15 ter 2013
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day died ‘Abdeyu (Obadiah), the prophet and righteous man. This prophet was the son of Hananya, and he prophesied in the days of Jehoshaphat. And God spoke by the voice of this prophet concerning His Resurrection, and concerning the day of retribution, and what would happen to the children of Israel, and to those who remained among the Gentiles; and he made strong the people of Israel, and rebuked them often. And he was the third captain whom Ahab sent with fifty men to summon Elijah to him. Now, fire having come down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains who preceded him, and the men who were with them, at the word of Elijah the prophet, when ‘Abdeyu (Obadiah) came to him he did not behave with arrogance or show himself proud like the two captains who came before him. But he was humble, and he came to Elijah the prophet, and knelt down upon his knees before him, and he asked him not to destroy him, like the two captains and the men who came before him, and those who were with him. And when he said this Elijah the prophet had compassion upon him, and he came down and went to Ahab with him. And after Elijah came down and went with him [to Ahab], this just man knew within himself that the service of Elijah was greater and more honourable than the service of the kings of the earth, and that the service of Elijah appertained to the service of the King of
heaven; and he forsook the service of King Ahab and followed Elijah the prophet, and ministered unto him. And the grace of God descended upon him, and prophecy, and the power to prophesy; and all the days of his prophesying were twenty years and more, and he prophesied nine hundred years before the coming of our Lord. And he died in peace and was buried in the tomb of his fathers in the field which was known as Bet Kherum.
And on this day also the Christians of the country of Syria celebrate the festival of the death of Saint Gregory. This father Gregory was perfect with his fathers in every virtue, both of mind and body. He learned all science and doctrine, and he was very wise, and he was well acquainted with the language and writings of the Greeks, and he was exceedingly zealous in the True Faith. And all these things being perfect in him, and being of a good disposition, [the bishops and priests] elected him against his will, and made him Bishop of the city of Naksesa, which is Daset. And he protected the flock of God over which he was set, and he illumined their souls and minds with his discourses, and his wise exhortations, and his rebukes; and he translated (or, interpreted) the Old and New Testaments. And when the Emperor Theodosius assembled the Council of One Hundred and Fifty Bishops in the city of Constantinople because of Macedonius, the infidel, who was Archbishop of the city of Constantinople, this father was one of those who gathered together to the Council. And he put to shame the infidels Sabellius, and Macedonius, and Apollinarius; and behold their denial is written in the section for the first day of the month of Yakatit. And this father destroyed the schism of those infidels, and he cut through with the sword of his eloquence the devices of the heretics. And he departed in peace with the General Council, and with those vanquished men and those infidels who had been put to shame. And he arrived at a good old age and he pleased God and died in peace. And behold, we have written the rest of his history in the section for the twenty-first day of the month, which is the day of his death according to the Egyptians.
And on this day also died Peter, and Sophia, and ‘Admira, and Isaac.
And on this day also were martyred Saint Cyriacus and Julitta his mother, and eleven thousand four hundred and thirty-four men in the days of Alexander, the governor. And Julitta was a God-fearing woman from her youth, and hearing that a persecution had broken out, she took to flight through fear of the governor, and she came to the country of Terses, in Celicia, and she dwelt there. And the governor came into that city seeking for Christians, and the guards seized her and took her to the governor, and told him that she was a Christian. And the governor, said unto her, “Offer sacrifice to the gods.” And she said unto him, “I will not offer sacrifice to unclean gods, but only to my Lord Jesus Christ.” And the governor said unto her, “O woman, tell me of what nation thou art, and where thy city is, and what thy name is.” And Saint Julitta said unto him, “As for my nation (or, people) [my father was] Isawiros, the chief of the people of the city of Nikyos, I am a rich and noble woman, and my name is ‘Julitta.’ Behold I am in thy power now, but assuredly I will not sacrifice to unclean [gods].” And the governor said unto her, “Offer sacrifice so that thou mayest not die under severe torture.” And she said unto him, “If thou art pleased to do this, send men into the city, and let them search there for a boy three years old, and let them bring him to thee, and he shall tell us whom we are to serve and worship.” And the governor sent men to search for a boy three years old, and they found the boy Cyriacus, who was three years old, less three months. And they took him to the governor, saying, “We think that this boy will not fail to speak, for his is of Christian origin.” And when the governor saw that the boy was handsome, and of goodly appearance, he said unto him, “O handsome boy, rejoice!” And the boy said unto him, “Joy is with me, but joy is not with thee. God saith, There is no joy for the wicked.” And the governor said unto