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THE FIRST MONTH
Meskerem 02
(September 12)

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

On this day Saint John the Baptist, son of Zacharias the priest, became a martyr by the hand of Herod the wicked king.  This John the prophet rebuked Herod because of Herodias, the wife of Philip, for he had married her and taken her to be his wife, and John said unto him, “It is not right for thee to take thy brother’s wife.”  And Herod took Saint John and cast him into prison, and he kept him there because he was afraid of him.  And when his birthday came Herod made a feast for the nobles of his kingdom and for the magistrates of the city of Galilee.  And his brother’s daughter came and stood up among the festal company and she danced and pleased the king, and he swore an oath that he would give her anything which she might ask from him, even if it were as much as the half of his kingdom.  And she went out to her mother, and she said unto her, “What shall I ask the king to give me?”  And her mother said unto her, “Ask him to give thee the head of John the Baptist lying in a bowl.”  And when Herod heard this he was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oath and also because of those who were sitting at meat with him, and because he did not wish to be put to shame, he straightway commanded his servants to cut off the head of Saint John, and to give it to the maiden.  And they cut off the head of John in the prison house and gave it to the daughter of Herodias in a bowl and she gave it to her mother.  And there was great consternation that day, and their joy was turned to sorrow.  And when the holy head of Saint John was cut off, it flew up into the air out of the hands of the soldiers, and it cried out, saying, “It is not right for thee to take thy brother’s wife”; and it is said that the head is at the present time in the country of Arabia.  And the disciples of the holy man came and took his body and carried it away and laid it in a grave [where it lay] until the days of Saint Athanasius, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria.  And God commanded him to uncover the body of Saint John, and Saint Athanasius did so and laid it up by him until he could build a church for it.  May his intercession be with us.

And on this day died Dasya the soldier, a native of the city of Tayda of Egypt.  Arianus, the governor of the city of Antinoe, inflicted great tortures on this saint, and he cut off his head with a sword, and Dasya received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven.

And on this day also Didymus and the holy woman Marina became martyrs.

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