THE FOURTH MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day died the honorable father, Abba John, Bishop of the
city of Burles. This holy man
was a member of a priestly family, and his parents were people of high
rank, and they gave of their goods to the poor and needy.
When his parents died he took the money which they had left him and
he built therewith a church, and he also built a guest house wherein
pilgrims and sick folk gathered together; and he himself ministered unto
them, and brought to them whatsoever they wanted.
And at that time there came to him a certain monk, and he saw what
he was doing, and this monk praised the ascetic life to him and made
manifest to him the honor thereof; and after that monk had departed, he
gave all his goods to the poor, and he went into the desert of Scete in
the days of Abba Daniel, Abbot of the desert of Scete, and he became a
monk with him and fought a great fight.
And then he dwelt alone in his cell, and the Satans envied him
because of his good fight, and they beat him very severely, and finally he
was obliged to lie prostrate for many days because of the beatings
wherewith the Satans beat him. After
this our Lord Christ healed him, and he became strong in His power and
overcame the Satans and, after this, by the Will of God, he was made
Bishop of the city of Burles; now in his days there was much dissension
(or schism) in the cities. And
he toiled with great labor to pluck out the tares from among the wheat,
and he turned many people from their schism and brought them into the True
Faith. And in those days
there was a certain monk from Upper Egypt, who talked much, and he used to
say, “Michael revealeth it to me”; and he led astray many men.
And when the saint knew that his work was evil, and that he was of
Satan, he commanded [his servants] to seize him and to beat him; and when
they had beaten him the man confessed his error, and they removed him from
the city. And there was
another [monk] who used to say, “Anthony the prophet appeared unto me
and told me many mysteries”; and very many men followed him.
And the saint took that man, and put an end to his teaching, and he
destroyed and tore in pieces all the books whereby he introduced schisms
into the church. And every
time when John went up into the sanctuary to consecrate the Offering, his
face used to become like fire, and his body like fire, and he seemed to be
like one who was issuing from a fiery furnace.
And when he began to recite the Liturgy tears used to roll down his
face like rain, for he could see clearly the hosts of the angels on the
altar; and again [he saw them] when he said, “Holy” thrice.
And when he laid his fingers upon the cup to sign the Offering with
the Cross, at the moment of breaking the bread he would find that it was
like burning fire. And in his
days there were evil men and heretics, whom Satan led into error, who
offered up the Offering twice a day, after they had eaten; and he
anathematized them and excommunicated them so that [men] might not do this
evil thing. And when they
would not hearken to his voice, he prayed to God concerning them, and his
petition was accepted, and God sent down fire from heaven and consumed
their leader; and when those who remained saw this they feared exceedingly
and entered the True Faith. And
then God wished to give John rest from the labor of this fleeting world,
and He sent unto him the Saints Abba Anthony and Abba Macarius to inform
him of the time of his death. Then
John gathered together the people and commanded them to love each other,
and to be strong in the True Faith, and then he lay down upon his bed and
died in peace. Salutation to
John who at the time of the Eucharist found the cup red-hot.
And on this day also [the Babylonians] threw Ananias, Azarias,
and Misael into the furnace.
And on this day also is celebrated the great Festival of the
Annunciation of Gabriel the angel [to our Lady Mary].
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.