguished theologian replied, refuting all the claims of Rome. He defended his
church, its faith, and its doctrines, a splendid defense that immortalized his memory.
However, the book of the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedone brought the
opposite results of what Rome expected from publishing it. The book was a proof of
the sound teachings and doctrines of the Coptic Orthodox church. The Bishop of Rome
was sorry for publishing the book in the East, and he gathered its copies and burned
them.
During the papacy of Pope Yoannis (John) many tribulations and hardships befell him
from the rulers of the country and the Ottoman governors. The Turkish commander of
the army seized the patriarchate treasury and took all its funds. That forced the Pope
to disappear from the oppression and the injustice of those rulers who over tasked the
Christians with their unjust rules and the enormous increase of taxes stipulated from
them.
Pope Yoannis participated with Ibrahim El-Gohary, the head scribe at that time, in
restoring the monasteries and the churches. He also made the Holy Myron. He departed
on the second day of the blessed month of Baounah, 1512 A.M. (June 7, 1797 A.D.). He
remained on the patriarchal chair for twenty-six years, seven months, and sixteen
days. He was buried in the tomb of the patriarchs in the church of St. Marcurius
Abu-Saifain. The chair remained vacant three months and twenty-six days after his
departure.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Third Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Construction of the first church of St. George in the cities of Birma and Beer Maa
(Water Well) in the Oases.
2. The Departure of St. Martha of Egypt.
3. The Martyrdom of St. Alladius the Bishop.
4. The Departure of Pope Cosmas, the 44th Patriarch.
5. The Departure of St. Abraam, bishop of El-Fayyoum.
1. On this day, the first church in the name of St. George was built in Egypt in the city
of Beer Maa in the Oasis. As was consecrated also on this day a church in his name in
the city of Birma, district of Tanta. For after the perishing of Diocletian, and the reign
of the righteous Emperor Constantine, all the temples of the idols were destroyed.
Churches were built after the name of the heroic martyrs, who strived with their blood
to defend the faith.
Some Christian soldiers in the land of Egypt, had donated a piece of the land where
the city of Birma is now located. One of them was a righteous and meek young man,
who lived on a piece of this land with some of the farmers. In this area there was a
well of water. This young man heard of the wonders of the great among the martyrs,
St. George. He searched until he found his biography. He wrote it, and it comforted him
to read it, which he did without boredom.
While he stood praying, on the evening of the twenty-fourth of the month of Bashans,
he saw that an assembly of the saints had come down beside the well. They were
praising God and chanting with angelic voices. They were surrounded by heavenly light,
and he was astounded. One of them, who was in the uniform of a soldier, came
forward and informed him that he was Gawargios (George) who was martyred at the
hands of Diocletian. He ordered him to build a church for him on that site, for that was
the Will of God. The assembly left him, and raised up to heaven while they were
glorifying the Most High.
The young man spent that night awake till morning. Few days passed during which he
was thinking about how he could build this church, knowing that he did not have the
money for a small piece of it. One night, while he stood praying, the great martyr St.
George appeared to him. The Saint pointed out to him the place to build the church.
Then he directed the young man to another place and told him, "Dig here and you shall
find what you need to build the church." When he woke up in the morning, he went
where the honorable martyr had directed him. He dug there and found a vessel filled
with gold and silver. He praised God, and glorified his patron saint. He built the church
and called the father the Patriarch who consecrated it on this day.
The relics of St. George, that were kept in his church in the city of Beer Maa in the
Oasis, were relocated to the monastery of Anba Samuel by its monks. That was during
the days of the Saint Abba Mattheos (87th Patriarch), and the monastery was under
the direction of Fr. Zachary Ebn-Elkomos and Fr. Soliman El-Qualamony.
During the Papacy of Pope Gabriel (88th Patriarch) the relics of the saint were
relocated to his well-known church in Old Cairo. That was on the 16th of Abib, 1240
A.M. (July 10, 1024 A.D.). A great celebration takes place annually, where the church
was built beside the water well, to commemorate this venerable event. There, many
signs of casting out of evil spirits and healing of the sick take place with the
intercession of this great martyr.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the ascetic and fighter St. Martha, departed. She was born in the
city of Mesr (Cairo) to wealthy Christian parents. She loved fornication and unchastity
in her youth and her works became known. However, the mercy of God from above
encompassed her, and moved her to go to the church. That was on the Nativity of Our
Lord. When she came to its door and wished to go inside, the servant delegated to
watch the door told her, "It is not meet for you to go into the holy church, for you know
what you are?" A confrontation took place between them, and when the Bishop heard
the clamor, he came to the door of the church to see what had happened. When he
saw the girl, he said to her, "Do you not know that the house of God is holy, and only
the pure enter it." She wept and said, "Accept me O father, for I am repentant from
this instant, and have decided not to go back to my sin." The bishop replied, "If it is
true what you have said, go and bring back here all your silk clothes and gold
ornaments."
She went quickly and brought back all of her clothes and ornaments and gave them to
the Bishop. He ordered that they be burned immediately, then he shaved off the hair of
her head. He put on her the monastic garb and sent her to one of the convents. She
fought a great spiritual fight, and she frequently said in her prayers: "O Lord, if I could
not bear the disgrace from the servant of Your house, so please do not put me to
shame before Your angels and saints." She continued the spiritual fight for twenty-five
years, during which she did not go out of the door of the convent, then departed in
peace.
May her prayers be with us. Amen
3. Today also marks the martyrdom of St. Alladius (Hilarius or Hilarion), bishop of one
of the countries of the East. One day, he rebuked Emperor Julian for worshipping the
idols. The Emperor replied, "If I am, in your opinion infidel, because I do not worship
that whom was crucified, I shall make you also forsake worshipping him." Then the
Emperor handed him to one of his officers and commanded him to torture Alladius
without mercy for one year. When he did not turn away from his firm intention, he lit a
fire in a pit and threw him in it, but no harm came upon him. Many believed, and the
Emperor ordered their heads to be cut off. Finally, they brought the saint out of the pit,
and ordered to cut off his head. He delivered up his soul in the hand of the Lord Christ
and received the crown of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
4. This day also marks the departure of Pope Cosmas the First (44th Patriarch), in the
year 446 A.M. (June 24, 730 A.D.). He was from the village of Abi-Sair. He became a
monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. He was ordained against his will a patriarch on
Sunday the 30th of Baramhat, 445 A.M. (Marsh 729 A.D.). He did not cease, since his
enthronement, from asking God to repose his soul speedily. God responded to his
request after one year and three months of his enthronement.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
5. Today also, the saint Anba Abraam, Bishop of El-fayyoum and El-Giza, departed.
This was in the year 1630 A.M. (June 10, 1914 A.D.). This saint, whose name was Paul
(Boulos), was born in 1545 A.M. (1829 A.D.) in the Estate of "Gilda", district of Mallawi,
governate of Miniah, to righteous parents. They brought him up in a Christian manner.
They sent him to the church school, where he learned religious subjects and the church
hymns. As he was a very bright student, Anba Yousab, the Bishop of Sunabbo ordained
him a deacon for the church of Gilda. His heart longed for the monastic life, so he went
to El-Muharrak monastery where he was ordained a monk by the name of Paul Gabriel
El-Muharraki. He was nineteen years old.
He was meek, humble, had a pure life, and he prayed much in seclusion. Accordingly,
the monks loved him exceedingly. When Anba Yakoubos, bishop of El-Meniah, heard of
him, he summoned him. He retained him in the episcopate for a period of time during
which he promoted him to a priest. When he returned to his monastery, the monks
with a consensus decided to make him the abbot over the monastery after the death of
their Abbot. He was then promoted to archpriest (hegumen) in the days of Abba
Demitrius the second (111th Patriarch). He remained Abbot of the monastery for five
years, during which the monastery was the refuge for thousands of the poor. So he was
called the father of the poor and the destitute. During his time as abbot, he did not
spare an effort to improve the condition of the monastery spiritually and physically. He
improved its finances by developing its agricultural land. As he increased his charity
toward the poor, the orphans and the widows, some of the monks became more
resentful of him, for they considered these charitable works as squandering and
extravagant acts. They complained against him to Anba Morcos, Metropolitan of
El-Behira, who was the acting Patriarch after the death of Pope Demitrius. Anba Morcos
accepted their complaints and deposed him as the abbot of their monastery. Shortly
after his dismissal, he left El-Muharrak monastery and went to the monastery of
El-Baramous. Several monks from the El-Muharrak monastery went to the monastery of
El-Baramous, with archpriest Bolous (Abba Abraam), because they did not like the
attitudes of the complaining monks. He stayed there for some time studying the Bible
and teaching the monks.
The abbot of the monastery of El-Baramous at that time was archpriest Youhanna the
Scribe, who became later on Pope Kyrillos the fifth (112th Patriarch). In the year 1597
A.M. (1881 A.D.), Pope Kyrillos the Fifth chose and ordained him a bishop for the parish
of El-Fayyoum and El-Giza. He replaced its reposed bishop, Anba Eisak, and was
ordained with the name of Abba Abraam. During his episcopate, he became famous for
two attributes:
The First: His charity to the multitude of poor that came to the bishopric residence. He
gave them all what he had of money. He made the bishopric residence a shelter for
many of them. He offered clothing for those who had no clothes and food for those who
were hungry. He never allowed anyone to offer him food that was better than that
offered to the poor. Once he went down to visit the poor while they were eating, and
found that the food he was offered that day was better than that offered to them. He
became very sad, and immediately relieved the nun supervising the feeding service of
the poor from her duties.
The Second: He was famous for his prayer of faith. Many miracles were performed,
through his prayers, on his hands. His fame was spread to all parts of Egypt and also
to some parts of Europe. Many patients, of different religions, came to him, seeking
the blessing of his prayers and were healed. Anba Abraam was well read of the holy
books. He always gave to his visitors advice, instructions and sermons which showed
the great depth of his knowledge. More important was that he possessed a pure nature
and many virtues. Particularly, his severe denial of himself, and his true renouncement
of the pleasures of life and its vain glory. His food and clothing were just bare
necessities. His ambition never looked up to the glory of higher ranks or positions.
When the Patriarch wanted to promote him to the rank of metropolitan he apologized
saying that the Holy Bible did not mention any ranks in the priesthood except the
ranks of the priest and the bishop.
He was also straightforward in revealing his own opinion, looking only for the truth. He
never gave any attention to the rank and greatness of people in higher places, for their
greatness was far less than the greatness of the truth. For this reason, all the
metropolitans and bishops of the church avoided his anger and sought to please him.
Abba Abraam departed to the heavenly bless on the third of Baouna, 1630 A.M. (June
10, 1914 A.D.). More than ten thousand Christian and Moslems walked in his funeral
precession. His pure body was laid in the tomb, which was prepared for him in the
monastery of the Virgin Mary in El-Ezab. Many miracles were manifested through him
after his departure, and his tomb became and still is a pilgrimage for many who have
special needs or infirmities.
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 Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Shenousi (Sanusi).
2. The Martyrdom of Saint Anba Amoun and the Righteous Sophia.
3. The Martyrdom of John of Herakleia.
4. The Departure of St. Aba-Hour.
5. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Eighth (80th Patriarch).
1. On this day, St. Sanusi (Shenousi), who was from Balkim, was martyred. When he
was a young man, he tended the sheep. He used to give his food to the young
shepherds, and spend his day fasting. He visited the sick and those who were in prison.
One night, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision and told him, "Rise up,
and go before the governor and confess your God to receive the crown of martyrdom."
When he woke up from his sleep, he told that to his mother. She was sorry and wept
for she was unable to prevent him. He had heard about a righteous holy woman, in the
city of Shoubra, whose name was Mariam. She received the poor and the sojourners
and did many good deeds. He went to her, and both agreed on receiving the crown of
martyrdom. They went to Arsanos, the governor, who was residing in a ship anchored
on the bank of the river Nile. They cried out before him saying, "We are Christians." He
ordered that they be tortured. While they were torturing them, St. Mariam delivered up
her soul in the hand of the Lord. The Lord Christ comforted and strengthened St.
Sanusi. When the Governor failed to change his conviction, he sent him with many
others to the Governor of Ansena (Antinoe), who tortured him severely. Then, he
brought a sorcerer from Akhmeem, who gave the Saint a drink mixed with poison. The
Saint having made over it the sign of the Cross, drank it, and no harm came to him.
When the governor was tired of torturing him, he ordered him put to death. They cut
off his head with the sword. The sorcerer believed when he saw that, so they cut off
his head also. Both received the crown of martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, Saint Anba Amoun and St. Sophia were martyred.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
3. This day also, marks the martyrdom of St. John of Herakleia.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
4. Today also, marks the departure of the Saint Aba-Hour in the mount of El-Amoud in
the East.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
5. On this day also, of the year 1036 A.M. (May 29th, 1320 A.D.) Pope Yoannis the
Eighth (80th Patriarch), departed. He was from Meniat Bani-Khosaim, and was known
as El Mo'ataman Ebn El-Kedees, and his name was Yohanna Ben-Ebsal. He became a
monk in the monastery of El-Shahran, and was ordained Patriarch on the nineteenth of
Amshir, 1016 A.M. (February 14th, 1300 A.D.). During his days severe tribulations
befell the Christians. They forced them to tinge their turbans with the color blue.
