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THE THIRD MONTH
HEDAR 29
(December 08)

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

On this day became a martyr Saint Peter, the seventeenth Archbishop of the city of Alexandria; and he was the last of the martyrs.  The father of this holy man was the high priest of the city of Alexandria, and his name was Theodore; the name of his mother was Sophia.  And they were fearers of God and they had no children at all.  And on the fifth day of the month Hamle (July-Aug.), the day of the festival of Peter and Paul the apostles, the mother of the holy man saw many Christians with their children, and they wore festal apparel with decorations, and they were going to church; and she was exceedingly sorrowful.  And she went into the church and stood up before the altar of the saint, and she besought our Lord Christ with many tears to give her a son.  And that night Peter and Paul the apostles appeared unto her, and they said unto her, “Behold God hath accepted thy petition, and He will assuredly give thee a son, and thou shall call his name ‘Peter’”; and they commanded her to go to the Archbishop Theonas that the people might pray for her.  And after certain days she brought forth this holy man, and she called his name “Peter”.  When his days were seven years she gave him to the archbishop even as [Hannah gave] Samuel the prophet to Eli, and he became to him like a beloved son; and the archbishop made him a reader, and after that he made him a deacon, and after that he made him a priest.  And he used to help the archbishop in all his divers good works and in his administration of the churches.  When Abba Theonas was dying he commanded the bishops and priests to appoint Abba Peter archbishop in his place, and they appointed him Archbishop of the city of Alexandria; and when he was appointed all the people and all the churches rejoiced.  And it came to pass in the days of Diocletian, the infidel emperor, that there lived in the city of Alexandria a certain judge who was of the same opinion as the emperor, and who worshipped idols with him, and he had two sons.  And his wife was a Christian, but she was unable to have her sons baptized with Christian baptism in the city of Antioch, and she therefore took them and embarked on a ship in order to come to Alexandria.  As they were journeying over the sea, a violent storm rose up against them, and she was afraid that her two sons would die without baptism.  And she cut her breasts, and made the sign of the Cross with her blood, which she smeared over the foreheads of her sons, and she dipped them in the sea three times in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.  Then a great calm came, and they were saved from drowning and arrived in the city of Alexandria.  And she brought her sons to the Archbishop Abba Peter so that he might baptize them with Christian baptism, together with the sons of the men of Alexandria.  And when the archbishop wished to immerse her boys, the water congealed and became as hard as a stone; and he tried to immerse them three times, and each time the water became like a stone.  And the archbishop marveled and asked her what had happened, and she related to him how a wind storm had risen up at sea, and how she had cut her breasts, and how she had signed the foreheads of her sons with the sign of the Cross with her blood, and how she had immersed them in the sea three times in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.  When the archbishop heard this he marveled exceedingly and praised God, saying, “Thus says the Church; as one is baptism even so one is the Church.”  And in the days of this father Archbishop Abba Peter one Arius, a heretic, rose up, and the saint rebuked him but he would not hearken to his words; and having rebuked him many times and Arius having refused to turn from his wicked opinion, Abba Peter anathematized him and excommunicated him.  And when the Emperor Diocletian heard the report of this Saint Peter, and that he was teaching the multitudes everywhere not to worship the gods, he sent messengers to him to seize Saint Peter and to shut him up in prison.  And when the men of the city knew this straightway they took their weapons of war with them and they came to the prison house to fight the messengers of the emperor.  And when Saint Peter saw that there was going to be a great tumult on his account, he wished to yield up his soul to death for his people, and he wanted to be released from this world and to be with Christ.  And he made all the people come to him, and he comforted them and commended them to be strong in the True Faith.  When Arius knew that the blessed Peter was departing to God and leaving him under the ban of excommunication, he went to the great high priests, and told them to beseech the blessed Peter on his behalf, so that he might release him from the ban of excommunication; but when the chief priests entreated the blessed Peter on behalf of Arius, he added to the ban of excommunication which he had laid upon him.  And he said unto them, “I have seen a vision this night, and behold our Lord Jesus Christ was standing with His rent raiment.  And I said unto Him, My Lord, ‘Who hath rent Thy raiment?’  And He said unto me, ‘Arius hath rent My raiment; he separated Me from My Father.  Beware of him.’”  Then Saint Peter commanded Arkilas (Archelaus) and Alexander, and said unto them, “Ye will have to appoint an archbishop after me; beware of Arius, and have no fellowship with him in the work of the priesthood, and release him not from the ban of excommunication, for he is the enemy of Christ.  And thou ‘Arkilas (Archelaus) shall be archbishop after me and before Alexander, and thou shalt meet Arius and shalt die speedily.”  After this the blessed Peter took counsel with the messengers of the emperor (sic) in secret that they might bring him out from the inside of the prison house, and they dug opposite to it and took him out and finished the emperor’s command.  And they did as he commanded them, and they took him and brought him outside the city, [to the place] where was the grave of the blessed Mark the evangelist.  [The text of this passage is corrupt.]  And Saint Peter prayed and committed his people to the care of God, and he prayed again, saying, “O my Lord Christ, let the shedding of my blood be the end of the worship of idols, and may they be brought to naught and perish throughout the world.”  And a voice came from heaven, saying, “Amen!  It shall be according as thou sayest”, and a certain virgin who was near that place heard these words.  And Saint Peter said unto the soldiers of the emperor, “Finish what ye have been commanded to do”; and straightway they cut off his holy head with the sword and he received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens.  And his body stood upright for a space of two hours.  And the people made haste and went out from the city, for they were by the prison house and they did not know what had become of the saint until one told them what had happened.  And they took the body of their shepherd and their chief and made it ready for burial, and they brought it to the city and took it into the church, and laid it upon his seat on which no one had ever once seen him sit, even as he told them.  And when they asked him, saying, “Why dost thou not sit upon thy throne?” he answered and said unto them, “I see the power of God sitting upon it, and therefore I do not dare to sit upon it.”  Then they finished making him ready for the grave, and they laid his body with the bodies of the chosen saints, the archbishops.  And he sat upon the throne of Mark the evangelist fourteen years, and he was appointed archbishop in the tenth year of the reign of Diocletian.  And many signs and mighty wonders took place through his body.  Salutation to Peter, the preacher of the Faith, the counterpart of Paul.

