23 tahsas 2013
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day died the saint and fighter Abba Timothy, the desert monk. This holy man had God-loving parents who brought him up piously, and taught him the doctrine of the Church; and he wished to adopt the garb of the monastic life, and he went forth from his father and dwelt in a monastery and became a monk therein. And he determined in his mind to live by himself in a place near the monastery, so that he might receive pilgrims and poor people, and feed them. And he went forth from the monastery and built himself a house near it, and he dwelt therein for a period of five years; and he fought the spiritual fight and worked with his hands and lived by the labor thereof. And the Enemy of good laid a plot against him, and he brought to him a certain widow to buy from him the work of his hands. And because of this business her coming to him was frequent, and sinful love sprang up between them, and they sat together at the time of eating their meals. Then the monk burned with the fever of fornication, and they fell into sin, and they continued to do the work of sin for seven months. But God neither abandoned them, nor cast them away, neither the woman nor Saint Timothy, but He made them to remember the time of death, and that they would have to stand before the King of kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, on that fearful and terrible day. And straightway Abba Timothy began to reproach himself and to revile himself, and he rose up from that place and came into the desert, and God the Most High guided him to a little oasis in the desert, wherein there were a tree and a spring of sweet running water. And he went into it and found a date palm there, and he dwelt in that place for many days. And then Satan became jealous of him because he had saved himself, and he brought upon him a serious disease in his belly, and by reason of the intensity of his pain he had fallen face downwards on the earth. And as he lay bowed there he prayed, and he said unto his soul, “This pain is the fruit of the sin which thou hast committed, O soul. Thou must endure the tribulation of this pain in order to become healed of thy sickness”; and he continued to suffer the pain for four years. And after this God looked upon him, and he sent to him an angel who rubbed the belly of Timothy with his hand, and he was healed of the pain which was in his belly. And then the angel made a slit in his side with his fingers [and took out his liver] and cleaned it and restored it to its place in his bowels, and he fastened it to his body and Timothy recovered and became as he was before his sickness. And the angel said unto him, “Behold thou art sound; take good heed not to offend a second time lest worse befall thee.” He lived in the desert fighting the fight and
was a strict ascetic for forty years, and before this he lived in a monastery seventeen years, and he also lived in a cave for ten years. And during all the years wherein he dwelt in the desert he went naked and had no clothing, but God, the Most High, made his hair long, and it covered him before and behind. And by his strict asceticism, and strenuous fighting, and worship of God, grace came upon him in such an abundant measure that the wild beasts used to visit him, and lick the dust of his feet; and he pleased God and he died in peace wearing the crown of his fight. Salutation to Timothy.
And on this day also died David the Just, King and Prophet, and son of Jesse. This [saint] became king over Israel after Saul, the King, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin. And before he was king he followed a good course of life, and he fought the fight, and he performed righteousness and judgment more than any other king of Israel. And he was of the tribe of Judah from Bethlehem, and God chose him to be king over Israel. And God sent Samuel the prophet to anoint one of the sons of Jesse with the oil of sovereignty, so that he might be king over Israel. And Samuel the prophet chose the eldest son of Jesse, because he was goodly in appearance, and robust in body, but God did not choose him, and said unto him, “O Samuel, look not upon him that is of goodly appearance, and consider not the height of his stature, for I am not like men who look at the external goodly appearance; I try the heart and the reins, and I know the things that are secret.” And after this Samuel chose David to reign over Israel, and God was with him in all his work. And by reason of his excessive innocence of heart and gentleness he found Saul his enemy on several occasions, and he did no evil whatsoever to him; and he allowed him to escape when Saul himself was wishing to kill David. One day Saul went forth seeking for David to kill him, and when the evening came Saul lay down and slept, and all his soldiers slept round about him. And David the prophet came to Saul whilst he was asleep, and he cut off the fringed hem of his garment to make Saul to know in secret that he (David) could have killed him, and boasted himself over him, but he did no harm to him whatsoever. And then David repented and was sorry that he had cut off the hem of Saul’s tunic. And David found him a second time asleep, and he carried off his spear and the water-pot by his head, but did him no harm. And when his men said unto him, “Kill thine enemy Saul,” David answered and said unto them, “Far be it from me to put out my hand against the anointed one of God.” And