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THE TWELVETH MONTH
Nehasse 14
(August 20)

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

On this day died Simon Shalusi and John his friend.  These saints were in the kingdom of Yostos (Justus), the believing emperor, and their parents were rich and honorable; they wished to keep the festival of the Cross, and they departed to Jerusalem to worship at the holy places.  And when they had finished celebrating the festival, as they were riding back to their own city on their horses, they drew nigh to Jericho, and John saw on the plain of the Jordan certain monasteries wherein monks dwelt.  And he said unto Simon, “O my brother, these are the monasteries wherein live the angels of God.”  And Simon said unto him, “Can we see them?”  And John said unto him, “If we were with them (i.e. the monks) we could see them.”  Then they got down from their horses, which they handed over to their servants, and they told them to go on slowly in front until they overtook them; now they pretended to them that they wanted to fulfill the law of the body.  And when they had drawn nigh to the road of the Jordan they both said, “Come, let us make a prayer.  Let one of us stand on the road to our city, and let one of us stand on the road which will bring [us] to the monastery of the monks; and let us cast lots, and where it pleaseth God [for us to go], let us go.”  And then Simon stood up on the road to the Jordan, and John stood up on the road whereon their men had departed; and when they had cast lots, the lot went forth for the road of Simon.  And they embraced each other and kissed, and they went along the road to the Jordan rejoicing.  And one admonished the other to be vigilant in the doing of good works, and each feared that his companion would not attain to his end.  John feared for Simon, that he would not attain to his end, [because of his] love for his parents, and Simon feared for John, because of love for his parents, and because he had married in those days a beautiful and rich wife.  And then they prayed and said, “O Lord our God, if we find a monastery, the doors of which are open, let this be a sign unto us that it is the monastery wherein we are to become monks.”  And there was a certain archimandrite, who was called Nikon, and he used to work many miracles, and the gift of prophecy had been given to him.  That night he saw, as it were a man, who said unto him, “Open the doors of the monastery in order that sheep may come in.”  And when Simon and John came to him, he said unto them, “Welcome to you, O ye sheep of Christ”; and then he received them to himself as men who had been sent by God.  And they asked the archimandrite to give them the tonsure, and to array them in the garb of the monk, for they had seen a monk, with a crown of light on his head, surrounded by angels, and therefore they longed to become monks quickly.  And on the following day when the archimandrite put the holy garb upon them, their faces were shining with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and even in the night they could see each other’s faces as they did by day; and they saw crowns of light upon their heads, like unto those they saw upon the head[s] of the monks.  And then there came to them the spiritual thought that they should be separated from among the monks, and should go forth into the desert.  That night a shining man appeared to the archimandrite, and said unto him, “Open the gates that the sheep of Christ may go forth.”  And when he woke up he went down straightway, and found the doors of the monastery open, and whilst [he stood] sad and sorrowing, behold the servants of Christ came, wishing to go forth.  And he saw in front of them figures of eunuchs carrying lamps, and some of them were carrying staves of kings, and when he saw them he rejoiced greatly, and he joined them and they told him what was in their hearts, and they asked him to pray for them.  And then he wept for a long time, and he turned his face towards the East, and he set Simon on his right hand and John on his left.  Then stretching out his hands to heaven, he made a prayer, and committed them to the care of God, and he entreated Him to protect them from all evil; and he sent them away in peace.  Then they departed by the road to the Dead Sea, and they came to a river which was called ‘Arnon.  And the found a cave wherein an old desert monk used to live, now he had recently died, and in it there was what they needed, that is to say, a store of grain and food from which the elder had eaten; and they rejoiced in God exceedingly Who had prepared this for them.  And they lived there, and fought the spiritual fight for many days, and they lived apart from each other, the distance between them being a stone’s throw.  And Satan set himself in opposition to them, and he fought against them, and Saint Nikyos, their father, used to come to them in a vision, and pray on their behalf, and teach them psalms whilst they were asleep; and when they woke up they would recite everything which he had taught them during sleep, and they rejoiced exceedingly.  And heavenly visions were granted unto them, and the power to perform miracles.  And they dwelt in that desert nineteen years, and endured the cold of the night and the heat of the day, until they had vanquished Satan by the might of Christ, And then Simon said unto his brother John, “What doth it profit us to live by ourselves in the desert?  Come let us go into the desert, that we may be profitable to others and deliver them.”  And John said unto him, “O my brother, this thought appeareth to me to be due to the envy of Satan.”  And Simon said unto him, “God hath commanded me to become the mockery of the world; come, let us pray a prayer.”  And then they prayed, and they embraced each other, and they wept until they spoiled their apparel.  And Simon went to Jerusalem, and he continued to pray for three days to God that He would keep hidden his work until he died.  And then he went into the city, and pretended to be mad, and sometimes he healed those who were mad, and sometimes he carried fire in his hands.  And he found by the gate a dead dog, and he dragged it about by his girdle like people who amuse themselves, and at last the people reviled him and cried out, “The mad monk”; and they used to run after him and buffet him.  One day, now it was the First Day of the week, he took a branch (?) of a nut-tree, and went into the church at the time of the Offering, and he broke the lamps, and beat the women until he drove them out of the church.  And sometimes he seized women as if he were going to lie with them, and [he kept them fast] until their husbands beat them.  And when the time of his death had drawn nigh God commanded His angel to tell him the day of his death, and of the death of John his brother.  And he went in under a vine, and he and John his brother delivered up their souls into the hand of God.  Salutation to Simon and John.

