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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 10
(May 18)

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

On this day are commemorated the righteous and honorable saints, the Three Children, Ananiah, Azariah, and Misael.  These saints were the sons of Jehoiakim, the King of Judah, and Daniel was the son of their sister, and Jehoiakim and his sons were carried off captives to Babylon.  And the king chose from among his captives young men of the sons of the children of Israel, of goodly appearance, to feed and educate, so that he might make them officers in his army, and among those whom he chose were these just men, and Daniel, the son of their sister.  Now these righteous men did not want to eat alien food, but the food which the children of Israel ate; and they asked the chief officer to give them permission not to eat food made of flesh, but to give them pottage and herbs.  And the chief officer said unto them, “[If I do] I am afraid that I shall change the goodly appearance of your persons, and be destroyed by the king”; and they answered and said unto him, “Give us a trial, and if our persons remain goodly in appearance, well, and if they do not, then do what thou wishest.”  And then they lived upon pottage, and their faces shone, and were exceedingly godly in appearance, by the grace of God.  And the king loved them very much, and appointed them governors over all the land of Babylon.  And when the king made an image of gold, he commanded all men to worship it, and when the Three Holy Children would not bow down to it, those who were envious of them laid information against them before the king.  And Nebuchadnezzar had them brought before him and he questioned them about it, and they confessed before him, saying, “We will not bow down to the image of gold which thou hast made.”  And the king was wroth, and he commanded his soldiers to cast them into a furnace (or, oven) which was heated, [and they did so]; and God sent His angel who extinguished the fire and made the flame of fire to be like cool dew at the dawn of day, after the flame had risen to a height of nine and forty cubits, and had consumed those who were outside the furnace.  And the fire did not injure the Three Holy Children in the least degree.  When the king saw this he believed on the God of heaven, and he added to their honor and to the height of their position, and he promoted them in their offices.  And when the tenth day of Genbot came, and they were praying in their cell, having bowed down they delivered their souls into the hand of God.  And at that moment there was a great earthquake in the city of Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar was afraid, and asked Daniel the prophet about it, saying, “Why hath this great earthquake taken place?”  And Daniel made known to the king, saying, “It is because these Three Holy Children have died.”  And one came to the king . . . and the king sorrowed for them with a great sorrow, and he commanded [his men] to make three coffins of the bones of the rhinoceros, and they swathed the Three Children in silks and in cloths worked with gold, and they laid the saints [in the coffins] and did as the king commanded.  And he also commanded [his men] to make for him a coffin of gold, so that when he died they might place his body therein, and lay it with the bodies of the saints; and even so it was [done].  And in the days of the father Abba Theophilus, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, they built a church in their name, and he wished to make men bring their bodies to that church, [from Babylon]; and he sent Abba John, the Short, to make them bring their bodies.  And when John came into the city of Babylon he saw the rivers thereof, but there was no one at all in it; and the image of gold rested there.  And the angel of the Lord brought him to the bodies of the saints, and the body of the king was lying with them; and he bowed down before the bodies of the saints.  And he prayed and wept, saying, “O my holy fathers, our father Abba Theophilus the archbishop hath built a church in your names, and he wisheth to bring your bodies into it; and he hath sent me [to effect this].”  And a voice went forth from their bodies, saying, “God give thee a reward for thy labor.  Say thou to the father of the Faith, Abba Theophilus, that God hath commanded us not to let our bodies be separated from the body of this king until the Day of Judgment.  But we do not wish that his labor should be wasted.  Tell him to command lamps to be suspended in the church on the night of the festival of its dedication, and let the servants put no oil therein; and they shall not light [the wicks], and we will come into the church and make manifest our power therein.”  And when Abba John, the Short, returned to the archbishop, he told him everything, and what they said to him, and what they commanded him to do; and the archbishop did as the Three Holy Children commanded.  And on the night of the tenth day of the month of Genbot, the saints appeared in the church, and lighted the lamps with fire.  And the archbishop and those who were worthy saw the Three Holy Children going round about the church, and a very large number of sick folk were straightway healed of their sicknesses, whatsoever the sickness of each of them might be, by the Three Holy Children.  Salutation to the Three Children who on the night of the dedication of their church in Alexandria lighted the lamps, which had been hung up therein without any oil in them.

