THE FIFTH MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day the departure of John the apostle and evangelist took place. When the lot went forth that this saint should go to the country of Asia, he was sad and wept, for he knew that the people there were wicked, and heretics, and stiff-necked; but then he received from our Lord power and consolation. And he went forth to the country, which was his lot, and with him was his disciple Prochorus. They embarked in a ship, and intended to go to the city of the Ephesians, but the ship was wrecked, and each man clung to a plank of wood from the ship. And the waves of the sea washed Prochorus, his disciple, to an island, but Saint John remained among the waves of the sea for forty days and forty nights. At length God commanded, and the sea carried him to the place where his disciple Prochorus was living, and he gave thanks to God that they had met again. And they rose up and went into the city of the Ephesians, but they were unable to preach in the Name of our Lord Christ, because the men there were wicked, and perverse, and invented pretexts [to harm them]. And John became the furnace-man, and tended the fire of the bath of a woman whose name was Romna, and Prochorus, his disciple, became a washer of clothes. And the mistress of the bath afflicted them sorely, and treated them with cruelty, and contumely, and she used to beat them with sticks and curse them with many, many curses because of their alien origin and poverty. And she treated them as her slaves, and she wrote labels whereon their prices for sale were written, and attached them to their persons. And they remained with her in great wretchedness until the son of the governor of the city came into the bath to wash. Now there had been in the bathhouse a power of the Satans from the time when it was built, and this power strangled the son of the governor, and he died straightway. And when the men of the city gathered together to see the young man who had died, Saint John came with them, and he stood still and looked on like everyone else. And when Romna saw him, she cursed him and said, “Hast thou come hither to laugh at me, and to rejoice thyself over the death of the son of my lord?” And the saint answered her gently, and said unto her, “Fear not, neither be thou sorrowful”; and he drew nigh unto the dead man, and made the sign of the Life-giving Cross over him, and he breathed on his face, and the young man came to life again straightway. And the men of the city cried out, and came to worship Saint John, and first and foremost among them was his mistress Romna; and she was weeping, and beseeching him to forgive her all the faults, which she had committed against him. And when Dioscorides the governor heard that his son was dead, he was smitten with fear and died; and when they told John this, he made the sign of the Cross over him, and raised him up from the dead. And he believed on Jesus Christ, and was baptized with all the men of his house in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And when John reviled the men of the Ephesians because of their worship of idols, anger seized them, and they stoned him with stones, but the stones came back and broke their idols. And when they prayed to their god there was a noise, and an earthquake took place, and three hundred men died; but Saint John prayed and raised them up from the dead. And the men of the city believed, and were baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And a certain woman whose son had been seized by an unclean spirit, came to him, and asked him [to help her], and he took the right hand of the young man and made the sign of the Cross over him, and he rose up, being freed from the unclean spirit, and he glorified God. And there was another man who had lain upon a bed for twelve years, and when he saw John he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Have mercy upon me, O apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And when John saw his confidence, he said unto him, “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ rise up”; and the man rose up quickly, and believed on Christ. And when Satan saw all these signs and wonders he was filled with craftiness and envy, and he took the form of a soldier of the emperor, and came into the city weeping. And two men who were passing by found him, and they said unto him, “Why dost thou weep?” And he said unto them, “The emperor hath given me two men who are magicians, and whose names are John and Prochorus; if ye can seize them for me I will give you gold.” And straightway the two men seized John and Prochorus, and wanted to kill them secretly, but when Dioscorides the governor heard of this he delivered them. And John performed many signs and wonders before them, and all the men of the city believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, except the priests of the idols, and they did not believe and they wanted to kill Saint John. And Satan stirred them up against him to kill him, but God Who protecteth His chosen ones [saved him]. And Saint John labored hard and suffered great tribulation until at length he converted them all to the knowledge of God. And the apostle Saint Paul is a witness concerning them, and concerning the denseness of heart of the men of Ephesus, and concerning their excessive love for idols. And with great toil Saint John brought them all into the True Faith, and he set over them a bishop, and priests, and deacons. And he went forth to all the cities, and traveled through all the country of Asia, and he converted all the people and brought them into the knowledge of God. And the blessed John lived ninety years, and grew very old, and he did not taste death by the sword like all the [other] apostles, but because of his virginity and purity they are all equally to be praised. And he wrote a Gospel and ‘Abukalamsis (the Apocalypse) which he saw in the island of Patmo (Patmos), which is full of mysteries. And he wrote three Letters, which are written in the Book of the Apostle, and it was he who reclined on the breast of our Lord at the time of the Supper, and he said unto Him, “My Lord, who is he that shall betray Thee?” And it is he who, at the time of the Crucifixion of our Redeemer, stood with our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary; and our Lord said unto the Virgin, “Behold thy son,” and to that disciple He said, “Behold thy mother.” And he it was of whom Peter spoke when he said, “And this one, what of him?” And our Lord said unto him, “If it be that I wish him to be [here] until I come, what is that to thee?” And when the blessed John knew that the time of his departure from this world was nigh, he summoned the people, and he brake bread, which is the Body and Blood of Christ, and gave it to them so that they might be strong in the True Faith; and he comforted them and blessed them. And he then commanded his disciple Prochorus, and some of the other brethren to take digging tools, and to follow him. And he went a short distance outside the city of Ephesus, and he commanded them to dig a pit, [and they did so], and he went down into it and stripped off his apparel, leaving upon him only a tunic and a napkin; and he lifted up his hands and prayed. And he bade the brethren farewell, and sent them away to return to the city, and he told the brethren to be strong in the Faith of Christ, and to do good works, because God would assuredly reward each and every man according to his work. And he also said unto them, “I am innocent of your blood, for I have never omitted to tell you of the least of God’s commandments, and there is no ordinance of His which I have not told you. After this time ye shall never again see my face.” And when he said this they wept and they kissed his hands and his feet, and left him in the pit and departed; and the saint knelt down upon his knees and prayed. When the people knew of this their hearts burned and they were exceedingly sorry, and they all went out, but they could not find his grave, only his sandals and a garment; and they glorified God Who had made His disciple to rest in this splendid manner, and they marveled at His work. Salutation to John.
And on this day also are commemorated George, and Matena the Archbishop, and Theodora the martyr, and Abba Likanos, and Abba Nardos of Dabra Bizan, who killed a serpent by means of his prayer and did not smite it with a stick, and who stood up in prayer until his feet decayed.
Salutation to Sabela (Sybil), the interpretress of the dreams of the nine wise men of Rome, when they made them known unto her. [Wanting in the Bodleian MS.]
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.