22 meskerem 2012
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day the Saints Kotolos (Cotylus) and his brother ‘Aksu became martyrs. These holy men were the sons of Sapor, King of Persia, and they had a companion whose name was Tatos. Now Sapor, King of Persia, worshipped fire and the sun, and he afflicted and tortured many believing men, and no man throughout his country dared to mention the Name of Christ. And his son Kotolos (Cotylus) had a friend whose name was Tatos, and he was governor of the country of the Maydaswiyan; and certain people laid information against him before Sapor the king, and told him that he was a Christian. And the king sent to him a certain noble whose name was Tumager to find out whether that which was said about Tatos was true or not, and he commanded that noble, if he found that Tatos was a Christian, to inflict heavy punishment upon him. When Kotolos (Cotylus), the son of the King of Persia, heard these words, he rose up and went to that country where his friend Tatos was. When the noble arrived in that country and found that Tatos was a Christian, even as the king had been informed, straightway he ordered his men to make an oven red- hot and to roast him to death in it. And Saint Tatos made the sign of the Cross over his face against the fire, and the fire died down and was extinguished. When Kotolos (Cotylus), the son of the king, saw this miracle, he marveled exceedingly, and he said to Tatos his friend, “How didst thou learn this magic, O my brother?” And Tatos answered and said unto him, “This is not magic, O my brother, but it is through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that signs and wonders like this are performed.” And Kotolos (Cotylus) believed on our Lord Jesus Christ. And they lighted a fire and made it to burn until the flames thereof reached a great height, and Kotolos (Cotylus) drew nigh unto the fire, and he made the sign of the Cross over it, and the fire turned backwards a distance of twelve cubits. And the noble wrote his dispatch and sent it to Sapor the king, and in it he informed him what had happened to Tatos and to Kotolos (Cotylus), the son of the King of Persia. And the king sent messengers and had them brought to him, and his men cut off the head of Tatos with the sword, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven. His son Kotolos (Cotylus) he tortured with great severity, and he delivered him over to another noble who was to torture him, and when this noble had tortured him cruelly he shut him up in prison. And ‘Aksu, his sister came unto him in the prison house, for the king had sent her a message that she must persuade him to return to his former relations with him. And Saint Kotolos (Cotylus) admonished his sister, and he taught her the Right Faith, and straightway she turned from her error, and believed on our Lord Jesus Christ. Then Kotolos (Cotylus) sent his sister to a certain priest and he baptized her secretly with
Christian baptism, and she returned to her father the king and said unto him, “It would be a good thing for thee if there happened to thee what hath happened to me and to my brother Kotolos (Cotylus). For there is no God but Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who hath made the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is therein.” And when the king her father heard these words from her he was exceedingly wroth with her, and he commanded his men to torture her very severely, and they did so until she yielded up her soul unto the hand of the Lord, and she received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven. And he tied her brother Saint Kotolos (Cotylus) to the tails of horses and he made him to run behind them over the mountains until he yielded up his soul into the hand of His Creator. Then he had his body cut into three parts, and his men cast them out on the tops of the hills so that the birds of heaven might consume them. Thus Saint Kotolos (Cotylus) finished his strife, and received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven. When the king’s soldiers had departed the Lord commanded the priests and the holy deacons to take the bodies of the martyrs, and they went by night and took the bodies of the martyrs, and they went by night and took the bodies of the saints, and they found that they had become as white as snow. And they prepared them for burial with honour, and they laid them in a beautiful tomb until the end of the days of persecution. After the days of the persecution they built a beautiful church for them, and laid the bodies of the saints therein, and through them very many signs and wonders were wrought.