And on this day also is commemorated the Birth of our Lord and God and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, of the holy two-fold Virgin Mary, our Lady.  Salutation to Thy Birth, O Thou Who didst show to Peter Thy raiment, which Arius had rent.

And on this day also are commemorated the forty-seven thousand martyrs who suffered in the time of the Emperor Diocletian.  Salutation to the righteous men who fought against Diocletian.  [This paragraph is wanting in the Bodleian MS.]

And on this day also became a martyr the great Saint Clement, Archbishop of the city of Rome.  This holy man was a royal kinsman, and was the son of Caustus, the captain of the army of the Emperor of Rome; his excellent and honorable parents taught him all the various kinds of learning and the philosophy of the Greeks.  And when Peter the apostle preached in Rome the preaching of the Gospel, Caustus the father of Clement believed through this holy man that our Lord Jesus Christ was truly [God], and he gave all his goods to the poor and needy.  And when his father went to the emperor he remained many days, and the brother of the holy man Caustus thought that he would marry his wife.  When the mother of the holy man knew this, she took Clement and his younger brother and embarked on a ship, to go to Athens, and to have her sons taught philosophy and learning until their father returned from the emperor.  And straightway a violent storm rose up against them, and the ship was smashed, and one after another clung to one of the timbers, and the waves of the sea washed this holy Clement to the city of Alexandria, where he remained a few days.  And God called Peter the apostle and said unto him, “Get thee to the city of Alexandria so that thou mayest find the servants who are fit for mercy.”  And when Peter the apostle came to the city of Alexandria, and preached the preaching of the Gospel therein, no man in the city of Alexandria believed except this holy man Clement.  When, however, he heard the preaching of Peter the apostle he believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and Peter baptized him with Christian baptism, and explained to him the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the riches and glory of those who worship Him, and how signs and wonders are wrought [in His Name].  And from that day Clement followed Peter the apostle, and he became his disciple, and he wrote the “Contendings of the Apostles,” and what happened to them with infidel kings.  Then he preached in many cities, and the apostles gave unto him the Books of the Canon to proclaim, and then he was appointed Archbishop of the city of Rome.  And he preached therein, and converted very many people thereof to the knowledge of God.  And the Emperor Trajan, the infidel, heard of him, and he sent his guards to seize him and bring him before him, and the emperor said unto him, “Worship the idols and deny Christ.”  And when Clement would not hearken unto his command he sent him away to a certain city to be tortured, for he was afraid of the men of the city of his kinsfolk, and he did not want to torture him where he was lest the people should rise up against him.  So he sent him away to the governor of that city and ordered him to torture him with many tortures.  And that governor hung round the neck of the holy man Clement a heavy iron implement with four feet (anchor), which is placed in ships, and he cast him into the sea.  And he delivered up his soul into the hand of God, and he received the crown of martyrdom like the apostles who preached.  And it came to pass that when a full year had passed he was seen in the sea, and the body of Saint Clement appeared, and he was preaching in the depths of the sea just as if he were alive.  And the people came and were blessed by him, and they wished to carry him off, and they brought a splendid stone coffer, and laid him in it, and they wished to take him up and bring him out of the sea, but they were unable to move him from his place.  And they knew that he was unwilling to come out of the sea and they left him there, and departed. And each year, on the day of his festival, an opening appears in the box above his body, and the people come and are blessed by him.  And many believing men who have seen this have described and written down accounts of some of his miracles, such as the following.  One year certain men came to be blessed by him, and when they went forth from him they forgot a little child who was behind the coffer of Saint Clement.  This happened by the Will of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that He might reveal their work to His saints and friends, and the grace, which they receive from Him.  And when they had gathered together above the sea, they sought for the father [of the child] and found him not.  And they thought that he was dead and that the beasts, which are in the sea, had devoured him, and they wept for him, and they celebrated his commemoration, and they consecrated the Offering and offered up incense according to their custom.  And when the second year had arrived and the time had come for the sea to open itself again, certain men who came according to their custom, found the child alive and standing up by the side of the coffer of Clement.  And they asked him, saying, “How didst thou exist and on what didst thou live?”  And he said unto them, “Saint Clement gave me food to eat and drink, and God preserved me from the wild beasts of the sea.”  And when they heard this they marveled exceedingly and they praised God Who is to be praised and glorified above all His saints and martyrs who have contended for His holy Name’s sake.  Salutation to Clement the author of the “Contendings of the Apostles”.

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