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THE THIRD MONTH
HEDAR 26
(December 05)

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

On this day Saint Pelarianus (or Balaryanos, i.e. Valerianus) and his sister Tatbusya became martyrs.  This holy man Pelarianus was a native of Rome, and his parents were infidels.  They married him to a maiden, who was the daughter of one of the rich nobles of Rome, and the name of that maiden was Kilkeya, and she was a Christian and worshipped the Lord Christ.  And when he went to her in the marriage-chamber he loved her dearly, and as soon as she saw that he loved her dearly she began to reveal to him the Faith of Christ, and he believe through her, and was baptized with Christian baptism. And when he shone brightly and became strong in the Divine Grace he taught his sister Tatbusya, and she was baptized with Christian baptism.  And Saint Pelarianus fought a great spiritual fight, and at length the angels would come and visit him always, and they would reveal unto him everything, which he wanted [to know], and they would teach him concerning hidden things before they came to pass.  When Diocletian the infidel reigned he inflicted persecution upon the Christians, and tortured them, and he slew many of them and they became martyrs.  Now this holy man and his sister used to go round and take up the bodies of the martyrs and prepare them for burial, and bury them.  And a certain evil man having learned concerning them went and accused them to Masius, the emperor’s friend, and the emperor commanded his soldiers to bring them to him.  When they arrived they stood up and he questioned them concerning their Faith, and they confessed that they were Christians and did not deny it.  And he promised them very many things if they would deny our Lord Jesus Christ, and worship idols, but they would not listen to his commands, and they did not want his promised gifts.  And the emperor loved them and he said unto them, “If ye will not hearken unto me, and will not sacrifice to my gods, I will torture you with very many kinds of torture”; and they were not afraid of his tortures.  When the governor saw their endurance and fortitude, he delivered them over to the headsman to cut off their heads.  And when they had cut off their heads, those who were standing there saw shining angels meeting their souls with great joy.  When the emperor saw this he believed in our Lord Christ.  And the emperor shut the governor up in prison for three days, and on the fourth day he had him brought out from the prison house and ordered the headsman to cut off his head; and [he did so] and the saint received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens with Pelarianus, and his wife Kilkeya, and his sister Tatbusya.  Salutation to Pelarianus who buried the bodies of the martyrs, and to his wife Kilkeya and his sister Tatbusya.

And on this day also is commemorated Gregory, Bishop of the island of Nusis (Nyssa).  Salutation to Gregory, Bishop of the city (sic) of Nusis (Nyssa).

