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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 07
(May 15)

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, 
ONE GOD.  AMEN.

On this day died the holy and Apostolic Father, Abba Athanasius, the twentieth Archbishop of the city of Alexandria.  This father was the son of heretical and pagan parents, and whilst he was living with the boys at school who were being taught he saw the children of the Christians performing the Ordinances of the Church as they were playing together; and those boys made some of their number priests, and some deacons, and one of them they made archbishop.  And this father asked the Christian children to let him join them in the game they were playing, but they stopped him and said unto him, “Thou art a pagan, and we can have no intercourse with thee.”  And he said unto them, “I will become a Christian,” and they rejoiced in him and they said unto him, “Thou shalt become a Christian and archbishop.”  Then they placed under him a seat like a throne, and they began to bow down before him.  At that moment father Abba Alexander the archbishop passed by, and when he saw the children playing together, he said unto those who were with him, “This boy will assuredly be appointed to some exalted and honorable position.”  When the father of this father died, this father and his mother came to Abba Alexander, the archbishop, and he baptized them with Christian baptism.  And this father gave all his goods to the poor and needy, and he dwelt with Abba Alexander, who taught him all the doctrine and Law of the Church, and made him a beloved son to him; and he appointed him deacon, and the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit was given unto him in a two-fold measure.  And when the holy father Abba Alexander died, [the bishops and priests] appointed this father Athanasius Archbishop of the city of Alexandria.  When Constantine the righteous emperor died, and his son Constantine, who was an Arian, reigned in his stead, the followers of Arius increased, and the emperor drove this father Abba Athanasius from his archiepiscopate, and he placed there in his stead a certain man whose name was “Gergyos".  And this father lived in exile six years, far from his throne in the country of the West.  And there was in that place a house of idols, and many men were gathered together therein, and he went into that house of idols, where many works of devils were performed.  And this saint entreated our Lord Jesus Christ until he overthrew that house of idols, and converted all the men of that country, and brought them into the knowledge of God; and after this God brought him back to the city of Alexandria, and drove out Gergyos, the infidel Arian.  And this father sat upon his archiepiscopal throne for six years.  And the Arians went to the emperor, and made false accusations against this father, and the emperor sent a judge, who seized him and shut him up in prison, with the Archbishop of Antioch; and God sent His angel and delivered him from the prison house.  After the emperor died God set in his place his son, who was Orthodox, and he restored this father to his archiepiscopal throne, and this father sat for twelve years in quietness and in peace, until Saint Kewestos died.  And after him Julian the infidel reigned, and he searched for Abba Athanasius, who fled from him into Upper Egypt, and lived near Akhmim.  When God destroyed Julian, the infidel, the people searched for Abba Athanasius, and when they found him not they went to the great father Abba Anthony, and he told them that Athanasius was living in the city of Akhmim; and they went to him, and brought him to this throne with great joy.  And he lived in his archiepiscopal house in safety and in peace until he died; and the days of his office was seven and forty years.  And because there had come upon this father labor and tribulation, and sorrow, and exile, he was called “Apostolic.”  At the time of his death he said, “If I have found grace and favor with God I will bow down before Him and ask Him to overthrow the temple of Sarabil (Serapis)”; and after the death of this father Abba Athanasius, the emperor sent and pulled down the temple of Sarabil (Serapis).  Salutation to Athanasius.

Salutation to John, whose children, like those of Abraham, were more than the stars of heaven, and the sands of the sea.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.