THE FIFTH MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day died Abel, the righteous man, whose blood was shed by
violence; and he was the first-born of the dead, whom Cain his brother
slew. And the cause of this
was the fact that Adam transgressed the command of God, and ate of the
tree, although he was commanded not to eat of the tree, and death obtained
dominion over him, and over his sons, and he became a slave of sin, and
Satan was given permission to lead him astray forever.
Then when he went out from the Garden, and descended into the low-
[lying] land, he continued for one hundred years to weep and to lament,
because he was stripped of the glory of his honor, and was driven out from
his inheritance. When his
lamentation was ended, he knew his wife Eve, and she conceived by him and
she bore him Cain and Elyud his sister.
And then he knew Eve again, and she bore him Abel and ‘Aklima his
sister. And when the children
were become young men Adam said unto Eve, “Behold thy children have
grown up, let Cain marry ‘Aklima, who was born with Abel, and let Abel
marry ‘Elyud, who was born with Cain.” And Cain said unto Eve his mother, “It is right that I
should take my sister, who was born with me, and that Abel should take his
sister, who was born with him”; now this [he wanted] because ‘Elyud
who was born with Cain was more beautiful than ‘Aklima the sister of
Abel, and she was like Eve her mother.
And when Adam heard this, it was exceedingly grievous unto him, and
he said, “This is against the Law, and it is not right for thee to do
this thing, and to take to wife thy sister who was born with thee.”
At that moment envy (or jealousy) entered into the heart of Cain,
and he wanted to kill Abel. Then
Adam said unto Cain and Abel, “Get ye forth and offer up an offering to
God, and whichever He pleases let it be to Him.”
When they had offered their offerings God looked upon the altar of
Abel, and accepted his offering, and He rejected the offering of Cain. Then the jealousy and anger of Cain were increased, and Satan
came upon him, seeking a pretext for killing him. And when he had gone
down into the valley Satan visited Cain, and he said unto him, “Why art
thou sorrowful?” And Cain
said unto him, “Because my father hath commanded me to give my beautiful
sister to my brother Abel.” And Satan said unto him, “Hear my voice, O
my friend, and listen to my admonition.
Rise up and follow thy brother, and thou wilt find him drinking
water; smite him on his head with a stone, and when he dieth thou canst
marry both thy sisters.” And
the advice of Satan was good in Cain’s sight, and he burned with the
lust for fornication, for he was the son of perdition.
And then he took up a stone and smote the head of Abel, who died by
the hand of his brother through jealousy of a woman.
This was the beginning of sorrow, and the cause of death in the
world. And concerning this
God said unto Adam and Eve when they were in the Garden, “Ye shall not
eat of this tree, for in the day wherein ye eat thereof ye shall surely
die” (Gen. ii, 17); and these words referred to Abel before [he was
born]. And God said unto
Cain, “Where is thy brother Abel?”
And Cain said unto Him, “Am I my brother Abel’s keeper?”
And God said unto him, “The blood of thy brother hath come to Me.
Cursed shall the earth be because she hath opened her mouth to
drink the blood of thy brother; and do thou tremble, and be terrified all
the days of thy life.” And
this curse was exceedingly heavy upon Cain, and at length his seed was
destroyed from off the face of the earth by the waters of the Flood,
because of Abel. And Enoch saith, “I heard the blood of Abel crying out, and
accusing his brother.” And
our parents, the children of Adam, before the waters of the Flood, used to
swear by the blood of Abel, and our Lord said unto the scribes and
Pharisees, “Which of the prophets did not your fathers kill?
Therefore there cometh upon you the blood of all the righteous
which hath been poured out upon the ground from the blood of Abel the Just
to the blood of Zachariah the priest, the son of Berachiah, whom they slew
in the midst of the sanctuary” (Matthew xxiii, 35).
