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THE SEVENTH MONTH
MEGABIT 17
(March 26)

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

On this day died the holy and righteous Lazarus, the friend of our Lord, whom our Lord raised from the grave after he had been dead four days.  This righteous man was one of the children of Israel, and his sisters were Mary and Martha.  Now Mary it was who anointed our Lord with sweet-smelling unguent (sic).  And all three were disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, and He loved them for their good works and virtues, and they were all virgins, and unmarried.  And when the time came for this righteous man to pay the debt, which is sealed upon the race of the children of men, and to drink the cup, which all men are bound to drink, he paid the debt on this day and died.  And our Lord Christ knew before the foundation of the world that it was on this day that He would raise up Lazarus from the dead.  He did not save him from death, but He allowed him to die, and Lazarus remained until the fourth day in the grave and he stank; and then He raised him up, and thus a great miracle took place.  And during these four days Lazarus saw the abodes of the righteous, and of sinners.  And our Lord Who raised him up came to him, even as John the Evangelist, the proclaimer of the Godhead, who was a witness of this, saith, “Our Lord called him after he had been in the grave four days, and He said unto him, Lazarus, Lazarus, come forth”; and Lazarus went forth, his hands, and his feet, and his face being swathed in funerary bandages, after the manner in which men swathe the dead; a miracle!  And the going forth of his hands and his feet and his face, which were swathed, was as much a miracle as the resurrection of his body.  Now the reason of his going forth from the grave with his hands and feet and face swathed in funerary bandages, which had not been unloosed in the tomb, was that all men might know that he had been dead, and that some might not think that his resurrection had been agreed upon among themselves.  And our Lord commanded that he should go forth swathed, just as he had been prepared for burial; for this reason it was a great miracle.  And if some infidels thought that he was alive in the tomb, how could he go forth there from with his hands, and his feet, and his face, swathed?  But we Christians believe and confess that it was our Lord Jesus Christ Who raised up Lazarus out of the tomb, after he had been dead for four days, for He is able to do everything, He is our Lord, and God, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Who is to be adored, with His Good Father, and the Holy and Life-giving Spirit for ever and ever.  Amen.

And on this day also Theocritus, the reader, became a martyr.  This holy man was a native of the city of Rome.  And when [the soldiers] seized all the Christians, and compelled them to offer up sacrifice to idols, they seized this Theocritus with them, and they brought him to the emperor who said unto him, “Wilt thou offer up sacrifice, or wilt thou put my tortures to the test?”  Now Theocritus was a youth fifteen years old, and he said unto the emperor, “I bring offerings unto my Lord Jesus Christ.”  And the emperor said unto him, “Sacrifice, O Theocritus, so that thou mayest not die a cruel death.”  And Theocritus said unto the emperor, “Come, O Emperor, thou and thy wisdom, and look upon my offerings.”  And the emperor commanded the soldiers to take him into the house of his god, so that he might sacrifice there; and the emperor stood at the door, and when Saint Theocritus had prayed there was an earthquake in that place, and their god Aesculapius fell down.  And the emperor, seeing Theocritus smile, commanded the soldiers to cut off his nose, and to bind him in fetters in the prison house.  On the following day they brought him out, and put him into bonds, and they also dug a deep pit, and spread logs of [burning] wood over it, and they cast him into it until the flesh of his limbs was torn into strips, and the marrow of his bones dripped out from them.  And the emperor and his soldiers were not able to kill him in this way.  And they brought him again into the house of their idols, and locked him up therein, and they thought that their gods would take vengeance upon him, but he broke them, and spat upon the idols.  And the angel of the Lord opened the doors for him, and he took the gold of the idols, and distributed it among the poor and the needy.  And having returned, the doors were locked again, and were even as they had been before.  And when, after eight days, the emperor opened the doors, they found their idols thrown down and smashed; and the holy man mocked and laughed at them.  And the emperor commanded them to hide the righteous man until he could make to appear the gods who had been destroyed.  And again he commanded them to take him into the theatre, and they brought him there, and the emperor sent lions against him, but the lions only licked his wounds.  And again the emperor commanded them to put him on a rack, until all his limbs were torn out of their sockets, and his body was distorted in a terrible manner; but even then Theocritus conquered mightily, and the emperor was afraid.  When the emperor saw his boldness, he commanded them to cut off his head with the sword.  And Saint Emerianus, the Bishop, and all the congregation, and crowds of people followed Saint Theocritus, who was helping them with [his] prayers, and they embraced and kissed the holy man.  And the executioner took up his sword, and cut off his head and Theocritus finished his martyrdom.

And on this day also are commemorated the saints Gregory, the fighter, and Talasius, the martyr, and Joseph, the Bishop, and the translation of the body of Nikor, the high priest.

Salutation to Gregory, Talasius, and the bishop.

Salutation to Abba Garima who appeared to Melimo in Dabra Dekhukhan [and] Dabra Kananmo.

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