Churches were closed in old Cairo, Cairo, and then in different parts of the country
except the monasteries in Alexandria, and some churches in other cities. An envoy from
the king of Spain came to intercede on behalf of the Christians. Two churches were
opened, one of them was the Coptic church of the Virgin Lady in Haret Zeewailah and
the other was the Malachite church of St. Nicholas in Elhamzawe. He was a
contemporary of the Saint Anba Barsouma known as El-Erian Ebn-Eltaban, who
departed during his days. The Patriarch prayed over him on the 5th of El-Nasi 1021
A.M. This Patriarch was the last to reside in the church of Abu-Saifain in Cairo. He was
the first to relocate the patriarchal chair to the church of the Virgin Lady in Haret
Zeewailah. He was residing there in the year 1303 A.D. when a severe earthquake took
place that destroyed a large part of Syria and Egypt. Ebn-kabre indicated that this
Patriarch had made some changes in the Liturgy. He departed after remaining on the
chair for twenty years, three months, and fifteen days and was buried in the monastery
of El-Shahran.
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 Baounah
1. The Departure of St. James of the East.
2. The Martyrdom of Sts. Anba Bshay (Ebsoy) and Anba Botros (Peter).
3. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the church of St. Boctor (Victor) in the
region of Sho.
1. On this day, St. James of the East (Oriental), the confessor, departed. He lived and
worshipped in one of the monasteries of the East. He was a contemporary of Emperor
Constantine the Great, Julian the Infidel, and Jovianus the Believer. When the latter
was killed, Valens, his brother, reigned in his stead. He was an arian and he closed the
Orthodox churches and allowed the Arians to open their churches. The grace of God
moved this Saint and he went to the city of Constantinia. He met the Emperor on his
way to war. He stood before the Emperor and said, "I ask you to open the churches of
the believers, that they may pray for you, so may God make you victorious against your
enemies, otherwise God will forsake you and you will be defeated before your
enemies." The Emperor became angry at what St. James said and commanded to beat
and imprison him. The Saint told him; "Know that you shall be defeated before your
enemies, and you shall die by burning." The Emperor became enraged and ordered to
keep him under guard until he should return from war. The Saint told him, "If you
return safely, then God has not spoken by my mouth."
The Emperor went on to fight his enemies. When the two armies faced each other, the
Lord forsake him, so he was defeated before his enemies. They pursued him until he
came to a certain village to which they set fire. Its people escaped, but he and some
of his men remained and they were burned. Those of his soldiers who returned to the
city of Constantinia told the believers what had happened. Thus the prophecy of the
holy man was fulfilled. The believers assembled, and brought him out of prison with
great honor. The Arians knew that the divine grace and the spirit of prophecy dwelt in
him, as they believed in the accuracy of his faith. Many turned from their error,
confessing that the Son of God is equal with the Father in essence.
This saint spent the rest of the days of his life in devotion to the ascetic life, and in
fighting the spiritual fight until he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the two great Sts. Anba Bshay (Ebsoy) and Anba Botros (Peter)
were martyred.
Their relics are located in Sedfah, the governorate of Asyut.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
3. This day also, marks the commemoration of the consecration of the church of the
great saint Anba Boctor (Victor) in the region of Sho, east of El-Khesous.
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 Baounah
The Martyrdom of St. Theodore the Monk
On this day, St. Theodore the Monk, was martyred. He was born in the city of
Alexandria. He became a monk in one of the monasteries near the city, and became
known for his pure life and strenuous asceticism.
When Constantius, the son of the righteous emperor Constantine, followed the Arians,
he sent an arian patriarch to Alexandria called Gawargios. He was accompanied by a
number of soldiers. He exiled St. Athanasius, the Pope of Alexandria, and sat in his
place after he had killed many of the believers. St. Theodore, with Christian zeal,
disputed with the Arians, and exposed their infidelity. The alien Patriarch seized him,
tortured him much, then ordered that he be tied to the legs of unbridled horses. The
horses were then released. St. Theodore's body was torn to pieces and his head was
smashed. He delivered up his soul into the hand of the Lord and received the crown of
martyrdom. The believers collected his holy members, and laid them in a coffin. They
established a feast for him on this day.
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 Baounah
The Martyrdom of St. Abaskhiroun the Soldier
On this day, the honorable St. Abaskhiroun, who was from the city of Qalin, was
martyred. He was one of the soldiers of Arianus, governor of Ansena (Antinoe). When
the Edict of Diocletian to worship the idols was issued, this Saint arose in the middle
of the people present, exposed the infidelity of the Emperor, and cursed his idols. They
seized him and shut him up in the prison, which was in the palace of the Governor, in
Asyut. Five other soldiers agreed with him to shed their blood in the Name of Christ.
Their names were: Alfius, Armanius, Arkias, Peter, and Cranius. When they came
before the Governor, he cut off their girdles, tortured them, crucified some and cut off
the heads of the others. As for St. Abaskhiroun, the Governor tortured him with
different kinds of tortures, but the Lord comforted him, strengthened him, and healed
his wounds. The Governor brought a sorcerer, whose name was Alexander. He gave the
Saint some deadly poison, saying; "O master of the powers of darkness, manifest in
this Christian your powers." The Saint took the poison, made the sign of the cross over
it, and drank it, but no harm came upon him. The sorcerer marvelled, and he believed
in the God of St. Abaskhiroun. The Governor cut off the head of the sorcerer, and he
received the crown of martyrdom. The Governor became more enraged with the Saint.
He tortured him extensively, then he ordered to cut off his head, and he received the
crown of martyrdom.
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 Baounah
1. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of the Virgin Lady known as
El-Mahammah.
2. The Commemoration of St. Tamada and her children, and Armenius and his mother.
3. The Martyrdom of George (Girgis) the new martyr.
1. On this day, of the year 901 A.M., is the commemoration of the consecration of the
church of the Virgin Lady, the Mother of God. This church is in the city known as
El-Mahammah (Mostorod) which means "bath" because of the fountain of water flowing
from the spring. This spring the Mother of God had sprung out upon her return from her
visit to the land of Egypt. When Joseph went to Egypt as the Angel had said, he went
to Upper Egypt. On his way back, he came to El-Mataryah, and then to El-Mahammah.
A church was built in that place in the name of the Virgin Lady.
May her intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, is the commemoration of St. Tamada and her children, and
Armenius and his mother.
May their intercession be with us. Amen.
3. This day also marks the martyrdom of George (Girgis), the new martyr. He was an
Ishmealite as was his father. He believed in the Lord Christ and became a monk. They
seized, and punished him severely. They took him before the Governor El-Zaher, where
he confessed his faith in the Lord Christ. The Governor attempted to make him forsake
his faith by offering him expensive gifts, but he refused. The Governor ordered to cut
his neck off, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1103 A.M. (1387 A.D.).
May his intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
1. The Departure of Samuel the Prophet.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Lucilianus and four others with him.
3. The Relocation of the Relics of St. Mercurius to Cairo.
1. On this day, of the year 2947 of the world, the upright and great, Samuel the
Prophet, departed. This righteous man was born in Ramathaim Zophim, of the
mountains of Ephraim. His father's name was Elkanah and his mother was Hannah. She
was barren, and by continual supplication, the Lord gave her Samuel. She raised him in
her house for three years, and then she offered him to the temple of God as she vowed
before she conceived him. He served Eli the priest until he grew up. Eli's two sons had
behaved badly and defiled the temple.
While Samuel was lying down to sleep, the LORD called Samuel. And he answered,
"Here I am!" So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And Eli said, "I
did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet
again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called
me." And Eli answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." Now Samuel did not
yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him. And the LORD
called Samuel again a third time. Then Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I
am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy.
Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you
must say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his
place. Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears." Then the LORD said to Samuel:
"Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will
tingle. "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his
house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever
for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did
not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of
Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." (1 Samuel 3:1-14)
Afterward, the Lord commanded Samuel to anoint Saul the son of Kish, a king for
Israel. When Saul disobeyed the Lord Samuel anointed David, the son of Jesse, a king
by the command of the Lord. He prophesied and judged for the people of Israel for
twenty years.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Lucilianus and four others with him, were martyred. He was a
priest for the idols during the reign of Emperor Aurelianus Caesar. He witnessed the
torturing of the martyrs, their beating, burning, and being hacked to pieces. He also
witnessed many being thrown into the fire without being harmed. He marvelled and
realized that his idols did not posses the power to do likewise and the God that does
these signs is the true God. Straightway, he cried saying, "I am Christian, I am
Christian." They seized him, and brought him before the Emperor who rebuked him for
that. He promised him many gifts, then threatened him. Since he did not return from
his firm intention, he tortured him severely then cast him into prison.
Then the Emperor brought him again with the other four Christians and threw them into
the fire. God sent heavy rain and it quenched the fire. Finally, they hung him upon a
wooden cross and nailed his body with long nails. Thus he delivered up his soul in the
hand of the Lord. As for the other four, they cut off their heads and they all received
the crown of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. Today also, we celebrate the commemoration of the relocation of the relics of St.
Marcurius Abu-Saifain to his church in Cairo. That was during the papacy of Pope
Yoannis (94th Pope of Alexandria).
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 Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Dabamon.
2. The Commemoration of the Closing of the Pagan Temples and Opening of the
Churches.
3. The Departure of St. Yoannis the 16th, the 103rd Pope of Alexandria.
4. The Enthronement of Pope Demitrius the Second, the 111th Patriarch of Alexandria.
1. On this day, St. Dabamon, was martyred. A man named "Warshenoufa"
(Ouarshenoufa) was called upon to be a bishop, but he fled to "kahmoun" (Tahmoun),
diocese of Bana. There, he found a lodging with two brothers called Dabamon
(Eudaeman) and Bastamon (Episteman). That night, the angel of the Lord appeared to
him and said, "Why are you asleep while the fight is on, and the crowns are prepared?
Arise and go to the governor and confess Christ to receive the crown of martyrdom."
When he rose up, he told the two brothers about his vision. They all agreed to
receiving the crowns. They went to the governor and professed the Name of the Lord
Christ before him. The Governor tortured them, and put them in prison. Then, he took
them with him from Benchileel to Sanhour. He asked them to raise incense for the
idols, but they refused. The Governor tortured them again and the Lord sent his angel
to comfort them.
Then he took them to Sa, where the priest of the idols told the governor that a woman
named Dabamon from Degwah had cursed the gods. She was a righteous and
charitable woman who had a daughter named Youna. They weaved fabrics and painted
beautiful drawings on them. They sold it and gave whatever was left as alms. The
governor sent an executioner named Eulogi. When he saw her righteousness and her
good nature, he refrained from killing her, and took her with him to the governor. There
she met St. Warshenoufa and his two companions. The governor tortured her
excessively and ordered to squeeze her with the press. The Lord strengthened her and
raised her whole again. Meanwhile, Eulogi, the executioner that brought her, professed
the Lord Christ. He was beheaded, and received the crown of martyrdom. The governor
also ordered Dabamon to be beheaded outside the city. They took her out, and the
women were around her weeping, but she was rejoicing. They cut her head off and she
received the crown of martyrdom.
May her prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 312 A.D., the righteous Emperor Constantine the great,
issued his Edict to close all the pagan temples, and open all the churches throughout
the whole Roman Empire. The news of the Edict arrived to Alexandria on this day, and
all the people rejoiced exceedingly along with the heavenly hosts. All the Christians
made this day a great feast day. This was at the beginning of the enthronement of
Pope Alexandros the first, the 19th Patriarch of Alexandria.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. Today also, of the year 1434 A.M. (June 15, 1718 A.D.), Pope Yoannis the Sixteenth,
the 103rd Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. This Pope was known by the name
"Yoannis El-Tokhi". His parents were Christians from Tokh El-Nasara, the diocese of
El-Menoufia. They brought their son, whose name was Ibrahim, with the best of care.
They provided him with the best of education. God blessed him from his youth, thus he
grew up in virtue and in a chaste life.
When his father departed, he forsake the world and desired the monastic life. He went
to the monastery of St. Antony in the wilderness of Araba, and became a monk there.
He put on the garb of the monk and attired with the holy Eskeem. When he showed his
dedication in worship and asceticism, the fathers the monks chose him to be a priest.
