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THE TWELVETH MONTH
Nehasse 16
(August 22)

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

On this day took place the Ascension of the body of our Lady Mary, the God-bearer, into heaven.  After her death the Apostles continued to be sad and sorrowful, because of her separation from them, and because they were left orphans by her; for our Lord had given them the hope that they would see her in the flesh.  Whilst John the evangelist was preaching in the country of Asia, on the sixteenth day of the month of Nahasse, he was caught up in the spirit to the Garden of Delight, and he saw our Lord Jesus Christ sitting by the Tree of Life, where was the body of our Lady Mary, and He commanded His Seven Angels to summon her from earth.  And they said unto her, “God, our Lord Jesus Christ, commandeth that the body of His pure mother shall go forth.”  And straightway the body of our Lady Mary went forth from the grave at the foot of the Tree of Life, and our Lord Jesus Christ comforted her, and He said unto her, “Come to Me, O My beloved mother, that thou mayest ascend to the kingdom of heaven, to the joy which is everlasting.”  And straightway all the trees of the Garden bowed their heads, and the angels and archangels took her up, and the righteous bowed low to her.  And David, the prophet, sang a hymn of praise, saying, “And the Queen shall stand at Thy right hand, and her apparel shall be of fine needlework with gold woven through it” (Psalm xlv, 9).  And she sat down at the right hand of the Son of God, with great glory, and she went up into the heavens sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim.  And John the evangelist was blessed by her, and he bowed low before her, and he turned and came down from heaven, and found the Apostles gathered together and sorrowing for the body of our holy Lady, Mary the Virgin.  And John told them what he had seen, and how they had taken the body of our Lady Mary up into heaven, with great joy, and praise, and songs, and hymns.  And when the Apostles heard this they were exceedingly sad and sorrowful because they had neither heard nor seen what John had heard and seen.  And whilst the Apostles were sorrowing behold our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto them, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you, O My children!  Why are ye sad about the body of My mother Mary?  Behold, I shall show her to you, and your hearts shall rejoice”; and having said these words He went up into heaven with great glory.  And the Apostles continued [to wait] there for a full year.  And on the first day of Nahasse John said unto the Apostles, “Come, let us fast for two weeks and let us entreat God, and make supplication unto Him, that He will consider us worthy and will show unto us the body of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son, that we may rejoice in her.”  And they fasted as John had said unto them, and it came to pass that when the sixteenth day of Nahasse had come, as it were to-day, our Lord Jesus Christ caught all the Apostles up to heaven, and they saw in her flesh our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son and God in great glory.  And she stretched out her hands, and blessed each one of the Apostles, and the souls of the Disciples rejoiced exceedingly.  And our Lord Jesus Christ served as priest in His holy Body, and Stephen the archdeacon ministered with Him, and John with Him, saying, “Stand up in fear”; and all the Apostles stood up around the altar.  And there was great joy at that time, the like whereof before never was.  And when our Lord had finished, He gave them the Holy Mysteries.  And then [Mary] went up before them sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim.  And our Lord Jesus Christ said unto our Lady Mary, “Tell thy children, the Apostles, to preach in all the world the commemoration of thy Ascension into heaven,” as it were on this day.  “Whosoever shall celebrate thy commemoration, I will destroy his sins, and he shall never see the fire at all, for mercy shall find every soul who shall take heed and shall receive the Holy Mysteries on this day, which is the day of thy Ascension into heaven.”  And our Lady Mary said unto Him, “Behold, my sons, behold, they have seen with their eyes, and they have heard with their ears, and they have received with their hands, and they shall see other wonders greater than these”; and as the Virgin was saying these words she gave the salutation of “Peace” to the Apostles, and they returned to the Mount of Olives.  And it is meet for us, O beloved brethren, to celebrate the commemoration of the Ascension of our Lady Mary into heaven with joy and gladness, so that she may make intercession for us, at all times, with her beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Salutation to the Ascension of Mary into heaven, and to Mary as the tree of knowledge, and to her body.

And on this day also took place the translation of the body of Saint George, the chief of the martyrs, from the country of Persia to the church of Lydda, with great splendor.  The translation of his body took place at the same time as the translation of the body of our Lady Mary, and therefore those who know how to love her, paint his picture with her picture, so that it may be a port of salvation for those who pray in his name.  Salutation to George.

And on this day also Gegar, governor of Syria, [became a martyr]; and this was the reason for his martyrdom.  When our Lord was with His mother Mary in the mountains of Libanos, and Gegar heard that Herod wanted to seize them and kill them, he sent horsemen to them to bring them away from the mountains.  And because of this Herod seized him, and tortured him with every kind of torture, and he cut off all his limbs.  And then our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him, and gave him a promise concerning everyone who should call upon his name, and celebrate his commemoration, and write the history of his strife.  And then the soldiers cut off the head of Gegar, and he was crowned with three crowns.  Salutation to Gegar, the governor of the martyrs.

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