30 meskerem 2012
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day is celebrated the festival of the great commemoration which our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ made for the holy and honorable Abba Atnatewos (Athanasius) the apostle, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria. Now at that time the emperor was Constantine the Less, son of Constantine the Great, who denied the One Son, and separated the Godhead of His Father; and he believed in the faith of Arius, the accursed one, and supported his views. And the emperor sent a certain man whose name was Gergewos to the country of Egypt, and he gave him five hundred horsemen; and he wrote for him a letter [to take] with him authorizing him to become Archbishop of Alexandria, and the head of all the country of Egypt, and of all archbishops and bishops. And he ordered Gergewos to support the faith of Arius, and to slay all those who believed in Christ, and those who were obedient unto Him. When Gergewos, the accursed, had arrived in the city of Alexandria he preached his infidelity, but only a very few of the men of Alexandria accepted his words and his polluted preaching. Therefore he killed all the believing men of the city of Alexandria, that is to say a large and innumerable collection of people; and Saint ‘Atnatewos (Athanasius) fled and hid himself for a period of six years. At the end of this time he came forth and went to the city of Constantinople, to the Emperor Constantine the Less, who denied the Son of God, Whose Name be blessed! And he said unto him, “Either restore me to my see, or slay me and let me receive the crown of life of martyrdom.” When the emperor heard these words from him he commanded his soldiers to place the archbishop in a small boat, and to supply him neither with bread nor water, nor with a captain for the boat, and to drive him forth to sea. Now the emperor thought within himself that Saint ‘Atnatewos (Athanasius) would die at sea, either through the foundering of his boat or through hunger and thirst; and the emperor was afraid of him, and [he did this] so that the saint might not rebuke him according as the emperor had commanded. Now although the emperor had not given him bread and water, behold the saint had with him the bread of God, which was from heaven, and the water of life, which flowed down from Him. And although he had no captain in the ship with him, behold, he had with him in the ship He, Who directeth the heaven and the earth by His Word. And the boat wherein Saint ‘Atnatewos (Athanasius) was seated traveled along smoothly and in peace, and the angels bore it along on their wings, and on the third day he arrived in the city of Alexandria. When the believing folk heard that their good shepherd had arrived, they went out to meet him and they welcomed him with lighted lamps, and songs of joy and instruments of music, and they praised God and brought him into the church; and Gergewos the infidel and those who were with him went forth there from. And on that day Saint ‘Atnatewos (Athanasius) made a great festival to God--blessed be His Name! And it was then as now, and they celebrated the festival regularly. Praise be unto God, Who honoureth His chosen one with this honor.
And on this day also they commemorate Saint Gregory, Archbishop of the country of Armenia.
And on this day also took place the calling of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and on it the martyrs Abba Bula (Pawle), and Maryu, and Petros (Peter), and ‘Asotares [are commemorated].
Salutation to the great teachers of Debra Maryam, ‘Absadi and ‘Aaron of Galilee. [This paragraph is wanting in the Bodleian MS.] And on this day also died Abba Shalusi. This holy man was an athlete, and pretended to be mad, and his fasting and his praying were in secret, and before men he neither prayed nor fasted. Each morning he used to prepare for himself a small amount of food made of herbs of the desert, and at eventide he ate nothing with the brethren. Now the Archimandrite was Abba Isaac. And all the monks used to marvel at him, but Abba Isaac did not wish him to continue this habit so that he might not cause himself to fall sick. One day there was about to be a festival in the monastery, and Abba Isaac said unto the monks, “Watch him this day and see that he doth not eat before he receiveth the Offering.” When the time for the meal arrived Abba Shalusi wished to separate himself from them, and the monks prevented him from doing so; and he cried out and said unto them, “Let me alone, that I may not die of hunger, and that my transgression may not be on your heads.” And when they would not pay any heed to his cry, he brought out his skull-cap and beat the wall of the church with it, saying, “Mary, my Lady, deliver me from these monks.” And the wall split asunder, and he passed out through the opening, and then the wall joined itself again and became as it was before it split open. And when those who were assembled there saw this wonder they cried out, saying, “Kiryalayson” (Kyrie eleeson) three hundred times. And they found the skullcap that had been thrown out, and they placed it in the church with great honor, and it remained there and worked miracles and healed the sick. When the archbishop heard about it he wished to take away the skullcap so that he might be blessed thereby, and each time he took it away it returned to the monastery. Now this happened three times. And this monk after many days like this day died in the desert.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
John the baptist
St. Mark the Evangelist