On this day also Saint Julius became a martyr. This holy man came from the city of ‘Akfehas, and our Lord set him up to care for the bodies of the holy martyrs, and to write the history of their contending and to prepare their bodies for burial, and to dispatch each body to its native city. And the Lord brought blindness into the hearts of the governors, and they never held converse with Saint Julius about any matter whatsoever, and they never forced him to worship idols, for the Lord protected him for the sake of His servants the martyrs. And there were three hundred men who knew how to write, and they used to write the histories of the contending of the holy martyrs. And Julius used to minister to the holy martyrs, and dress their wounds with healing medicines with his own hand, and the martyrs used to bless him and declare unto him, saying, “Thou art as if thou hadst poured out thine own blood for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be reckoned among the number of the martyrs.” When the days of the reign of Diocletian the infidel emperor were ended, Constantine the righteous emperor reigned. And our Lord wished to place and to associate Saint Julius with the number of the holy martyrs and all the righteous saints. And our Lord Christ commanded Saint Julius to go to the city of Gamnudi in the northern part of the country of Egypt, to Armenius the governor, and to confess before him his belief on the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Saint Julius went, as our Lord Jesus Christ had commanded him, to Armenius the governor, and he confessed before him that he believed on the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the governor tortured him many times, and God raised him up whole and unharmed. Then Saint Julius prayed to God and entreated Him to let the earth open her mouth and swallow up the idols. And straightway the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the seventy idols, and their one hundred and forty priests. Now the governor had commended his men to bring Saint Julius to him so that he might bow down to the idols; and straightway they and their priests were destroyed and they went down into Sheol forever. And very many of the people who were there when they saw this miracle marveled exceedingly, and they believed on our Lord Jesus Christ and became martyrs. When Armenius the governor saw that his gods and their priests were destroyed he believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and went with Saint Julius to the governor of Athribis and confessed before him his belief on the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the governor of Athribis tortured Saint Julius with very great severity, but our Lord Christ raised him up safely and unharmed; Julius died thrice, and our Lord Jesus Christ raised him up from the dead thrice. One day there was to be a festival in honour of the idols, and the people were decorating the temple with all kinds of ornaments and lamps, and with palm branches, and branches of other trees, and they closed the gates of the temple; and the people expected to come on the following day and to celebrate the festival. And Saint Julius entreated God to blot out their idols, and straightway God sent an angel who smashed the heads of the idols, and blackened their faces with charcoal and ashes, and burnt up all the palm branches, and destroyed all the other decorations of the temple. On the following day when the people dressed in apparel of great price came to do according to their custom, and saw how their idols had been destroyed, they recognized the impotence of their idols, and thy conversed among themselves and said, “If our idols are not able to save themselves, how will they have the power to save us?” And straightway the governor of Athribis believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and very many men, the number whereof could not be counted, did the same. From this place also Saint Julius departed to the city of Tuwa, and with him were the governor of the city of Gamnudi and the governor of the city of Athribis. And Saint Julius spoke unto Iskander the governor of Tuwa, and said unto him, “Finish my strife for me, and command thy men to cut off my head and let me receive the crown of martyrdom, and depart to my Lord Jesus Christ.” And Iskander said unto him, “I will not torture thee, and I will do nothing evil unto thee whatsoever.” And Saint Julius commanded his five hundred slaves to sharpen their swords, and to rise up against Iskander. And they said [unto him], “If thou dost not command [his soldiers] to cut off the heads of all of us, so that we may become martyrs of Christ, we will kill thee.” Then Julius commanded an unclean spirit to ride Iskander, and straightway the unclean spirit did so, and Iskander wrote a decree ordering his servants to cut off the heads of the slaves of Julius with the sword. And straightway the soldiers cut off the heads of all the saints, that is to say, of Saint Julius, and Saint Theodore his son, and Saint Ionias his brother, and his five hundred slaves, and the governor of Gamnudi, and the governor of Athribis, and a great many [other] people. Now the number of those who became martyrs on the day of the martyrdom of Saint Julius was fifteen hundred, and they all received their crowns of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven. And they took the bodies of Saint Julius and his son and his brother, and carried them to the city of Alexandria, for there he used to live, although he was born in the city of ‘Akfehas, and they laid them in a beautiful tomb. Afterwards they built over them a beautiful church wherein many signs and wonders took place.
Three salutation to Julius, Theodore and Ionias. And on this day is commemorated Balan.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Commemoration of the Annunciation