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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 18
(May 26)

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

On this day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, ten days after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven, even as He promised them, saying, “I will send unto you another Paraclete, Who shall come from the Father.  Wait ye and remain in Jerusalem until ye received the promise of the Father.”  And again He said unto them, “When the Spirit of righteousness cometh, He will guide you in all righteousness.”  And Saint Peter, who was chief with our Lord Christ, said unto them, “The Lord hath promised to send unto us the Paraclete, Who is the Holy Spirit, and He will make us to understand what it is meet for us to hear and to do.”  And behold, they heard the sound of a storm wind, and they smelled a sweet smell, the like of which they knew not in all the world, and there appeared among them, as it were, tongues of fire, which came down upon each one of them, and each began to speak with a new tongue; and they fasted for forty days and gave thanks unto Him.  And it is also said in the Acts of the Apostles, that when the days of Pentecost were ended, and whilst they were all together in one place, suddenly there came from heaven the sound of the Holy Spirit, and it filled the chamber wherein they were gathered together; and there appeared as it were tongues of fire, and [one tongue] rested on each of them.  And they were filled with the spirit of power, and they all began to speak the tongues of all countries, each a different tongue, according as the Holy Spirit gave them power.  And there were good men in Jerusalem from every nation, and when they heard the report of this, they all gathered together; and they were amazed, for they heard the Apostles talking the languages of their native countries.  And they were astonished, and they marveled, and said, “Are not all these men of Galilee whom we hear speaking the languages of our native countries, Parthia, Media and Elam, and the languages of those who dwell between the rivers (i.e. in Mesopotamia), and Judea, and Cappadocia, and Phrygia, and Pamphylia, and Egypt, and the borders of Libya, and those who are from Cyrene, and those who speak Rumi (Greek?), and Jews, and pilgrims, Cretans, and Arabians.  Behold we hear them speaking in the languages of our own countries concerning the great things of God”; and they were amazed, and were unable to speak.  And they said among themselves, “What is this?”  And some of them laughed, and said, “These men are filled with new wine.”  And Peter stood up among the eleven [Apostles], and cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O all ye men of Judea and ye who dwell in Jerusalem, know ye, and hearken unto my voice.  These men are not drunk as ye think, and say, for it is only now three hours since day dawned on the earth.”  This is what the prophet Joel said, “And it shall come to pass after this that I will pour out my spirit upon all souls, and your sons and you daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men dream dreams” (Joel ii, 28).  And he also saith, “And upon my slaves and upon my handmaidens I will also pour out my spirit, and they shall prophesy, and I will give a sign in the heavens above, and wonders on the earth beneath” (Joel ii, 29, 30).  And it is said in the [Book of] David, “Make not Thou Thy Holy Spirit to go forth from upon me.  Endow me with joy, and with Thy salvation, and make me strong with the spirit of strength, so that I may teach sinners Thy way.”  And again he saith, “Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, and they are created. And Thou renewest the face of the earth.  May the glory of the Lord be for ever.”  And again he saith, “Thy Holy Spirit shall guide me in the land of righteousness.  For Thy Name’s sake, O Lord, make me alive in Thy righteousness, and take my soul out of tribulation.”  And again he saith, “The Lord hath made strong the heavens by His word, and all the powers thereof by the breath of His mouth.”  And Isaiah saith, “The Spirit of God Who hath anointed me is upon me, and He hath sent me to declare and to proclaim freedom for captives, and to announce the chosen year of God” (Isaiah 61:2).  And our Lord saith unto His disciples, “This I tell you whilst I am with you, but when the Paraclete, the Spirit of righteousness, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Whom My Father will send unto you in My Name, hath come, He will teach you everything, and will make you to remember everything which I have spoken unto you.  My peace I leave with you, and the peace of My Father I give you, not as the world giveth it give I it unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  Behold ye have heard Me say unto you that I am going to the Father Who hath sent Me, and that I will return again unto you.”  And He also saith, “When the Paraclete hath come, Whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of righteousness, which shall go forth from [My Father], He shall be My witness.  And ye are all My witnesses, that He was with Me from of old.  And I tell you these words so that ye may not err, and be offended; but know ye that they will cast you out of their synagogues, and the time will come and arrive when all who kill you will imagine that they are bringing sacrifices unto God.”  And He also saith, “The words which I say unto you I say by My truth; It is better for you that I go to the Father, for if I do not go to the Father the Paraclete cannot come unto you; and if I go I will send Him to you.  And when He hath come, He will rebuke the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and punishment.  Concerning sin, because they have not believed on Me, and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall not see Me again, and concerning punishment, because the work of this world shall be judged.  And there are many [other] words which I would say unto you, but ye are not able to bear them now.  And when that Spirit of righteousness hath come, He will guide you into all righteousness, He will not speak to you from Himself, but He will declare unto you what He hath heard.  And He Who shall come to you shall speak unto you, and tell you.  Me He will glorify and praise, for He springeth from Me, and He will speak unto you, and will tell you.”  And after His Resurrection in ascending to His Father He fulfilled all the Law of Incarnation.  And He said unto His disciples, “Go unto all nations and, in baptizing them, say, ‘In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’”  Salutation to Thy descent, O Paraclete.  Salutation to Thy descent, O Paraclete, the Spirit of grace and righteousness.  Salutation to Thee, O Paraclete, Who didst make the Apostles to drink of Thy fire in a moment.

