20 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 Saint ‘Abrokoros (Prochorus) the Apostle, whom the Lord chose to be of the number of the Seventy-two Apostles, whom our Lord chose and sent forth to preach, and to whom He gave power to heal the sick and to cast out devils. This saint was with the Apostles in the upper room of Zion, and was filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit Paraclete. And he it was whom the Apostles chose to be among the number of the Seven Deacons concerning whom the Book of the Acts of the Apostles testifieth that they were filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. And he was the disciple of Saint John the evangelist, the apostle who proclaimed the Godhead, and he went with him to many cities, and Saint John laid his hand upon him and appointed him Bishop of the city of Nicomedia, of the country of Betania (Bithynia). And he preached the Faith of our Lord Christ therein, and he converted many of the Greeks and those who worshipped idols, and he brought them into the True Faith, and baptized them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and taught them to keep the commandments of the Holy Gospel. And he built a fine church for them in that city, and appointed priests and deacons for them, and then he went out to the cities which were round about that city, and preached in them the preaching of the Holy Gospel and baptized many of the people. And he taught even many Jews, and turned them from their error, and baptized them with Christian baptism; and great tribulation came [upon him] and persecution for the Name of Christ. And having finished his fight he died at a good old age, and he pleased God and inherited the kingdom of heaven and everlasting joy.
And on this day ‘Aklog (Eclogius) the priest became a martyr. This saint was a man of the city called “El-Neft,” in the country of Egypt, and his father’s name was Dioscorus, and his mother’s name was Euphemia; they belonged to a noble family and were very rich in gold, and silver, and cattle, and sheep, and horses, and camels, and lands. And they had no son, and were therefore very sad, and they prayed to God continually to give them a son; and God heard their prayer and gave them this holy son, and they called him “’Aklog” (Eclogius), which is, being interpreted, “pleasant to God.” When he was eight years old his parents gave him to a teacher so that he might instruct him in the Law of God, and each day he went to the church, and heard the praises and prayers before he went to his teacher. One day he left is teacher to ride his horse, and two servants followed him. As he was riding along he saw many men and women gathered together, and uttering cries, and he went up to them to see [what the matter was], and he found that a child whom a serpent had bitten had fallen down in their midst, and was night unto death. And Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) cried out, and he remembered the words of the Holy Gospel which said that those who believed on our Lord should make miracles manifest, that they should cast out devils in His Name, that they should take up vipers in their hands and that they should not harm them in any way, and that they should lay their hands on the sick and heal them. And straightway he took hold of the child’s hands, and made over him the sign of the Cross in the Name of the Father and the Son [and the Holy Spirit], and said, “O child, I tell thee to be healed of the bite of this wicked, lying reptile. For our Lord saith with His pure and righteous mouth, ‘Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and every power of the Enemy, and they shall in no wise injure you.’” And straightway the child recovered and became like one on whom no evil whatsoever had come. When the people saw this miracle they marveled exceedingly, and they praised God, the Worker of miracles, by His saints; and the report of this miracle was heard in every city. And when Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) had arrived at his twelfth year and was still under his teacher’s care, he knew by heart the Four Gospels, and the Fourteen Epistles of Paul, and the Seven Apostolic Epistles, and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and the One Hundred and Fifty Psalms of David. And he read each of these every night of the First Day of the week, and he devoted himself strenuously to fasting and prayer. When the men of his city saw his spiritual fight, after his parents’ death, they asked the bishop to appoint him their priest so that he might pray for them. He fasted two, or three, or seven days at a time, all the days of his life; and he prayed day and night; and he wore hairy sackcloth under his apparel next to his flesh. And the grace of God called the blessed ‘Aklog (Eclogius) to be a priest. And the bishop seized him against his will, and made him a priest. And when he was being appointed the people heard a voice crying out and saying, “Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) is worthy, is worthy, is worthy of the office of the priesthood”; and the people glorified God. And after those days a great persecution of the Christians broke out in all the land of Egypt under Diocletian the infidel, who destroyed the churches; and many people became martyrs. And God summoned Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) to become a martyr, and he stood up and looked up into heaven, and cried out, saying, “My Lord, and my God, and my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Sustainer of the Universe, let Thy mercy and peace be over the people who are in my city everywhere, and bless them and deliver them from Satans, and send an angel unto me to strengthen me until I have finished my fight for Thy Name’s sake; for Thine is the glory and the power for ever and ever, Amen.” When Saint ‘Aklog (Eclogius) had said this he turned to the people who were round about him, and said unto them, “Whosoever loveth [me] let him come and go with me”; and there followed him his own family, and slaves, and people of the city, three hundred and forty men; and they stood upon a high place and they cried out loudly and boldly, saying, “We are Christians.” When the captain of the emperor’s soldiers heard this he was sorry, and he bound Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) in fetters and sent him to Arianus the governor. And Arianus said unto him, “Worship the gods of the emperor so that thou mayest received great honor”; and ‘Aklog (Eclogius) said unto him, “I will never worship unclean idols, and I will only worship my Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom belongeth glory, and power, and majesty.” When Arianus heard this he condemned Saint Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) to severe torture in a red-hot oven, but God sent His angel and made the fire [as cool] as dew; and the saint stood up in the red-hot oven and prayed. Then Arianus the governor said unto the hundred and forty men, “Come ye and worship the gods.” And they answered and said unto him, “We will not worship the gods, but only Jesus Christ.” And Arianus commanded the soldiers to cut