THE FOURTH MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day is commemorated the festival of the Nativity of our
Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ in the flesh, of our holy Lady the Virgin
Mary. Now our God by the
operation of His Wisdom commanded that a decree should go forth from
Augustus Caesar, the emperor, that all the people should be numbered, and
their names written down; and because of this Joseph went up from
Nazareth, and the Virgin Mary was with him, to Jerusalem so that his name
and her name might be written down. And
he was of the tribe of Judah, and of the house of David, for the home of
David was in Bethlehem, even as the Holy Gospel saith.
And when they had arrived there, the day of her bringing forth
came, and she brought forth her first-born Son, and she wrapped Him up in
His swathing, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in their
abode. And there were
shepherds in that place keeping vigil, and tending their flocks.
And the angel of God stood by them, and the glory of God rose upon
them, and they feared with a great fear.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold I tell you
tidings of great joy which shall be for you and all nations.
Behold, there is born unto you this day a Savior, Who is Christ God
the Blessed, in the city of David. And
the sign of this is that ye shall find the Child tied up in His swathing
and lying in a manger.” And
forthwith there came with that angel multitudes of the hosts of heaven,
and they praised God, saying, “Glory (or praise) to God in the heavens,
and peace on the earth to the children of men [is] His pleasure.”
And the angels passed way from them and went up into the heavens. And the shepherds said among themselves, “Let us depart and
go to Bethlehem, so that we may know this thing which God hath made known
unto us.” And they departed
quickly, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Child lying in a manger,
and the place where he was shone with light.
When they saw they knew that the words, which [the angel] had
spoken unto them concerning the Child were true, and they worshipped the
Child, and returned to their places praising God and giving thanks unto
Him. And they related to everyone what they had seen and heard,
according to what had been told to them.
Glory to our Lord God and Redeemer Jesus Christ forever and ever.
And on this day also one hundred and fifty men and four and
twenty women became martyrs. These
people came from the city of Antinoe and they were infidels.
When the governor of Antinoe tortured Saint Paul the Syrian, the
martyr, these people watched Saint Paul the Syrian whilst he was being
martyred. And straightway the
governor commanded the soldiers to make iron nails red-hot in the fire,
and to gouge out the eyes of Saint Paul therewith; and when they had done
this they gouged out his eyes, and cast him into the prison house.
And the people came to him to see him again, and his eyes could
see, for our Lord Christ had healed them, and he appeared as one who had
not suffered any pain whatsoever, even as they themselves could testify.
And when those men and women saw this miracle, they marveled
exceedingly, and they knew that their idols could not perform such a
miracle as this, and that God Who had created them, the Creator of
creation, was the God Who had healed the two eyes of Paul.
And they all cried out with one voice, saying, “We are
Christians, and we openly confess the God of Saint Paul.”
Then they drew nigh unto Saint Paul and bowed down at his feet, and
besought him to pray on their behalf.
And he lifted them up, and blessed them, and said unto them, “God
shall accept your trust, and shall number you among the martyrs”; and
they went to the governor and confessed our Lord Christ before him.
And he commanded the soldiers to cut off their heads with the
sword, and they cut them off, and these men and women received crowns of
martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens.
Salutation to the festival whereon Christ was born.
Salutation to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.