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THE SEVENTH MONTH
MEGABIT 22
(March 31)

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

On this day our Lord Jesus Christ came into Jerusalem and went about it amid “Hosannas,” in order that what each of the prophets in his time had prophesied concerning Him might be fulfilled.  Jacob said concerning Judah his son, who is likened unto our Lord Christ, “He shall bind His foal to the olive tree and his ass’s colt unto the branches of the vine” (Genesis xlix, II).  And Zechariah also saith, “Fear thou not, O daughter of Zion, behold thy king cometh riding upon the foal of an ass” (Zachariah ix, 9).  And Isaiah saith, “Thy king shall come, the righteous one, whose reward is with him (Isaiah lxii, II), and whose work is before his face; he cometh riding upon the foal of an ass.”  And Abraham himself called this festival the “festival of the God [of] joy” when he went round the altar bearing young branches of the palm.  And David said, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast prepared praise” (Psalm viii, 2).  And Solomon saith, “The tongues of children (or babes) ordain righteousness.”  And he also saith, “And old men and children shall play in the streets of Jerusalem, and they all shall have their staves in their hands.”  And one shall say, (Zechariah viii, 4, 5) “Make broad thy nails and drape thy tabernacles.”  Now as to the conclusion of the matter; our Lord Jesus came to Jerusalem riding upon an ass, even as it is written in the Gospel.  And He drew nigh to Jerusalem, opposite to Bethpage and Bethany, by the mountain which is called ‘Elyon.  And He sent two of His disciples and said unto them, “Go ye into the city in front of you, and when ye come in ye shall find an ass tied whereon never man hath ridden; loose him and bring him hither.  And if any shall say unto you, ‘Why are ye loosing him?’ say ye, ‘His Lord hath need of him.’”  When those who were sent had gone there they found it [to be] even as He said unto them; and they loosed the ass.  And whilst they were loosing the ass the owner thereof said unto them, “Why are ye loosing him?”  And they said unto him, “His Lord hath need of him” (Matthew xxi, II, III).  And they took the ass, and brought him to our Lord Jesus, and they spread their garments upon him, and they mounted our Lord upon him.  And there were many who strewed branches of trees which they had cut off the trees, and many who strewed their apparel on the road on which He went, and those who followed Him cried out, saying, “Hosanna in the heights!  Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord, and blessed is the kingdom which cometh in the Name of the Lord which our father David [prophesied].  Hosanna in the highest.”  And our Lord Jesus went into the sanctuary, and everyone saw Him.  And when the evening was come He went into Bethany with His twelve disciples.  On the following day He went forth from Bethany, and He was a hungered.  And he saw a fig tree afar off and there were leaves upon it, and He went to see if He could find any fruit on it.  And having come to the tree He found on it nothing but leaves, for it was not the time of the year for figs, and He answered and said unto the fig tree, “Never shall any man eat fruit from thee”; and His disciples heard Him.  And He came to Jerusalem and went into the sanctuary, and He began to drive out those who bought and those who sold in the temple, and He overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats (or, stands) of those who sold doves, and He stopped everyone from taking out goods connected with the temple.  And He taught them and said unto them, “Is it not written that He said, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations, and ye have made it a den of thieves’?”  (Matthew xxi, 13).  And John saith, “After He raised up Lazarus, on the following day, when the many people who had come to the feast, heard that our Lord Jesus Christ had come to Jerusalem, they took branches of trees and palm branches from Jerusalem and welcomed Him.  And having gone forth they cried out and said, ‘Hosanna in the heights!  Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel.’  And our Lord Jesus found the ass, and He mounted him, even as it is written, ‘Fear not, O daughter of Zion, behold thy King cometh riding upon the foal of an ass.’  And His disciples did not know when our Lord Jesus Christ was praised that all this had been [ordained] of old, but they remembered [afterwards] that these words were written thus concerning Him, and that because of this the people had done as they did.  And those people who were there with Him were witnesses that He had summoned Lazarus form the grave, and had raised him up from the dead.  Therefore those people having heard that He had worked miracles, and especially the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, welcomed Him.  And the Pharisees said among themselves, ‘Do ye now see that nothing whatsoever will avail?  Behold, all the world followeth Him.’”  Matthew and Mark do not (sic) mention the matter of the palm branches, but they say, “And others cut down branches from the trees and strewed them in the way.”  And Luke mentioneth neither the branches of trees nor the palm branches, but he saith, “And as they went along they strewed their garments on the road.”  It is John only who saith, “They took branches of palms from Jerusalem”; now there were no palm trees in Jerusalem.  When our Lord was a child He went down into the land of Egypt with His mother, our Lady Saint Mary; and they found there palms.  And our Lord commanded that some of their roots should be pulled up and planted on the Mount of Olives, and forthwith the roots of the palms flew through the air, and planted themselves there.  From these palms the people took branches and welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ amid Hosannas, and thereupon envy seized the Jewish people and because of it they sought to kill our Lord Jesus Christ.

Salutation to the going up of Christ to Jerusalem, and to His entry therein.

And on this day also died the holy father and spiritual man Abba Cyril, Bishop of the city of Jerusalem.  This holy father grew up under the teaching of the Church, and he was an exceedingly learned teacher.  When Maximus, Bishop of Jerusalem, died, the people chose this father and appointed him to be his successor, and he shepherded his people well and carefully, and he protected them from the abominable and heretical wolves.  And when the bishops were assembled in Council in Sedreke, this father came and disputed with the followers of Arius, and he defeated them.  And he scattered them and drove them away, and he chased Acacius from his throne of the city of Caesarea.  And Acacius went to Constantine the emperor, the son of Constantine the Great, and he complained to him about what had come upon him through the Council, and especially about what he had suffered from Cyril.  And the emperor sent and exiled this Cyril from the city of Jerusalem, and he drove many bishops from their thrones.  And this holy man went to the city of Tarsis, and he visited Sylvanus, bishop of that city, who helped him and made him stay a few days with him.  And when the Council assembled in Lukaya, this father was one of those who were present thereat, and he cursed Akayyos (Achaeus).  And Akayyos (Achaeus) also went to the emperor, and told him what had befallen him, and he made accusations against this holy father Abba Cyril to the emperor, who sent and again exiled him.  When Constantine died, and his son Constantine reigned, he sent and brought back this father from exile to his throne, and he also brought back all those bishops whom his father had exiled.  And this father lived for the remainder of his days in peace and quietness.  When Theodosius the Great reigned, and a Council of One Hundred and Fifty Bishops were assembled in Constantinople, on account of Macedonius, and Sabellius, and Apollinarius, this father came and cursed all those who followed them.  And he added to the prayer of the Faith which the Three Hundred and Eighteen Orthodox Fathers had drawn up from the place where it saith, “And we believe in the Holy Spirit” to the end thereof.  And this father composed many Homilies and Exhortations, and he composed also a second book which contained eighteen Homilies on the translation of the prayer of the Faith (i.e. Creed), and this book is exceedingly profitable, and is full of all kinds of wisdom.  And he sat on the Episcopal throne three and thirty years, and died in peace.

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