Pope Mattheos, the Fourth, ordained him a priest for the monastery, in the church of
the Virgin Lady in Haret Zeewailah. He became more righteous in his new priestly rank,
and increased his worship, until his godliness, humility and meekness became well
known. When Pope Mattheos departed, the bishops, priests and lay leaders, met to
choose a good shepherd. They elected a number of priests and monks, among whom
was this father. They casted an altar lot after they had celebrated the holy liturgy for
three consecutive days, asking God to guide them to the one who is fit to shepherd His
people. When the lot was made, it fell on this father. They knew and realized that God
had chosen him for this office. He was ordained on Sunday, the ninth of Baramhat,
1392 A.M. (May 5th, 1676 A.D.). He was called Yoannis the 16th. The celebration of his
enthronement was splendid and the joy prevailed everywhere in Egypt.
He gave his attention to the restoration of the monasteries and the churches. He
restored the holy places in Jerusalem and paid off its debts. He renovated many
churches and monasteries which he consecrated by his blessed hands. He gave special
attention to the monastery of St. Paul, the first hermit, in mount Nemra. The
monastery was desolate for a period of more than one hundred years. He opened it,
restored it, reestablished the monastic life in it, and made it better than before. He
prepared books, veils, altar accessories, and relics of saints for it, and consecrated it
himself. He ordained many priests, deacons and monks for it on Sunday the 19th of
Bashans, 1421 A.M. (May 25, 1705 A.D.). He visited the monastery of the great St.
Antony, the father of the monks, in mount El-Kalzam, four times: the first was in the
month of Kiahk, 1395 A.M. (1678 A.D.), accompanied by the head of the monastery,
and some monks. The second was in the 20th of Baramouda, 1411 A.M. (1695 A.D.) at
the end of the holy fast. He was accompanied by Fr. John the Virgin, the priest of the
church of the Virgin in Haret El-Room and the honorable deacon El-Moallem Girgis
El-Toukhy Abu Mansour, and El-Moallem Soliman El-Sarraf El-Shenrawi. The third time
was in Misra 1417 A.M. (1701 A.D.), and the fourth time was in 1421 A.M. (1705 A.D.)
to consecrate the monastery of St. Paul.
In the blessed month of Abib, 1417 A.M., a great tribulation befell the Orthodox
Christians of Egypt, during the reign of the governor Mohammed Pasha. An accusation
had reached him that the Coptic Christians had built new buildings in their churches.
The Governor appointed an Agha, architects, and judges to go and investigate the
accusation. They came back with the evidence that there were many new constructions
in the churches. However, God did not forsake His people by the prayers of this godly
Pope. Many honorable people in Egypt went to the Governor to intercede on behalf of
the Christians. The Governor ordered that a fine be paid as a penalty. The Pope met
with the lay leaders El-Moallem Youhanna Abu Masri, El-Moallem Girgis Abu Mansour,
and El-Moallem Ibrahim Abu Awad. They agreed unanimously that the Pope would visit
the Christians in their homes, and collect what needed to be collected. The penalty
was collected and paid to the Governor. The lay leaders were able to pay it back to the
people and every one rejoiced. The churches were opened, and there was peace. The
Pope took it hard going to the homes of the believers asking for money, so he went to
the monastery of St. Antony on the 7th of the month of Misra, 1417 A.M. for a retreat.
In 1419 A.M., the Pope desired to make the Holy Oil (Myron). The Lord answered his
request, and moved the heart of a Christian, the great lay leader, El-Moallem Girgis
Abu Mansour, the administrator of the churches of El-Muallakah and Haret El-Roum. He
was charitable to the poor and the needy, cared for the places of the saints and
martyrs. He participated in every good deed with the Pope. He prepared what was
needed (oil, spices, perfumes), and the Holy Myron was cooked and consecrated by the
Pope in the Church of the Virgin in Haret El-Roum. The Myron had not been made for a
period of two hundred and forty seven years, during which, 18 Popes sat on the throne
of St. Mark. He was also the first to build the Patriarchate residence in Haret El-Roum,
and dedicated properties and revenue for it.
In 1425 A.M. (1709 A.D.), this Pope visited Jerusalem, with some of the bishops, many
archpriests, priests, and laymen. The honored deacon El-Moallem Girgis Abu Mansour
El-Toukhy, paid all the expenses of this trip. He also paid all the expenses for the
renovation of the church of the Virgin known as El-Muallakah in Old Cairo.
The Pope visited the churches, and monasteries. He also visited St. Mark church in
Alexandria. He traveled everywhere in both Lower and Upper Egypt. In his time, he
allowed the Holy Elements (the Body and the Blood of Christ) to be taken to the sick
and those who could not come to the church. This Pope was loved by everyone, and he
was honored and respected for his humility, meekness, and his love for the poor. His
door was always open to everyone who would call upon him. The days of his papacy
were quiet. The Lord was with him, and delivered him from all his sorrows. He accepted
his prayers and supplications and he lived to a good old age.
When he completed his course, he became sick for a short time. Then he departed in
peace, with his friend the honorable lay leader Girgis Abu Mansour within one week.
Many mourned him, and the bishops, the priests, and the lay leaders attended the
prayers on his body. They carried him with great honor, and placed the body in the
tomb of the Patriarchs in the church of St. Mercurius Abu Saifain in Old Cairo, in the
10th of Baounah, 1434 A.M., after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for forty two
years and three months.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, of the year 1578 A.M. (15th of June, 1862 A.D.), is the
commemoration of the enthronement of Pope Demitrius the second, the 111th
Patriarch. This father was born in the village of Galda, the governorate of El-Menia. He
became a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. When the abbot of the monastery
departed, he was chosen to become the new abbot. He did well in managing the
monastery. For his good virtues, he was ordained a Pope to succeed the great Pope
Abba Kyrillos the fourth, the 110th Patriarch.
He completed the construction of St. Mark Cathedral, built many buildings in the
patriarchate, and in his monastery in the area of Atrees. In 1869 A.D., he attended the
celebration for the opening of the Suez Canal, and met many kings. He was well
respected by Sultan Abdel-Aziz. When this Pope came before him to greet him, the
Pope kissed the sultan on his chest. The Sultan was troubled, and the guards asked
the Pope why he did that. The Pope said, "The book of God says: 'The king's heart in
the hand of the Lord' (Proverbs 21:1), when I kissed his heart, I have kissed the hand
of God." The Sultan was pleased with his answer, and gave him many farm lands to
help the poor and the schools. The Pope traveled on a governmental boat to visit the
churches in Upper Egypt. He regained those who were lost and strengthened the
faithful.
After he had completed in the papacy seven years, seven months, and seven days, he
departed in peace on the eve of Epiphany, the 11th of Tubah, 1586 A.M. (Jan. 18th,
1870 A.D.).
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen
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The Eleventh Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Claudius.
2. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Altar of the Forty Martyrs in
Alexandria.
1. On this day, the honorable St. Claudius, was martyred. He was the son of Ptolemy
(Abtelmawos), who was Emperor Numerianus' brother. He was loved by the people of
Antioch for his courage and good appearance. Because they loved him so greatly, they
painted a picture of him on the doors of the city of Antioch.
When Diocletian reneged the faith and incited the persecution against the Christians,
this Saint agreed with St. Boctor (Victor) Ebn Romanus to be martyred for the sake of
the Name of Christ. Satan appeared to them in the form of an old man and told them,
"O my sons, you are young men, the sons of nobility, and I am afraid for you from this
infidel Emperor; so if he asked you to worship the idols, accept his command, and in
your houses you can worship Christ in secret."
They realized that he was satan disguised as an old man and told him, "O you who are
filled with all evil, go away from us." Straightway the old man changed his appearance
and became like a black slave and told them, "Behold, I will go before you to the
Emperor and instigate him to shed your blood."
The Emperor brought St. Claudius and proposed to him the worship of the idols, and
promised to give him his father's position. Claudius neither accepted his promise, nor
submitted to his order. He spoke to him boldly and fearlessly reviling him for
worshipping the idols. The Emperor did not dare to harm him for the people of Antioch
loved him. Romanus, St. Victor's father, advised the Emperor to send him to Egypt to
be killed there. He sent him with a letter to the Governor of Ansena (Antinoe) stating
in it: "Claudius neither obeyed our orders, nor hearkened our words. Persuade him with
all your power first, and if he does not return on his counsel, cut off his head." When
the Saint heard that, he called Sidrakhos, his sister's husband, asked him to care for
his sister, his possessions and bid him farewell. The Saint went with the soldiers to
Egypt. When he arrived to Arianus, the governor of Ansena, he received him standing,
kissed his hand, and said, "O my master Claudius, do not transgress the command of
the Emperor." The Saint replied, "I was not sent to you for you to lead me astray by
your words, but that you might fulfil what the emperor commanded." They argued with
each other till Arianus became enraged with the answers of the Saint, and he drove the
spear into the Saint. He delivered up his pure spirit and received the crown of
martyrdom. Some of the believers, took his body and shrouded it. They placed it with
the body of St. Victor who was martyred shortly before that. After the end of the time
of persecution, Victor's mother came, and took their bodies to Antioch.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the church celebrates the commemoration of the consecration of
the altar of the Forty martyrs of Sebastia, in the church of the Savior, in Alexandria.
May their intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twelfth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Commemoration of Archangel Michael.
2. The Departure of St. Justus, the Sixth Pope of the See of St. Mark.
3. The Departure of St. Kyrillos the Second, the 67th Pope of Alexandria.
4. The Departure of St. Euphemia.
1. On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the angel Michael, the
Archangel, the intercessor of the human race. The one who appeared to Joshua the son
of Nun, encouraged him, and told him, "Nay, but as captain of the hosts of the Lord am
I now come." He made the city of Jericho to fall into his hands, and he stopped the sun
for him.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 135 A.D., St. Justus, the Sixth Pope of the See of St.
Mark, departed. This saint was an honorable and learned man before his ordination. He
was baptized by St. Mark the Apostle, along with his father, his mother and others. St.
Anianus, the second pope, ordained him a deacon, then a priest, and appointed him to
preach, and teach the people. He was chosen for the papacy to succeed Pope Primus.
He shepherded his people with the best of care for ten years. He departed at a
pleasing good old age.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, the twelfth of Baounah, 808 A.M. (June 6th, 1092 A.D.), the great
Pope, St. Kyrillos the Second, the 67th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He became a
monk in Sawma'et (Cell) of Singar. Because of his knowledge and righteousness, they
chose him a Patriarch, a successor to St. Christodolus, the 66th Pope. His
enthronement was on 22nd of Baramhat, 794 A.M. (March 18th, 1078 A.D.).
Some of the bishops disobeyed the Pope and decided to depose him. They assembled
a council from forty-seven bishops for this purpose. When the Fatimid governor knew of
this dissension, he called the bishops to his orchard. He harshly talked to them with
words God had put in his mouth. The overseer of the orchard (Yaseeb) sided with those
who opposed the Pope. Peter, the pope's disciple, reproved him and an exchange of
words took place between them while the Pope was coming out of the meeting. The
Pope told the overseer, "If the Governor has authority, Christ has authority over the
heaven and earth." The Pope dismounted his horse, and made a matonia before him,
which was on Saturday the 23rd of Misra, 802 A.M. On the next Saturday, the governor
became enraged with the overseer of his orchard. He went there and ordered the
beheading of the overseer. That was in the same place where the Pope had made the
matonia to him and in the same hour.
The Governor told the dissenting bishops, "You all should be in accordance, and obey
your Archbishop." Thus, they all were reconciled, and went to the church of St.
Marcurius. They celebrated the Divine liturgy on Saturday and Sunday and then went to
their parishes rejoicing. This Pope remained on the Chair for fourteen years, two
month, and thirteen days, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
4. This day also, marks the martyrdom of St. Euphemia. She was the wife of a man
who feared God, and gave much alms. He kept three festivals each month: the
commemoration of the angel Michael, on the twelfth day; the commemoration of the
Mother of God (Theotokos), on the twenty-first day; and the commemoration of the
Nativity of our Lord, on the twenty-ninth day of each month. When the day of his
departure drew near, he commanded his wife, to keep this custom, to not stop the
giving of alms, and to do the acts of charity especially on these three festivals. He
painted a picture of the honorable angel Michael and gave it to her.
After the departure of her husband, she continued to fulfill his will. Satan was jealous
of her, and he came to her disguised as a monk, who talked to her expressing his pity
for her. He advised her to get married, to bring forth children, and to refrain from doing
charitable deeds lest she finish her money. He told her also that her husband had
received the Kingdom and he had no need of the alms giving. She answered saying, "I
have vowed not to consort with another man after my husband." She went on saying,
"If birds as the doves and the ravens do not take second mates, how then can men
who are created in the form and likeness of God do this?" The devil left her angry.
