14 tekemet 2012
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day died the holy Apostle Philip who was one of the seventy-two disciples. This holy man was a native of the city of Caesarea of the Philistines, and when our Lord Jesus Christ passed through the city of Caesarea He taught therein. And when the holy man heard His doctrine, he believed in Him, and submitted to His commands, and followed Him straightway. And of those who followed Him our Lord chose seventy-two disciples, and sent them out to preach, and to heal the sick, and this man was among their number; and He chose [also] Twelve Apostles, [and] of their number were the seven deacons whom He appointed for them. And this holy man preached in the cities of Samaria and baptized [men therein] with Christian baptism. And he baptized Simon the magician, who perished when he wished to buy with money the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto this disciple Philip, and he commanded him to go by the way of the country of Gazu. And he rose up and went there, and he found the eunuch, the steward of Hendake (Candace), the Queen of Ethiopia, and he was reading in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet. And the words which he was reading said, “Like a sheep he came to his slaughter, and like a sheep that bleats not before him that will shear him” (Isaiah, 7 (53:7)); and this disciple Philip explained to him the meaning of the words which he was reading. And he said unto him, “This is a prophecy concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, Who suffered of His own free will for the salvation of man.” And the eunuch believed through Philip the disciple, and he asked him to baptize him, and Philip did so. After he had baptized him the angel of the Lord carried Philip the disciple to the city of ‘Azdad and he preached therein. And he departed to Asia, and there he preached the Gospel, and there were four sons who preached with him. And having converted many of the Jews and Samaritans, and other peoples, and brought them into the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, he died in peace. Salutation to Philip and to his four sons who prophesied.
And on this day also died the holy Father Moses, the man of God. This holy man was a native of the city of Byzantium; his father’s name was Euphemianus, and his mother’s name was Aglaias. And they were exceedingly rich, and their possessions were very many, and their slaves were more numerous than those of any others of their family, and they were arrayed in rich apparel, which was embroidered in gold, and they wore girdles of gold. And they feared God and performed His commandments, and they fasted every day until the ninth hour, and they only ate once in the day, and then it was with the poor and the needy. And they had no children, and they used to entreat God the Most High to give them a son, blessed and good, who should do God’s good pleasure. And God heard their petition and gave them a son who was very handsome in person, and the grace of God was upon him. And they rejoiced in him with a great joy, and they made great festival for the poor and needy, and they multiplied their well doing. And they called that son Moses, which being interpreted is “man of God"; for God heard their petition for him. And they brought him up very piously, and they taught him all kinds of learning and spiritual wisdom. When the child had grown up, his father Euphemianus said unto his wife Aglaias, “Behold our son Moses hath arrived at man’s estate, and it is meet that we should give him in marriage to a wife.” And his mother rejoiced at these words, and they betrothed him to a daughter of one of the nobles of the city of Byzantium, whose person was exceedingly beautiful. And they made a great feast to celebrate his marriage, and they decorated the church of God, that is to say Hagia Sofia in the city of Byzantium. And they made Moses to stand with his wife before the Tabernacle, and they crowned him with the holy crown of matrimony, and they received the Holy Mysteries and they came to their house in peace. And Euphemianus said unto his friend, “Tell the bridegroom to come into the marriage-chamber to his bride, and let him rejoice in her after the manner of men.” When Moses the man of God heard this word, he came into the marriage-chamber, and he saw the maiden, and he marveled at her person exceedingly, and he praised God, and blessed Him, and he thought within himself, saying, “Will not all this beauty of person pass away and decay and become dust?” And he entreated God to guide him into the path of the kingdom of the heavens. And he said unto the maiden, “Peace be unto thee, O my sister, thou noble maiden!” And he stripped himself of his glorious apparel