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THE FIRST MONTH
Meskerem 04
(September 14)

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

On this day died the holy father, Abba Macarius, Archbishop of Alexandria; now he was the sixty-ninth archbishop of the city.  This father was an ascetic and practiced strenuous self-denial from his earliest years, and he craved for the garb of monasticism.  He went up to the desert of Scete and became a monk in the church of Abba Macarius, and he performed great and severe ascetic labors.  He illumined his soul by reading the Holy Scriptures and translations of (or commentaries on) them, and he learned the explanations of them.  He excelled in the working of righteousness, and he was appointed priest in the desert of Scete.  And when Abba Michael the Archbishop, his predecessor, died, the bishops and many priests and doctors of the Orthodox Faith went to the monastery of Abba Macarius, and they assembled in the church with the elder monks of Scete, and sat there with them for many days debating and discussing the question of who would best fill this honorable position.  And they found that this Abba Macarius was the best man, and they agreed unanimously to appoint him, because very many of the holy men of Scete testified that he would best fill this position because of his righteousness, and his strenuousness and self-abnegation, and devotion to the ascetic life.  And they took him and bound him with cords against his will, and he cried out and begged them to release him, and he said unto them, “I am not qualified to be raised to the dignity of archbishop, for my mother married two men.”  Now they knew that he said this so that they might let him go.  And many came and bore witness concerning him, showing that his mother was a virgin and that she had only married one man.  Then they took him against his will, and they brought him to the city of Alexandria, and they appointed him archbishop.  Then they brought him to Mesr (Cairo) and the deed of his appointment was read in the church of our Lady, the holy Virgin Mary, of Mu’allakah in the Greek, Coptic and Arabic languages.  And during the whole time in which he sat he added to his works of righteousness daily, and he contended most strenuously.  Every day he taught the people and admonished them in the fear of God.  He gave alms and did works of mercy for the poor and needy.  During the whole of the period of his rule he never took anything from the Church, on the contrary he used to give God Most High a large portion of the dues, which were paid to him.  He sat as archbishop for twenty and seven years, and he pleased God and died in peace.

And on this day also are commemorated Simon the anchorite, and Joshua the son of Nun, the disciple of Moses, and ‘Ardase the archbishop, and 150 martyrs who suffered in Antioch, and ‘Enteya, one of the Seventy, of the people of ‘Ensena, and Theodore the bishop, from Debra ‘Eldanu, and theologian.

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