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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 14
(May 22)

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

On this day died the holy father Abba Pachomius, the father who was the companion of the beings of the Spirit.  This holy man became a monk in his youth with Saint Abba Balamon, and he lived in submission to him for many years, and he performed with great success all the labors of the ascetic life.  After this the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and commanded him to gather together to him and to form a company of monks who would live with him in common, like the Apostles.  And very many men gathered together to him, and he built for them many monasteries, and he ordered for each one of them the same course of manual labor, and the same kind of food.  And he drew up for them a set of rules (Canon) which they were to observe at their time of prayer, and at their times of eating, and he was the abbot of them all.  And he appointed an abbot, who was to be under his authority, over each of the monasteries, and he used to go round and visit all the monasteries from the boundary of Eswan (Aswan), and Etfu (Edfu), and Akmim, and Dunas, all over Upper Egypt, and in the north [he visited] all the communities of northern monks who were affiliated to his monasteries.  And this father would never permit any of his sons to be made priests for the sake of vainglory of this world, so that there might not be any enmity among them, but each monastery had a priest from outside the community to consecrate the Offering, and to administer the Sacrament.  When the Apostolic Father Abba Athanasius went up into Upper Egypt, he wanted to appoint this holy father priest, but he fled from the suggestion.  And Saint Abba Athanasius said unto his sons, “Say ye to your father, O thou who hast built thy house upon a rock which will not totter, and hast fled from vain praise, blessed art thou and blessed are thy sons.”  And this saint once wished to see Hell, and the angel of the Lord caught him up, and carried him away and showed him each of the abodes of the saints, and he showed him likewise the places of punishment in Hell.  And this father continued to be abbot of the community for forty years, and he made them strong, and laid down rules for them, and a Canon, and he made his disciple Theodore abbot over them; and after this he died in peace.  Salutation to Abba Pachomius and to each of his sons.

And on this day also became a martyr Symmachus, of the city of Farma, in the days of Bulamis, governor of Mesr (Cairo).  This holy man was a weaver of linen apparel, and costly, fine linen napkins, and he had [two] friends, Theodore and Kikos.  And when he heard that Bulamis, the governor, had arrived, and that he was punishing the Christians, this holy man began to teach his companions, and to admonish them to abandon the glory of this fleeting world.  Then he embraced them and went out to the town of Bakruz, which was near the town of Demera, and he came to the governor and found him torturing a woman, whom they cast into a fiery furnace and she became a martyr; and after this the fiery furnace became like cool dew.  And this holy man was looking on at this, and afterward, he drew nigh unto the governor, and confessed our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and the governor tortured him severely.  Now at that time he was sixteen years of age.  Next, the governor hung him up, and he threw him on the wheel, and he crushed his feet, and blood dripped from his body in great quantity; and some of the blood splashed on the eyes of a certain blind maiden, and she was able to see forthwith.  Then the governor hung him upon a tree, and the saint prayed many prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ, and made supplication to Him.  And the governor commanded them to cut off the head of the saint, and the headsman drew his sword, and wanted to cut off his head with his sword, but his strength failed him, and he was unable to cut off the saint’s head.  And the same thing happened when a second headsman tried, and a third headsman also, even to the tenth headsman, for the strength of all the ten failed them, and they fell down on the ground.  And after this they tied a rope round the neck of Saint Abba Symmachus, the martyr, and they dragged him up to the top of a high mountain, and he delivered up his soul into the hand of God, and he received the incorruptible crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens.  And there was among the four soldiers one who was deaf and dumb, and as soon as he saw the body of the saint, he heard with his ears and his tongue spoke.  And believing men came from the city of Edku, and they took away the body of Saint Abba Symmachus, and many signs and wonders took place through it, and great healings.  And the governor Bilamis was afraid and fled.  And men gathered together from the double town Demertayn, and consoled the kinsfolk of Saint Abba Symmachus the martyr.  And when the pagans of the city saw the signs and wonders which were revealed through him, they believed and were baptized with Christian baptism, and became martyrs; and they were in number sixteen hundred and fifty men and woman and children.  And the kinsfolk of the saint came and carried away his body to the city Barmun with great honor, and the governor of the city of Barmun swathed it for burial in costly cloths at his own expense; and they built a beautiful church for the saint and laid the body of Abba Symmachus in it.  Salutation to Symmachus, and salutation to the great company of man and women who were martyred with him.

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