26 gueunbot 2013
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day Saint Thomas the apostle and martyr, who was called “Didymus,” that is to say “Twin,” became a martyr, after he had preached in the country of India and Kantara. And this saint having arrived in the country of India, made himself a slave of a certain governor, whose name was Lucius; now that governor was a friend of the king. And he asked Thomas, saying, “Tell me what handicraft thou knowest.” And Thomas said unto him, “I am an architect, and I can build temples and palaces. I am also a carpenter and I can make implements for use in the fields, and seats, and other things [in wood]. I am also a physician, and I can heal the sick who are smitten with sores.” And when his master heard the words of Thomas, he was pleased exceedingly, and said, “I have gotten a slave who will be of use to the king.” And at that time that governor set out to go to the king, and he left Saint Thomas to build in the house. And Saint Thomas began to teach the mistress of the governor the way of God, and he commanded her to walk in purity, and he made her to understand the mystery of the Son of God; and she believed on his words, and many of the men of the house also believed. And when Thomas’s master returned from the king, and saw Saint Thomas the apostle, he said unto him, “O wicked slave, where is the fine work which thou didst tell me thou wouldst make for me?” And Thomas answered and said unto his master, “My lord, I have not lied unto thee. As for the temples and palaces which I have built [for thee] they are the souls who have become temples for the King of glory, and the ploughing implements which I have fashioned for thee are the Holy Gospels which shall plough up the thorny growth and weeds of sin. And the medicines, and the means of healing, are the Holy Mysteries, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which heal those who have been poisoned with the deadly poison of sin.” And when the governor heard this he commanded the soldiers to lay him down on the ground, and to tie his hands and feet together with ropes, and to drag him along on the lower part of his back, and to tie him by these ropes to a stake, and to cut off his skin with knives, and to fill the inside of his body with salt, and vinegar, and the dust of burnt bricks; and they did as the governor
commanded, and the saint endured all these things with the endurance which was from God. And when his mistress saw them flaying him from the window of her house, she fell down straightway, and delivered up her soul [to God]. And when Lucius knew that his wife was dead, he was exceedingly sad. And as for Saint Thomas, the apostle, God cooled his wounds and healed his body. And Lucius said unto him, “Behold, my wife hath died through thee, and if thou wilt raise her up from the dead, I will believe in thy God.” And Saint Thomas, the apostle, came to her, and he laid his skin upon her, saying, “O Arsonia, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, rise up!” And she opened her eyes straightway, and she rose, and stood up, and did homage to Saint Thomas, the apostle; and when Lucianus (sic) saw this, he believed on our Lord Jesus Christ. And all the men of his house and all the men of the city believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and Thomas baptized them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and he appointed bishops and priests over them, and built churches for them. And [he remained] with them for four months, and confirmed them in the True Faith, and on everyone who was sick, no matter what the sickness was, he laid his skin, and he became healed straightway. Then the saint went forth from them and came to the city of Kontaria. And as he was going in he found al old man weeping bitterly, and the saint said unto him, “Why dost thou weep in this manner?” And the old man answered and said unto him, “I had three sons whom the king slew for the sake of their money. And I am in debt to certain men but have not the wherewithal to pay them. If only one of these sons had been left to me, he would have helped me to live.” And the saint gave him his skin, and said unto him, “Lay this upon thy sons”; and when the man did as the saint commanded him, the three sons rose up from the dead straightway. And this miracle was noised abroad immediately in all the cities. And the priests of the idols were filled with wrath, and they stoned Saint Thomas, the apostle, with stones, and their hands withered. And they all believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Saint baptized them with Christian baptism, and he taught them the Law of the Church. And after this Thomas went to the city of Kenas, and to the city of Makedonya, and he preached to the men therein in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when the kings and governors heard about them, they seized him, and shut him up in prison. Now the king had a wife, and she and many of the people who were with her came unto the saint secretly, in prison; and he taught them the way of God, and many believed on his words. And the king was exceedingly angry because of his wife, but he could not kill the saint among his people, and therefore he had him taken outside the city; and he commanded four (?) of his soldiers to spear him with their spears, and they speared him until he delivered up his soul. And the king’s son stood by looking on at them. And when the men of the city knew [this], they came to deliver Thomas from the hands of the soldiers, and they found that he had delivered up his soul; then they swathed him for burial and laid him in one of the royal tombs. Then a Satan leaped upon the king’s son, and he fell into an epileptic fit. And [the servants of the king] came to the body of Saint Thomas, the apostle, to take away a little piece of his grave clothes, to hang over the body of the king’s son. And when they opened the door of the tomb, they could not find the body of the saint therein, for God had translated it; and they took some of the dust from his tomb in faith, and they hung it up over the king’s son, and he recovered immediately. And Saint Thomas the apostle appeared unto many of the men of that city, and made them to know that he was alive, and that our Lord Jesus Christ had received him, and he commanded them to be strong in the True Faith, in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The First Miracle of Saint Thomas. There was a certain God-fearing priest of the country of Egypt who went to the country of India to trade. And on the twenty-sixth day of the month of Genbot, which is the night of the festival of Saint Thomas, the apostle, he saw many people assembling on the bank of the river, wherein was an island on which Saint Thomas was, and at that moment a mighty wind storm came, and swept the water away. And all the people set out and went into the church of Saint Thomas, which was on the island, and they found the verger of the church had died at that very moment; and they swathed him for burial, and buried him, and they prayed all that night. And on the following day, which was the twenty-seventh day of the month of Genbot, and the festival of Saint Thomas, they partook of the Offering. And when the consecration was over, and the prayer of breaking the bread was said, they placed the Holy Body of our Lord in the hand of Saint Thomas, the apostle, the hand being alive and undecayed, and the people came one by one to received the Holy Mysteries from his hand. And as they were receiving the Offering, there came a certain man from among the laity to receive, and the palm of the saint’s hand was closed tightly over the Holy Body. And they all cried out “Kyrie-eleison” many times, and they prayed for a long time, and [then] the palm of the saint’s hand opened, and administered the Holy Mysteries to that man, and all the people likewise received the Holy Mysteries; and they went out from the church, and returned to their houses in the peace of God. And at that very moment the storm of wind returned and brought back the water to is former place and height; and this has happened each year and it happeneth at the present day. Salutation to Thomas, who was prepared to thrust his hand into the wound made by the spear in the Lamb.
[The scribe has omitted nos. 2-6 of the Miracles of St. Thomas. They will be found in the Gedle Hawaryat, ed. Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 1899-1901, Vol 2, pp. 419-455.] And on this day also are commemorated Alphaeus, the martyr, and Zacharias, the anchorite, and Saint ‘Arsonwa, the wife of Lucius (or, Lucianus), the governor. Salutation to ‘Arsonwa.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Abba Salama - Frumentius, the En lightener of Ethiopia
St. Thomas the Apostle, his martyrdom
Abune Habte Mariam
አቡነ ሀብተ ማርያም
Aba Eyesus Moa
አባ ኢየሱስ ሞአ