28 meskerem 2012
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day Saint Abadir and his sister Ira became martyrs. This holy man was a son of the brother of Basilides, commander-in-chief of the royal army of Antioch. Now ‘Abadir succeeded his father as commander-in-chief, and he had a mansion wherein he used to pray. And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him at midnight, and He said unto him, “Rise up, and take thy sister ‘Ira’Iand get thee into the land of Egypt so that thou mayest receive a crown of martyrdom. And I will command a certain man whose name is Samuel to take care about your bodies, and he shall prepare them for burial”; and He gave him a benediction and went up into heaven with great glory. And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto his sister “Ira’I also, and He said unto her, “Hearken unto the voice of thy brother, and do not transgress his command.” When she woke from her sleep she trembled exceedingly, and she went to her brother and told him how our Lord Jesus Christ had
appeared unto her, and how He had spoken unto her, and she rejoiced exceedingly; and she agree with her brother not to transgress that command. And they swore to each other that they would go to the land of Egypt, and that they would pour out their blood for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise! When the mother of the blessed ‘Abadir knew this thing, she rent her garments, she and her handmaidens, and they came to ‘Abadir and wept before him, and she adjured him not to become a martyr. And he swore unto her that he would not speak to Diocletian concerning martyrdom, and her heart became quiet, and she ceased from sorrow, and she did not think that he would go to another place to become a martyr. And Saint ‘Abadir changed his apparel that night, and he went forth from his house, and he drew water secretly for those who were shut up in the prison house, until the dawn came. And he commanded the keeper of the gate of the city not to tell this matter to anyone whatsoever, and he said unto him, “If thou revealest this matter to anyone I will cut off your hand with the sword.” After this [our Lord Christ] appeared unto him again, and He commanded him to go to Egypt and to become a martyr; and straightway saint ‘Abadir rose up, and took his sister ‘Ira’I and they departed to the land of Egypt, and they arrived in the city of Alexandria. And some of the soldiers knew him, and they said unto him, “Thou art our Lord ‘Abadir, the commander-in-chief.” And ‘Abadir smiled and said unto them, “Many people tell me this, and I say unto them, I am not ‘Abadir, but only someone like unto him.” And again in another place some soldiers recognized him, and they said unto him, “Thou art ‘Abadir,” and ‘Abadir said unto them, “I certainly am not ‘Abadir.” Then they went forth from the city of Alexandria and came to the city of Great Mesr (Grand Cairo), and they found Saint ‘Abkarazun there, and ‘Abadir knew ‘Abkarazun and blessed him. Then he came to the city of Eshmunen, and foregathered with Samuel the deacon. And on the following day Samuel went with them to the city of ‘Ensena, and they confessed our Lord Jesus Christ before Arianus, governor of Antinoe, and he tortured them severely. And the holy man ‘Abadir prayed and entreated God to strengthen his faith and the faith of his sister ‘Ira’I during the torturing. And God took the soul of his sister and carried it to the Jerusalem, which is in the heavens, and she saw the habitation of the martyrs and of the righteous; then He brought her soul back into her body. When the governor was tired of torturing them, he commanded his soldiers to cut off their heads with the sword. And before they cut off their heads Arianus the governor said unto Saint ‘Abadir, “I adjure thee by thy God to inform me whom thou art, and what is thy name, and whence comest thou.” And ‘Abadir said unto him, “Swear unto me that thou wilt not change the decree which thou hast decreed in respect of cutting off my head”; and the governor swore unto him even as the holy man had said. And the holy man answered and said unto him, “I am ‘Abadir, the commander-in-chief of the army.” And Arianus the governor cried out, saying, “Woe is me, O my lord, it is meet that I should die before thee. Why didst thou not make me to know that thou wast my lord, instead of hiding thyself from me and permitting me to go so far as to condemn thee to all these severe tortures?” And Saint ‘Abadir answered and said unto him, “Fear not, for thou art about to receive a crown of martyrdom. The emperor will seek for me and will not find me, and he will hear that thou hast killed me, and he will punish thee with very great severity, and thou wilt die for the sake of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, make speed to finish our martyrdoms.” And straightway the governor commanded his soldiers to cut off the heads of ‘Abadir and his sister, and they cut off their heads; and the saints received crowns of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens. And [the believers] spread out fine apparel, and wrapped up their bodies therein, and Samuel the deacon took
them and laid them in his house until the days of the persecution were ended; and he built a fine church for them, and many signs and wonders took place through their bodies.