And on this day also are commemorated Thecla the martyr, and Paula.

And on this day also died Abraham, the artisan.  This saint was a man from the city of Markyas (Marcia), and from the monastery, which was called the monastery of the martyr Theodore.  And the mother of the child gave him to the teacher so that he might learn the Faith of our Lord Christ; and God opened the eyes of his heart, and he learned all the Law of the Church, and began to fast and to pray.  When he was nine years old, he learned the craft of the stone cutter, and he made stone bases, and water troughs (?), whereby he made much money; and he gave alms to the poor and needy.  One night when he was praying, he remembered the end of the world, and of all that is therein, and he wished to become a martyr for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And straightway the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and gave him the salutation of “Peace,” and he said unto him, “Be strong and fear not, for thou shalt overcome thine enemy and shalt receive the crown of martyrdom.”  Then he went to the church of Saint Theodore, and received Christian baptism, and he stood up before the picture of the saint, and he prayed for a long time, and committed himself to his care; then he departed to the governor and confessed that he was a Christian.  And straightway the governor tied his hands behind his back with heavy pieces of wood attached, and then threw him out in the sun [to suffer] hunger and thirst.  And at midnight our Lord appeared unto him, and gave him the promise concerning the man who should call upon his name, or celebrate his commemoration.  Then the governor commanded his soldiers to cut off his head, and when they cut off his head, it flew up in the air above the people assembled there, and cried out three times, “I am a Christian”; and it went a distance of fifty cubits and fell into the river.  Then they slit open his belly, and filled it with pitch, and bitumen, and boiling oil, and cast his body into a red-hot furnace, and it suffered no injury whatsoever.  Then they cut the body into small pieces, and put them into a basket, and cast them into the river, and by the Will of God his body appeared at the edge of the city of Esna, with its head joined thereto; and certain believing men took it, and buried it with great honor.  Salutation to Abraham.

And on this day also is celebrated the consecration of the church of Abba Misael.  The parents of this saint were rich Christians, and as they lacked a son they prayed to God for one, and they begot this saint; and when he grew up they taught him the Books of the Church.  When his parents died, the bishop of the city took care of him. When the boy was twelve years old he remembered the end of the world, and he went to the monastery of Abba Isaac, and asked the abbot to be allowed to become a monk; and after Abba Isaac had tried him, and seen his holiness, he made him a monk.  And the grace of the Holy Spirit descended upon him, and he devoted himself so greatly to fasting and prayer, that the light of his face was changed, and his body became like dry wood.  One day he went into the cell of Abba Isaac, and when the abbot saw that his face had become like that of a dead man, he wept and said unto him, “How didst thou destroy thyself in this fashion?”  And the holy Abba Misael (Michael ?) said unto him, “Weep not, O my father, for God hath not forsaken me, and my strength is not exhausted by standing up; but this I will tell thee.  I saw in my dream as it were envoys of the emperor coming to thee from Alexandria, and seeking for me; do not prevent them, so that they may not harm thee.  And in the coming year a great famine shall take place, and lay waste the land; gather together food for thy children.”  And after a few [days] men came in the form of soldiers of the emperor, and they seized Abba Isaac whilst seeking for Misael (Michael ?), and when they knew which was he, they took him with them, and they left the monks sorrowing.  When the famine came, and the governor [knew] that there was food in that monastery he wished to attack [the monks therein].  And Abba Isaac went out in order to make entreaty to him, and immediately there came forth from the desert many soldiers with swords and drove away the governor.  And whilst Abba Isaac was wondering about these men, Abba Misael (Michael ?) came to him, and revealed himself to him, and told him that these men were soldiers of heaven, and that the city whereto they had taken him was the heavenly Jerusalem.  And then he commanded them to build a church for him in the form of his cell, and they consecrated it, as it were this day.  And Abba Misael (Michael ?) appeared to Abba Isaac, and told him that he would die the following year, and so it happened, even according to his word.  Salutation to Abba Misael (Michael ?).

And on this day also three hundred and fifty-eight people were martyred with Abba Nob.

And on this day also died John, the patriarch.  Salutation to John the patriarch, who labored at dawn, and fought at even (i.e. performed manual labor by day, and contended with devils during the night).

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