When the feast of the Angel had come, and she had prepared all what she needed as
her custom, Satan appeared to her in the form of an angel and said to her, "Peace be
to you, the angel Michael has sent me to you, commanding you to cease from these
alms, and to marry a believing man." Then he told her, "A woman without a man is like
a ship without a captain," and he began to bring her proofs out of the Holy Bible in
regard of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and others like them who married wives and
pleased God. She replied saying, "If you are an angel of God, where is the Cross, the
symbol of your military service? For the soldier of the King never goes to any place
without this symbol with him." When Satan heard these words from her, he returned to
his original form, and jumped on her to choke her. She cried for the angel Michael,
whose feast she was celebrating, and he delivered her immediately from him. The
angel Michael told her, "Go and arrange your affairs, for you shall depart from this
world today. And behold the Lord has prepared for you what eye has not seen, and ear
has not heard, nor has it occurred to the heart of man," then he gave her the greeting
of peace, and went up into heaven.
After, St. Euphemia had celebrated the feast of the angel Michael, she sent for the
father the bishop and the priests. She gave them all her money to give to the poor and
the needy. Then, she took the Picture of the honorable angel Michael and prayed
before it. She laid it upon her face and breast, then departed in peace.
May her prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Thirteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Departure of St. John, Bishop of Jerusalem.
2. The Commemoration of the Archangel Gabriel, the Announcer of Daniel the Prophet.
1. On this day, of the year 419 A.D., the holy father St. John the second, bishop of
Jerusalem, departed. He became a monk in the monastery of St. Hilarion, with the
great father St. Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus. His virtues and knowledge became well
known, so they chose him a bishop for Jerusalem in the year 388 A.D., after the
ordination of St. Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus.
After the ordination of St. John a bishop, the enemy of good led him astray through the
love of money. He gathered much money, made silver vessels for his table, and
neglected the poor and the needy. When St. Epiphanius heard that, he was troubled for
what he knew about his friend St. John, from asceticism, righteousness, worshipping
and being merciful. St. Epiphanius, because of is old friendship with St. John, came
from Cyprus to Jerusalem. He made it appear that he had come to visit and worship
the holy places, and visit the saints, but in fact he came to meet Abba John. When he
arrived in Jerusalem, Abba John invited him for a visit. He prepared a table for St.
Epiphanius and put these silver vessels on the table before him. When St. Epiphanius
saw that, his heart was in pain, for he saw that his friend Abba John had in him no
mercy for the poor and the needy. St. Epiphanius devised a plan to put his hands on
these silver vessels. He went to one of the monasteries of Jerusalem, and sent to
Abba John asking to borrow these vessels from him. He pretended that some of the
elders of Cyprus came to visit him and he wished to offer them food using them. When
Abba John sent the vessels to St. Epiphanius, he took them, sold them and gave the
money as alms to the poor and needy.
A few days later, Abba John asked for the vessels, but St. Epiphanius asked him to
wait a while on him. Abba John repeated his demand a second and a third time. When
St. Epiphanius did not return them, Abba John seized him by the hem of his garment in
the church of Resurrection and said to him, "I will not let you go until you give me back
my silver vessels." St. Epiphanius prayed to the Lord Christ, and entreated Him for the
sake of his old friend. Abba John became blind. He wept, and entreated St. Epiphanius
to help him. St. Epiphanius prayed for his sake and one of his eyes was healed. He
looked at him and said, "Behold, the Lord Christ has left blind one of your eyes as a
reminder for you." He reminded him of his earlier benevolent life, and told him that he
had sold his vessels and gave their price as alms. He also told Abba John that he only
came to Jerusalem to substantiate what he had heard about his greed and love of the
world. Abba John awoke from his foolishness and inadvertence. He walked diligently in
the path of charity beyond what can be described. He gave as alms all that he owned
of money, clothes, and the vessels. He forsake all things worldly to the point that they
did not find even a "Dirham" with him when he departed. God granted him the gift of
healing the sick and performing signs. After he finished in his episcopate thirty one
years, he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the church in Egypt celebrates a feast for the honorable angel
Gabriel. The angel Gabriel announced Daniel with the return of the children of Israel
from captivity, the coming of the Lord Christ, the time of His coming, that He would be
killed, the destruction of Jerusalem, and that no other Messiah would come after Him
except the anti-Christ. This angel is the one who announced to Zachariah the birth of
John, and six months later, he came with the glad tidings of the salvation of the world
when he announced to the Virgin Mary saying, "And behold, you will conceive in your
womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will
be called the Son of the Highest; ... And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and of His kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:31-33) Therefore, our church has
arranged this feast to venerate this honorable angel.
May his intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fourteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Departure of Pope Yoannis the Nineteenth, 113th Patriarch of Alexandria.
2. The Martyrdom of Sts. Apakir, John, Ptolemy and Philip.
1. On this day, of the year 1658 A.M. (1942 A.D.) Pope Yoannis the Nineteenth, 113th
Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was born in the village of Dair Tasa, Asyiut
governorate in the year 1571 A.M. (1855 A.D.). His parents were righteous, therefore
he was raised on piety and godliness. He drank the love of virtuous life and loved,
since his young age, to read the biographies of saints. He longed to follow their
example, accordingly he went to the monastery of the Virgin Lady known as
El-Baramous in Wadi El-Natroun, in the month of Baramoudah, 1591 A.M. He became a
monk on the third of Kiahk, 1592 A.M. (1876 A.D.). Because of his fervent worship,
intelligence, and intellect, the fathers unanimously agreed to nominate him to be a
priest. Pope Kyrillos the fifth, 112th Patriarch, ordained him a priest in the year 1593
A.M., then hegumen in Baramhat, 1594 A.M., and appointed him on the same day to be
the head of the monastery. He remained the head of the monastery for ten years,
during which he was an example of, ambition, honesty, purity of conduct, firmness,
godliness, and good management.
When the Chair of the diocese of El-Biharah became vacant, the people chose Yoannis
a metropolitan for that Chair. He was ordained on the twelfth of Baramhat, 1603 A.M.
(1887 A.D.) and also was appointed as a deputy of the See of St. Mark. After the
departure of Anba Yoannis, metropolitan of El-Menofaya at that time, the people of the
diocese nominated him to care for them. The diocese of El-Menofaya was added to his
duties in the year 1610 A.M. (1894 A.D.), and he became the metropolitan of
El-Biharah, El-Menofaya, and the deputy of the See of St. Mark.
Since his official seat was in Alexandria, he established there a theological school to
educate the monks. He sent from its students a mission to Athens for higher
theological studies. The revenue of the church properties was inconsiderable. By his
good judgement, the revenue increased year after year. Because of the highrise
buildings that he built and the renovation of the old ones. He also gave great care for
the Coptic schools, elementary and high, until their standard became equivalent to the
best schools. He built and renovated most of the churches in his parish. He also gave
special attention to the monasteries in his jurisdiction, which were improved greatly
because of his good care and close supervision. Because of his foresight, and
prudence, the government chose him as a representative for the Copts in many
councils and committees at the general assembly, the committee for formulating the
constitution and many others.
He spent forty-two years as a metropolitan, which were full of splendid works. When
the blessed Pope Kyrillos the fifth, departed, on the first of Misra, 1643 A.M. (August
7th, 1927 A.D.) the Holy Synod convened on the fourth of Misra. They unanimously
agreed to chose him Acting Pope to run the affairs of the church until ordaining a
patriarch. As a result of that, the Holy Synod had received many nominations from the
parishes approving that choice.
He performed his duties as Acting Patriarch for one year, four months, and ten days.
During this period he administered the affairs of the See of St. Mark very well, during
which also the Holy Synod, with Anba Yoannis presiding, issued a canon to regulate
the affairs of the monasteries and the monks. He organized a committee to oversee
the church properties and those of the monasteries and to review their accounts.
From what everyone knew of his purity, virtuous life, good character, asceticism, and
piety, they all unanimously agreed to chose him a patriarch with nominations from the
bishops, priests and lay leaders. He was enthroned a patriarch on Sunday the seventh
of Kiahk 1645 A.M. (December 16th, 1928 A.D.) in the great St. Mark cathedral in Cairo
(Azbakiah). That took place with a great celebration attended by the representatives of
the King, princes, ministers, important Egyptian personalities, the metropolitans of
different denominations eastern and western, and ambassadors of foreign countries.
After his ordination, Pope Yoannis directed his attention to caring for the affairs of the
Coptic People and the church. He established a higher theological institution for the
education of the monks in the city of Helwan. He ordained for the kingdom of Ethiopia,
a Coptic Metropolitan andfour well-learned Ethiopian bishops. He travelled to Ethiopia
to reaffirm the unity between the Coptic and Ethiopian churches. He stayed there for
thirteen days where they received him with great honor and respect. In Addis Ababa,
he ordained the head of the Ethiopian monks (the successor of St. Takla Haymanot) a
bishop.
With the will of God, he made the Holy Oil (Myron) in the year 1648 A.M. (1930 A.D.).
The last time the oil was made was one hundred and ten years earlier during the
papacy of Pope Peter, 109th Pope of Alexandria. Pope Yoannis made the Holy Oil a
second time, specially for the kingdom of Ethiopia, attended by Anba Kyrillos,
metropolitan of Ethiopia, and Anba Peter, an Ethiopian bishop.
His contributions, too numerous to be mentioned completely, include watching over the
welfare of the church, kindness to the needy, support for charitable organizations,
moral and financial support for the Coptic teaching institutions, and assistance on
valuable projects that financially and spiritually benefitted the Copts.
During Pope Yoannis' papacy, a war broke out between Ethiopia and Italy, during which
most of the Ethiopian bishops died except Anba Abraam and another bishop. When
Italy occupied Ethiopia, the Emperor departed from his country. Anba Kyrillos, the
metropolitan of Ethiopia, was exiled to Egypt, for he refused to agree with Italy on
separating the Ethiopian church from the Coptic Orthodox church. In November, 1937
A.D., the Italian governor of Ethiopia decided the independence of the Ethiopian church
and its separation from the Alexandrian See. He appointed Anba Abraam, the Ethiopian
bishop, a patriarch for Ethiopia. Nevertheless, God punished him for his betrayal. He
became blind and died shortly after. The Alexandrian Holy Synod decided to
excommunicate him, not recognizing him nor the bishops that he ordained. This
situation in Ethiopia did not last long; during the Second World War the Emperor of
Ethiopia regained his kingdom from Italy. Anba Kyrillos returned to his church with
great honor, in May 1942 A.D.
When Pope Yoannis had realized the return of the Ethiopian church to its mother
church, the Coptic Church, he was stricken with the ailments of old age. He departed in
peace on Sunday 14th of Baounah, 1658 A.M. (June 21st, 1942 A.D.).
May his prayers be with us. Amen
2. On this day also, Sts. Apakir, John, Ptolemy and Philip, were martyred. St. Apakir
was born in the city of Damanhur, and had a rich brother called Philip. They had agreed
with two priests, one called John and the other called Ptolemy, to receive the crown of
martyrdom. They went to the city of Kartsa (Kartes), and confessed the name of the
Lord Christ before the Governor. The governor ordered to shoot them to death with
arrows, but the arrows did not touch them. They were then cast into red hot fire, but
the angel of the lord delivered them from it. Then the governor commanded to tie them
to the tails of horses, and to drag them from Kartes to the city of Damanhur, but the
Lord guarded them from any harm. The governor commanded that their heads be cut
off outside the city of Damanhur. They received the crown of martyrdom. People from
the city of Sa came and took the body of St. Apakir, built for him a church, and laid his
body inside it. Many signs and wonders took place through him. The people of
Damanhur came and took the bodies of John, Ptolemy, and Philip, wrapped them in
expensive shrouds and buried them there.
May their prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Fifteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Turning Over of the Relics of the Great St. Mark the Apostle by the hand of Pope
Paul the
Sixth, Pope of Rome.
2. The Consecration of the Church of Mari Mina at Maryut.
1. On this day, of the year 1684 A.M., that coincided with Saturday the 22nd of June,
1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the sixth, 116th Pope of
Alexandria, the official delegation of the Pope of Alexandria received the relics of the
great St. Mark the Apostle, the evangelist of the Egyptian land and the first Patriarch
of the See of St. Mark from the hand of Pope Paul the Sixth, Pope of Rome, in the
Papal palace, Vatican City.
The delegation consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of them were Coptic
and three Ethiopians, and three lay leaders. The Alexandrian papal delegation left
Cairo on Thursday the 23rd of Baounah, 1684 A.M. (June 20th, 1968 A.D.) on a special
plane accompanied by 90 of the Coptic personalities, among them, seven priests. They
were received by a delegation of cardinals and priests delegated by Pope Paul the
Sixth, and the ambassador of Egypt to the Vatican, at the airport in Rome.
Twelve o'clock, the morning of Saturday the 15th of Baounah (June 22nd), was the
appointed time for the Alexandrian Papal delegation to meet the Pope of Rome and
receive the relics of St. Mark the Apostle. At the appointed time, the delegation went
in headed by Anba Marcus, metropolitan of Abu-Teeg and Tahta, and were received by
Pope Paul VI in his private office. Pope Paul greeted the delegation, commending Pope
Kyrillos the sixth, and the church of Alexandria. He congratulated the delegation on the
opening of the new St. Mark Cathedral and the receiving of the relics of St. Mark. Anba
Marcus, the head of the delegation, replied with a short speech, in which he carried the
greetings of his brother, the Pope of Alexandria. Then he handed him a letter from
Pope Kyrillos the sixth, thanking him and introducing the members of the delegation.
