IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
this day died Abba Bula, who was surnamed ‘Abib. The name of the father of this holy man was Abraham, and that
of his mother was Harik, and they were natives of the country of Rome, and
came from the borders of Lupi; and since there was a persecution in the
days of the Emperor Maximianus they continued to fly from city to city.
As they lacked a son they entreated God, with fasting and prayer,
to give them a son. And the
angel of the Lord appeared unto them in a dream, and gave them a vine
cluster which was full of grapes, and when the blessed woman conceived, a
large tree which was near their house blossomed, and on the leaves thereof
were written in the language of Rome the following words: “Bula servant of God, and the saint of the God of Jacob,
Who dwelleth in Zion.” And
when the child was born they left him for some time without making him a
Christian. Then our Lady
Mariyam appeared unto the Archbishop of Rome, and commanded him to go to
the house of Abraham and baptize the child; and when he arrived there he
made him a Christian and called his name “Bula.”
When the father and the mother of the child heard [this] they
marveled because he had called the child by that name without their having
told him the name. When the archbishop had prayed, bread for the Offering and a
cup of wine came down from heaven, and he consecrated them and
administered unto them the Holy Mysteries.
When the boy was one year old he spoke plainly and said, “One is
the Holy Father, One is the Holy Son, One is the Holy Ghost.”
After a little [time] his father and his mother died, on the
sixteenth day of the month of Hedar (Nov-Dec).
When the boy was ten years of age there arrived a wicked governor
who ordered [the people] to worship idols, and when Abba Bula heard about
it, he went to the governor and cursed his filthy idols.
When the governor saw the small stature of the boy he marveled
greatly. And he commanded
[his soldiers] to drive nails into him, and to scrape his body, and to
strip off his skin, and to saw off his hands and his feet, and to beat his
back with whips, and to cast him on the wheel among the sharp knives and
spikes, and to drag him along the road of the city; [and they did so].
And Saint Michael came and saved him, and healed him.
Then Bula went to another wicked governor and reviled him, and the
governor was wroth with him and cut off his head with the sword, and he
was crowned on the eighteenth day of the month of Miyazya (April-May).
And Saint Michael came down from heaven and raised him up unharmed,
and he took him into the desert, and he arrayed him in the garb of the
monk, and put upon him a mark in appearance like the sign of the Cross,
and he said unto him, “God hath commanded thee to be a companion of the
Saints.” And Abba Bula went
up into a dry (i.e., withered) tree, and he dwelt therein fighting
incessantly, and whenever he remembered the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus
Christ and His Passion, he always cast himself down from the top of the
tree. One day having cast
himself down Satan was strong to kill him, and he died, but our Redeemer
came straightway and raised him up, and he said unto him, “Thy name
shall not be ‘Bula’ only, but ‘ ‘Abibha,’ for thou shalt become
many fathers.” And Bula
loved Christ more and more, and he was always beating his face, and
cutting his flesh with knives, every member of him, and he beat his back
with seven hundred stripes; through these acts he died three times and our
Redeemer raised him up again. And
on each occasion He showed him how he had been born of a virgin, and on
other days He showed him how he was seized by the Jews and His Passion.
And for this reason Bula lived without eating and without drinking
for two and forty years, and he never lay on his side for six and sixty
years. And he also kept his
head fixed for twelve years and six months, until his brains perished.
One day when he saw the Passion of our Lord, he place a sword
upright before him and then fell upon it and died.
And our Lady Mariyam came with angels to the place where his body
was, and she said unto him, “Peace be unto thee, O my beloved”; and
his body spoke and said unto her, “Peace be unto thee, O Queen of the
world.” And she laid her
hands upon his body and healed him. And
when his days were ended, and it was time for him to depart from this
world, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him having in His hands shining
crowns set with gems of various kinds, and shining raiment.
And He said unto him, “Come unto Me, O My beloved ‘Abib, so
that thou mayest enjoy never-ending pleasure.
I swear unto thee by Myself that whosoever calleth upon thy name I
will forgive him his sins. And whosoever commemorates thee, or show mercy on the poor,
or clothes the naked, or feedeth the hungry, or gives drink to the thirsty
man, or buildeth a shrine for thee, or writes the story of thy strife, or
readeth it or heareth it, I will forgive his sins even to the tenth
generation.” Having said
this He kissed his mouth, and bearing him upon His breast carried him up
into the air. And when he
heard the praise of the angels, his soul tore itself away from his body,
and entered the heavenly Jerusalem. Salutation
to the twelve handmaidens, and to the three and forty men, and to the
three hundred and sixty women, who under the influence of ‘Abib became
on this day also died Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?), who was like the angels.
The name of the father of this holy man Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) was
‘Amone, and he was a native of the city of Akhmim; the name of his
mother was Musya. And both of
them were righteous before God, and they walked in His way; and they were
very charitable towards pilgrims and strangers. Now they had no son at all. And his mother Musya saw a vision one night, and she saw in it
a shining man who had with him a tree, and he planted the tree in her
house, and it took root and blossomed and bore fruit.