And on this day also died the holy father Abba Ga’argi, the companion of Abba Abraham.  This holy man was a Christian, and his parents were holy and righteous folk, and when he grew up he became a shepherd and tended their flocks.  And he was always thinking in his mind that he would adopt the garb of the monk, and when his days were twelve years, the grace of God moved him, and he forsook his sheep and went and walked about in the desert of Scete.  And he saw a pillar of light at a distance, and he went towards it until he arrived at a river, and then the pillar of light hid itself.  And when he had crossed that river, Satan appeared unto him in the form of an old man, who said unto him, “Know, O my son, that I saw thy father rending his garments, and weeping for thee, and sorrowing exceedingly.  It is meet that thou shouldst return to thy father, and comfort his heart, for he thinketh that a wild beast of the desert hath torn thee in pieces”; and after this he returned to the desert.  Now Saint Abba Ga’agi was frightened for a time.  And then [he remembered], that the Holy Gospel saith, “He who loveth his father or his mother more than Me is not meet to be My disciple” (Matthew x, 37); and having said these words that Satan became like smoke, and fled from him; and the saint knew that he was Satan.  And straightway the pillar of light appeared unto him, and the angel of God walked with him in the form of a monk, and the saint followed the angel until he brought him to the monastery of the holy father Arion.  And Abba Ga’argi dwelt in that monastery with a certain righteous monk ten years; he tasted no meat, he drank no wine, and he ate no fruit, and during the ten years he never lay down to sleep, but slept sitting.  And his asceticism and his spiritual fight having become more strenuous, the angel of God appeared unto him and said, “God telleth thee to moderate the strictness of thine asceticism, and the intensity of thy spiritual fight, so that thy body may not become exhausted”; and then he drew up for him a rule of life which ordered him to sit down, and to fast every day until the evening.  And he ate a little bread, and he slept from the time he went to sleep until midnight, for the repose of his body, and the rest of the night he kept vigil and prayed until the day dawned.  And having continued to observe this course of life for many days, he wished to live by himself in the Inner Desert; and he continued to go round about in the desert for two years.  And a vision appeared unto him which directed him to return to his place, and straightway the Divine Power bought him to the monastery of Saints Maximus and Dimatheus which was near his monastery.  And when he went back to his monastery, Abraham came out from the world, and having arrived at that monastery he met Abba Ga’argi.  And they made friends together, and came to the monastery of Saint Abba Macarius, and they dwelt with Saint John, Abbot of the desert of Scete; and he gave them a cell near him, and they dwelt therein, and that place is well known to this day.  And that cell was called “Bagbig,” and our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt with them, now He rent the roof of their abode, and they worshipped Him, and He gave them peace and comforted them, and went up from them into heaven.  And that opening through which our Lord came down, and through which they saw the light, is open unto this day.  And these saints wrote many books, and Homilies, and Exhortations, and Admonitions for monks, and they prepared the way for him that would be obedient, and live in subjection to his fathers.  And Abba Abraham died on the second day of the month of Ter, and after him Saint Abba Ga’argi died on the eighteenth day of the month of Genbot.  And all the days of his life were two and seventy years; of these fourteen he passed in the world and eight and fifty he devoted to the ascetic life.  Salutation to Abba Ga’argi, who forsook his father’s flocks and followed a pillar of light into the desert.

And on this day also is commemorated Sinoda, the martyr.

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