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THE FIRST MONTH
Meskerem 11
(September 21)

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

On this day Fasiladas (Basilides), the father of the kings of Antioch and their counselor, became a martyr.  This holy man was a general of the kings of Rom, and the whole kingdom stood by reason of his counsel; and he had many slaves and handmaidens.  There was a certain prince in Rom in those days whose name was Numerianus [son of the Emperor Carus], and he married a sister of Saint Fasiladas (Basilides), a lady of high rank, the mother of Theodore Banadelewos.  And by him she became the mother of Justus, and Claudius, and ‘Abadir.  These were the sons of the sister of Saint Fasiladas (Basilides), who was the sister of the mother of Victor.  And Fasiladas (Basilides) begot by her two sons, one whose name was ‘Awsabyos (Eusebius) and the other was [called] Macarius.  And at that time the men of Kuez and Persia were at war with Rom [about A.D. 283], and they sent Justus, the son of the king, and ‘Awsabyos (Eusebius), the son of Fasiladas (Basilides), with their armies, and they went to the war.  And Numerianus the prince went to fight against the other [enemies], who slew that king in that war.  Thus the kingdom of Rom was without a king to rule it and to administer the affairs thereof.  At that time the men of Rom gathered together large numbers of mighty men of war from every city into their army.  And among them was a certain man whose name was ‘Agripada, and who was a native of Upper Egypt, and a goat-herd.  And the Government took him and set him over the royal horses, and he was bold in character and a mighty man in action.  And one of the daughters of prince Numerianus saw him from a window of the royal palace, and she loved him and lusted for that ‘Agripada, and she took him and married him, and made him king, and called him “Diocletian.”  And after a few days he forsook the Lord God, the God of heaven, and worshipped idols.  And when Fasiladas (Basilides) heard this thing, he was very sorry, and he did not return to reign in his kingdom.  And Justus, the son of Numerianus, and ‘Awsabyos (Eusebius), the son of Fasiladas (Basilides), returned from the war with great joy, for they had slain all their enemies, and had lain waste their countries.  When they arrived in the city of Antioch and found that Diocletian, the denier of Christ, and the worshipper of idols was king, they were exceedingly sorry.  And they drew their swords and wished to slay Diocletian the king, and to appoint king Justus, the son of Numerianus, but Fasiladas (Basilides) kept them from this act.  After this Saint Fasiladas (Basilides) gathered together all his kinsfolk, and his soldiers, and his slaves, and informed them that he wished to pour out his blood for the sake of Christ’s Name; and they all said unto him, “The death which thou diest we also will die with thee.”  And they all agreed together and stood before King Diocletian, who feared them with a very great fear, for they belonged to the kingdom (i.e. the royal family).  And Herminius the father of Victor advised him to banish them to the country of Egypt, and to punish them there.  And he sent them all away, each to a different city, namely ‘Abadir, and ‘Ira’I, the sister of ‘Awsabyos (Eusebius), and Macarius, the brother of Claudius, and Victor.  Theodore Banadelewos he hung upon a komol tree, and drove one hundred and fifty-three nails through his body, and thus Theodore consummated his martyrdom.  Fasiladas (Basilides) he sent to a city of ‘Afrakya, of Five Cities (Pentopolis) to Masrus the governor; and when Masrus saw him he marveled exceedingly why he had left his kingdom and his glory.  And our Lord Christ sent His angel and lifted him up by the spirit into heaven and showed him the spiritual habitation; and his soul rejoiced exceedingly.  Of his slaves, some he set free, and some received the crown of martyrdom with him; now the number of the latter was 7033.  And [Diocletian] tortured the holy man on the rack, and they cut his body into pieces with sharpened rods of iron, and he died; but our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory, raised him up from the dead whole and uninjured.  And when all the people who dwelt there saw this, they marveled exceedingly, and they believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, and they cursed the governor.  And the governor was wroth with them, and he commanded his soldiers to cut off their heads, and they cut off their heads with the sword, and they received crowns of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven; and the number of these was 5700 men and 37 women.  Then they threw Fasiladas (Basilides) into a frying pan and roasted him, and he became like water, and his whole body was melted.  And the governor commanded them to dig a deep pit on the mountaintop, and to bury him therein, and they did so; and straightway our Lord Christ, to Whom be glory, raised him up from the dead a second time.  And Fasiladas (Basilides) came once again before the governor, and he cried out and said, “Be ashamed, O governor Masrus, thou infidel king, and let thy idols be ashamed with thee!  For behold, my Lord Jesus Christ hath raised me up from the dead, whole and uninjured.”  And when the people who were there saw this miracle, they believed on our Lord Jesus Christ and became martyrs, and they were in number 2300.  Then the king made Saint Fasiladas (Basilides) to go up upon a machine with wheels and a saw inside it, and he inflicted severe tortures upon him, and then he made him to lie on his liver upon an iron bed, and had a fire lighted under him.  And straightway our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory, appeared unto him, and raised him up from the torture, and made him whole and uninjured.  He made him a promise, and said unto him, “O my chosen one Fasiladas (Basilides), know thou that everyone who shall celebrate thy commemoration, or shall give alms to the poor for thy name’s sake, or shall give clothing to the naked, or shall give incense to the church for thy commemoration, and everyone who shall celebrate thy commemoration, whether in little or whether in much, to all these will I give remission of sins, and I will make their habitation to be with Me in the kingdom of heaven.”  And having said this unto him, our Lord went up into heaven in great glory.  When Saint Fasiladas (Basilides) heard this from our Lord he rejoiced with great joy.  Then Masrus the governor took counsel with his advisers, and said unto them, “What shall I do about this man whose name is Fasiladas (Basilides)?  I have no other torture left which I can apply to him, and he will not turn from his opinion.”  And they counseled him and said unto him, “Cut off his head with the sword, and be quit of him, for behold, all the men of the city were being corrupted through him.”  And straightway the governor commanded his men to cut off the head of Saint Fasiladas (Basilides), and they cut off his head, and he received a crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven in the place of the earthly kingdom, which he had cast aside and forsaken.  And signs and great wonders were made manifest through his body.  Now the number of all those who became martyrs with him was 5793. May their blessing and prayer be with us.  Amen.