Pope of Rome, along with the head of the Alexandrian delegation, then carried the box
that contained the relics of St. Mark. They all walked in a procession to a grand room,
which was prepared to receive the Copts, accompanied by the official delegates to
witness this historical and joyful moment. The box containing the relics was placed on
a special table. The Roman Pontiff came forward and knelt before the box and kissed
it. He was followed by Anba Marcus, the head of the Alexandrian Papal delegation, who
was followed by the members of the delegation. During the veneration of the relics of
St. Mark the Apostle, the Coptic priests and deacons present chanted appropriate
ecclesiastical hymns. Joy filled the hearts of everyone, Egyptian and foreign. An
atmosphere of spirituality and holiness filled the room.
The Roman Pope then sat on his throne, and Anba Gregorius, bishop of higher studies
and scientific research, gave a speech in English, representing the delegation. He
expressed in it the greetings of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, and the joy of the Christians of
Egypt and Ethiopia for the return of the relics of St. Mark the Apostle after eleven
centuries. During which the body of St. Mark was absent from the country in which he
was martyred.
Pope of Rome, replied in an official speech in French, that he read while sitting on the
throne. In it he exalted the history of the Alexandrian church, and its long struggle in
the field of dogma. He also praised its heros, and its learned people such as
Athanasius the apostolic, Kyrillos (Cyril) the Pillar of Faith, Pantaenus and Clement. He
hoped that the celebration of the day would be a sign of love and a bond between the
church of Alexandria and the church of Rome. The Roman Pope asked in his speech also
from the head, Cardinal Doval, and members of the Roman Papal delegation to carry
his greetings, admiration, and appreciation to Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, the clergy of the
church of Alexandria, Egypt and its people.
Afterwards, the Pope and Anba Marcus, the head of the delegation, rose up to
exchange the commemorative gifts. Anba Marcus gave the Pope the presents which
were sent by H.H. Pope Kyrillos. Pope of Rome admired the precious gifts and asked
Anba Marcus to convey his thanks to H.H. Pope Kyrillos. The Pope in return gave the
members of the delegation commemorative presents.
The Roman Pope, then gave Anba Marcus, the head of the Alexandrian Papal
delegation, an official document dated May 28th, 1968 A.D. testifying that the relics
were authentic and belonged to St. Mark the Apostle, and were taken from their
original place with veneration. The document was signed by Cardinal Porfeer, the
deputy of Vatican City. Thus, the official celebration of handing over the relics of St.
Mark the Apostle ended, and the delegation went back to their hotel.
May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen
2. On this day also, is the commemoration of the appearance of the body of the
honorable saint, and great martyr Mari Mina, and the consecration of his church at
Maryut (Mareotis). Now, the body of this saint was hidden, and the Lord wished to
reveal it. It came to pass that there was a shepherd, who pastured his sheep near the
place where the body of the saint was buried. One day, one of his sheep, which was
sick of a skin disease (mangy), dipped itself in the water of a pond which was near
that place. It then went out of the water, and rolled itself in the sand of that place,
and it was healed straightway. When the shepherd saw this wonder, he marvelled, and
took the sand of that place and mixed it with the water of the pond. He smeared every
mangy sheep, or any that had a deformity, and they were healed immediately.
The report of this shepherd became widespread in all the regions of the empire, until
the emperor of Constantinople heard of it. He had an only daughter who was leprous.
Her father sent her there. She questioned the shepherd about how she could get rid of
her illness, and he told her. She took some of that sand and mixed it with the water.
She retired to her quarters and smeared her body with the mixture and slept that night
in that place. She saw in a dream St. Mina and he told her, "Rise up early and dig in
this place and you shall find my body." When she woke up from her sleep, she found
herself healed. She dug in that place, and she found the holy body. She sent to her
father to inform him about what had happened. He rejoiced exceedingly, thanked God
and praised His Holy Name. He sent men and money and built a church in that place
which was consecrated on this day.
When Arcadius and Honorius reigned they ordered a city to be built there which was
called Maryut. The masses came to this church interceding with the blessed Mari Mina.
God had honored him by the miracles and wonders that were manifested from his pure
body, until the Moslems occupied the city and destroyed it.
The biography of this saint is mentioned under the fifteenth day of Hatour.
May his intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Sixteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
The Departure of St. Abba Nofer the Anchorite
On this day, the ascetic father, Abba Nofer the Anchorite, departed at a good old age,
and of a glorious memory, in the desert of Upper Egypt. The grace of God had moved
St. Paphnoute (Paphnutius), and he longed to see the servants of God, the Anchorites.
He saw many of them, among them St. Abba Nofer, and wrote their biographies.
He said that once he went into the desert and found a well of water and a palm tree.
Then he saw the saint coming to him, naked, and the hair of his head and beard
covered his body. When St. Paphnutius saw him, he was afraid and thought that he
was a spirit. Saint Abba Nofer encouraged him, made the sign of the cross, and prayed
the Lord's prayer, then said to him, "Welcome O Paphnoute." When he called him by
his name, St. Paphnutius calmed down. They prayed together, then sat, and talked
about the greatness and goodness of God.
St. Paphnutius asked Abba Nofer to tell him about his life and how he came to that
place. Abba Nofer replied, "I was in a monastery wherein lived holy and righteous
monks. I heard them talking about the greatness of those anchorites who dwelled in
the desert and their good virtues. I said to them, 'Are there any who are better than
you?' They said to me, 'Yes, those anchorites who dwell in the wilderness. We live
near the world, if we are sorrowful or sad, we find someone to console us; if we are
sick, we find someone to visit and treat us; if we are naked, we find someone to clothe
us. Those who live in the wilderness lack all these things.' When I heard that from
them, my heart became anxious.
"When the night came, I took a little bread and I went out from the monastery. Then I
prayed to the Lord Christ and asked Him to guide me to the place where I was to live.
The Lord facilitated my way and I found a holy and righteous man. I dwelt with him,
and he taught me all about the life and the ways of the hermits and the anchorites.
After I came to this place, I found a palm tree, and a well. The tree bore twelve
clusters of dates each year. One cluster of dates is enough food for me for a month,
and I drink water from this well. I have lived here for sixty years during which I have
never seen the face of a man except yours."
While they were talking together the angel of the Lord came down, and told St. Abba
Nofer that his departure was near. Straightway, his color changed and became like fire,
then he bowed his knees and worshipped God. After he embraced St. Paphnutius, he
delivered up his pure soul. St. Paphnutius wrapped him, and buried him in his cave. St.
Paphnutius wished to live in the place of Abba Nofer. But after he had buried him, the
palm tree dried and fell down and the water of the well dried up. That happened by the
Will of God, so St. Paphnoute would return to the world and tell us about the holy
hermits that he had seen.
May their prayers be with us and Glory be to god forever. Amen.
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The Seventeenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The Return of the Relics of the Great St. Mark to the New St. Mark Cathedral.
2. The Departure of St. Latsoun El-Bahnasawy.
1. On this day, of the year 1684 A.M., that coincided with Monday the 24th of June,
1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, 116th Pope
of Alexandria, the relics of the great saint, the beholder of God, St. Mark the Apostle,
the Evangelist of the Egyptian land and the first Patriarch of Alexandria, were returned
to Egypt. Pope Kyrillos had delegated an official delegation to travel to Rome to
receive the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from Pope Paul VI. The papal delegation
consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of them were Coptic and three
Ethiopians, and three of the prominent Coptic lay leaders. The Alexandrian delegation
received the relics of St. Mark the Apostle on Saturday the 22nd of June, 1968 A.D.
from Pope Paul VI. The moment of handing over the holy relics, after eleven centuries,
during which the body of St. Mark was kept in the city of Venice, in Italy, was a solemn
and joyful moment.
The next day, Sunday 16th of Baounah (June 23rd), the Alexandrian Papal delegation
celebrated a festive pontifical liturgy in the church of St. Athanasius the Apostolic in
Rome. The ten metropolitans, bishops, and the priests accompanying the delegation,
all served in the liturgy. Members of the Roman Papal delegation, the Copts who
accompanied the Delegation, and those who lived in Rome, newspaper and news
agency reporters, and many foreign dignitaries attended the liturgy.
The Alexandrian Papal delegation carrying the holy relics, on Monday the 24th of June,
1968 A.D., went to the airport in an official procession, preceded by the motorcycles
and police escort. They boarded a plane which came especially from Cairo. The plane
arrived at Cairo airport at ten thirty P.M. of the same day. Awaiting the arrival of the
relics were, Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, Mari Ignatius Yacoub, the Antiochian Patriarch for
the Syrian Orthodox, a great number of coptic and foreign bishops, the head of various
denominations and religions, Egyptian and foreign, and thousands of the Egyptian
masses, Christian and Moslems. They sang and chanted enjoyable religious songs,
waiting for the arrival of the plane.
When the plane landed, H.H. Pope Kyrillos went up the stairs of the aircraft, and
received the precious box that contained the relics of St. Mark the Apostle, from the
head of the delegation. Many, and especially those who were in the balcony of the
airport, at this particular moment, saw three white doves flying over the aircraft. Since
pigeons do not fly during the night, these were not ordinary pigeons. Perhaps, it was
the spirits of the saints welcoming the relics of the great St. Mark. It is worthy to note
also that the plane was suppose to arrive at five o'clock but it was delayed for no
apparent reason till it was dark. Perhaps also, it was just for the spectators to witness
and see these flying doves.
The Pope disembarked the aircraft carrying the box on his shoulder in the middle of the
chanting and singing of the deacons, followed by a tremendous procession of
thousands chanting with the deacons in joy and jubilation. The head of the Roman
Papal delegation, Cardinal Doval, Cardinal of Algeria, was amazed by this tremendous
religious rally. He also expressed that he was deeply touched by the devoutness of the
Copts and their great honor and veneration for St. Mark. He said that what he saw far
exceeded his expectations, especially that the masses had to wait from five o'clock
P.M., the expected time of arrival of the aircraft, till ten thirty or even later. Pope
Kyrillos returned to the old St. Mark Cathedral in El-Azbakiah with the box of the relics.
He placed the box on top of the main altar which was consecrated in the name of St.
Mark the Apostle. The box remained there till the third day of its arrival, when the
Pope carried it to the new St. Mark Cathedral in its inauguration.
May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen
2. On this day also, the great saint Anba Latsoun of El-Bahnesa, departed. One day,
he went to the church and heard the words of the Lord Christ in the Holy Gospel
saying: "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for
My sake will save it. For what advantage is it to a man if he gains the whole world,
and is himself destroyed or lost?" (Luke 9:24-25) These words kindled his heart, so he
left the world and went to the wilderness of Scetis (Sheahat). There he fought a great
fight with ceaseless fasting and prayers. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and
commanded him to go to St. Isidore, to clothe him with the holy Eskeem. He went to
him, and after forty days St. Isidore clothed him with it. He increased in his asceticism,
then he lived a solitary life in the wilderness.
There, he was visited by St. Balamon (Palaemon). Satan had appeared to him
disguised as a woman. Satan tried to persuade him to marry her by mentioning some
of the Old Testament men that were married but yet were righteous. St. Balamon
realized that he was the devil. He crossed himself with the sign of the cross, and
prayed to the Lord to save him. The devil became like smoke and disappeared. St.
Balamon went to St. Latsoun to take his advice on devil warfare. He instructed him on
how to overcome the devil and his deception. St. Balamon then went back to his
abode. As of St. Latsoun, he increased in his asceticism until he departed in peace.
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 Baounah
1. The Inauguration of the New St. Mark Cathedral in the Monastery of Anba Rowais.
2. The Departure of St. Damianos, 35th Pope of Alexandria.
1. On this day, of the year 1684 A.M., that coincided with Tuesday the 25th of June,
1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, 116th Pope
of Alexandria, the holy church celebrates the inauguration of the new St. Mark
Cathedral in Dair El-Anba Rowais, which was known also as Dair El-Khandaq.
For this occasion and for the return of the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from Rome,
after being in the city of Venice in Italy for eleven centuries, i.e. since the ninth
century, a great religious celebration was organized. The celebration was headed by
H.H. Pope Kyrillos the Sixth and was attended by President Gamal Abdel Naser,
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Emperor Haile Selassie the First, Emperor of
Ethiopia, and many of the heads of different religions and representatives of churches
from all around the world. Among those religious leaders was Mari Ignatius Yacoub the
Third, the Antiochian Patriarch for the Syrian Orthodox.
Many momentous speeches, were delivered in different languages for this occasion.