and gave it unto her, and said unto her, “Have me in remembrance, O my noble sister, until we meet again before our Lord Jesus Christ.” And having said this unto her he went forth from her and he departed by road until he came to a city, which is on the seashore. And he went into the city, and sold all his raiment, and gave the price thereof to the poor and needy, and he dressed himself in rags like the beggars and he went from one place to another begging bread and eating it, until he came to the city of Roha (Edessa). And he went into the church in the city wherein is the picture of our Lord Jesus Christ which our Lord sent unto Eugyanos, the King of Roha (Edessa), and he prayed before the picture of our Lady Mariyam and was blessed by her. And he gave thanks unto God, the Most High, and he went out of the church and sat down with the poor and needy, and he lived upon the bread of charity. He fasted always until the evening, and he prayed by day and by night, and wept without ceasing. When his father and his mother came into the marriage-chamber, and did not find their son Moses, their joy was changed to sorrow. Then Euphemianus called his servants, and gave them much gold, and he said unto them, “Go ye into every city and country, two of you into each city, and give alms to the poor from that gold for the sake of my son Moses.” And two of his father’s servants came to Moses, and gave him alms with the [other] beggars. Now Saint Moses knew these servants, but they did not know him, and he said, “I give thanks unto Thee, O my Lord God, that Thou hast esteemed me fit for this great honor, that is for me to receive alms from the hands of my father’s servants for the love of Thy Name.” Now his father’s servants continued to go round about through many cities for many days [seeking him]. After they had returned to Euphemianus their lord, the father of Saint Moses, the man of God, they said unto him, “We have come into every city and we have not found thy son.” And Saint Moses, the man of God, was fasting two days at a time, and then three days at a time, until at length he did not eat at all except on the First Day of the week. After this our Lady Mariyam appeared unto one of the righteous elders among the priests of that church, and she said unto him, “Go outside the church, and say unto that man who is standing by the pillar, ‘Come, O man of God,’ and bring him into the sanctuary for his fasting, and his prayer, and his righteousness have ascended like the sweet-smelling incense into heaven.” And on the following day that priest came to him at the moment when they were offering up the Offering upon the altar, and asked him to come into the sanctuary. And Moses wept and entreated him, saying, “Forgive me, O my father! I am a sinner, and I am not worthy to stand in the holy place.” And the priest said unto him, “O man of God, come into the sanctuary, for I am sent unto thee”; and he told him how our Holy Lady the Virgin Mariyam had appeared unto him, and how she had spoken unto him concerning him. And Moses said unto him, “I am a sinful man, and the greatest sinner in all the world.” After this he rose up to go to the city of Tarses, which is the city of Paul the Apostle, and he said, “I will dwell herein until the day of my death.” Then he thought in his heart and said, “Verily this is the Will of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Name of the Lord is living. I will not hide myself from any man, and I will not separate myself from the gates of my father’s house, for who is there among the people here who will know me?” So he went to his father’s house. And as he was going along he saw his father and very many men following him, and Moses, the man of God, went and laid hold of the bridle of his father’s horse as he was sitting on it, and he said unto him, “O good and blessed man, may God forgive thee thy sins, and grant thee the petition of thy heart. Know now that I am a pilgrim and a stranger, if thou wishest to feed me with the broken meats of thy table, God the Merciful will magnify thy reward, if thou wilt have mercy upon my poverty and my wandering.” When Euphemianus heard these words he thought of the wandering of his son Moses, the man of God, and tears burst from his eyes and he groaned within himself. And he took Moses with him into the house, and he commanded his servants to give him a seat before the door of the house, and they did for him even as he had commanded, and he commanded one of his slaves to serve him. And Moses, the man of God, said unto that slave, “I entreat thee, O my brother, to bring me food and drink only on the First Day of the week, and then only bring me a part of a loaf of bread and a cup of water, after I have received the Holy Mysteries.” And