And on this day also the holy woman Banafzez [literally “violet”], the interpretation whereof is, “Whose odor is sweet,” became a martyr.  This holy woman was old and very far advanced in years, and she fought her fight in the days of Sabor, King of Persia; they carried her away bound into captivity together with nine thousand Christians whom they had captured.  The general of the army first tortured her very severely and then cut off her head, the blood, which flowed from her neck, spurted out a very long way.  And the strength of [her] enemies, that is to say the soldiers who dwelt there, drooped, and the light of the sun was turned to darkness, and the odor of a very sweet smell filled the place.

And on this day also three husbandmen of the city of ‘Asni [in Upper Egypt], whose names were Sures and ‘Ankityos and Mashadra, were martyred.  When Arianus was returning towards the north he slew all the people everywhere and spared no one, and at length his soldiers were exhausted and they put back their swords into their sheaths.  And these three holy husbandmen met him on the bridge (ferry) on their way back from the field, and they cried out and said unto him boldly, “We are Christians.”  And when Arianus heard them, he said unto his officers, “Hear ye these men?  Do ye wish to kill them?”  And his soldiers said unto him, “We are weary, and we have put back our swords into their sheaths.”  And when the holy men heard them they said unto him, “Behold, here are our digging tools, kill us with them.”  Then they laid their heads down on a stone, and the soldiers hacked through their necks.

And on this day also is the commemoration of the blessed Cornelius, a general and righteous man.  He lived in the days of the holy Apostles, and he fought the good fight strenuously, and was well pleasing unto God.  And an angel appeared unto him and commanded him to send men to invite Peter the apostle to come to him, so that he might hear from him what was right.  And when Peter the apostle came to him he told him, and all those who were with him, the word of our Lord Jesus Christ; and Cornelius believed, and he and all his house were baptized; and Peter the apostle appointed him to the Church of Alexandria.  And when he arrived there he found [the city] filled with the worship of idols, and he baptized many of the men thereof and baptized them with Christian baptism.  And Demetrius the governor believed, and Cornelius baptized him and all the people of his house with Christian baptism.  And he passed his whole life in fighting like the Apostles, and he was the first of the Gentiles who believed [on Christ].

And on this day also died Saint Theodora.  This holy woman was a native of Alexandria, and she lived in the days of Zeno the emperor; a strange man forced her, and also took her handmaiden and defiled her.  And straightway she sorrowed with a bitter sorrow, and wept bitter tears.  And she put on male attire secretly, and went forth from the city of Alexandria in the guise of a man, and she called herself Theodore.  Then she went to a monastery of monks, and arrayed herself in the garb of the monks, which is the garb of angels, and all those who saw her thought that she was a eunuch.  And she devoted herself to the ascetic life, and fought a most strenuous fight, and she endured thirst, and hunger, and the weariness of night vigil, and the standing up by day; and she continued to lead this life for many years.  Now a certain man committed fornication with a certain woman, and she conceived by him and brought forth a child; and her parents said unto her, “Who is it that hath defiled thy virginity?”  And she uttered a lie against this holy woman Theodora, and said, “It is Theodore the monk who liveth in the monastery that hath defiled me, and I am with child by him.”  And when her parents heard these words they were exceedingly sorry, and they took the child and carried him to the abbot of the monastery, and said unto him, “Take this child, for he is the son of Theodore the monk, thy son.”  And the abbot summoned this holy woman, and said unto him (sic), “Why hast thou done this abominable thing, and brought shame and disgrace upon the whole community of monks?”  Now he did not know that it was a woman to whom he spoke.  And the holy woman Theodora said unto him, “I have sinned.  Have mercy upon me, O my father.”  And straightway the abbot was wroth, and he gave her the child, and expelled her from the monastery; and she dwelt in the desert seven years, and the child was with her.  And she endured many trials and tribulations caused by devils, and Satan tortured her cruelly.  After this she was received, and one brought her into the monastery again, where she lingered a few days and then died, and delivered her soul into the hand of God.  And she received life everlasting with all the saints, and she finished a good fight.

And on this day also are commemorated Saint Basil the martyr, Theodore, Bishop of Jerusalem, Kawestos, the chief of the martyrs of the city of Alexandria, and those who were martyred with him.

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