when a man told him the story of the killing of Saul his enemy, he said unto him, “Who killed him?” And the man said unto him, “I killed him.” And David’s heart was exceedingly sad, and he rent his garments and said unto that men, “Is it true that thou didst kill him?” And the man said unto him, “Yea.” And David killed that man who said, “I killed Saul.” Now God gathered together in this prophet many virtues, and of them all the greatest was humility. And though he was king and prophet, and righteous, and perfect, he called himself a “dead dog,” a “miserable wolf,” a “worm,” and a “beast,” and with all this humility he was more glorious and exalted than all [other] kings. And God praised him in many passages of Scripture, saying, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will perform all I wish”; and God protected the children of Israel and Jerusalem with good protection for David’s sake, both during his lifetime and after his death. And God honored David by the mouth of His prophet, and He set over the people kings from his seed, and He called David His son. And it is said in the Book of the Psalms that he was well known to be a shield against Satans, and was full of every kind of good work, and of every kind of glorious doctrine. And his complexion was pure red, like the pomegranate; he was of a medium stature; and he was exceedingly strong and powerful, for he was in the prime of youth, and God was his helper. And [once] when he was keeping his father’s sheep there came to him a wolf, and a lion also came at the same time to carry off some of his father’s sheep, and he killed the wolf, and snatched sway the beard of the lion (I Sam. xvii, 34, 35). And when Saul was fighting against the Philistines, an alien people, there went forth Golyad (Goliath), the giant, who was six cubits and a span in height, and his whole body was covered with amour, and in his hand was a spear, the shaft of which was as thick as a weaver’s beam, and the spear-head was of iron and the weight thereof was six hundred shekels. And the helmet upon his head and all the covering of him was of brass, and the weight of the iron covering which was on him was five thousand shekels. And his legs had coverings of brass on them, and he had as it were serpents between his shoulders and a covering of brass upon his breast; and an amour bearer went before him. And he stood up and cried out to the children of Israel and said unto them, “Why have ye come out to fight against us, and to do battle with us? Am I not the Philistine, and are ye not Hebrews of Saul? Choose out from you a man who shall come down to me. If he is able to fight against me and to slay me we will be [your] servants; and if I am able to slay him, ye shall be our servants, and shall minister unto us.” And he spoke thus, and he continued to revile the people of Israel, and to boast himself over them for a space of forty days; and no one from among the armies of Israel dared to go forth to him. And when Saul heard his voice he was dismayed and was afraid of that Philistine. And in those days David came to visit his brethren, and when he saw that Philistine, and heard his voice, he became full of divine zeal forthwith, and he said unto Saul, “I will go and will slay this uncircumcised Philistine.” And Saul said unto David, “Go, and God be with thee.” And David took in his hand a sling, and he chose three stones from the brook and put them into his scrip, so that he might have them in addition to those in the sling, which was in his hand; and he went out against that Philistine. And when Golyad (Goliath), the Philistine, saw David, he scorned him, for he was a youth, and ruddy like the pomegranate flower, and his eyes were beautiful. And this Philistine said unto David, “Am I a dog that thou shouldst come out against me with a stick and with stones?” And David said unto him, “Yea, thou art worse than a dog”; and this Philistine cursed David by his gods. And he said unto him, “Come to me and I will give thy flesh to the dogs, and to the birds of heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.” And David said unto him, “Thou comest out against me with sword and a spear, and I come against thee in the Name of the God of the armies which thou revilest this day, the armies of Israel, and I will take thee and kill thee, and I will cut off thy head with the sword, and I will give thy carcass, and the carcasses of thy followers, to the birds of the heavens and to the wild beasts of the earth, and all the earth shall know that God is with Israel, and all the army of Israel shall know that it is not by a sword and a spear that He delivereth, but that it is God Himself Who hath slain [thee].” And David put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone from there, and he slung it, and it smote the Philistine in his forehead, [and entered] his brain, and he fell down upon his face on the earth. And David ran and took his sword, and slew him, and cut off his head, and removed the reproach from the children of Israel. And all the days of the life of David were seventy years; he was thirty years old before he was anointed with the oil of sovereignty, and before he reigned over Israel, and he dwelt in his sovereignty forty years. He prophesied eleven hundred and twenty years before the Incarnation of our Lord Christ, and he died in peace and entered into the kingdom of heaven, and he was buried in the sepulcher of his fathers. Salutation to David, the servant of God.
