Archive

Next

Previous

 

THE THIRD MONTH
HEDAR 08
(November 17)

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

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 Cherubim.

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.

And on this day also four hundred and eighty-four souls who belonged to the company of Isidore became martyrs.

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