THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
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.
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).
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.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.