he continued to lead this life of self-abnegation and strife for a period of twelve years, sitting at the door of his father’s house. And God wished to remove him from the toil of this world, and our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him, and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, O Moses, My chosen one, for thou hast done My good pleasure, and thou hast loved sorrow far more than joy, and thou hast forsaken riches and sought after poverty. I, even I, say unto thee, that everyone who hath called upon thy name, or hath celebrated thy commemoration, or hath fed the hungry on the day of thy commemoration, or hath given the thirsty to drink, or hath clothed the naked, or hath written the book of thy strife, I will reward them with a splendid reward in the kingdom of the heavens; and in this world I will protect them from all evil, and I will not permit them to lack any good thing. And now, O my beloved Moses, thou man of God, after four days I will take thy soul from thy body, and I will set thee with the souls of the righteous, and of the prophets, and apostles, and martyrs.” And having said these words He gave him “peace,” and went up into heaven. When the holy man saw this vision he rejoiced and was exceedingly glad. And he said unto that slave who ministered unto him, “Bring hither to me paper and ink, and henceforward thou wilt have rest from labor for me”; and the slave marveled at his words and brought him the paper and ink. And Moses, the man of God, wrote the full history of his strife, from the beginning even unto the end thereof. On the fourth day he took the paper, which he had written in his hand, and he died on the First Day of the week, and his soul went up into the heavens, and the angels and the righteous, and the martyrs, and the prophets, and the apostles welcomed it, saying, “Hallelujah! Redeemer our God", and they came into the heavens. And all the people were gathered together in the church at the time of the consecration [of the Offering], and they heard a voice above the altar crying out, and saying, “Blessed are the good servants who have performed the commandments and the ordinances of their Lord, for they are in joy for ever.” When the archbishops, and priests, and deacons, and bishops, and all the people heard this voice, great fear, and severe quaking fell upon them until the end of the consecration; and they received the Holy Mysteries. And afterwards the archbishops, and all the priests, and the people entreated our Lord Jesus Christ to reveal unto them this mystery. And straightway a voice was heard which said, “Rejoice with Moses, the man of God, in the house of Euphemianus, for behold, he hath delivered up his soul into the hand of God.” And when the archbishop heard this, he called Euphemianus and said unto him, “This great joy which dwelt in thy house; Why didst thou not inform me about him so that we might have visited him during his life and been blessed by him.” And Euphemianus answered and said unto him, “Thy holy prayer is certain. Thou must know, O holy father, that I did not know that the like of this man existed in my house.” And straightway the archbishops, and the priests, and all the people went to the house of Euphemianus, and they found Moses, the man of God, where he died with the paper in his hand. And the archbishop took the paper out of his hand, and he read it before all the people until he came to his name, which was Moses, the man of God, the son of Euphemianus and his mother Aglaias. When his father and his mother heard this they wept bitterly. Then the archbishop wrapped him in silk cloths, and they took him and carried him into the church and laid him in the sanctuary until all the people and the priests had been blessed by him. And immediately very many sick people came, the deaf and the blind, and they all received a blessing from his holy body, and they were all healed of their sicknesses. When the people became very many his father was afraid that they would overturn the body of the saint from his bier, and he commanded his servants to scatter money among the people. And the servants scattered much gold in order that they might leave the body of the saint, but they would not go after the gold, and no man ever returned afterwards to the gold. After this they laid the body of the saint in the great church of the Apostles Peter and Paul. And many miracles took place through his body, the blind were made to see, and the dumb became able to speak, and the sick were healed, and the lame walked, and the deaf heard, and the lepers were cleansed, and from those who were possessed of devils the devils went out. [Salutation to] Moses, whose name is written on a pillar of gold in the Jerusalem of the heavens.