The speakers were, Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox,
Cardinal Doval, the head of the Roman Papal delegation, the Catholicos Patriarch of
Ethiopia, the secretary general of the World Council of Churches, and the Patriarch of
Moscow and all Russia. They all expressed their joy on this happy and blessed day,
saluting the church of Alexandria, which had a glorious history, with salutation of
appreciation and respect.
At the end of the speeches the Pope along with the President of Egypt and the
Emperor of Ethiopia went to the entrance of the new Cathedral. They unveiled the
curtains from the commemorative plaque that was prepared to perpetuate this
historical day. This celebration was attended by the journalists, the international news
agencies' reporters, radio, television and more than six thousand Egyptians and
foreigners.
May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 321 A.M. (June 25th, 605 A.D.) St. Damianos, 35th
Pope of Alexandria, departed. He became a monk in his early years in the desert of
Scete. He continued to fight and to devote himself to God for sixteen years. He was
ordained a deacon in the monastery of St. John the Short. Then he went to the
monastery of the fathers which is to the west of Alexandria, and there he increased his
asceticism.
When Pope Peter (34) was enthroned on the See of St. Mark, he brought and appointed
Damianos a private secretary. Damianos pursued a good course of life and everyone
loved him. When Pope Peter departed, the bishop unanimously agreed to ordain him a
patriarch. He was enthroned a patriarch on the second of Abib 285 A.M. (June 26th, 569
A.D.). He cared for his flock well and he wrote many epistles and discourses.
In the wilderness of Scete, there were some followers of Melitius El-Assyuty, who drank
wine a few times during the night before they intended to partake of the Holy
Communion. They claimed that the Lord Christ gave to His disciples two cups: the first
He did not say, "This is My Blood" but when he gave them the second cup he said,
"This is My Blood." St. Damianos showed them their error. He clarified to them that the
first cup was the cup of the Jewish passover, and He nullified it with the second cup.
He also told them that the canons of the church ban those that eat before communion
from partaking of the Holy Eucharist. Some of them turned from their evil, but those
that did not turn from their evil council were driven out of the wilderness.
When Anba Theophanius, the Antiochian Patriarch departed, they ordained a successor
to him called Peter, who sent a letter to Pope Damianos which said, "There is no need
for us to say that  God is the three Persons." When Pope Damianos read this letter he
became enkindled with zeal. He wrote him a letter which explained that God is, in no
doubt, one in His Godhead, one in essence, but He is Three persons, God the Father,
God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, One God. He wrote to him many testimonies from the
Holy Scriptures and from the sayings of the holy fathers. Nevertheless, Peter refused to
return to the truth, and insisted on his error. Pope Damianos ordered that his name not
be mentioned in the Divine Liturgy for twenty years until the heretic died.
Pope Damianos remained for thirty five years, eleven month, and sixteen days,
teaching and preaching to his flock. He departed at a good old age.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Nineteenth Day Of The Blessed Month Of Baounah
1. The First Pontifical Liturgy in the New St. Mark Cathedral in the Monastery of Anba
Rowais.
2. The Departure of Pope Archelaus, the Eighteenth Pope of Alexandria.
3. The Martyrdom of St. George (Girgis) known as El-Mezahem.
4. The Martyrdom of St. Bishai Anoub.
1. On this day, of the year 1684 (Wednesday, June 26th, 1968), the church celebrated
the first Pontifical Liturgy in the new St. Mark Cathedral in the monastery of Anba
Rowais, which was known as Dair El-Khandaq, where the relics of St. Mark were placed
after his return from Venice and Rome.
On the morning of Wednesday the 19th of Baounah (June 26th) at about six o'clock,
Pope Kyrillos took the box of the relics of St. Mark, that he had placed on the altar of
the old St. Mark Cathedral in El-Azbakiah upon its arrival. He brought it in his private
car to the new St. Mark Cathedral.
The Pontifical Divine Liturgy that was celebrated on this occasion was headed by H.H.
Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, and participating with him were the patriarch Mari Ignatius
Yacoub the Third, the Antiochian Patriarch for the Syrian Orthodox, and a number of
Syrian, Indian and Armenian Orthodox bishops. This celebration was attended by
Emperor Haile Selassie the First, Emperor of Ethiopia, Cardinal Doval, the head of the
Roman Papal delegation and Cardinal of Algeria, many of the heads of different
religions and representatives of churches from all around the world, and more than six
thousand Egyptians and foreigners.
During the Liturgy, the box that contained the relics of St. Mark the Apostle was placed
on a table in the middle of the eastern part of the altar of the Cathedral, and remained
there till the end of the liturgy. Right after the liturgy, Pope Kyrillos went down
carrying the box along with the Emperor, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch and the heads
of the churches in a magnificent procession. They went to the sanctuary that was
prepared for St. Mark under the main altar of the Cathedral. Pope Kyrillos placed the
box inside the marbled altar, which was covered by a large marble slab and on it was
the altar table.
The different choral groups then sang, successively in different languages, songs and
hymns that befit the occasion in salutation for St. Mark. They sang in Coptic, Ethiopian,
Syrian, Armenian, Greek, Latin, and in Arabic. The day was a joyous day and one of the
most blessed days in the history of the church of Alexandria.
May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen.
2. On this day also, of the year 28 A.M. (June, 312 A.D.) Pope Archelaus, the
Eighteenth Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was a priest in the church of Alexandria.
When Pope Peter the first, the seal of martyrs, received the crown of martyrdom, the
believers in Alexandria agreed and gathered the bishops. They ordained Archelaus the
priest a Patriarch instead of Pope Peter,as he commended before his departure from
this world. When he was enthroned on the patriarchal chair in the 19th of Kiahk, 28
A.M. (December 24th, 311 A.D.), a group of people came to him and asked him to
accept Arius in the church. He accepted their petition against the command of his
father Pope Peter, but he did not remain on the Chair longer than six months, then
departed.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. This day also, in the year 675 A.M. (June, 959 A.D.), marks the martyrdom of St.
George, the new martyr, known as El-Mezahem. His father was a Moslem bedouin. He
married a Christian woman from the city of Demerah El-kibliah. He had from her three
sons, one of them was this Saint, and they called him El-Mezahem.
He used to go with his mother to the church at a young age. He also used to see the
children of the Christians dress in white on the days that they partook of the Holy
Mysteries. He longed that his mother would dress him like them, and allow him to eat
from whatever they ate at the altar. His mother told him that could not be, unless he
was baptized. She gave him a portion of the blessed Eulogia bread, that they
distributed to the people, and it tasted in his mouth like that of honey. He meditated
in his heart and said, "If the taste of this bread that was not consecrated by prayers
tastes like this, what will be the taste of the Offering?" His longing for the faith in
Christ increased from that time.
When he grew up, he married a Christian woman, and he told her that he wished to
become a Christian. She told him that he had to be baptized. He went to Birma, was
baptized there and was called George (Girgis). When this matter became known, he
went to Domiat. The Moslems there recognized him, seized him and tortured him. Then
he escaped and fled to the city of Saft Abu-Trab, where he stayed for three years.
When his matter became known again he went to the city of Katurah, and remained
there serving the church of St. George, then went back to Demerah.
When the Moslems of the city of Demerah knew his history, they seized him, and
delivered him to the governor who put him in prison. The Moslems assembled and
broke the door of the prison. They beat the Saint severely, split open his head, and left
him between life and death. When some of the believers came on the morrow to bury
him, for they thought that he was dead, they found him alive. The Moslems convened a
council, and threatened him, but he did not change his conviction. They hung him up on
the mast of a ship, but the governor ordered that he be taken down and cast him up in
prison.
His wife strengthened him, and comforted him. She taught him to believe that the
punishment which had come upon him was because of his sins; lest Satan lead him
astray and he might boast that he became like the martyrs. The angel of the Lord
appeared to him, comforted him, strengthened him, and informed him that he would
receive the crown of martyrdom on the next day. On the next morning, the Moslems
gathered with the governor and demanded from him that the head of El-Mozahem be
cut off. He handed him over to them. They took him, and cut off his head near the
church of the angel Michael in the city of Demerah. They cast his body in hot fire for a
day and a night. But his body did not burn, so they put him in a barrel and threw him
into the river. By the Will of God the barrel landed on the shore of an island, which was
inhabited by a believing woman. She took his body, shrouded him, hid him in her house
until they built a church for him, in which they laid his body.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, St. Bishai Anoub, which means "fine gold", was martyred. He was
from the city of Banios, in the diocese of Domiat. He was one of the soldiers of
Cyprianus, governor of Athribis. When persecution was incited against the Christians,
he went to the governor and confessed his faith in the Lord Christ before him. The
governor tortured him, then sent him to the governor of Ansena (Antinoe). St. Bishai
openly declared his faith in Christ before Arianus, the governor of Ansena, who tortured
him severely. Finally, he ordered his head cut off outside the city. A great multitude
followed him outside of the city. One of them, was the keeper of the lions of Arianus,
the governor, and he had with him two lions bound with chains. One of them rushed
forward, broke the chain, and attacked the Saint to devour him. Immediately, the angel
of the Lord appeared, took the Saint and brought him to the city of Ain-Shams where
his martyrdom was consummated.
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 Baounah
The Departure of Elisha, the Prophet
On this day, of the year 3195 of the world, the holy prophet Elisha, departed. This
prophet was born in one of the villages of Israel called Alamut. His father's name was
Shaphat. Elisha was a servant to the holy prophet Elijah. When the Lord would take up
Elijah the prophet into heaven, he went with him to the river Jordan. Elijah said to
Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you." Elisha asked, "I
pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me," and it was as he asked. (2
Kings 2:1-18)
Elisha divided the river and passed through it. Then he went to Jericho and went up
from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the
city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" So
he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of
the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the
youths. (2 Kings 2:23-24)
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying,
"Your servant my husband is dead, and the creditor is coming to take my two sons to
be his slaves." So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you
have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a
jar of oil." Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors;
empty vessels; do not gather just a few." With his prayers the Lord blessed the oil and
all the vessels became full. The woman sold the oil and paid off her debt. (2 Kings
4:1-7) He also raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead.
When Naaman the Syrian came to him, he healed him from his leprosy. Naaman
offered him much money and costly clothes, but he refused them. Nevertheless, when
his servant Gehazi took them for himself, the prophet knew that by the spirit. Elisha
became angry and told him, "Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and
your descendants forever."
Elisha had performed many signs and miracles. He prophesied for about fifty years.
When Elisha died, they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land
in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, a plundering band
was seen, and they cast the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let
down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, stood on his feet, and went back to
his people. (2 Kings 13:20-21)
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 Baounah
1. The Commemoration of the First Church for The Virgin Mary in the city of Philippi.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Timothy of Memphis (El-Masry).
3. The Departure of St. Cedron (Kardonos), the Fourth Patriarch of Alexandria.
1. On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the first church to be built
in the name of the Virgin Lady, the All pure St. Mary, the Theotokos (Mother of God),
through whom the salvation of Adam and his posterity was fulfilled. When the two
apostles Paul and Silas preached among the gentiles, many believed of them in the
city of Philippi. They built a church there in the name of the Virgin, the Mother of God,
and its consecration was on that day. It is meet for us to celebrate for her a spiritual
festival, for she has borne the Savior of the world.
May her intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Timothy of Memphis (El-Masry) was martyred. He was one of
the soldiers of Arianus, governor of the city of Ansena. When he read the Edict of the
Emperor Diocletian, which commanded the worship of idols, this soldier rose up in the
middle of the people, seized the Edict, and tore it up saying, "There is no God except
Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God." The Governor became enraged. He seized
Timothy by the hair of his head, and cast him down on the ground. He commanded him
to be beaten until his flesh was mangled. The Saint cried out, saying, "O my Lord Jesus
Christ, help me for there is no God but You." God considered his endurance, and sent
His angel, who healed his wounds. The Saint returned to the Governor crying, "There is
no God except Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God." The Governor tortured him
severely again, and finally he cut off his head and thus St. Timothy received the crown
of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. This day also (June 15th, 106 A.D.) marks the departure of St. Cedron (Kardonos),
the Fourth Patriarch of Alexandria. This father was baptized by the hand of St. Mark the
apostle, and the evangelist of the land of Egypt. He learned the doctrines and the
books of the Church. After the departure of Pope Melius, he was ordained a Pope for
the See of St. Mark in the 7th of Tute (September 5th, 95 A.D.). He shepherded his
people with the best of care, by preaching, teaching, and instructing them for eleven
years, one month, and twelve days, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Second Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
The Consecration of the Church of Sts. Cosmas, Damian, Their Mother, and Brothers
On this day, the church celebrates the consecration of the church of St. Cosmas
(Kozman), Damian, their brothers, Anthimus, Londius, and Abrabius and their mother
Theodata. They were from one of the Arab countries. Their mother feared God and was
compassionate and merciful towards strangers and the needy. She became a widow,
while her children were young. She raised them and taught them the fear of God.