Three salutations to ‘Abadir and his sister.
And on this day also died Sosena. The father of this holy woman was Chelcias (Helkiah), and she was the wife of Joachim, a Jewish nobleman, and one of those who had been carried away captive into Babylon; and all his kinsmen used to come to him to judge their causes. Now Sosena was exceedingly beautiful and she feared God, and her righteous parents taught their daughter the Law of Moses. And she had a fruit-garden (orchard), which belonged to her husband, and she used to go at noon and walk about therein. And in those days there appeared two Rabbans who were hypocrites, such as God spoke of [when He said] “Sin went forth from Babylon through hypocritical Rabbans who said, Let us protect the people”; and these men frequented the house of Joachim. When they saw Sosena walking in the garden they lusted for her, and their hearts went astray and they turned their eyes perversely to her, and they remembered not the judgment of God. Both loved her and both wished to lie with her, but neither told to the other what was in his heart, for they were afraid to declare their lust. And they waited the whole day long to find her, and one of them acting craftily towards his fellow said, “Let us go to our houses for it is the time of evening.” And they passed out [of the garden] and separated from each other and told each other of their desire, and they agreed together upon a time when each would find her [alone], and then they waited for her. And on a day according to her wont, she came with two of her handmaidens, and she wished to bathe in the garden because she was heated and there was no one in the garden. Now the two old men had hidden themselves and they were awaiting her. And she said unto her handmaidens, “Let them bring to me the oil and the soap wherewith to wash myself, and let them shut the doors.” And when her handmaidens were departed, the two Rabbans rose up, and seized her, and they said unto her, “We wish to lie with thee, and if thou refusest we will be witnesses against thee that we found a man with thee.” And Sosena wept, and said, “I am in affliction in every way: If I do [what ye want] I shall die, and if I do not I cannot be saved. It is better for me to fall into the hand of God than to sin before Him.” And Sosena uttered a cry at the top of her voice, and the Rabbans cried out at her, and one of them ran and opened the doors of the garden. When the cries were heard by the members of her house they all ran out and came by way of a side door, and they saw what had happened. And when the Rabbans had told them this matter, all the servants of her house were ashamed, for such a thing had never been heard in connection with Sosena. On the following day all the people gathered together to Joachim, and these two Rabbans came with their hearts of violence, and they declared before all the people, laying their hands upon her head as they did so, “We were walking alone in the garden, and this woman came with two of her handmaidens, and they shut the doors of the garden; and she sent her handmaidens away, and there came out a young man from the place in which he had hidden, and lay with her. And when we ran after him we could not catch him, for the door was open and he had gone out; we seized Sosena, but when we asked her she would not tell us his name.” And the bystanders believed them because they were Rabbans of the people. And Sosena who was weeping, and whose heart trusted in God, looked up to heaven, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O God of the world, Thou knowest that they have laid false information against me, and I, behold, I must die, although I have not committed [the sin].” And God heard her petition, and whilst they were carrying her away to kill her, the Spirit of God moved a certain young man called Daniel, and he cried out, saying, “I am innocent of this woman’s blood.” And they said unto him, “What is the meaning of these words?” And he said unto them, “Are ye fools that ye condemn a daughter of Israel to death without making any investigation [of the charge against her]?” And when the council had come back unto the synagogue, they had the two Rabbans brought, and set each at a distance from the other. And Daniel said unto one of them, “By what kind of a tree didst thou see her?” And he said “under a sakinon tree,” and the other Rabban said “under a perwon tree.” And Daniel condemned them by their own words, and the people blessed God Who had saved Sosena, the daughter of Chelcias (Helkiah); and they slew those two Rabbans according to the Law of Moses.
And on this day also are commemorated ‘Erani (Irene) the martyr, and ‘Ankuo Maryam, and Stephen his son, and Hannah, and Porphyrina, and Luke the monk.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.