25 meskerem 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 great and righteous prophet Jonah. This holy man was the son of the widow of Beth-Sarapta of Sidon whom Elijah the prophet raised from the dead. And he followed Elijah the prophet and ministered unto him, and he toiled with him and he was held to be worthy of the grace of prophecy by his command to him. And God, blessed and exalted be His Name, said unto him, “Get thee to the city of Nineveh, and preach unto the people thereof, and tell them, ‘after three days your city shall be overthrown.’” And when God said this unto him Jonah pondered in his heart, and said, “If God wished to destroy them He would not have commanded me to go and preach unto them. If I go and preach unto them, and say unto them, ‘God wisheth to destroy you, I am afraid that God, Who is merciful, will have mercy upon them, and that I shall be unto them as a lying prophet, and that they will never listen to my preaching at all. Now especially I am afraid that they will kill me if I am sent unto them with a false message from God, I will arise and flee and I will not go to that city, and I will not preach to them.” O my brethren, is there any man whatsoever who hath the power to flee from God, the Most High? If the heart of this prophet of the prophets of the children of Israel was thus, how could their hearts be to the people? Now, I think that God, blessed be His Name, by the operation of His wisdom worked in such a way that this prophet fled so that there might be made manifest the miracle of his remaining in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, and then going forth from him whole and uninjured. Now this was a sign of the remaining of our Lord Christ in the grave for three days and three nights, and of His rising from the dead unchanged. And the Prophet Jonah rose up and fled. Now he wanted to go to the city of Tarsus, but when he had embarked in a ship and they had put out to sea a little way, stormy winds, and the waves and the billows of the sea, rose up against them, and they were within a very little of sinking into the sea, and being drowned. And God put understanding into the heart of the captain, and he said unto those who had embarked on the ship, “Cast lots among yourselves so that we may know because of whom it is that this tribulation hath come upon us”; and when they had cast lots among themselves the lot fell upon Jonah the prophet. And the captain said unto him, “What hast thou done that through thee such an affliction should come upon us?” And Jonah said unto them, “Cast me into the sea and ye shall be saved.” And the captain and the crew entreated God, saying, “O God, demand Thou not from us the blood of this man”; and they took him and cast him into the sea, and a great whale swallowed him. And he remained in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, and then the whale cast him up on the seashore. And Jonah rose up straightway and came into the city of Nineveh, and he preached unto the people thereof even as God the Most High had commanded him, and he said unto them, “Know ye that three days from this day, your city shall be overthrown, and ye shall all be destroyed”; and he went round about the city of Nineveh for a space of three days. When the men of
Nineveh heard the preaching of Jonah the prophet they were exceedingly afraid, and they believed on God and they repented and fasted and put on sackcloth made of hair and sat in the ashes. Then the king commanded that a herald should go round about proclaiming thus: “The king hath commanded that his nobles, and all the people, great and small, and women and children, and sheep and oxen and goats shall fast, and that they shall neither eat nor drink any water whatsoever, and they shall put on sackcloth made of hair; and similarly, even the beasts shall not eat grass. And let all men forsake their evil works, that is to say, oppression, and fornication, and lying, and theft, and fraud, and blasphemy, in order that God may, peradventure, have mercy upon you, and remove His wrath from you.” And straightway all the people repented, and they fasted, and begged for mercy from God, blessed be His Name, and God had mercy on them. And the prophet Jonah was sad with a very great sadness, and he said, “O God, take my life, for death is more preferable to me than life.” And Jonah went outside the city and sat down there and fell asleep. And God commanded a root of the cucumber plant, and it sprouted and grew into a large plant, and it had offshoots and it became very leafy, and very high, and it cast its shadow over Jonah as he was sleeping. And Jonah woke up from his sleep and saw the cucumber plant, and he rejoiced with great joy. And on the following day God brought slumber upon Jonah, and he fell asleep, and God commanded a worm to gnaw the cucumber plant, and the root thereof was cut through; and God commanded a wind-storm and it withered the cucumber plant, and the sun scorched Jonah’s head, and he woke from his dream. When he saw that the cucumber plant had withered he was exceedingly sorry, and he demanded for himself death. And God said unto Jonah, “Art thou exceedingly sorry that the cucumber plant hath withered?” And Jonah said, “Yea, O Lord, I am exceedingly sorry, even unto death.” And God said unto him, “If thou art sorry for a cucumber plant which thou didst neither sow nor plant, and for which thou hast in no way labored, but which flourished in a day, and withered in a day, why should I not spare Nineveh, the great city wherein dwell more than ten hundred thousand men who know not their right hands from their left hands, besides very many beasts? For I am the Merciful and the Compassionate God, Who shows mercy upon every one, who turneth from his sins and repenteth.” And Jonah rose up and returned to the land of Israel and he died there. And the prophecy of Jonah [was made] two hundred years and more before the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he prophesied in the days of ‘Amos the king and his son ‘Ozyan. And all the days of his life were one hundred years, seventy years as a prophet, and thirty years before he prophesied. Salutation to Jonah who slept in the belly of the whale.
Salutation to Barbarah, and to Juliana, who appeared to two men when they came to steal the book containing her history, and slew one and blinded the other. [This paragraph is wanting in the Bodleian MS.] Salutation to those who are saturated with the Law and the Gospel. [This paragraph is wanting in the Bodleian MS.] And on this day also are commemorated Roka (Foka), and John, and Andrew, and Peter, and Antonius.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Saint Marqorewos (Merkorios)
አቡነ ሀቢብ (አባ ቡላ)