And the shining being said unto her, “Whosoever shall eat of this
tree shall live for ever.” And
the mother of the holy man took some of the fruit thereof and ate it, and
it was sweet in her mouth, and she said in her heart, “Shall I, I
wonder, have fruit.” When
she awoke from her sleep she told her husband what she had seen.
And he told her that he had seen in his vision what his wife had
seen in her vision, and they praised God many times.
And they added to their works of righteousness and to their
strivings, and they fasted for two days at a time and their food was bread
and salt. When the mother of
the holy man Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) conceived, she prayed many prayers
and vanquished enemies. And
every night she prostrated herself to the ground one thousand times, and
every day five hundred times for a period of nine months, until she
brought forth her son; and she called him “ ‘Ebloy (Apollo?).”
After this she added to her works of goodness and righteousness.
When Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) arrived at man’s estate he wished to
assume the garb of the monk, and he continued to feel this wish until he
found the mans of gratifying it. Now
he had a friend whose name was ‘Abib, and taking him with him they went
forth by night, and they departed and became monks in one of the
monasteries of Upper Egypt; and they devoted themselves to the ascetic
life and fought strenuously. After
a few days ‘Abib died, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Tekemt
(Oct-Nov). Thereupon Saint Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) departed to the
monastery of Ablug, and many men were gathered together [there], and he
taught them the fear of God and right worship.
And on the day of the death of Abba ‘Abib, whilst they were
performing the service of commemoration, Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) said unto
them, “O brethren, whosoever shall pray this day in the name of Abba
‘Abib God will forgive him his sin, even as Christ promised him with
this promise, in the following words:
‘O My chosen one ‘Abib, whosoever shall pray one prayer on the
day of thy commemoration (now Saint ‘Abib had said to God, Forgive me
all my sin), I will forgive him his sin for thy name’s sake.’ “
And it came to pass in that hour that one of the monks died, and
whilst they were standing and were burying him, one of the brethren who
were monks felt doubts about what Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) said.
And straightway that dead man rose up, and he began to speak and to
say unto them, “Why do ye
doubt the words of Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?)?
God did covenant this covenant with our father Abba ‘Abib on the
day of his commemoration”; when the dead man had said these words he
turned and lay down again. And
the brethren, the monks, marveled and praised God. Now Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) lived very many years, and he
built many monasteries, and had many children; and in his days lived Abba
Macarius the Great. When Abba
Macarius heard the report of him he rejoiced therein exceedingly, and he
wrote to him letters comforting him and his sons, the monks, and
encouraging him to continue in the work, which was well pleasing to God.
Now whilst Abba Macarius was writing those letters in the desert of
Scete, Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?), being in Upper Egypt, knew by the Holy
Spirit that he was doing so. And
he said unto the monks who were round about him, speaking unto them with
the voice of God, “Be silent, O my brethren, for behold Abba Macarius is
writing to us a letter of encouragement.”
Having spoken these words in this manner, behold, straightway a
certain monk came having with him the letter of Abba Macarius.
And the monks went out and they received him with joy, and he read
the letter before all the monks with joy and they rejoiced with a great
joy. This holy man Abba
‘Ebloy (Apollo?) went to the holy father Abba Ammonius, and he saw that
holy woman, whose name was Yawahit, dwelling with him.
And Christ having wished to give him rest from the labor of this
world, he died straightway in peace on the fifth day of the month of
Yakatit (Feb-Mar). Now we
have written the history of Abba ‘Ebloy (Apollo?) side by side with that
of his friend Abba ‘Abib.
on this day also took place the consecration of the church of Saint Julius
the martyr, of the city of ‘Akpahos (Acfaha).
Now the saint became a martyr in the city of Tewa, according to
what is written in the account of his strife.
And this took place after the destruction of Diocletian the
infidel, when Constantine was reigning, and a few days before he was
baptized with Christian baptism. And
when he had been baptized the horn of the Christian kingdom was exalted,
and churches were built in the names of the holy martyrs whom the infidel
emperors had slain. When the
Emperor Constantine heard the report of this holy man Julius, and how God
had raised him up and preserved him so that he might care for the bodies
of the holy martyrs, both him and his servants, and carry their bodies and
bury them, and write the history of their strifes, and how he became a
martyr afterwards, he praised [God] for this holy man, for his fight was
good. And the emperor sent
very much money to Egypt, and he commanded [the people] to build a fine
church in his honor, and to carry his body thither and to lay it therein;
and they built a fine church in his honor even as the emperor commanded,
and they translated the body of Saint Julius and laid it therein.
And the Archbishop of Alexandria and his bishops consecrated it,
and celebrated a festival even as do we this day.
And many great signs and wonders were wrought by the body of Saint
Julius. Salutation to the
consecration of thy church, O Julius.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.