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THE FIRST MONTH
Meskerem 13
(September 23)

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

On this day is commemorated the miracle which the great Saint Abba Basil, Bishop of Caesarea and Cappadocia, wrought in connection with the young man who lusted for his master’s daughter, and whose heart was inflamed with love and desire for her.  And that young man went to Satan, the enemy of our race, by the help of an unbeliever and magician.  And that denier of Christ wrote a paper and gave it to him, and commanded him to go to the cemetery of the Pagans and to stand up by one of the graves therein at the time of midnight, and to lift up on high his [right] hand with that paper in it.  And this vile man having received these words from him, went and stood up among the graves of the Pagans, with the paper in his hand, according as the magician had directed him.  And straightway there came to him one of the Satans who seized his hand and brought him to Satan, the chief of the Satans, and he took that paper out of his hand.  And Satan asked him, saying, “Dost thou believe on me, O young man?  And wilt thou deny thy Messiah and not turn again to Him after I have fulfilled for thee thy desire?”  And the poor slave answered and said unto him, “Yea, my lord, I will do as thou commandest me.”  And Diabolos, the crafty deceiver, said unto him, “Write with thine own hand on a piece of paper that thou wilt do this.”  And the young man wrote for him on the paper, and denied Christ our God, and he believed on Satan our enemy, and he separated himself from Christ in the body after he had been one with Him in heart and soul.  And then Satan kindled lust in the heart of the daughter of the slave’s master, and she loved the young man exceedingly.  And she could not bear to be away from him for a moment, but she cried out boldly to her father, saying, “If thou wilt not give me in marriage to thy servant, then assuredly I will kill myself.”  And her father was sorrowful and wept bitterly because of this thing, and he tried to make her to be patient, but she could not be patient, and moreover, her love for the man was increasing continually in her heart.  And she overcame her father, because he was afraid that she would kill herself, being ashamed before the people.  And her father gave her to the young man, and he received the maiden from her father, and he took her into his house, and he satisfied his desire of her.  And after she had dwelt with him many days, her father and her mother multiplied their weeping and lamentation for her, and her father cried out to God beseeching Him to have compassion upon them, and to remove their sorrow.  And our Lord Jesus Christ heard their cry, and accepted their petition, and He made their daughter to know, and made it clear to her that the young man whom she loved was not a Christian.  And on the one occasion during the whole of the time which he had lived with her, when he went into the church, she saw that he did not partake of the Holy Mysteries and that he did not make the sign of the life-giving Cross over himself; and the maiden wept, and repented and was exceedingly sorry.  And when the young man knew that his matter was revealed unto her plainly, he said unto her, “I have not done any evil whatsoever.”  And she answered and said unto him, “If thou art a Christian, and if what thou sayest is true, come with me and we will go and enter the church together, and we will received the Holy Mysteries.”  And having forced him he told her of all that he had done for her sake, and how he had gone to that magician and written that paper for him with his own hand, and how he had denied Christ and believed on Satan, and had written that paper for him with his own hand, and had given it to Satan.  When the maiden heard this thing from him she was exceedingly sorry and rebuked herself.  And straightway she rose up and made haste to go to that pillar and light of the church, Saint Basil, bishop of her city, and she told him what had happened unto her, and she wept and did homage at his feet, and entreated him to deliver and save her.  And Saint Basil sent and had the young man brought to him, and he learned from him his affair, and the young man revealed unto him what he had done.  Then Saint Basil asked him, saying, “Dost thou wish to return and to be a Christian once more?”  And the young man answered and said unto him with tears, “Is it possible for this to happen unto me, my lord?”  And the saint said unto him, “Be of good cheer, and fear not,” and he made the sign of the Cross over him, and he shut him up in a chamber near him, and commanded him to pray until the third day; and Basil went and prayed for him.  And after the third day Basil visited him, and he said unto him, “What hath happened unto thee during the past three days?”  And the young man made known unto him that he had been in very great tribulation, which was caused by the cries of Satans, who showed him the paper, which he had written and were very wroth with him.  And Saint Basil said unto him, “Be not afraid of them, for God will help thee, and strengthen thee, and preserve thee.”  And Saint Basil gave him bread and water, and took him back into the place of his confinement, and prayed over him again.  Later he visited him again, and he said unto him, “What hath happened unto thee?”  And the young man said, “I hear their cry, but I see them not.”  And again Saint Basil gave him bread and water, and admonished him and rebuked him, and said unto him, “Be not afraid”; then Basil took him back again into his place of confinement, and went away and prayed for him.  Now Saint Basil shut him up in this way for three days at a time, and visited him every third day for forty days.  And when the saint visited him at the completion of the forty days he asked the young man what had happened to him.  And the young man said unto him, “O my holy father, last night I saw thee waging war against Satan on my behalf, and thou didst vanquish him straightway”; and when Saint Basil heard these words from him he rejoiced exceedingly.  And he summoned all the monks from the monasteries, and the priests, and they prayed for that young man all that night.  On the following day he brought the young man to the church, and the people of that city came there also, and Saint Basil commanded them all to lift up their hands to heaven, and to pray and to make entreaty to God and say, “Have mercy upon us”; and they did as he commanded them.  And they continued to cry out and to say, “Lord have mercy upon us,” until that writing which the young man had written with his own hand for Satan fell down; and it fell down in the presence of all the people.  And Saint Basil unrolled the paper and read it before all the people, and he blessed the young man and gave him the Holy Mysteries.  And he took the woman and blessed them together, and they departed to their house rejoicing and exulting in their salvation, and in the remission of their sins.  And they praised God and ascribed thanks to Saint Basil who by his prayer had saved them from the error of Satan.

And on this day also Abba Isaac the anchorite became a martyr.

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