THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day Saint Minas became a martyr; now the interpretation
of his name is “believing” and “faithful.”
The father of this holy man was a native of the city of Nakiyos and
his name was Eudoxius, and he was a governor and a nobleman.
And his brother was envious of him, and he made accusations against
his brother Eudoxius to the king; and the king sent him to ‘Afrakya
(Phrygia?) and made him governor over that country; and the men of that
country rejoiced in him, for he was a merciful man, and he feared God.
Now the mother of Saint Minas had no son.
One day she went into the church on the festival of our Lady, the
holy Virgin Mary, and she saw the children of the church wearing beautiful
apparel and going into the church. And
she moaned and wept before the image (or picture) of our Lady, the holy
Virgin Mary, and she entreated her to pray on her behalf to God so that He
might give her a son; and a voice came forth from the image of our Lady,
the holy Virgin Mary, saying, “Amen.”
And straightway that woman went to her house and she told her
husband about the voice which she had heard from the image of our Lady
Mary, and her husband said unto her, “God’s Will be done!”
And after a certain number of days God gave unto her this holy son,
and she called his name “Minas,” according to the word, which she had
heard from the image of the Virgin Mary.
And when the child had grown up a little, [his father] taught him
the Scriptures and the doctrine of the spirit.
And when he was eleven years old his father died at a good old age,
and three years later his mother died.
And Saint Minas remained by himself, fasting and praying, and
because of the greatness of the affection, which the governors of the city
had for his father and for himself, he did abandon the worship of Christ.
And when Diocletian had denied Christ, he commanded all men to
worship idols, and very many suffered martyrdom for the sake of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Then Minas
abandoned the place where he lived and departed to the desert, and he
dwelt there very many days and fought a great fight there.
One day he saw the heavens open and the martyrs crowned with
beautiful crowns, and he heard a voice, which said, “He who toileth for
the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ shall receive this crown.”
And he returned to the city and believed on the Name of Jesus
Christ. And many men knowing
that he belonged to a noble and honorable family tried to dissuade him
from this, and the governor also promised him honors and many other
things, but he would neither obey his behest nor turn from his own good
counsel. Then straightway the
governor commanded his soldiers to torture him with severe tortures, and
when he was tired of torturing him he commanded them to cut off his head
with the sword; and they cut off his head straightway, and he received the
crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens; and very many men heard
of his martyrdom for the sake of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And the governor commanded his soldiers to cast the body of the
holy man into the fire, [and they did so,] but certain believing men took
his body out of the fire; now the flames had neither scorched it nor burnt
it and no harm whatsoever had befallen it.
And they swathed it in beautiful grave clothes and laid it in a
certain place until the days of persecution were ended.
In those days the men of the district of Mareotis wished to collect
an army from Pentapolis, and they took the body of Saint Minas with them
so that it might be a help unto them, and might protect them on the way.
And when they were in the ship, and the body of Saint Minas was
with them, beasts came up out of the sea with faces like the faces of
serpents and necks like the necks of camels, and they stretched out their
necks towards the body of the saint and licked it; and the crew of the
ship were afraid with a great fear. And
fire went forth from the body of the saint, and burned the faces of the
beasts. And having arrived at the city of Alexandria and the men
having finished their work, they wished to return to their country, and
they sought to take the body of Saint Minas with them. Having lifted it
upon a camel, the camel would not get up from his place; and when they had
lifted it on to a second camel, that camel also would not get up, and
although they beat it with many stripes it would not move at all.
Then they knew that this was the Will of God, and they built a
shrine over him, and buried him therein and departed.
And God wished to reveal the body of Saint Minas.
Now there was in that desert a certain shepherd, and one day a
sheep that was sick of a disease and had running sores went into the
shrine, and slipped down into the water of the well which was by the side
of the shrine, and having rolled about in it the sheep was healed
straightway. When the
shepherd saw this thing and this miracle, he marveled exceedingly and was
frightened. And he used to
take some dust from the shrine, and wet it with water, and smear it over
the sheep when they were sick, and straightway they were healed thereby.
And he used to do this always, and he healed all the sick persons
who came to him by this thing. And
the Emperor Constantine heard of the report of this--now he had an only
daughter who was sick through running sores--and he sent her to this
place, but she could not strip herself naked because there were men there.
And the princess asked the shepherd what he did when he healed the
sick sheep, and the shepherd told her what he did.
And she took dust from that place, and moistened it with water from
that well, and she smeared her whole body therewith, and she slept that
night in the shrine. And Saint Minas appeared and said unto her. “When thou
risest up in the morning, dig, and thou shalt find my body”; and
straightway she was healed of her disease.
And when she rose up [and found that] she was healed of her
disease, she commanded [her servants] to dig in that place, and
straightway she found the body of Saint Minas.
And she rejoiced with an exceeding great joy, and she sent [a
letter] to her father, and told him of this matter, and the emperor built
a church over his body. And a
beautiful church was built in his honor in the days of Arcadius and
Honorius, the righteous emperors, and they commanded the people to build a
great city there. And a great
city was built there, as the righteous emperors commanded, and they laid
the body of Saint Minas in the church, and miracles and great wonders took
place through his body. And
sick people of all nations used to come into that church, and they were
healed, and signs and wonders used to appear in that church.
And Satan was envious, and he stirred up certain wicked men and
they pulled down the church, and the city was plundered, and they removed
the body of Saint Minas. And
they built another church for him there, and laid his body therein, and
signs and wonders took place therein which were far greater than those,
which had taken place in the former church.
Salutation to thee, O Minas, officer and nobleman, for whom thy
mother prayed to the image of the Virgin Mary.
And on this day also died the holy father Abba Minas the Second,
the sixty-first Archbishop of the city of Alexandria. The parents of this holy man made him marry a wife when he
was young, against his will, but he did not wish to transgress the command
of his parents, and he fulfilled all the duty of marriage according to the
Law of the Church, and the whole of this matter was to him as a dream.
When they brought him with his wife into the marriage-chamber, he
sat down and talked to her, saying, “O my sister, what shall it profit a
man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
The world passeth away and the lust thereof passeth away, but, as
it is written, ‘He who doeth the Will of God shall endure for ever.’
Come now, let us make a covenant of God, and let us preserve our
bodies and our virginity in purity.”
And his wife accepted his words and she agreed with him that they
should keep their bodies in purity. Then
he left her and went to the desert of Scete, and he became a monk in the
monastery of Abba Macarius, and he dwelt there for many years as an
ascetic and fighter. When the
archbishop his predecessor died, they took Abba Minas against his will,
and made him archbishop; and he sat on the throne of Mark the evangelist
for eighteen years, and he protected his flock rightly and justly and he
died in peace. Salutation to
Minas the Second who renounced the world and regarded it as a shadow and
as a thirst during which a man drinketh as in a dream.
Salutation to thee, Victor, in whose admonitions the children
rejoiced. [Wanting in the
And on this day beginneth the preaching of the fasting service of
Soma Gena, for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the Jacobite
Salutation to the House of Pachomus, which was consecrated by the
holy, father Timothy. [Wanting
in the Bodleian MS.]
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.