Cosmas and Damian studied medicine, and they treated the sick freely. As for their
brothers, they went to the desert and became monks.
When Diocletian renegaded the faith and ordered the worship of idols, he was told that
Cosmas and Damian were preaching in the Name of the Lord Christ in every city and
urging others not to worship the idols. He commanded them brought and delivered to
the governor of the city, who tortured them with different kinds of tortures. Then he
asked them the whereabouts of their brothers. Upon finding out, he brought the
brothers and their mother. He ordered them to raise incense for the idols, but they
refused. Then he ordered the five to be squeezed through the wheel. When they
experienced no harm, he took them out and cast them in red-hot fire for three days
and three nights then cast them in a hot steaming room. Finally, he placed them on
red-hot iron beds. Through all this, the Lord strengthened and healed them.
When the governor became weary of torturing them, he sent them to the Emperor who
also tortured them. Their mother constantly encouraged them and comforted them. The
Emperor rebuked her, and she cursed him in his presence and also cursed his idols. He
ordered her head cut off, and she received the crown of martyrdom. Her body remained
on the ground, no one dared to bury it, because of their fear of the Emperor. St.
Cosmas screamed at those present saying, "Men of the city, is there not one merciful
person among you who will cover the body of this poor old widow and bury her?"
Straightway, Victor, Ebn-Romanus, came forward and took the body, shrouded it, then
buried it.
When the Emperor heard what Victor had done, he ordered him to be exiled to Egypt
where he received the crown of martyrdom. The next day, the Emperor ordered the
beheading of Sts. Cosmas, Damian, and their brothers. They received the crown of life
in the Kingdom of Heaven. After the time of persecution was over, many churches were
built for them, where God manifested many signs and wonders.
May their intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Third Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
The Departure of St. Abba Noub the Confessor
On this day, the holy and pure father Abba Noub the confessor, departed. This Saint
was a devoted monk in one of the monasteries of Upper Egypt. That was during the
time of Diocletian, who tortured the martyrs severely and shed their blood.
One day, someone mentioned the name of the saint Abba Noub before Arianus,
governor of Ansena. Arianus brought him and asked him to worship the idols. The Saint
replied, "How can I abandon my Lord Jesus Christ and worship the idols that are made
of stones?" Arianus tortured Abba Noub much then exiled him to the five western cities
(Pentapolis). Abba Noub stayed in prison there for seven years, until God had perished
Diocletian. When the righteous emperor Constantine reigned, he ordered the release of
all those who were in prison for the Name of Christ. Constantine also asked that they
be brought to him, so that he might be blessed by them, especially the honored ones
as Zacharia El-Ahnasy, Maximus El-Fayyumy, Agabius from the city of Dakhnin, and
Abba Noub from the city of Balaos. The envoy of the Emperor went to all the countries
releasing the prisoners, who left singing and praising God.
The holy father Abba Noub returned from the five cities (Pentapolis) and lived in mount
Beshla (Sebla) near his hometown. The envoy of the Emperor met Abba Noub, and took
him with him to Ansena. There he met the Christians and the bishops who ordained
him a priest. While he was consecrating the Offering and as he said, "Hollies for the
Holy," he saw the Lord Christ, to Him is the Glory, in His heavenly splendor, in the
altar forgiving the sins of the people who were repentant.
The envoy traveled back to the Emperor along with the holy fathers who were seventy
two in number. Every two of them rode a chariot. They passed by a city, where there
were convents for the virgins. Seven hundred virgins went out to meet them with songs
and hymns and they sang to them until they were out of their sight. When the holy
fathers arrived and came before the Emperor, he asked them to change their clothes
with new ones, but they refused. He was blessed by them, kissed their wounds and
honored them. He offered them money, but they refused to take any except what the
churches needed for vestments and vessels. The Emperor then embraced them and bid
them farewell, and they returned to their countries. St. Abba Noub went back to his
monastery and when he finished his strife he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
The Martyrdom of the Great Saint Anba Moses the Black
On this day, St. Moses the Black, whose life story is remarkable, was martyred. This
saint took the Kingdom of Heaven by force, exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ said: "The
Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12).
In his early life, St. Moses was a slave to people who worshiped the sun. He was a
mighty man who loved to eat and drink excessively. He killed, robbed and committed
all evil. No one could stand up before him, or challenge him.
On many occasions, he lifted up his eyes to look to the sun and to talk to it saying, "O
Sun!! if you are God, let me know it." Then he said, "And you O God whom I do not
know, let me know you."
One day, he heard someone saying to him, "The monks of Wadi El-Natroun know the
real God. Go to them and they will tell you." Instantly, he rose up, girded his sword
and went to the wilderness of Shiheat. He met St. Esidorous (Isidore) the priest, who
was frightened when he saw him, because of his appearance. St. Moses comforted him
by saying that he came to the monks so that they might let him know the real God. St.
Esidorous took him to St. Macarius the Great, who preached to him, taught him the
faith and baptized him. He accepted St. Moses as a monk and taught him to live in the
wilderness. St. Moses dashed in many worships, and fought a spiritual fight which was
greater than that fought by many saints.
However, the devil fought him intensively with his old habits of excessive eating,
drinking, and fornication. He informed St. Esidorous about everything which came upon
him in his fight with the Enemy. He comforted him and taught him how to overcome
the snares of the devil. It was told about him, that when the elders of the Monastery
slept, he used to go round to their cells and take their water pots and fill them with
water which he brought from a well at a far distance from the monastery. After many
years in spiritual struggle, the devil envied him, and struck him with a sore on his foot
which made him sick and bed-ridden. When he knew that this was from the devil, he
increased in his asceticism and worship, until his body became as a burnt wood. God
looked to his patience, healed his illness, and removed all his pains. The blessing of
the Lord came upon him.
After a while, he became the Father and the spiritual guide of 500 brothers, who
elected him to be ordained a priest. When he came before the Patriarch to be ordained,
the patriarch wanted to test him by asking the elders, "Who brought this black here?
Cast him out." He obeyed, and left saying to himself, "It is good what they have done
to you, O black colored one." The Patriarch, however, called him back and ordained him
a priest, and said to him, "Moses, all of you now has become white."
One day, he went with some elders to St. Macarius the Great, who said to them, "I see
among you one to whom belong the crown of martyrdom." St. Moses answered him,
"Probably it is me, for it is written: 'For all they that take with the sword, shall perish
with the sword.'" (Matt. 26:25) After they returned to the monastery, it did not take
long until the Barbarians attacked the monastery. He told the brethren, "Whoever
wants to escape, let him escape." They asked him, "And you O father, why do you not
also escape?" He replied that he had waited for this day for long time. The Barbarians
entered the monastery and killed him with seven other brothers. One of the brethren
was hiding, and saw the angel of the Lord, with a crown in his hand standing by and
waiting for him. He went out from his hiding place to the Barbarians and he was also
martyred. Beloved Ones, contemplate in the power of repentance, and what it did. It
transformed an infidel slave who was a murderer, adulterer and robber into a great
Father, teacher, comforter, and priest who wrote rules for the monks, and saint whose
name is mentioned on the altar in our prayers. His Body is located now in the
Monastery of El-Baramouse.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God for ever. Amen.
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The Twenty Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Jude, one of the Seventy Disciples.
2. The Departure of St. Peter the Fourth, 34th Pope of Alexandria.
1. On this day, St. Jude, one of the Seventy disciples, was martyred. This Apostle
preached in many cities, and in the islands, where he built a church. He went to
Edessa, healed its king Abgar from his sickness and baptized him. After this he went to
the city of Araz, preached there, and baptized many of its people. The governor of the
city seized him, and tortured him with many tortures. Then, they shot at him with
arrows, so he delivered up his pure soul. He is the writer of the Epistle attributed to
his name in the New Testament which is filled with wisdom and grace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the holy father and fighter St. Peter the Fourth, 34th Pope of
Alexandria, departed. His predecessor Pope Theodosius was exiled by the orders of
Emperor Vespasian because he did not agree with him on the resolutions of the Council
of Chalcedon. When the Pope departed in exile, the Emperor did not permit the
ordination of a new Patriarch. The lay leaders of the city of Alexandria went to its
governor, who was an honorable and forthright man, and expressed to him their grief
because of the vacancy of the Patriarchal chair. He advised them to go to the
monastery of El-Zogag as if they were going to pray, there they could then ordain the
patriarch of their choice. They rejoiced at this counsel. The bishops took Abba Peter to
the monastery of El-Zogag and ordained him Patriarch on the first of Mesra, 283 A.M.
(July 25th, 567 A.D.).
Before this, Anba Severus had departed and the Antiochian chair remained vacant.
When the people of Antioch heard that the Egyptians had ordained for themselves a
patriarch, they also ordained for themselves a patriarch called Theophanius. He and
Pope Peter exchanged letters concerning the Orthodox faith. Each one mentioned his
brother in the Divine Liturgy, nevertheless they did not dare to go to their official
seats. Pope Peter resided in the monastery of Epiphaniah south of El-Zogag
monastery, as Theophanius was residing in the monastery of Aphtonius in the outskirts
of Antioch.
In those days, there were six hundred monasteries and thirty-two villages on the
outskirts of Alexandria; all their inhabitants were Orthodox. The city of Alexandria, the
cities of Upper and Lower Egypt, the monks of the monasteries of the desert of Scete,
Ethiopia and Nuba were under the authority of Pope Peter. He did not cease sending
Epistles to the believers to confirm them in the Orthodox faith. He went around visiting
the monasteries of Alexandria and its villages, teaching, admonishing, and
strengthening them. He chose a holy and learned man called Damianos and appointed
him as his scribe. Pope Peter delegated to him the care of the churches, and he
became a patriarch after him. Pope Peter went on caring for his flock, confirming them
in the Orthodox faith until he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God for ever. Amen.
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The Twenty Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
1. The Departure of the Great Prophet Joshua Son of Nun.
2. The Consecration of the Church of Archangel Gabriel.
1. On this day, of the year 2570 of the world, the great prophet Joshua Son of Nun,
departed. He was born, in the year 2460 of the world, in Egypt (Fifty three years before
the deliverance of the people of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh). He was a disciple
and servant to Moses. Moses, after leading the people of Israel out of Egypt with the
might of the Divine arm and the extraordinary wonders, brought them to the nearby
mount of Sinai. He went up the mount taking with him Joshua, his minister, to receive
the commandments. During the war of Israel against Am-a-lek, Joshua was the leader
of the soldiers.
When Moses chose twelve men to spy out the promised land, one from each tribe,
Joshua was one of them. He completed this mission with honesty. He and Caleb alone
brought forth the true and accurate information about the promised land. Therefore
they alone entered this land without the people of Israel that came out of the land of
Egypt. Because they had murmured and doubted in the sincerity of the promises of
God, God swore in His anger that they would not enter to His rest. Their children that
they begot after their deliverance from Egypt, entered this land along with Joshua and
Caleb.
After the death of the great prophet Moses in the year 2553 of the world, the LORD
spoke to Joshua the son of Nun saying: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore,
arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to
them; the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I
have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the
great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea
toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to
stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I
will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people
you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the
law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or
to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not
depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may
observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way
prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:1-8).
Joshua's heart was strengthened and he sent out two men to spy out the land secretly.
So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. The
woman hid them; and they swore to spare her and all her household. Then she let
them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall. (Joshua
2:1-15) Then Joshua opened (i.e. conquered) Jericho after he had gone around its walls
several times and when they shouted with a great shout the great walls of the city fell
down. The people went up into the city and killed both man and beast. The two men
that had spied out the country, went into Rahab's house and brought her, her father,
her mother, her brethren, and all that she had, out of the camp. Joshua spared their
lives as the two spies promised her for she had spared their lives, and hid them. Then
they burnt the city, and all that was therein. The gold, and the silver and vessels of
brass and iron, were taken to the treasury of the house of the Lord.
The Lord was with this righteous man, so he opened many cities, killed many kings,
and the nations feared him. Because of the great fear, the inhabitants of Gibeon
worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks
on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their
feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and
moldy. And they went to Joshua, and said to him, "We have come from a far country;
now therefore, make a covenant with us." But the men of Israel said to them, "Perhaps
you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?" They said to them,
"From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD
your God; for we have heard of His fame ... this bread of ours we took hot for our
provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is
dry and moldy ... and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of
the very long journey." Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them
to let them live; and the rulers of the
congregation swore to them. Three days later, after they had made a covenant with
them, they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them. Joshua called
for them, and he spoke to them, saying, "Why have you deceived us, saying, 'We are
very far from you,' when you dwell near us? Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of
you shall be freed from being slaves." Joshua made them woodcutters and water
carriers for the congregation and for the house of the LORD. (Joshua 9:3-27)
Joshua fought with the five Amorite kings, hence the hand of the Lord had helped him
by casting down great stones from heaven upon them. The children of Israel fought
them before the city of Gibeon, and he made the sun stand still until the five kings and
their soldiers were destroyed. Joshua divided the land according to the command of
God among the children of Israel. He gave the priests cities to dwell in, and land for
their cattle. He set apart five cities of refuge wherein all those who had committed a
murder unintentionally might dwell.
