IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day died Abba Abraham, the second. The parents of this saint were exceedingly rich, and they brought him up in the admonition and fear of God. And when he was grown up, they brought in a wife for him against his will, and on the seventh day, when he was sitting on his couch, the grace of God moved him, and he went forth from his marriage-chamber, the light guiding him, and he found an empty house, and he took up his abode therein. And he built up the door thereof, leaving only a small opening through which his food might be handed in to him. Ten years after he had left the world his father and his mother died, leaving him many possessions, which he distributed among the poor and needy. And he lived a life of fasting and prayer, and he possessed nothing except a head cloth, a tunic, a sackcloth coat, a bowl for water, and a coarse carpet for his bed; and in such circumstances he fought the fight for fifty years. The men in a certain city, from little to great, were pagans, and there was no man who was able to convert them to the True Faith. One day when the bishop remembered the faith and the wisdom of Abba Abraham, he urged him to become a priest, and to make the pagans believe; and with difficulty he appointed him a priest, and sent him thither. And having come into their city, he built a church, and made prayer therein, and he entreated God to convert them to the knowledge of Himself. And one day he came into the house of their idols, and cast them down from their seats. And when the men of the city saw this, they were filled with wrath, and beat him, and cast him out of the city, but when the night came they found him in the church praying. And they also bound him with a rope, and dragged him outside the city, and they cast stones at him, and left him well-nigh dead, and went away. And having risen up, by the might of God, they found him praying for their conversion; and being bound with ropes and dragged about by them he lived for three years. And when God saw his patience He turned their hearts to believe on Him, and they were baptized in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, from the least of them to the greatest; and they became strong in the Faith of Christ. And when Abba Abraham saw the strength of their Faith, he was afraid lest they should bring upon him the pleasure of idleness, and he prayed to God, and made the sign of the Cross over the city. And he went forth, not knowing where to go, and he departed to another city. And Satan, the hater of good, set himself in opposition to him and frightened him with many infernal devices, but the saint conquered him by the power of his prayer. And he continued to fight many strenuous fights, and practiced severe abstinence, and not a day passed without his shedding tears; he never laughed with his teeth, he never smiled with his lips, he never anointed his face, he never washed his face and feet with water; and he thought each day that he might die that day. And when his brother, according to the flesh, died, he left a daughter, seven years old, whose name was Marta, and her kinsfolk took her to Abba Abraham, and she was brought up under his direction. And he taught her the fear of God, and how to pray, and to fast, and to weep, and she was under his authority until she was twenty years of age. And then Satan envied him, and he made her to be on such intimate terms with a certain monk that at length he destroyed her virginity; and she changed her apparel, and her nun’s garb, and departed to another city. And that night the saint saw in a vision a huge serpent swallowing a dove, and there remained a little vomit under his feet. And on the following day when Mary (sic) was missing from her place, Abraham was frightened, and he prayed to God, with tears, that He would enable him to find her. And after a few days he heard where she was, and he changed his apparel, and wrapped his face in cloth, so that [none] might know him, and he mounted a horse, and arrayed himself and departed to that city; and when he arrived there, he went to the place where she was. And when he saw her dressed like a serving woman in a tavern, he was very sorry that she had left her seclusion, but he did no know how he could have prevented her flight. And then he gave the master of the house one dinar, which he had brought with him, so that he might prepare for him food and drink wherewith to make merry with Mary (sic), and he pretended to her that he wished to commit sin with her. And after supper he had her brought inside the house, and he took her hand and looked her in the face, and when she recognized him she became like a dead body. And he said unto her, “Fear not, O my daughter, for thy sin lieth upon me. There is no man without sin, except God. Come, return to thy old life and habit”; and she said unto him, “I will.” And on the following day he took her with him, and he set her on a horse, which he led by the bridle, and he marched along rejoicing, because he had snatched his daughter (sic) out of the hand of Satan. And when he had come to his house, he shut her up in a chamber, and she repented in sackcloth and seclusion, and she submitted so completely to his authority that all those who heard about her marveled. And God made manifest through her signs and wonders in connection with the casting out of devils and the healing of the sick. And when Abba Abraham had watched her repentance for ten years, he died at the age of seventy winters, praising God. And Mary (sic) lived fine years longer, and devoted herself more and more to the ascetic life, and to weeping by day and by night, and then she died; and those who saw her ascribed glory to God because of the great light which was on her face. Salutation to Abraham.
And on this day also died Saint John, the fighter of the spiritual fight, the soldier. This saint had Christian parents. He was a soldier in the army of Julian, and with him were other soldiers, and [Julian] commanded them to afflict the Christian people wheresoever they went. And he was the soldier at the head of his companions, and pretended outwardly to them that he hated the Christians, and wished to make war upon them, but in secret he fought on their behalf, and did good unto them, and gave them whatsoever they wanted. And he used to fast and pray continually, and give alms. And he lived a life like unto the lives of the saints, and he pleased God, and died in peace, and many miracles were seen at his grave. Salutation to John, the soldier.And on this day also died Abba Philip of Debre Bizen. Salutation to Philip.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.