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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 17
(May 25)

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

On this day died the great Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus.  This holy man came from a village which was near Beth Gabriel, and his parents were Jews, and they walked in the Law of Moses; now they were poor, for the father of this saint was a slave, but they were righteous.  And the father of this saint died and left him and one daughter, and their mother brought them up in the Law of Moses.  And his father left him a donkey, which was a very poor animal, and his mother advised Saint Epiphanius to sell this donkey, and with the price thereof to obtain some rest and relief in his wretched life.  And as the saint was journeying along with the donkey, he met a certain man who was a Christian, and a just man, and whose name was Philotheus; and he stopped and talked with Epiphanius and wanted to buy that donkey from him.  And at that moment the donkey kicked Epiphanius in his stomach, and he fell down on the ground, and was very near death, but Saint Philotheus made the sign of the Cross over the stomach of Saint Epiphanius, saying, “In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,” and Saint Epiphanius was cured of his pain forthwith, and he rose up as if he hand never suffered any pain whatsoever.  And then Saint Philotheus cried out over that donkey, saying, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ Who was crucified thou shalt die”; and the donkey fell down and died forthwith.  And when Saint Epiphanius saw these two miracles, he said unto Saint Philotheus, “Who was this Jesus Who was crucified, and in Whose Name thou didst perform this miracle?”  And Philotheus answered and said unto him, “This Jesus was the Son of God, Whom the Jews crucified in Jerusalem”; and this word remained in the heart of Saint Epiphanius.  And in those days there was a certain rich Jew who took Saint Epiphanius into his house, and brought him up and taught him the Law of Moses.  And when death drew nigh to that Jew, he had no heirs, and he made Saint Epiphanius heir of all his possessions, and he learned all the Jewish doctrine and the Law of Moses.  And one day he met a certain righteous and learned monk, whose name was Lucianus, and he was a teacher, and the grace of God was upon him, and he walked with him on the road.  And as they were journeying together on the road, a certain poor man met them and he asked the monk to give him alms, and as the monk had no money with him to give him, he took off the hair cloak, which he was wearing and gave it to him.  And when the poor man took it Saint Epiphanius saw that white apparel came down from heaven upon the monk; and he marveled at this and he bowed down at the feet of the monk, and he asked him, saying, “Who art thou?  What is thy Faith?”  And the monk made known to him that he was a Christian; and Saint Epiphanius asked him to make him a Christian.  And the monk took Epiphanius and brought him to the bishop, who baptized him with Christian baptism, and taught him the Law of the Christian Faith.  And Saint Epiphanius said unto him, “I wish to become a monk,” and the bishop said unto him, “Thou hast many goods and possessions; it is not necessary for thee to become a monk.”  And Saint Epiphanius went and brought his sister, and the bishop baptized her with Christian baptism.  And he gave of his possessions to the poor and the needy, and to the widows and the orphans, and to the churches, and he purchased very many books.  Then he became a monk, and his sister became a nun, in the monastery of that monk whose name was Julius, and who was the cause of his being baptized; now at that time he was in his days sixteen years old.  And he found in that monastery Saint Hilarion the Great, who although young in days was an elder in the spiritual fight, and he received Saint Epiphanius, and taught him the path of the ascetic life, and the doctrine of Christian Law.  And the grace of God dwelt upon him, and Hilarion made him strong in all the Law of the Church, and in the path of the ascetic life in a few days, and then Saint Epiphanius became perfect in the spiritual fight.  And he performed great miracles, and raised the dead, and cast out demons from men, and he made fountains of water to appear in dry places where there was no water, and on many occasions he made rain to fall; and the report of him and of his virtues, and of his knowledge, was noised abroad.  And many men from among the Jews came to him, to dispute with him, and he showed them their error, and they believed through him, and he baptized them with Christian baptism; and he likewise converted very many of the philosophers and the Greeks, and brought them into the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And Saint Hilarion, his teacher, prophesied concerning him and said that he would be made bishop of the city of Cyprus, and he commanded him to go to the city of Cyprus, and to dwell there in a certain place wherein he ordered him to abide.  