14 hamlé 2013
The Ethiopian Synaxarium
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day Saint ‘Abrokonyos, the soldier of our Lord Jesus Christ, became a martyr. This saint was born in the city of Jerusalem, and the name of his father was Christopher, which is, being interpreted, “Bearer of Christ,” and he was a Christian; and the name of his mother was Theodosia, and she was a worshipper of idols. When his father died his mother took him, and carrying with her much money and gifts, she departed to the city of Antioch; and she gave the money to Diocletian, and presented her son, this saint, to him, and asked him to make him a governor; and Diocletian took the money, and made her son governor of the city of Alexandria. And then he commanded him to torture the Christians, and he wrote an order to do so, and placed it in his hand. And when the saint had gone a little way from the city of Antioch, there came to him a terrifying voice from heaven, calling him by his name, and saying unto him, “If thou doest as Diocletian commanded thee, thou thyself shalt die an evil death, if thou darest to transgress the command which I have given thee.” And ‘Abrokonyos said unto Him, “Who art Thou, O my Lord? I beseech Thee to show me Thyself.” And straightway there appeared unto him a cross of light, and he heard a voice, which said unto him, “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who was crucified in Jerusalem.” And when he heard this voice he was afraid, and trembled exceedingly, and he turned aside to the city of Bisan; and having made a cross of gold, they went to the city of Alexandria. And as they were going along, the pagan Balaw and his men rose up against him, and wanted to kill him, but he resisted them strongly by the might of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and conquered them. And his mother said unto him, “O my son, offer up sacrifice to the gods who helped thee in the fight, and delivered thee.” And the saint answered and said unto her, “I will sacrifice only to my Lord Jesus Christ, Who helped me by the life-giving Cross.” And when his mother heard these words she sent and informed the Emperor Diocletian that her son ‘Abrokonyos had become a Christian. And Diocletian sent to the governor of Caesarea, and ordered him to enquire concerning ‘Abrokonyos and to torture him. And when the governor had this saint brought before him, and ‘Abrokonyos confessed our Lord Jesus Christ before him, he beat him so severely that he well nigh died, and then he cast him into prison. And after this our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him that night with great light, and with Him were shining angels, and He embraced the saint and released him from his bonds, and He touched his body with His divine hand, and the saint was healed of all his wounds straightway. And on the following day the governor asked for news about the saint, whether he was dead or alive; now he thought that the saint was dead. And when he found that he was whole, and uninjured, he had him brought to the house of idols, where he used to go and pray; and when the saint came, and the governor saw that he was whole and uninjured, he marveled exceedingly. And when the people who were there saw him, they marveled exceedingly, and they all cried out, saying, “We are Christians openly, and we believe on the God of ‘Abrokonyos”; and among them were two noblemen and twelve women, and Theodosia, [the mother] of Saint ‘Abrokonyos. And the governor 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 on the sixth day of the month of Hamle. Then the governor shut the saint up in prison until he could determine what to do with him, and the saint remained in prison for three days. Then they brought him out, and the governor
said unto him, “Behold, I have waited three days for thy heart to turn, and thy soul to learn; offer up sacrifices to the gods.” And the saint answered and said unto him, “Nay, O governor, my heart will not turn. Behold, I know, and am well assured, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Great God alone. And these idols which are made out of stone and wood by the hand of man, are graven images which can neither injure [men] nor benefit them.” Thereupon the governor was wroth, and he commanded the soldiers to cut his sides with swords. And the swordsman, whose name was Archelaus, stretched out his hand to cut the sides of the saint with his sword, whereupon his hand dried up, and he fell down and died. And the governor was wroth, and he commanded them to throw him down on the ground, and they threw the saint on the ground, and then they beat him severely, and gashed his body with knives, and poured vinegar on his wounds, and dragged him by his feet to the prison house, and cast him into it. And he remained in the prison house three days [whilst] the governor pondered what he should do with him. And after this they took him out of prison, and threw him into a pit, which was filled with fire; but our Lord Jesus Christ delivered him there from, and the fire did not touch him at all. And when the governor was tired of torturing him, he commanded the soldiers to cut off his head with the sword, [and they did so,] and he received the crown of martyrdom and departed to joy everlasting. Salutation to ‘Abrokonyos.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.
Abuna Aragwi one of the Nine Saints
Gabra Krestos the hermit