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THE FOURTH MONTH
TAHISAS 20
(December 29)

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

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].

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