And he said unto him, “They will seek thee to make thee bishop, for it is the Will of God.”  And Saint Epiphanius departed to Cyprus, and he dwelt in the place wherein his teacher Hilarion had ordered him to dwell.  Now at the time when the Bishop of Cyprus died, Saint Epiphanius came into the city to buy food, and he had two monks with him.  And there was in that city an aged bishop, a righteous man, and our Lord Jesus Christ spoke unto him, saying, “Go to the market and thou shalt meet a monk with two bunches of grapes in his hand which he is going to buy, and his name is ‘Epiphanius’; make him Bishop of Cyprus, for he is suitable for this office.”  And the aged bishop rose and went to the market, and he found Saint Epiphanius, and there were two bunches of grapes in his hand, and there were two monks with him, and he asked him his name, and he answered and said unto him, “My name is Epiphanius.”  And the aged bishop said unto him, “Cast these grapes from thy hands.”  And Saint Epiphanius knew that the prophecy of Abba Hilarion his teacher was fulfilled, and he cast the grapes down, and he went with him to the church.  And the bishop made him a deacon, and three days later he made him a priest, and on the seventh day he made him a bishop.  After this that aged bishop wished to gladden the heart of Bishop Epiphanius, and he told the people and made to understand concerning the vision, which he had seen concerning him, and they rejoiced in him with great joy.  And this Saint Epiphanius followed a right course of action in his diocese, which was well pleasing to God, and he wrote many Discourses (or, Homilies) and many books wherein will be found profitable doctrine.  When he heard of a man in whom there was no mercy, he used to rebuke him and teach him frequently until he changed his nature and became merciful.  And when this Saint Epiphanius heard that Abba John, Bishop of the city of Jerusalem, was a man without pity, he made an excuse, and borrowed from him the gold and silver vessels which he used at his table and out of which he ate, and Abba John gave them to him, and Saint Epiphanius sold them, and gave [the price of] them to the poor and needy.  And when Abba John asked him for them and he would not give back any of them, he seized Saint Epiphanius by the hem of his garment, in the Church of the Sepulcher of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And Saint Epiphanius prayed to God, and He made blind the eyes of Abba John forthwith.  And his eyes being blind, Abba John begged and prayed him with tears to teach him, and to open his eyes, and Saint Epiphanius prayed and entreated God on his behalf, and God opened one of them.  And then Epiphanius told Abba John how he had sold the vessels of his table, and how he had given [the price of] them to the poor.  And the Empress Eudoxia having sent a message to Saint Epiphanius to come to her, and to help her to break and to drive out Saint John, the Mouth of God (i.e. Chrysostom), he went to the city of Constantinople wishing to make peace between them; but the empress would not listen to him, and she would not submit to Saint Epiphanius in respect of Saint John, the Mouth of Gold.  And the empress answered and said unto Saint Epiphanius, “If I cannot cast down John, the Mouth of Gold, from his office, I will open the houses of idols and shut the churches”; and Saint Epiphanius went forth from her presence sad and sorrowful, and wondering what he should do.  And the servants of the empress made it known in the city of Constantinople, saying, “Behold, Epiphanius hath deposed John, the Mouth of Gold.”  When Saint John heard this report he sent a letter unto Saint Epiphanius, saying, “Why hast thou done this unjust thing against me; know thou that thou shalt never reach the throne of thy diocese?”  And Saint Epiphanius sent a reply to his letter, saying, “I have written nothing concerning thee, and I am not in agreement with the empress against thee, and as for thyself thou shalt [not] return from exile.”  After this Saint Epiphanius wanted to return to the throne of his diocese, and he went forth from the city of Constantinople to depart to the city of Cyprus, and God willed to make him to die on the ship before he reached the throne of his diocese, even as God had revealed to John, the Mouth of Gold; and John, the Mouth of Gold, also died on his journey, even as He had made Epiphanius to see.  And the saint knew the time of his death, and he rose up and prayed, and he gave his disciples commands and informed them that they should become bishops, and after that he embraced them, and he lay down and died in peace.  Salutation to Epiphanius.  Salutation to Abba Lucianus, Bishop of Degno.

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