19 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 Saint Bartholomew and his wife. These saints were natives of the country of Fayyum, to the west of Egypt, and they were accused before the governor of being Christians. And the governor sent and had them brought to him, and he questioned them about their belief and they confessed our Lord Christ before him. And he commanded his soldiers to dig a deep pit and to throw the two into it, and to cast stones in on them; and the soldiers did as the governor had commanded them, and Bartholomew and his wife finished their strife; and received crowns of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens. Salutation to Bartholomew and his wife who were buried alive [in the days of the Emperor Diocletian].
On this day also the holy General Council assembled in the church of the city of Antioch because of Paul of Samosata. This wretched man was a native of the city of Samidat, and was made Archbishop of Antioch. And Satan sowed bad seed in his heart, and he used to believe that Christ was a mere man whom God created, and that God chose Him so that by Him He might redeem the children of men, and that the source of Christ was Mariyam entirely, and that His Godhead was not one with His manhood, but that it descended upon Him, and that He dwelt therein by the Will of God, One Nature; and he would confess neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit. And this Council assembled in the city of Antioch because of him, and this assembling took place in the reign of the Emperor Valerius, when Dionysius was Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, and Dionysius was Archbishop of the city of Rome; and this Council assembled before the Council of Nicea five and forty years. Now Abba Dionysius, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, was old, and he was not able to come with them into the Council, but he wrote a letter to the Council, saying, “Christ is the Word of God, and is His Son, and is equal with Him in Godhead and Nature. And the Trinity [containeth] Three distinct Persons, and one God and one Lord. And One [Person] of the Trinity, that is to say, the Son, became incarnate in the substance of a complete man, and there was with Him One Nature.” Then Dionysius testified concerning these things and adduced many testimonies from the Old and New Testaments. And Dionysius sent this letter with two priests and thirteen bishops assembled and they debated the matter with Paul the infidel. And they read out before him the letter of Dionysius, and they rebuked him with the words of Paul the apostle, who said, “Christ is the Word of God, and He is His Son, and the splendor of His glory, and the likeness of His glory, and the Substance of Godhead.” But he would not accept their words, and he would not turn from his infidelity, and they cut him off, and anathematized him and excommunicated him, and they excommunicated all those who believed his words, and drove them from their thrones. And the Council formulated Canons, and they are in the hands of the believers who perform their Laws and Precepts. Salutation to the two priests and thirteen bishops.
On this day also died Saint John of Dailam. The parents of this holy man belonged to the nobles of the city; his father’s name was Abraham, and his mother’s name was Sara, and they continued to pray fervently for many days because they had no children. One day two monks came to visit him, and they sojourned in his house, and they said unto him, “O Abraham, hast thou no children?” And he said unto them with tears, “O my fathers, I have not gotten a son. And now I have grown old, and as for my wife her days are past”; when the monks heard this they prayed over them, and blessed them and departed. After a few days Sara, the wife of Abraham, conceived and she brought forth a child of joy, and Abraham called his name John. When fourteen years had passed, and when the boy had finished all his instruction in the Books of the Church, those two same monks came into the school, and when John saw them he asked them to take him away with them. And they said, “We are afraid of thy father and we cannot take thee.” Whilst those monks were departing to their abode John prayed to God that He would direct the path which he had chosen, and he went out of the school and followed the monks, and whilst wishing to overtake them he came to a great river which he was afraid [to try] to cross by himself. Whilst he was there certain Arabs came with their camels, and John asked them to take him across the river, and they took him over with them; and by the Will of God he arrived in the monastery of these monks. Now the name of one of these monks was Abba Simon, and when he saw John he knew him, and he received him, and made him his disciple and Abba Simon had two other disciples besides John, but he loved John more than them. When Abba Simon knew that his departure was nigh, he said unto his children, “O my children, I will tell you what God hath shown me in respect of what shall happen unto you after my death. One of you a hyena shall seize, another of you shall be scattered in the earth, and of my third disciple the report shall go forth into all the world.” Then the old man looked in the face of John, and he said unto him, “Be strong, O my son, for the love of Christ, for He hath chosen thee to be a father unto many”; and thus saying the old man died. After three days one disciple went out into the world and married a wife, and where the second went is not known. And Saint John was sorrowful in his soul and he said, “I will go down and see what hath happened to my companion.” As he was going down a company of soldiers of Dailam met him, and they made him prisoner, and fettered him with two beautiful women, one on his right hand and one on his left. Whilst they were journeying along the road the men of Dailam lacked water both for themselves and for their beasts. And Saint John said unto them, “Masters, if I make water to spring forth for you will ye let me go?” And they said unto him, “Yea.” Then Saint John knelt upon the ground in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and water gushed out upon them and they drank. And Saint John said unto them, “Perform to me what ye have covenanted,” and they said, “We will not let thee go; who shall we find like unto thee?” So they brought him to their city. And in those days a heavy plague descended upon Dailam, and the master of Saint John died, and his children, and all the men of his house, and there remained only his wife and her daughter. And the wife of Saint John’s master thought that he was a magician, and she shut up Saint John in his room, and set fire to the house so that she might burn him alive, but God delivered him. When the men of Dailam saw this they all believed through him, and they were baptized, men and women. Then John departed thence by another road. When he found that the men there worshipped trees, he exhorted them to turn from iniquity, and when they refused to do so he came by night among their trees, and prayed to God, and taking an axe [in his hand], he said, “In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost I will cut you down”; and straightway one thousand trees fell down at one stroke of the axe. When the men of the city saw this they believed, and were baptized together with their women and children. And once again he went to another city, and he found that the people there were worshippers in fire- temples. When John rebuked them, they were wroth, and they cast him into the fire three times, but he came forth unharmed. And he turned their water into blood, and they lacked water to drink, and they all believed in the God of Saint John, and forty thousand men were baptized. Then he built a church and performed countless signs and wonders, and he died in the country of Der’Eyan. Salutation to John of Dailam.
Salutation to Abba Simon, who was enveloped by the Holy Ghost.
And on this day also are commemorated the righteous men of Al-Matra, who were slain with violence by the hands of evil men. [The Bodleian MS. says they were slain by King Yemraha.] Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Gabriel the Archangel