him, “What is thy name? Tell me that thou mayest not die.” And the boy said unto him, “I am a Christian, and my baptismal name is Cyriacus.” And the governor said unto him, “Sacrifice to the gods, so that I may honor thee, and give thee money.” And the boy said unto him, “Get thee far from me, O messenger of Satan, and enemy of Righteousness.” And when the governor heard this he became exceedingly angry, and he commanded the soldiers to carry him away and to beat him with fifty stripes; [and they did so] until his blood flowed like water. And when Saint Julitta saw the endurance of her son she gave thanks to God. Then the governor commanded them to bring salt and mustard, and to open the nostrils of the boy and thrust these things into them. Then the boy cried out and said, “Thy word is sweeter to my throat than honey and sugar, yea, sweet to my mouth.” And the governor then commanded them to bring fourteen sharp, red-hot rods, and to thrust seven of them into the body of his mother, and seven into the body of Cyriacus, two in his ears, two in his eyes, two in his nostrils and one in his heart; but by the Will of God the fire was extinguished and the rods became like frozen snow. Then the governor commanded them to shut him up in the prison house and to be bound with fetters. And as Cyriacus was praying there, Satan came unto him in the form of an angel to lead him astray; but when the boy made the sign of the Cross over him Satan disappeared like smoke. Then the governor commanded a blacksmith to make terrifying instruments of torture wherewith to torture the boy and his mother. When Satan knew that Cyriacus was eager to receive the crown [of martyrdom], he entered into the heart of the governor and made him dumb. Then the boy said unto the blacksmith, “Couldst thou make for me some instruments of torture which are more hurtful than those wherewith they have been torturing me?” And the blacksmith said unto him, “I can.” And the boy said, “Make me two knives as sharp as razors, each a cubit long, and make me instruments to break the head, and twist the neck, and pierce the ears, and [separate] the members, and scrape the sides; and [make me] a brass crusher, and an instrument for pulling out the sinews and muscles; and make me three pointed stakes, as long as I am high, and write on them, saying, ‘The Holy Trinity, which is neither divided nor separated from those who call upon it.’ And make me an instrument for twisting [the neck], and a saw, and a frying-pan, and a cauldron, and a wheel, and a roller, and a bender of the neck; and an iron hook wherewith to draw out what is in the belly. These are the instruments wherewith I would be tortured.” And when the blacksmith heard these things he marveled, and was silent, and he and his disciples (i.e. workmen), the blacksmiths of the city, finished them in forty days (?). And the governor commanded his servants to shave the head of Cyriacus with a razor, and to pour red-hot coals upon it, and they did so. And they drove four rods through his shoulders and straight down his body, to the soles of his feet. And the angel of God came and removed from him the pains of the tortures. And they also cast him into a [boiling] cauldron and kept him there from dawn to the seventh hour, but they were unable to cause him pain; and then our Lord appeared unto him, and comforted him. And the governor said unto the boy, “If thou wouldst perform a miracle take up my sandal, and make it to live.” And when the boy had prayed, the sandal turned into a great bull, out of the neck of which went forth a kid, and they killed it, and eleven thousand and four men ate of it. And the governor was wroth, and he ordered the soldiers to cut out the boy’s tongue, [and they did so] and brought back to him the tongue. And the governor commanded them to bring a red-hot cauldron and to cast him into it; and when Julitta saw this she was afraid. And her son prayed, and God gave him divine power to such a degree that she and her son went into it and came out there from alive and uninjured. And the governor also commanded the soldiers to cast them into a machine, and to drag them about with ropes so that the flesh might be torn off their bodies, [and they did so], until the angel of God came and delivered them. And when the governor found that he was unable [to vanquish] them, he commanded the soldiers to cut off their heads with the sword. And our Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven, and said unto the boy, “[Tell me] the things which ye wish for.” And Cyriacus said unto Him, “Let not my body be buried on earth. And whosoever shall call upon my name, or celebrate my commemoration, or build a martyrium for me, or write the book of my strife, or read it, or bring an offering into my church, or shall pray therein, grant such their desires and forgive them their sins.” And our Redeemer said unto him, “Everything which thou hast asked of Me I will give thee, and thou shalt be with Me on My right hand, and I will set thy body in the chariot of Elijah.” And when the boy heard this he rejoiced greatly, and he gave thanks to God and was crowned with his mother during the night, and our Redeemer crowned him with incorruptible crowns, and took his soul up with Him, in glory which is indescribable and inexplicable. Salutation to Cyriacus.
Salutation to Gregorius who was present at the Council of One Hundred and Fifty Bishops in Constantinople.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
St. Qirqos & St. Iyyeluta
St. Qirqos (Cyriacus) and his mother St. Iyyeluta (Julietta)
Annual feast of St. Cyriacus and St. Julietta became martyrs.