THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day is celebrated the festival of the Four Beasts, who
have no bodies, and which are the Wheels of God that bear His Divine
Throne according to the testimony concerning them by John the evangelist
in his Vision, who says, “I saw a throne in heaven, and He Who sat
thereon was brighter than the sun, and more brilliant then the lightning.
And I saw in the midst four beasts, full of eyes; the first had the
likeness of the face of a lion, the second had the likeness of the face of
a bull, the third had the likeness of the face of a man, and the fourth
had the likeness of the face of an eagle; and each of them had six wings.
And they cried out by day and by night, saying, “Holy, Holy,
Holy, God of Hosts. All the
heavens and the earth are filled with the holiness of Thy glory” (Rev.
iv, 6). And Isaiah the
prophet also said, “I saw the Lord of Hosts sitting upon a high throne,
and the whole place was filled with His glory.
Seraphim and Cherubim surrounded Him, and His awe and majesty were
exceedingly great. Each of
these had six wings; with two of their wings they covered their faces,
with two of their wings they covered their feet, and with two of their
wings they did fly in the greatest glory by day and by night, saying,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
All the heavens and the earth are filled with the holiness of Thy
glory” (Isaiah vi, 2). And
David the prophet said, “He rode upon the Cherubim and did fly” (Psalm
xviii, 10), and he also said, “He Who sitteth upon the Cherubim maketh
the earth to quake,” And Ezekiel said concerning these wheels, “I saw
a wind blow from heaven, and in it there was a cloud surrounded by fire,
and brightness, and lightning, and four beasts supported Him.
Each face (or person) had six wings, and they went before them.
And the first beast had the likeness of the face of a man, and they
ceased not to praise God by day and by night, and they said, Holy, Holy,
Holy, Lord God of Hosts, all the heavens and the earth are filled with the
holiness of Thy glory” (Ezekiel I).
And John the evangelist said, “I heard a voice saying,
Hallelujah! Salvation and power and blessing to our God.
And the four beasts and the four and twenty elders of heaven
worshipped God, saying, Hallelujah! God the Sustainer of the universe is King (Rev. xix, 4).
After this I heard a voice saying, Praise our God with harp and
psalms, Hallelujah! And I
heard the voice of a multitude of peoples like unto the thunder, saying,
God, the Sustainer of the universe, is King.” And many of the Books of the Old and the New Testaments
testify concerning the honor of these Four Beasts which God hath set near
Him to make supplication on behalf of all creation.
He with the man’s form maketh supplication on behalf of the
children of men, he with the lion’s form maketh supplication on behalf
of the beasts, he with the bull’s form maketh supplication on behalf of
the cattle, and he with the eagle’s form maketh supplication on behalf
of the birds. Now these
beasts are very much nearer God than all the other powers of heaven.
For this reason the doctors of the Church have confirmed the
commemoration of them, and have built churches to them in every place,
even as at this day, because they make supplication for the race of man. Salutation to the Four Beasts and to the horses of the
And on this day also is commemorated the festival of Afnin the
Archangel, one of the nine and ninety archangels, who together with
Surafel guard the throne of glory. Of
him Enoch said that he goeth round that house; and Surafel, and Kirubel,
and Afnin, “These are the [angels] who never sleep, and who guard the
throne of His glory,” Salutation to this Trinity of Angels who guard the
throne of God.
And on this day also is commemorated John the high priest, and on
this day the Cross appeared unto Constantine.
And on this day also died Saint Kefrenya (Copronius).
This holy man was a pagan, and the son of a nobleman.
One day there arrived in his city a monk from the monastery of Abba
Pachomius, whose name was Mercurius, and he foretold that Kefrenya (Copronius)
would become a Christian. And
after a few days Kefrenya (Copronius) assembled his soldiers, and set out
for the land of Egypt, to take prisoners and to destroy monasteries and
religious houses. When he
arrived at the monastery of Abba Pachomius the abbot went forth to him,
and said unto him, “What dost thou want?” And Kefrenya (Copronius) said unto him, “I want the
abbot,” and the abbot said, “I am he.”
When Kefrenya (Copronius) heard this he took the abbot aside
privately, and asked him if he would array him in the garb of the monk. When the abbot heard him he said, “I will.”
And when the soldiers had returned to their city and Kefrenya (Copronius)
was left by himself, he arrayed him in the garb of the monk, and Kefrenya
(Copronius) devoted himself to fasting and prayer.
And Satan was envious of him, and he stirred up against him the
rulers of the city until they wished to attack the monastery, saying,
“There is a royal son (i.e. prince) here who hath destroyed our city; if
we take him by the help of God we will kill the calumniator.”
And this holy man continued to fast for a week at a time, and he
ate nothing except bitter lupines. In
those days a wild beast of the desert ravaged the [lands of the] monastery
and killed all the cattle of the monks.
And Abba Kefrenya (Copronius) went to him, and laid hold of him by
his ear like a sheep, and tied him up with a cord, and he lived [there]
twelve years and died. And
Saint Kefrenya (Copronius) went to Jerusalem, led by an angel of God, and
he arrived there in one night; and he saw their great mysteries and was
blessed by the holy places, and he returned to his habitation and died in
peace. Salutation to Kefrenya
(Copronius), the son of a pagan, who bound in fetters a wild beast that
slew the cattle.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.