And Paul saith, “The sacrifice of Abel was better than [that of]
Cain, by reason of the faith which he brought to God, and it became a
witness concerning him that he was a righteous man, and the sacrifice
which he offered to God also testified concerning him; and [although] he
is dead it yet speaketh.” And
he saith also, “Jesus, the lamp and guide of the new covenant, and the
sprinkling of the blood of the prophet, which speaketh better than that of
Abel” (Hebrews xi, 4; xii, 24). And
then, when Adam missed Abel, his son, he said unto Cain, “Where is thy
brother?” And Cain answered
him angrily, saying, “How should I know where by brother is?”
And Adam ran into the valley and found Abel, and he took Abel’s
head in his arms, and said unto him, “Who killed thee?” and Abel said,
“Cain killed me.” And Adam and his wife wept for Abel for four weeks of years.
And as soon as Abel was dead angels came to Adam and said unto him,
“Good tidings for thee, O father of the world!
Thy son Abel reposeth in peace among the trees of thy Garden, and
his soul hath ascended to God as a sacrifice, which hath been accepted.
As thou wast the first to [bring in] death, so he is the first to
enter into the holy place.” When
Adam heard this he was comforted and he buried Abel in the Cave of
Treasures. Salutation to Abel
the accepted sacrifice.
And on this day also Hellanicus, the bishop [of Weshim], became a
martyr. When the Emperor
Diocletian, the infidel, heard the report that Saint Hellanicus was
teaching the people to reject his gods, he sent envoys to seize him, and
to torture him severely. And
when the blessed Hellanicus heard of the arrival of the envoys of the
emperor, he gathered together the people who were in his city Weshim, and
he consecrated the Offering, and administered unto them the Holy
Mysteries, the Body and Blood of Christ, and then he said unto them,
“After this time ye will never again see my face.” And they all wept with a bitter weeping, and they were unable
to hold him back against his will. Then
he went out and delivered himself up to the envoys of the emperor, and
they took him and gave him to the governor of Antinoe to torture.
And the governor tortured him severely, and God gave him strength
and enabled him to endure the torture; and then the governor took him with
him to the city of Edku and there also he tortured him severely.
And when he was tired of torturing him he commanded the soldiers to
cut off his head with the sword, and to cut through his body to the
shoulders; and they cut through his head down to the shoulders; and the
governor took him with him to carry him to the city of Tukh.
And as they were traveling in the boat, the saint, knowing that his
death was near, commanded one of the sailors, who was a believer, saying,
“When we arrive at the port (or quay) and I am dead, cast out my body on
a hill”; and having said this he died.
And they arrived in port, and straightway the sailor took the body
of the saint and cast it out on a hill.
And immediately certain believers, who had been commanded to do so
by the angel of God, came and took his holy body, and swathed it for
burial, and hid it among them until the end of the days of persecution.
And they built a church, and laid his body therein, and great signs
and miracles took place [therein] through it.
Salutation to Hellanicus whose shoulders were cut through.
And on this day also died the holy father Theonas, the sixteenth
Archbishop of the city of Alexandria.
This saint was learned, and wise, and strong in the True Faith, and
good in every action of his life; and all men loved him because of his
learning and wisdom. And he
built in the city of Alexandria the church of our holy Lady the Virgin
Mary; [until that time] the Christians and the believers were only able to
pray and to receive the Eucharist in cells (or caves) secretly because of
their fear of the infidels. And
this saint persuaded the people until they let him build beautiful
churches, and he converted many of them, and baptized them with Christian
baptism. At the end of the
[last] year of his office he baptized the blessed Peter, who became
archbishop after him; in the fifth year of his office he made him a
reader, in the twelfth year of his office he made him a deacon, and in the
sixteenth year of his office he made him a priest.
In the days of this saint there appeared in the city of Alexandria
the infidel Sabelus, who believed and said that Father, Son and Holy
Spirit are one Person; and this father anathematized him and brought his
evil faith to naught. And in
his days Cosmas, and Damianus, and their mother suffered martyrdom.
And this father finished a good life, and pleased God, and having
sat for eight and twenty years he died in peace.
Salutation to Theonas, who baptized Peter.
And on this day was consecrated the church of our holy Lady the
Virgin Mary, in the monastery of Abba Sinoda.
Salutation to the consecration of thy church, O Mary.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.