17 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 Filias the martyr, bishop the country of Tamias, in the days of Kuelkuelianus. They brought Saint Filias in before the company of the governors, and Kuelkuelianus said unto him, “Sacrifice to the gods”; and Filias said, “I will not offer up sacrifice except to God, and to Him alone.” Kuelkuelianus said, “What kind of sacrifice doth God wish?” And Filias answered and said, “A pure heart and righteous judgment, and the word which is true; such are the sacrifices wherewith God is well pleased.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Did not Paul sacrifice?” and Filias said, “God forbid!” Kuelkuelianus said unto him, “Did not Moses sacrifice?” And Filias said, “Unto the Jews only was the command given that they should sacrifice in Jerusalem.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Dost thou strive on behalf of the soul or the body?” And Filias said, “On behalf of soul and body.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Will this body rise?” And Filias said, “Yea.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Hast thou no love for wife or brethren?” And Filias said, “The love of God is greater than every other love.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Who is God?” Filias raised his hand to heaven, and said, “God is He Who made the heavens and the earth and everything which is therein,” and he told him the story of His Birth, and His Crucifixion, and His Death, and His Resurrection and Ascension. Kuelkuelianus said, “Can God be crucified?” And Filias said, “Because of love for us He came into the world, and redeemed us by His Passion.” Kuelkuelianus said, “Dost thou not know that I would honor thee, and that I do not wish to harm thee, for I know concerning the abundance of thy wealth, and the honor of thy family. Now, sacrifice thou to the gods so that thou mayest not die an evil death.” And Filias said, “If thou dost wish to give me pleasure, give the order for my torturing and slaughter”; and Kuelkuelianus gave the order for him to be killed. As they were taking him away his brother came with the magnates of the city, and he besought him with many entreaties, grasping at his feet and kissing his hands as he did so, to submit to the governor and to offer up sacrifice. And Filias cursed them, saying, “Leave me, O ye who would lead me into error, I m going to bear the Cross of my God.” And when he arrived at the place where he was to receive his doom, he stretched out his hands towards the East, and he prayed unto our Lord Jesus Christ for a long time. And he committed himself to his people, and bade them farewell in peace, and then he was crowned. Salutation to Filias, who feared not the governor.
And on this day also is commemorated Saint Gregory, the brother of the blessed Basil.
And on this day also died Saint Dioscorus, the thirty-first Archbishop of the city of Alesancria, who was appointed after Abba John. This father was gentle in disposition, and his knowledge was glorious, and his work was good, and he was perfect in his days, but his family did not resemble him, and he was appointed archbishop by the Holy Ghost. And he wrote a General Epistle and sent it to the holy father and doctor of the Church, Abba Severus, Archbishop of the city of Antioch; and he wrote in that Epistle the Orthodox Faith of the Holy Three Who are equal in Godhead. Then he went on to speak about the Incarnation of the Son of God, and he said, “The Word of God took a body, perfect in all its operations, with a rational and understanding soul from our holy Lady the Virgin Mariyam. And He became therein One Son, and One Person, in inseparable unity, and He did not become two, but One, for the Holy Three were One God, before the Incarnation of the Son, and after the Incarnation of the Son there came not upon Him any addition to His Incarnation.” When his Epistle reached Saint Abba Severus, and he had read it, he rejoiced and was glad therein with an exceedingly great gladness. And he preached about it before the people of the city of Antioch, and they all rejoiced therein. Then Saint Abba Severus wrote to him, and accepted his Epistle, saying, in his letter, “I give thanks unto God Who hath chosen thee for this glorious and Orthodox Christian office,” and he commanded him not to turn aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, and that all his words and works should be performed according to the Orthodox Faith which our holy fathers had formulated, that is to say the Three Hundred and Eighteen bishops who assembled in Nicea, and according to what they had commanded in the Canon and the Law. And then he said in his letter, “Teach thy people continually, so that they may be strong in the Orthodox Faith, and let them discuss this matter very much.” And when the letter of Abba Severus reached Dioscorus, he rejoiced therein greatly, and he commanded that it should be read from the pulpit. And this father taught the people continually, and read to them the Holy Scriptures, and commanded all the priests in the cities to shepherd their flocks, and to protect the sheep, which had been committed to their charge. Having ended his good course, and pleased God, he died in peace. Salutation to Dioscorus the writer.
And on this day also died Stephen, Archdeacon and Protomartyr. Salutation to Stephen.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
James the apostle
ሐዋርያውያዕቆብ ወልደ ዘብዲዮስ
Apôtre Jacques fils de Zébédée
Abba Gerima (one of the Nine saints)
Saint Estifanos the First Martyr and Archdeacon, ordination date