And on this day also died Saint Gabra Krestos, the son of Theodosius, Emperor of Constantine. Now Theodosius was a God-loving man and one who feared God, and his wife was a good and God-fearing woman, and her name was Markiza; and they were sorrowful because they had no son. And they went to Jerusalem, and they made vows, and they made supplication to God, and He heard them and gave them a son, and they called his name ‘Abd Almasih, that is to say, Gabra Krestos. And they taught him every kind of learning on the earth, and there was nothing, which he did not learn. Afterwards they married him to a princess of Rome, and they brought to him the bride, and they performed for him all the ceremonies, which are wont to be performed for the bridegroom and bride. And at midnight Gabra Krestos took the bride by the hand, and they made a covenant together, and then they recited the prayer of belief--”We believe in one God"--to the end thereof. Then he stripped off himself the marriage-garments, and dressed himself in coarse apparel, and he went to the bride and kissed her head, and he bade her farewell, saying unto her, “God be with thee, and deliver thee from every evil work of Satan.” And she wept and said unto him, “Whither goest thou? And to whom wilt thou leave me?” And he said unto her, “I have thee to God, and I am going to follow Christ, for my father’s kingdom is a transitory thing. Remember thou thine oath”; and straightway she was silent and remembered her oath. And he went forth by night whilst those who belonged to the marriage-chamber were sleeping, and he came to the sea-shore where he found certain men who were about to sail, and they took him with them. And when his father and his mother went into the marriage-chamber, and found only the bride and not the bridegroom, they said unto her, “Where is our son?” And she said unto them, “He came in to me in the night, and made me swear an oath, and made a covenant with me, and he kissed my head, and went away from me, and I have passed the night weeping.” When they heard her words, they fell down upon the ground, on their faces, and they groaned, and uttered loud cries of grief and lamentation. And the Emperor Theodosius sent out five hundred of his servants to seek his son, and he gave them much gold to distribute among the poor in alms. Now Gabra Krestos arrived in the country of Armenia after a journey of one year. And there was a church built in the name of our Lady Mariyam, and he lived there for five years fasting and keeping vigil. And two envoys, servants of his father, arrived there, and they searched for him but were unable to hear any news of him; and they gave alms to the poor, and Gabra Krestos himself received some of them. After he had dwelt there for five and twenty years, our holy Lady the Virgin Mariyam appeared unto certain priest, and she said unto him, “Take the man of God with thee, and let his habitation be inside [the church]”; and he did as she had commanded him. And Gabra Krestos said, “My Lady, why dost thou reveal my secret?” And he bade farewell to her picture (or image) and he departed by night and came to the seashore, where he found a ship in which he embarked. Now he wished to depart to another country, but by the Will of God he arrived at his father’s city, and he dwelt there of fifteen years and no man recognized him. And his father’s servants used to make sport of him; but Saint Gabra Krestos said, “[O God] punish not my father’s servants for their offence, but take me to Thyself”; and thus saying he died, and they buried him with honor. As they were burying him they found a paper grasped tightly in his hand and they were unable to remove it, and they prayed together to the God of heaven; and when they had prayed the paper was released from his hand, and they read it, and they knew that he was their son. Then they wept bitterly, and they buried him, and his tomb became a place where the sick were healed, and where the blind [were made to see], and where many miracles were wrought, and where countless acts of grace were performed. Salutation to Gabra Krestos, whose sores the dogs licked in the courtyard of his father’s house.
And on this day also is commemorated our holy Father Aragawi, who is surnamed Za- Mikael. This holy man became a guide to the servants of God on the road. And he went up to the holy Dabra Damo holding the tail of a serpent, and there he fought countless noble fights. And God graciously made a covenant with him concerning the man who should call upon his name, and the man who should celebrate his commemoration, and then he was hidden from the face of death by the grace of God. He established among his children the Rules for the Monastic Life, which he had learned in the house of his father Pachomius. Salutation to Za-Mikael who was surnamed “’Aragawi.” And on this day also are commemorated Tarakwa the martyr, and those who were with him, and Damatius, and Emraya the martyr, and the four hundred and thirty-one martyrs who were with her. Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Abuna Aragwi taken away , one of the Nine Saints
Gabra Krestos the hermit departed from this world
Saint Philipos departed from this world