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THE SEVENTH MONTH
MEGABIT 16
(March 25)

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

On this day died the holy and honorable father Abba Michael, the forty-sixth Archbishop of the city of Alexandria.  This father was a monk in the church of Saint Abba Macarius in the desert of Scete, and he was a strenuous and devoted ascetic.  When the holy father Abba Theodore, the archbishop who had been appointed before him, died, the fathers who were bishops sat for several days in a body in Mesr (Cairo), debating and trying to discover who was the most suitable man for the office of archbishop.  And a certain righteous man, on whom was the grace of prophecy, told them, saying, “I was in the church of Saint Abba Macarius praying, when I heard a voice from heaven which said, Michael is worthy, and he is the man who is suitable for the office.”  And the bishops discussed together the virtues and righteousness of Michael, and they agreed concerning him, and they obtained from the governor of Mesr (Cairo) an order in writing to bring him from his monastery.  And they seized him, and bound him, and took him and made him archbishop on the seventeenth day of the month of Meskerem in the sixty-fourth year of the [Era of] Diocletian, (now that day was a festival of the Cross in the monastery of Abba Macarius) in the days of Al-Walid, the son of Hasimo (i.e. the ‘Umayyad Khalifah Al-Walid II, the son of Hisham, A.D. 724 - 744), and in the days of Warwan Al-Gadin.  And the men of the city of Alexandria remained for many years without rain, that is to say there was no heavy rain, only showers.  And on the day whereon this father was appointed archbishop, there was much rain, and the second and the third rains were very heavy.  In the days of this father very great tribulation fell upon the Christian folk; and very many of the believers fled from the land of Egypt.  And the number of men who denied Christ was twenty-four thousand.  And because of these things this father archbishop sorrowed with very great sorrow, until at length God did away the causes of this thing, which were due to Him.  In the days of this father, an archbishop was appointed over the Malakawiyan (Malachite), whose name was Cosmas, and this father debated with him concerning the unity of the Nature of our Lord Christ.  And Cosmas believed that it was even as this father said, and he wrote with his own hand, saying, “Our Lord Christ hath His Unity, one Nature in His Incarnation, even as Cyril the archbishop saith.”  And his bishops wrote the same thing with their own hands, saying, “It is not right to say concerning our Lord Christ and to assign to Him after His Unity two distinct Natures and two distinct Persons, like two men.”  And they agreed about this Faith, and they assigned to him one holy, general and Apostolic Church.  And Cosmas, the Archbishop of the Malakawiyan (Malachite), was pleased to be Archbishop of the city of Mesr (Cairo), and they all agreed about this counsel.  But among them was one corrupt person, a certain man who was a Malachite, and whose name was Anastasius, who objected to this; he was an Alexandrine, and he wished them to make him archbishop, and they appointed him.  And when they would not agree, Constantinus, Bishop of Mesr (Cairo), was pleased; now he was under the authority of Abba Michael.  On this man there fell great tribulation from the rule of the oppressors, and they punished him most severely.  They beat him with many strips, and they bound him with fetters of iron, and they shut him up in prison for many days; and they brought him before the judges of the government so that they might cut off his head.  And God saved him in order to protect the flock of the people.  And there was great torturing (or, persecution) in the days of the reign of Marwan (Marwan II, A.D. 744), [and] in the days of the governorship of Gabra Iyasus, the son of Muse (Moses), the son of Nasir, who withdrew from Judaism to Islam.  And he shut up the archbishop in prison, and demanded money from him; then he showed him kindness and brought him out, and then he banished him.  And he departed into Upper Egypt to beg for alms, and he brought back to the governor much money.  And this holy man went into Upper Egypt, where he worked very many miracles, and he turned many of those who had denied our Lord Christ and brought them back into the Right Faith.  When the King of Ethiopia heard the history of this father, and how the Muslim governor had punished him, and how they had shut him up in prison, he was filled with holy indignation, and he went down into Egypt, and he came to Upper Egypt, and laid waste many cities and spoiled them.  When he went down to the land of Egypt there were with him ten thousand horses, and one hundred thousand mules, and one hundred thousand camels.  When the King of Egypt knew that all this [invasion] had taken place for the sake of the archbishop, he released him from prison, and heaped great honors upon him; and in like manner he heaped exceedingly great honors upon the Christian people.  Then the King of Egypt entreated this father to write a letter to the King of Ethiopia, and order him to return to his own country.  And this father sent a letter to the King of Ethiopia wherein he invoked blessings upon him, and upon his governors and generals, and all his army, and he said unto him, “Behold God hath delivered us from the bonds of captivity through thee.  And now return to thy country in safety and peace, and God shall reward thee in the kingdom of heaven for the toil which thou hast undertaken for me.”  When the King of Ethiopia had read the letter sent to him by this father Archbishop Abba Michael, he rose up quickly and returned to his country in peace.  When the holy father had finished his good strife he departed to the God Whom he loved.

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