When he completed about one hundred ten years and reached a good old age, he
gathered together the elders of Israel, their heads, their judges and their officers, and
commanded them to keep the commandment of the Law and not to deviate from
worshipping God, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, is the commemoration of the consecration of a church in the name
of the honorable angel Gabriel the announcer, on the Naklon mount, in El-Fayyoum.
May his intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of St. Ananias, the Apostle.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Thomas of Shentalet.
1. On this day, St. Ananias, the apostle, departed. The apostles ordained this saint
bishop for the city of Damascus. He preached therein with the life-giving gospel, as he
preached also in the city of Beth-Gabriel and converted many of its people to the faith,
and baptized them and their children.
St. Ananias was the one to baptize the apostle Paul when the Lord sent him to him.
When he baptized St. Paul, something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received
his sight at once. God wrought many great miracles by his hands; and many of the
Jews and Gentiles believed through his preaching. Afterwards, Lucianus the governor
seized St. Ananias, and tortured him with sever tortures, such as burning his sides with
fiery torches. Finally, Lucianus took him outside the city, and commanded him stoned
until St. Ananias delivered up his pure soul in the
hand of the Lord.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Thomas of Shentalet (Sandalat) was martyred. Michael, the
angel of the Lord, appeared to this Saint when he was twenty-one years old, while he
was sleeping in the field tending the pigs. The angel Michael commanded him to go
and confess the Lord Christ. St. Thomas went to Alexandria and confessed his faith
before the governor who tortured him with different kinds of tortures. There were with
him under the torture St. Babnuda, of the city of El-Bandara, and Anba Shenousy, from
the city of Balkim, and they encouraged each other to endure. After many tortures, the
governor sent St. Thomas to Arianus, the governor of Ansena, where he was beheaded
and received the crown of martyrdom. There were seven hundred men and nine women
martyred during his days.
May their prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Twenty Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
1. The Departure of St. Theodosius, 33rd Pope of Alexandria.
2. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of Anba Sarabamoun, Bishop
of
Nikios.
1. On this day, of the year 283 A.M. (June 22nd, 567 A.D.) St. Theodosius, the
thirty-third Pope of Alexandria, departed. After the departure of Pope Timothy, the
bishops and the Orthodox Christians gathered and ordained this father a patriarch. He
was a learned man, and well rehearsed in the church books. Soon after, the enemy of
the good enticed some evil men from the city of Alexandria, to take Acacius,
Archdeacon of the churches of the city of Alexandria, and appoint him a patriarch. That
happened with the help of Julian, who was excommunicated by Pope
Timothy for his approval of the council of Chalcedon.
When they appointed Acacius, they exiled Pope Theodosius to the city of Germanos.
St. Severus, the Antiochian Patriarch, who was residing in Sakha, in the Egyptian land,
comforted and strengthened him. He reminded him of the tribulation that came upon
the apostles, and John Chrysostom (of the golden mouth). Six month after the exile of
Pope Theodosius, he went to the city of Malig, and dwelt there for two years.
Afterwards, the people of the city of Alexandria went to the governor and demanded
from him the return of their legitimate shepherd, and the expulsion of Acacius the
Fraudulent. When the news reached Emperor Justinian and the God-loving Empress
Theodora, she sent a letter to the church in Alexandria to ask about the legitimacy of
the ordination of Pope Theodosius, for if it was according to the canon of the church he
should be reinstated on his chair. A council of lay people and one hundred twenty
priests convened and unanimously agreed that Theodosius was ordained with the
consent of the bishops and the people and according to the canons of the church.
Acacius was present in this council; he rose up confessing that he had transgressed.
He asked for forgiveness and to remain as archdeacon as he was before. They sent
these facts to the Empress. Since the Emperor was in agreement with the faith of the
council of Chalcedon, he wanted to attract the Pope to this erroneous faith. He wrote
to his representative in Alexandria saying, "If the Patriarch Theodosius agreed with us
in faith, along with his papacy, add the governorship of the city of Alexandria, but if he
did not agree, he should be expelled from the city." When the Patriarch heard that, he
said, "That what the devil had told the Lord Christ after he showed him all the
kingdoms of the world and their glory, 'All these things will I give you, if you will fall
down and worship me'". The Patriarch then left the city and went to Upper Egypt and
stayed there confirming the believers.
Later on, the Emperor called St. Theodosius to Constantinople, so he went with some
of the learned priests. The Emperor received him with great honor, and seated him in a
distinguished place. He tried to flatter him, and talk gently to him, to persuade him to
agree on the faith of the council of Chalcedon. When he did not yield, he exiled him to
Upper Egypt, and appointed in his place a person called Paul. When this Paul arrived to
Alexandria, its people did not receive him. He remained there for a year and only few
followed him. When the Emperor heard of this, he commanded to shut the churches
until the people submitted to the patriarch he appointed. The believers built a church
in the name of St. Mark and another on the name of Sts. Cosmas and Damian outside
the city where they were able to receive the Holy Mysteries and baptize their children.
When the Emperor heard that, he had the churches opened. Pope Theodosius, when he
heard this, feared that the Emperor might have intended to lure the people by that act.
He wrote a letter to the believers to confirm them in the Orthodox faith and to warn
them from the deception of this infidel. He lived four years in Alexandria, and remained
in exile in Upper Egypt for twenty-eight years. He spent thirty-one years, four months,
and fifteen days in the patriarchate. This Pope wrote many discourses and useful
teachings.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the church celebrates the Commemoration of the Consecration of
the Church of Anba Sarabamoun, the martyr, Bishop of Nikios.
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 Baounah
1. The Martyrdom of the Seven Ascetic Saints in Tounar Mount.
2. The Martyrdom of Sts. Abba Hour and his Mother Theodora.
1. On this day, the seven ascetic saints in Tounar Mount (Tona), were martyred. These
were: Basadi, Cotolus, Ardama, Moses, Esey, Parkalas (Mikalas), and a monk called
Cotolus. The angel of the Lord had appeared to Sts. Basadi and Cotolus and
commanded them to confess the name of the Lord Christ. They rose up straightway to
go to the governor. They met the five saints embarking a ship going to the governor to
also confess the Lord Christ. They all agreed together on receiving the crown of
martyrdom. They went to the governor and confessed the Lord Christ. He tortured them
excessively, then hung stones from their necks, and shut them up in prison. The Lord
appeared to them, comforted, strengthened, and promised them the kingdom. The
governor then sent them to Alexandria, where they were tortured severely. He threw
them into cauldrons full of sulphur and pitch, and lighted a great fire under them, then
he took them out and threw them away. The Lord sent His angel who healed them.
They came back to the governor and confessed the Lord Christ before him. One
hundred thirty persons witnessed that. They confessed the Lord Christ, were martyred,
and they received the crown of martyrdom. The Governor intensified the torture on the
seven saints, and finally cut off their heads with the sword, and they received the
crown of martyrdom.
May their intercession be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, Sts. Abba Hour and his mother Theodora, were martyred. Abba
Hour was a soldier in the army of Antioch. He came to Alexandria, and confessed the
Lord Christ before its governor. He commanded that Abba Hour's hands be cut off, that
he be tied to the tail of an ox and dragged through the city. Then he was thrown into a
pit filled with snakes which did not harm. him. During all that torture, he cried out to
the Lord Christ, who healed and strengthened him. His mother came to see him and
she rejoiced in his strife.
They told the governor about her, and he had her brought to him. He asked her to
sacrifice to the idols but when she refused he became enraged at her, and frightened
her but she was not afraid of his raging. He commanded to put red-hot iron rods in her
sides. When they did so she rejoiced and sang hymns to venerate the Lord for He
made her worthy to suffer for His Holy Name. Later on she delivered up her soul and
received the crown of martyrdom.
As for St. Abba Hour (Hor), they placed him in a cauldron of boiling oil and tar, and he
praised God until he delivered up his soul and received the crown of martyrdom. His
brother Abba Bishai (Pishai) was martyred on the first day of El-Nasi (Intercalary days).
May their prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah
The Nativity of St. John, the Baptist
On this day, the church celebrates the nativity of St. John the Baptist. He whom none
born of women was greater. He who kneeled to the Lord Christ while he was still in his
mother's womb, and was worthy to lay his hand upon the head of the Son of God
during Baptism. The Holy Bible said about him: "Now Elizabeth's full time came for her
to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard
how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. Now so it was, on
the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him
by the name of his father, Zacharias. And his mother answered and said, 'No; he shall
be called John.' But they said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who is
called by this name.' So they made signs to his father; what he would have him called.
And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, 'His name is John.' And they all
marveled. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke,
praising God. He prophesied about his son, saying. 'you, child, will be called the
prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His
ways.'" (Luke 1:57-76)
When he was two years old, the wise men (Magi) came, Herod killed the children,
some divulged about this child and the soldiers searched for him to kill him. Zechariah
took the child and brought him to the sanctuary, laid him on the altar and told the
soldiers, "I have received him from this place". The angel of the Lord caught up the
child and brought him to the desert of Ziphana, so the soldiers became enraged and
they killed his father Zechariah. For this reason the Lord had said to the Jews: "That on
you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous
Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the
temple and the altar." (Matthew 23:35) So the child John grew and became strong in
spirit, and was in the deserts more than twenty years living an angelic life, till the day
of his manifestation to Israel. (Luke 1:80).
And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and
his food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4) He lived in the wilderness
persevering in prayers and asceticism, until the Lord ordered him, to fulfill the
prophesies, to preach to the people about the coming of the Savior of the World. For
he was sent from God, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (John 1:6-8)
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor
of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the
region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being high
priests, the Word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he
went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the
remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD, make
His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low;
and the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways made smooth; and
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' " (Luke 3:1-6)
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying,
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:1-2)
Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and
were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew 3:5-6)
While the people were waiting, and thinking in their hearts about John if he was the
Christ, John answered, saying to them all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One
mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize
you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will
thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff
He will burn with unquenchable fire." (Luke 3:16-17) Then Jesus came from Galilee to
John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I
have need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" But Jesus answered and
said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all
righteousness." Then he allowed Him. Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came
up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He
saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a
voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
(Matthew 3:13-17) (Luke 3:20-22)
Then John's disciples came to him and said, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the
Jordan, to whom you have testified; behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to
Him!" John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to
him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,'
but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the
friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the
bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must
decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and
speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen
and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received
His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the
words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son,
and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life;
and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on
him." (John 3:26-36)
But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he
said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We
have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to
Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
fire. (Matthew 3:7-10) (Luke 3:7-9)
When Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, married Herodias, the wife of his
brother Philip, against all the Laws, St. John the Baptist came to him. He admonished
him for his transgression and all the evil things that he was doing. So Herod ordered,
according to the instigation of Herodias the adulterer, to seize John, chain him and
imprison him in the fortress called Macronda.
John remained in this jail for a year, without Herod being able to slay him. His
disciples visited their teacher, frequently and courageously, in prison. As he did not
neglect his duties toward them, proving to them that Jesus was the expected Christ.
When the news of the wonders that our Savior did noised everywhere, John wanted his
disciples to be eye witnesses to the wonders of Christ, to be confirmed in their faith in
him.
While he was in prison, John sent two of his disciples to Christ, who said to Him, "Are
You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered and said to them,
"Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and
the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and
the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended
because of Me." (Matthew 11:2-6)
As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you
go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out
to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in
kings' houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more
than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger
before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.' Assuredly, I say to you,
among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but
he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John
the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by
force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to
receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! But to
what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and
calling to their companions, and saying: 'We played the flute for you, And you did not
dance; we mourned to you, And you did not lament.' For John came neither eating nor
drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking,
and they say, 'Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and
sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children." (Matthew 11:7-19)
The Lord Christ, to Whom is the Glory, also said about John the Baptist: "He was the
burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light." (John
5:35) Herodias desired to get rid of John the Baptist, so she executed her scheme
during the celebration of Herod's birthday.
When Herod's birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them
and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might
ask. So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, "Give me John the Baptist's
head here on a platter." And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths
and because of those who sat with him at the table, he commanded it to be given to
her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a
platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came
and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard
of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart. (Matthew 14:2-13) The joy
of the people celebrating Herod's birthday turned into sorrow. As of the head, it flew
up from their hands and was crying out saying: "It is not right for you to take your
brother's wife."
The martyrdom of St. John took place at the end of the thirty-first or at the beginning
of the thirty-second year of the Christ. The life of this Saint was like that of the angels
in purity. He was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was in his mother's womb, and
was martyred for his witnessing to the truth.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
  • The Blessed Month Of Baounah