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THE THIRD MONTH
HEDAR 09
(November 18)

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

On this day died the holy father Abba Isaac, the forty-first Archbishop of Alexandria.  This father was one of the men of the city of Burles (Borlos), and his parents were exceedingly rich, and they feared God.  After very many days they begot this holy man, and they rejoiced over him with very great joy.  And having brought him to the bishop that he might lay his hand upon him, and baptize him with Christian baptism, the bishop saw upon his head at the time of baptism a cross of light.  And the bishop took his hand and laid it upon his head, and he prophesied concerning him, saying, “This boy shall be set over the Church of God”; and the bishop said unto his father, “Take care of this boy, for he shall be a chosen vessel of God.”  And when the boy had grown a little he taught him to read and to write, and he learned spiritual doctrine, and he used to read the histories of the saints.  And he left his parents and departed to the monastery of Abba Macarius, and he became a monk under the direction of father Abba Zachariah the abbot.  Now the angel of the Lord had informed the abbot of the coming of this holy man, and the abbot received him and rejoiced in him.  One day the righteous man saw him in the church, and he prophesied concerning him, saying, “Needs must that this Isaac shall be set over the Church of Christ.”  And in those days Abba John the archbishop was seeking for a learned man to be his disciple and his scribe, and the honorable father Abba Isaac was recommended to him; and the archbishop sent for him and had him brought to him, and he gave him a roll whereon to write.  And Abba Isaac made mistakes in his writing wittingly and wrote badly in order that the archbishop might send him away and that he might be free to go to the desert of Scete, for he hated the pomp of this world of men.  And when the Archbishop Abba John knew that Isaac had made mistakes and written badly purposely so that he might dismiss him, Saint Abba John said unto him, “Thou hast written well, and I shall not let thee go from here.”  When Abba Isaac knew that the archbishop would not let him go, he displayed to him all his learning and all his wisdom, and he wrote as beautifully as he could, and the archbishop rejoiced in him exceedingly; and after a few days he returned to the desert of Scete.  When the death of the Archbishop Abba John drew nigh, he asked our Lord Jesus Christ to tell him whom he should appoint to be archbishop in his stead after him.  And He said unto him in a vision, “Thy disciple Isaac shall protect this office after thee”; and Saint Abba John commanded the people, and told them that his disciple Isaac was to be appointed archbishop after him.  When Abba John was dead they seized this Saint Abba Isaac, and enthroned him Archbishop over the city of Alexandria.  And he made the Church to shine in his days, and he restored many churches, and especially the church of Mark the evangelist and apostle, and the archbishop’s house.  And great tribulation and many trials came upon this holy father, and he sat upon the throne of Mark the evangelist three years and a half.  And it is written in the history of the fight of this holy father that he commanded that he was not to be enthroned archbishop except on the First Day of the week.  Salutation to Isaac on whom the bishop saw a cross of light when he dipped his hand in the water to baptize him.

And on this day also the Three Hundred and Eighteen fathers and bishops assembled in the city of Nicea in the days of Constantine the righteous man, among them being four archbishops, namely, Abba Alexander, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, and Yunakendinos (Innocent), Archbishop of the city of Rome, Sol Peter (sic), Archbishop of the city of Constantinia, and the Archbishop of the city of Antioch.  And the cause of their assembling was Arius, who was priest of the men of Alexandria and had fallen into error. He said: “The Son is a created being in all His Person.”  These saints were honorable fathers and fighters, and some of them had, like the apostles, raised the dead, and healed the sick, and worked great signs and wonders.  Some of them had suffered tortures for the sake of the Orthodox Faith of Christ, some of them had suffered torture and had their eyes dug out; of some of them the torturers had cut off their hands and their feet, of some the torturers had smashed their teeth, and of some they had torn out the nails and scraped their bodies.  Among those who had suffered tortures there was a certain bishop of the city of Mar’ash whose name was Thomas.  Him certain vile and evil men cast into prison for two (?) years, where they tortured him mercilessly.  Each year they had cut off from him one of his limbs, and they had cut off his hands and his feet, and smashed his teeth, both those in front and those in the sides of his jaws, and his nose and lips had been cut off, and his body was as black as the ashes of a fire.  Many people thought that he was dead, and had performed memorial services for him as for the martyrs and apostles.  When these fathers and bishops arrived in the city of Nicea, Constantine the emperor prepared for them a large and spacious hall, and he placed therein thrones whereon the holy fathers and bishops could sit, and he set therein his own throne, which was smaller than [any one] of theirs.  And he began with Thomas, Bishop of the city of Mar’ash, and he bowed low before him, and embraced every part of him, including the [places of] the members which had been cut off his body.  Then he gave to the fathers and bishops his royal scepter, and his sword, and his ring, and he said unto them, “Behold, I have this day given you power over the priesthood and over the kingdom.  According to what ye wish let [every man] remain, provided that he is Orthodox; he who is not Orthodox separate from your flock; and ye shall formulate the Canon and the Law.”  And our Lord Jesus Christ tarried among them, and there were many [of them] whose hearts were illumined by the Holy Spirit.  And certain men counted the thrones whereon sitters were seated and they found them to be in number three hundred and nineteen, and they counted the fathers and bishops and found them to be in number three hundred and eighteen.  And they formulated a Canon for the priests, and for the laity, and for the emperors, and for the countries, and for pilgrims, and for those who sold, and for those who bought, and they made ordinances for every matter.  Then they proclaimed the Orthodox Faith, and they made known that the Son was the equal of the Father in Godhead, and they excommunicated Arius and him that believed in his filthy belief.  This is the Orthodox Faith, which they formulated, saying, “We believe in One God, the Lord, the Father, the Sustainer of Creation, Maker of heaven and of earth, and of all things visible and invisible.  And we believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Son of the Father, Whose being was with Him before the world was created, Light Who proceedeth from Light, God Who proceedeth from God in truth, Who was begotten and not made, Who is equal with the Father in Godhead, in Whom is everything that is, and without Whom there would be nothing whatsoever which is in heaven and upon earth, Who for the sake of us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was made man by the Holy Ghost of Mariyam, the holy Virgin.  He became man, and was crucified for our sakes in the days of Pontius Pilate.He suffred and died and was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures.  He ascended in glory into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of His Father.  He shall come again in glory.  He shall judge the living and the dead, and there shall be no end to His kingdom.”  After this, when one hundred and fifty bishops were assembled in the city of Constantinia, they formulated the remainder of the Orthodox Faith, saying, “And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the Vivifier, Who sprang from the Father.  We worship Him and we praise Him, with the Father and the Son, Who spoke by the prophets”--to the end of the [words of] the Faith (i.e. And we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  And we believe in one Baptism for the remission of sin and wait for the resurrection from the dead.  Life to come.  World without end.  Amen.).  And they excommunicated anyone who should add anything to it or take anything away from it.  And they commanded that every priest should recite it, and all the laity, both old and young, men and women, slaves and handmaidens.  And they were to recite it at the time of at the night prayer, and at the time of the day prayer, and at the time of the consecration of the Offering, and they were to teach it to all the people.  And the fathers and bishops made ordinances of every kind for the Church and the Orthodox Faith.  They established the light of the Faith and then they departed to their own countries.

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