And on this day God worked a great miracle in the city of Alexandria, (by reason of which many Jews believed,) by the hand of Saint Abba Theophilus, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, brother of Saint Cyril.  Now the miracle was this:  There was in the city of ‘Esmadreya a very rich Jew whose name was Falskinos, who feared God and performed the Law of Moses, according to his ability.  And there were in the city of Alexandria two men who were Christians, and they were poor and earned their living with their hands.  And Satan brought into the heart of one of them a blasphemous thought, and he said unto his companion, “O my brother, why do we serve Christ and [remain] poor, whilst this Falaksinos who is a Jew, is exceedingly rich?”  And his companion answered and said unto him, “O my brother, know that the possessions of this world are nothing before God.  For if He had power over them, He would not give them to the worshippers of idols, and to whoremongers, and to thieves, and to murderers.  The prophets were poor men and lived in tribulation, and also the Apostles, and our Lord saith, ‘The poor are My brethren.’”  And Satan, the hater of good things, would not permit that man to receive any of these words, but he stirred him up, and he went to that Jew Falaksinos, and he asked him and said unto him, “Let me be thy servant.”  And the Jew answered and said unto him, “It is not convenient to me for thee to serve me.  I only want a servant who believeth my Faith, and who is my own man.  If thou dost want alms, I will give thee money, and [then] depart.”  And that wretched man answered and said unto him, “Take me into thy house, and I will do whatsoever thou commandest me.” And the Jew Falaksinos answered and said unto him, “Wait until I take counsel with my teacher.”  And the Jew departed and he told his teacher how the man was a Christian.  And his teacher said unto him, “If he hath denied Christ his Messiah, take him and circumcise him.”  And the Jew returned, and told the Christian what his teacher had said to him, and the wretched man accepted this condition, and the Jew took him a carried him to their synagogue.  And the chief of the Jews questioned that wretched Christian before all the Jews, and he said unto him, “Is it true that thou wishest to deny thy Messiah, and become a Jew?”  And the Christian said unto him, “Yea”; and that debased and contemptible man denied our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, before the Jews.  Thus to poverty in money he added poverty in Faith.  And the chief of the Jews commanded them to make for him a cross of wood, and they made one for him as the chief of the Jews commanded, and they gave him a reed, on the top of which was a sponge full of vinegar, and a spear.  And he said unto the Christian, “Spit upon this cross.”  And he offered to him the vinegar and said, “Pierce [the cross] with this spear, [saying,] ‘I have pierced Thee, O Christ.’”  And that debased man took the cross and the spear from them and did as he commanded him.  And when he pierced the honorable cross with his cursed hand, much blood and water flowed forth, and ran down on the ground, and it continued to flow for a long time.  And straightway that apostate fell down and died, and dried up like a stone.  And great fear fell upon all those Jews, and they cried out, saying, “One is the Lord God of the Christians, and we believe on Him.”  And then the chief of the Jews took some of that blood, and made a sign therewith over the eyes of a girl who was blind, and she saw straightway.  And that Jew and all the men of his house believed, and very many of the [other] Jews believed.  And then one went and told Abba Theophilus, the Archbishop, what had happened, and he rose up, and took with him Abba Cyril, and many of the priests, and many of the people, and went to the synagogue of the Jews.  And the archbishop saw the cross with blood and water running down from it, and the saint blessed himself, and made the sign of the Cross with the blood on his forehead, and on the foreheads of all the people.  And he commanded, and they took up that cross with great honor and brought it with the singing of hymns to the church, and laid it therein; and they gathered up the blood from the ground and laid it in a vessel for “blessing,” and it healed the sick.  And after this Falaksinos and all the men of his house, and many other Jews, followed the archbishop, and they confessed before him our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom their fathers in times of old had crucified, and then he baptized them with Christian baptism in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  And he associated them with him in prayer, and he administered to them the Holy Mysteries, and they departed to their houses rejoicing, and praising, and thanking God.  Salutation to the conversion of the Jews.

And on this day also died Damiates, the martyr, who worked a miracles at the time when he, together with his servants, were stoned to death.  Salutation to the great miracle of making a blind man to see, and raising up to life a dead man on his bier.

And on this day also Saint Basilicus became a martyr.  To this saint our Lord Jesus Christ appeared when he was in prison, and He said unto him, “Depart, say farewell to thy kinsfolk, behold the time of thy martyrdom hath come.”  [The text is corrupt here.]  And he passed the night in saying farewell to his mother and to his kinsfolk.  And on the following day they brought Saint Basilicus, and tied him to two pillars, and beat him, and they made for him pegs of brass, and they fastened them to his feet like shoes so tightly that they pierced his feet, and the blood ran out on the ground; and all those who saw him wept for him.  And then they tied him to a dry tree, and men struggled with each other to touch the hem of his garment, when they saw the miracles, which he performed on many sick folk.  And then they took him to the city of Terlinos in a ship, and the soldiers said unto him, “Eat, that thou mayest not die.”  And the blessed Basilicus said unto them, “I am filled with heavenly food, and I do not choose [to eat] the food which perisheth.”  And on the following day they brought him to the governor, who said unto him, “Sacrifice to the gods.”  And Basilicus said unto him, “I offer offerings of praise to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  And then the governor commanded the soldiers to bring him into the house of his idols, and the saint stood up and prayed to God and at length fire came down from heaven, and burnt up the idols.  And the governor being afraid took to flight, and went outside the city, and he was wroth and commanded the soldiers to hang him [on a tree].  And the saint prayed, and gave thanks to God, and they cut off his head, and we saw his soul with many angels who were taking it up [to heaven], and our Lord Jesus Christ called to him and said unto him, “Come, ascend, Basilicus, for I am not a liar, and I fulfill all that I say.”  And thus he finished his martyrdom.  Salutation to Basilicus.

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