off their heads with the sword, and they did so, and the saints received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens. And in those days the son of Arianus the governor died, and he mourned for him greatly. And Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) said unto him, “If I do good for thee, and pray to the Lord my God on thy behalf that He may raise up thy son alive, what honor wilt thou bestow upon me?” And Arianus said unto him, “I will make thee captain over one hundred soldiers, and I will send thee to thy city with great honor.” And Saint Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) said unto him, “I do not wish for this thing, but I want thee, when thou hast tortured me, to send my body to my city; if thou wilt do this for me I will raise up thy son for thee.” And the governor swore to him that he would do all that he wished. And Saint ‘Aklog (Eclogius) prayed unto God, saying, “I beseech Thee, O my Lord Jesus Christ, to hear my petition this day, and to raise up this boy from the dead, that he may glorify Thy Name for ever and ever, Amen.” And having said this, he made the sign of the Cross over him in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and straightway the child rose up alive. And when the people saw this they all cried out together, saying, “We are all Christians, and we believe in the God of Saint Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius).” When the governor heard this he was exceedingly wroth, and he commanded the soldiers to take them outside the city, and to dig a large pit, and to light a large fire therein, and when the flames reached to a great height, to cast them into it; and the soldiers did so, and the men finished their martyrdom in the peace of God. Now they were in number eight hundred and nine souls. And Arianus the governor commanded the soldiers to torture Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) severely, and to send to his own country his head [after it was cut off with] the sword. When the saint heard this he rejoiced greatly, and he stood up and prayed, saying, “How [long], O my Lord Jesus Christ, wilt Thou hearken unto the petition of me, Thy servant? Let Thy mercy come upon my city, and upon all the men who dwell therein. Bless the work of their hands, and bless their women, and their children, and their cattle, and their fields, and deliver them from all trials and tribulations, by Thy Divine Power, O my Lord Jesus Christ. Give Thou grace to my body, and grant that every sick person who shall come to my church, and shall intercede before my body in Thy Name shall be healed of his sickness. And he who writeth the book of my strife and celebrateth my commemoration, do Thou write his name in the Book of Life. When a man giveth an offering on the day of my commemoration, or incense, or unguent, or oil, or wine, give Thou him his reward in the kingdom of the heavens. Whosoever shall swathe my body for burial in clean cloth, do Thou array him in the apparel of light, for Thine is the glory and the power for ever and ever, Amen.” And when he had said this, behold our Lord appeared unto him and said unto him, “Peace be unto thee, O my elect and beloved, and beloved of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius), I have come unto thee, and I will give thee the reward of thy labor, and I will make thee to rest in My kingdom. Three crowns have been prepared for thee: one for thy virginity, one for thy torture, and one because thou hast rejected the world for My Name’s sake. Come unto Me, O My beloved Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius), so that I may give thee the reward of thy labor, and that I may take thee up into My kingdom, and that I may do for thee everything which thou hast asked of Me this day, in return for what they have made thee to suffer for My Name’s sake. I will give thee an abode in the kingdom of the heavens. I will make the angel hosts to serve thee, and thou shalt rejoice with all the saints at My table in the life, which is forever. Verily I say unto thee, O My chosen one Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius), whosoever shall make intercession by thy body, and shall seek for thine intercession because of the labor which thou hast performed for My sake, if he be in tribulation, or in sickness, or in any trial and sorrow, I will deliver him. And whosoever shall call his son by thy name, that child will I bless, and rear happily, and preserve from evil. Whosoever shall give an offering to the church on the day of thy commemoration in thy name, to him will I bring the Bread of Life in the kingdom of the heavens. Whosoever shall give a cup of cold water to a thirsty man, him will I make to drink from the cup of the Water of Life. Whosoever shall plant a vineyard or sow fields with grain, and pray to Me for them in thy name, I will make him grow old, and multiply him, and bless him.” And when our Lord Christ had finished His converse with the blessed Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius), He made the sign of the Cross over his body, and delivered it from all his toil, and He embraced him, and blessed him, and went up into heaven in great glory, whilst the saint was looking at Him. After this the saint turned to the soldiers, and said unto them, “O my brethren, finish that which the governor hath commanded you to do.” And the soldiers, seeing that his face was shining like the sun, feared greatly his majesty and his light, and they were unable to approach him. But one of them, a man dense of heart and unmerciful, stretched out his hand to the saint, and smote him on the neck with the sword and cut off his holy head; and the saint finished his martyrdom on the twentieth day of the month of Ter. And the angels took his soul and carried it up into heaven singing as they went. And the soldiers left the body of the saint on the riverbank, and they embarked in their ship and departed. And certain young men were there, and they went into the city and told the people why, and how, the martyrdom of Saint Abba ‘Aklog (Eclogius) took place. And the people and the priests gathered together, and went and carried his body, with great honor and with singing of psalms and dirges, until they brought it to the city and laid it in a good resting place. And great signs, and miracles, and healings of the sick took place through it.
And on this day also are commemorated Saint Behnu, the martyr; and the consecration of the church of John, the possessor of the Golden Gospel, in the city of Rome, and the translation of his body thereto. Salutation to John.
And on this day the strife and martyrdom of Abba Noha (Noah) took place, and the manifestation of his miracles. And on this day also are celebrated the consecration of the church of Mar Mehnam, and also ‘Alvanus (Silvanus), and Abba Nabyud (or Nabdeyu) of Sihat (Scete), and Anna Benwah, the martyr.
Salutation to ‘Abrokoros (Prochorus).
Salutation to Abba Kaluz, the martyr, of the city of Fant. Salutation to Abba Nabyud.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
The Building up of the church in the name of our Holy virgin Mariam (ሕንፀተ ቤተ ክርስቲያን)