And on this day also died Abba Samuel, and Abba Gabriel, and Abba Simon. This Abba Samuel became a monk and anchorite, and dwelt by the side of a city, the name of which was Kartamen. And there was there the funerary chest of a certain martyr whose name was ‘Akrapos, and he used to invoke his blessing at the beginning and end of his prayer. And there was a certain governor whose name was Saliba, and he had a son called Simon who was sick with a fatal sickness, and he sent and fetched Abba Samuel to pray over his son; and he prayed and raised him up after he was dead. And that young man followed Abba Samuel, and became his disciple and a monk at the same time. One day that disciple went out taking with him a pot to draw water, and Satan broke it; and when he told Abba Samuel he gave him a wine-skin to fill with water, and the disciple used the skin for fetching water for ten years, and the water did not spill over from it. And they departed thence and went to another place where they built a little prayer house, and they dwelt [there]. And one [night] the angel of the Lord showed them in a dream where they were to build a church, and King ‘Anestos came and built them a large church, and five hundred cells for monks. And having become profitable, Abba Samuel labored exceedingly, and through excessive fighting in the spiritual fight, he departed to God Whom he loved, leaving his children in the hand of his son Simon; and the monks multiplied and became twelve thousand in number. In the days of this father there rose up a certain heretic who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, and Abba Simon prayed over a dead man, and raised him up before him; and when the heretic would not turn his mind away from doubt, the saint prayed to God, and brought down fire from heaven and consumed him. And after this Abba Simon waxed old and died; and he died in peace and honor, and was buried in the sepulcher of his master, and Abba Gabriel was appointed abbot after him. He was humble and meek, and wore sackcloth and iron under his clothing, but he wore no sandals on his feet. In the winter time he never entered a house, and in the summer time he fasted from Saturday to Saturday, and he ate nothing except salt and bread; and he used to work signs and miracles. One day his disciples wished to bring a large stone into the monastery so that they might make yeast for the bread thereon, and they had no men to carry it, and when Abba Gabriel heard of it he cursed because there was no one left in the monastery to come and fetch the stone, and when the dead heard his voice they rose up to the number of ten thousand and thirty souls. And when Abba Gabriel saw them he said unto them, “It is not you whom I cursed, but the living,” and straightway they returned to their sepulchers. One day a certain man deposited some gold with a monk, and departed on a long journey, and when he came back he found that the monk was dead, and that he had not told his disciple about the gold; and he questioned the disciple about the gold, but he knew not where his master had put it. And Abba Gabriel went to the grave of the dead monk and asked him about the money, and he told him where he had put it, and the owner of the money having taken the money went away marveling. And he had a friend whose name was Salib, and he died without meeting him again. When Abba Gabriel heard of this, he went to his grave, and wept, and prayed and said, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ rise up, and let us talk together,” and Salib rose up alive and lived for fourteen years [after]. And in the days of this father a great persecution came upon the churches and the Christians through the Roman emperors, and a countless number of people were slain; but after a few days Islam reigned, and the Christians were delivered from the persecution. And having fought the spiritual fight strenuously for twenty years Gabriel died in peace. Salutation to Samuel, and Simon, and Gabriel.
And on this day also are commemorated Macarius, and Antedrius (Andreas), and Philip, and Eiteltas (or ‘Ay-Taltas), and Cornelius, and Mercurius.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
George of Lydda