And on this day also the men of Nagran and Saint Khirut their father were martyred in the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinus, when Abba John was Archbishop of Jerusalem, and Abba Timothy was Archbishop of Alexandria, and Abba Timothy was Archbishop of Constantinople, and Euphrasius was Archbishop of Antioch, and Caleb the righteous was King of Ethiopia.  And in those days there reigned in Saba a Jew whose name was Phinehas, and he was an infidel and a man of iniquity, and one who shed the blood of men.  In ancient times the country of Saba was under the rule of the Kings of Ethiopia, and the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus having driven out the Jews subsequently inherited it.  And by the side of the country of Saba was a very great city wherein lived very many believers and men who confessed Jesus Christ.  And there came that Jewish king to destroy the holy and Christ-loving city, and to plunder the houses of the Christians.  When he came to the city he saw the sign of the Cross all round on the walls thereof, and upon the gates and ramparts thereof were standing large numbers of mighty men of war, and the heart of the Jewish king was filled with rage.  And he wished to go into the city but was unable to find any means of so doing, because God had strengthened it, but he slew the slaves who were working the ground, and whom he found outside the city, and he carried off their children into captivity, and gave them over to forced labors.  And that Jew who was as foul as Diablos, the Adversary, sent a message to the men [in the city] saying, “I swear unto you by the Name of the Lord God, and by the Torah, and by the prophets, that I do not wish to do you any harm, and I do not wish to ill-treat any man of this city, and I do not wish to shed one drop of blood.  But I want to see the buildings of the city, and the broad spaces thereof, and the marketplaces”; and the people of the city believed his word.  Then Khirut, and son of Ka’ab, said, “Do not believe the word of this infidel Jew, for he is a man of iniquity, and do not open the gates”; and the people refused to listen to him and they opened the gates.  As soon as the Jew had entered the city he commanded [his men] first of all to plunder the goods of the men of the city, and to light a fire so large that its flame reached unto heaven.  Then he commanded them to bring to him Abba Paul, Bishop of the city, and when they told him that he was dead, he made them bring the bishop’s bones out of the grave and had them burned in the fire.  Then he assembled the priests, and the deacons, and the monks, and the widows and those who were being taught, who passed day and night in reading the Holy Scriptures.  [All] these he cast into the fire, and they were in number four hundred and twenty-six souls.  Now he wanted to frighten the Christians by this act.  Then he commanded his men to put a collar round the neck of Saint Khirut, and to load his hands and feet with fetters; and he fettered also all the nobles and chief men of the city.  And he commanded a crier to go through all the city, crying, “Whosoever will not deny Christ shall die an evil death.”  When the holy Christians heard this they cried out, saying, “Far be it from us!  We will not do this thing.  We will not deny Christ our God; in Whom we have believed, and in Whose Name we have been baptized.”  When that filthy Jew heard this he killed men and women, young men and maidens, and babes and old men, in all four thousand four hundred and fifty-two souls.  And as for the remaining women he commanded his soldiers to cut off their heads with the sword; now they were in number two hundred and twenty-seven souls.  And then he seized Saint Demaha, the daughter of Rabe’a, the wife of Saint Khirut.  Now this woman was very beautiful, as were her two daughters, and the sun had never touched them except when they sat in the verandah of their house.  And they stood before the [Jew] king, and he was unable to persuade them by means of his crafty promises to deny their Faith; and when they refused he commanded his soldiers to strip off their veils, and the women of the city wept for them.  And one of her two daughters, the younger, a maiden of twelve winters, spat in the face of the king; and a soldier who saw her drew his sword and cut off her head and the head of her sister.  Then the filthy Jew commanded his soldiers to make Saint Demaha to drink the blood of her daughters, and as she tasted it she said, “I thank Thee, O my Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, that Thou hast made Thine handmaiden taste the blood of the Offering of her daughters.”  And the king commanded them to cut off her head with the sword, and she finished her martyrdom there.  Then the king commanded them to bring to him Saint Khirut, and those who were with him in the prison house; and they were in number three hundred and forty men.  And the Jew tried to force Saint Khirut to abandon his Faith, but the saint answered and said, “Eight and seventy years have I served my Lord Jesus Christ, and I have come to the fourth generation.  And this day I shall rejoice if I become a martyr and if I die for His holy Name.  I did tell the people not to put any confidence in thine oath, and that thou wast a liar, but they would not believe my words.  Moreover, it is the good pleasure of Christ that hath brought me into this fight.”  When the Jew king heard this he was furiously angry, and he commanded his soldiers to take him into the valley and to cut off his head there.  When Saint Khirut heard this he prayed to God to strengthen the empire of Rome and the kingdom of Ethiopia so that they might destroy the kingdom of the filthy Jew.  And he blessed the people and embraced them, and then the soldiers cut off the head of the saints.  And there was there a certain woman, who was a Christian, and she had a child of five winters, and she took some of the blood of the saints and smeared herself and her son therewith.  And when the soldiers saw this they carried them bound to the king, and he threw the woman into the fire, but the Jew took the boy and he said unto him, “Dost thou love me or Him that is called Christ?”  And the boy said, “I love Christ, and I am the slave of Him only; let me go that I may depart to my mother.”  And when the Jew held him fast the child bit his foot, and the king snatched him up and cast him into the fire and he became a martyr.  And they also brought a woman who was carrying a child ten months old, and his mother said unto him, “I cannot give thee to this fire”; and the child said unto her, “O my mother, let us depart quickly into everlasting life; we shall only see this fire to-day,” and they cast the woman into the fire with her son.  And [the king] saw his soldiers fighting against the Christians and destroying them, some by means of fire, and others with the edge of the sword until at length all companions of the Jews were exhausted.  Then there appeared in the heavens a fire, which filled the whole sky for forty days and forty nights.  And when the Jew king had entered into his city he sent messengers unto the [neighboring] kings boasting of his valor.  When Justinus, Emperor of Rome, heard this, he sent a letter to Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria, calling upon him to send instructions to Caleb, King of Ethiopia, to make war on that Jew, and to avenge the blood of the people of Nagran.  When Caleb, the King of Ethiopia, heard this, he departed into the country of the Jew king with many soldiers, and many ships, having received the blessing of Abba Pantaleon of the Cell.  Having arrived in the country he destroyed all the city of the King of Saba, and he left nothing therein, neither man nor beast.  And he rebuilt the city of Nagran, and established the commemoration of the martyrs thereof.  And he sent glad tidings to Justinus, Emperor of Rome, and to Timothy, the Archbishop, and there was great joy, and they gave thanks unto Christ.  Salutation to the bright Stars of Nagran who have illumined all the world.

And on this day also died Saint Iyasus Mo’a, and on it Gelyos, and Mayen, Mekwas, and Maryales are commemorated.  Salutation to Iyasus Mo’a, who for forty years never slept on his side.

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