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THE FOURTH MONTH
TAHISAS 15
(December 24)

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

On this day died Gregory, Archbishop of Armenia, who became a martyr, without the shedding of his blood.  Tiridates, the King of Armenia, as we have already said, tortured this saint severely because he would not worship his idols, and after he had tortured him he cast him into a dry pit where he remained for fifteen years; and God was with him.  And God caused a certain old woman to bring him food every [week], and no one knew how he lived.  And the emperor having slain the virgins of ‘Arsima, and herself also, because he wished to marry her, the bodies of the virgins were cast out on the hills.  And when seventy days had passed since they died, the emperor sorrowed for what he had done to them, and more especially for what he had done to ‘Arsima.  Then his friends asked him and said unto him, “Mount thy horse and go forth into the desert and hunt the wild animals, and so remove sorrow from thy heart.”  And having mounted his horse, he went out into the desert with all his soldiers, and at that same moment Satan mounted the horse and cast the emperor from it; and the king bit his own body, and the bodies of his attendants.  And God changed his appearance and he became like unto the wild boar of the desert, and he continued to go round about in the desert, and he bit everyone he met.  And thus also was it with the men of his palace, for Satan mounted upon their horses and there was great dismay and outcry in the palace.  All this took place because of the [slaughter of the] holy virgins and of those who were with them.  And the sister of the king saw a vision in the night and it seemed as if a man said unto her, “If thou dost not bring up Saint Gregory from the pit, ye shall never have relief, and never be healed of your sickness.”  And she told this to every man in the royal palace, and they were in a state of dismay because of this, and they trembled because they thought that he was already dead in the pit.  Then they rose up straightway and went to the pit, and they let down a rope into the pit to see if he was still alive, and they cried out to him to hang on to the rope which they had thrown to him.  And he seized the rope, which they had thrown down to him, and grasped it tightly with his hands, and straightway they pulled him up, and lifted him up out of the pit; and they washed him, and arrayed him in new apparel and they mounted him on a mule, and brought him into the royal palace.  And Gregory asked them questions concerning the bodies of the holy virgins, and they guided him and brought him to the place where the virgins were, and he found that they had been preserved from the wild beasts of the desert and fowl of the heavens.  And he commanded [the king’s servants] to build for them a beautiful tomb, which should be worthy of them, and he laid them therein with great honor.  Then the people asked him to heal the king, and to drive out from him the Satan of which he was possessed.  And the saint had the king brought, and he said unto him, “Wilt thou turn from thy evil works?”  And the king made a sign of consent with his head.  And the saint prayed over him, and he cast out the Satan from him, and his heart (i.e. senses) returned, and his appearance became what it had been originally; but God allowed some traces of the claws of the wild boar to remain in the nails of his hands and feet, so that he should not become haughty again, and he was submissive and humble.  And the saint also healed all the men of the royal palace, and cast out Satans from them.  And then he commanded them to gather together all the men of Armenia, and he gave them a Canon, and commanded them to fast every eighth day; and they did as he commanded them.  And he continued to exhort them, and to teach them the way of God, and concerning the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And they all hearkened unto him, small and great, and this is the origin of the belief of the Armenians in Christ.  And they asked Saint Gregory to baptized them with Christian baptism, and he said unto them, “It is not seemly for me to do this, for I am not a priest.”  And they sent messengers to the country of Lunya, and they wrote letters to the Emperor Honorius, and informed him that they had turned to God, and asked him to appoint Gregory their Archbishop; and they asked the Archbishop of Rome also, who was in those days Saint Lawendeyos.  And with their letters they sent many gifts for the Emperor Honorius, and Saint Gregory also was with them.  And their messengers came to the emperor and to the archbishop, and they read their letters to the emperor and to the archbishop, and the emperor and the archbishop rejoiced because the men of Armenia had turned to God, and they appointed Gregory Archbishop in the country of Caesarea, and they sent him back with great honor to Tiridates, and King of Armenia.  And when Saint Gregory arrived in the country of Armenia the people rejoiced with a very great joy because of his coming to them.  Then he built them a beautiful church in the name of our Lady Mary, and corrected the Faith of all their churches.  And then the blessed Gregory finished his course nobly, and he died in peace.  Salutation to Gregory who lived in a pit for three (sic) years, and suffered torture through the cold of the night, and the heat of the day.

And on this day also died Saint Luke of the pillar.  Salutation to him who fought the spiritual fights in iron fetters, and slew Mastema (i.e. Satan), and who fated six days in each week.

And on this day also Yemsah became a martyr.  Salutation to Abba Yemsah.

And on this day also became holy martyrs Herwag, Ananias, Kazi from the city of Akhmim; and Sansaradin and ‘Awganyos (Eugenius) from the city of Gawer; and on this day Miriam, the sister of Aaron, is commemorated.  [This paragraph is given under Day XVI in the Bodleian MS.]

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