IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day died the holy father, Abba Akrepinu (Akrepos), the tenth Archbishop of the city of Alexandria. This father was a God-fearing man, and he was holy and pure; and he was a priest in the city of Alexandria. And when father Claudian, the archbishop who preceded him, died, the people of the city of Alexandria chose this father and made him archbishop. And having been set over the Church of God on the throne of Mark the evangelist, he followed a good course of life like the Apostles, and he preached and taught the Christian Faith, and the life-giving Law, and he watched the people with his eyes, and shepherded his flock and helped them. He took no trouble to become possessed of one silver dirham, or one dinar, and he only ate because he was hungry, and he dressed only to protect his body against cold and heat. And he read the Scriptures frequently to his people, and he taught them, both great and small, and he kept vigil and prayed for them all; and he continued this strife for twelve years and he pleased God and died in peace. Salutation to ‘Akrepinu (‘Akrepos), who succeeded Claudian.
And on this day also died the holy father Abba Besoy, who was called “Peter.” This holy man came from Upper Egypt, from the city of ‘Akhim (Akhmim). In the days of his early manhood he used to do works of abomination, and to eat and drink luxuriously. When God chose him He brought upon him a severe illness, and he well-nigh died and delivered up his spirit, and He showed him the places of punishment, and the great deep pits of hell, and he saw men clothed in shining apparel, and in their hands they had the body of a man which they tore into four pieces. And they said unto Besoy, “Thus will they do unto every man who stealeth the possessions of men.” When he heard this word he was sorrowful in his heart, and he wept a bitter weeping, and his soul returned to his body, and he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “O my Lord and God, if Thou wilt heal me of this sickness, I will repent of this my sin, and I will worship Thee with all my heart, and from this time forward I will never look at a woman again.” And straightway God healed him of his sickness, and he rose up and went to Dabra Banwayet, and the monks counseled him, and they arrayed him in the garb of the monk. And he fought a great fight with fasting, and prayer, and vigils for many years, until his fame was heard of throughout Egypt; and he excelled among many saints, and he composed many Homilies and Admonitions, and Teachings for the monks and for the laity. And he fasted a month at a time, and neither ate bread nor drank water; and continued to fight the fight in this manner for a period of five and thirty years. And he used to stand up all night in prayer. And the works of men were manifest before him, whether righteous or sinners; and after this he became a little sick and he died in peace. Salutation to Besoy who was called Peter.
And on this day died the holy father Nob, the owner of the fan (?) of gold. Salutation to Nob with his fan (?) of gold, the driver away of wild beasts.
And on this day also died Abba Eblo, who was like unto an angel of God. And behold we have written his history in the section for the twenty-fifth day of the month of Tekemt. Salutation to Abba ‘Eblo.
And on this day also took place the translation of the bodies of the forty-nine elders (monks) who became martyrs in the desert of Scete, in the monastery of Abba Macarius.
Salutation to the translation of the holy bones to the cave, which was built for them under the care of Benyami.
And on this day also died Saint ‘Abulidis, Archbishop of the city of Rome. And behold his history is written in the section for the sixth day of this (sic) month. Salutation to ‘Abulidis.
And on this day also the holy father Abba ‘Ebelo, the shepherd, became [a martyr]. This saint was shepherd of sheep, and he gave himself to Satan in his youth. He used to commit fornication, and steal, and commit murder, and there was no kind of sin which he did not commit, for he committed them all, up to the age of forty years, and performed every kind of work of Satan. One day whilst he was sitting in the desert at mid-day, and wanting to cut the hair of his sheep, Satan cast a thought into his heart, and he said, “Behold, I have sinned from my youth up until now. I have fulfilled everything, which Satan commanded me to do. I have left no sin whatsoever in this world uncommitted. There is, however, one sinful deed left me to do, for I want to rip open the belly of a woman who is with child, so that I may see how the child lieth in her womb.” And as he was thinking this thought in his heart, behold a woman who was with child, and was very near her time for bringing forth her child, was walking in the desert during the hot period of the day. When he saw her he rose up straightway, and without mercy seized the hair of her head, and threw her on the ground, and took a knife and ripped up her belly, and saw how the child was lying in her womb. And after this the child died, and his mother died in great agony. And when the shepherd saw the great sin which he had committed, he was exceedingly sorry, and he rent his garments forthwith and cast dust upon his head, and he cried out and wept bitterly and said, “Woe to me, for I have committed the great and unforgivable sin.” And straightway he left his flocks scattered about, and he took a rod in his hand, and he walked about, weeping bitterly, until he came to the desert of Scete. And he did not mingle with the elder monks, and he did not tell them what he had done, but he went into the Inner Desert, a very long way from them, a distance of ten stadia. He had no bread with him to eat, and he had no abode wherein to dwell, but he ate with the beasts and he drank with them. And he used to cry out by night and by day unceasingly, saying, “I have sinned, I am a sinner, I have done evil. Forgive me, Thou art God, the good Father, for there is no man without sin; and God is not without mercy.” And he continued to fight in this way for forty years, and his body became dried up and black through the dew of heaven, and the heat of the summer. And when he entered upon the fortieth year of his abode in the desert, he heard a voice, saying, “Be strong and of good courage, for behold thy sin is forgiven thee, and the murder of the woman is forgiven thee; but the murder of the child is not forgiven thee up to this present.” And God in His mercy said unto him so that he might not become apathetic, and might not fall into sin a second time. And having heard these words he increased his bitter weeping, and his fighting until that year was ended. And towards the end of the fortieth year, when only three days remained from its end, the angel of God appeared unto a desert monk who lived far from him, in the desert, a distance of twelve stadia, and who had dwelt there in the desert for seventy years without seeing a man. And the angel of God said unto him, “Get thee outside thy desert, and thou shalt find an old man, and when he hath confessed to thee everything which he hath done, comfort him, and say unto him, ‘Behold, all thy sin is forgiven thee, and also the murder of the child; thy sin is forgiven thee.’” And the desert monk rose up and departed, and he went to the old man and talked to him, and they embraced each other, and Abba ‘Ebelo wept unceasingly. And the desert monk said unto him, “Tell me what thou hast done, and why thou didst come hither”; and he told him everything, which had happened to him, and how he had ripped up the belly of the woman. And the desert monk said unto him, “Fear not, for thy sin is remitted to thee.” And the desert monk said unto him, “Whence dost thou receive the Offering?” And the shepherd said unto him, “O my holy father, as God liveth, during the whole of the forty years which I have been living in this desert I have seen no man save thyself.” And the desert monk said unto him, “O my beloved father, rejoice, for tomorrow the angel of God shall come unto thee, and shall administer the Offering unto thee, at dawn.” And when the morning of the day preceding the Sabbath had come there arose the smell of a perfume which was exceedingly sweet, the like whereof had never been smelt before, and Abba ‘Ebelo said unto the desert monk, “O my father, my soul craveth to depart through fear.” And when he had said this, he saw the angel of God standing by him in the form of a monk, and his face was shining very brightly, and he sang a psalm, saying, “I was afflicted and God delivered me. Return, my soul, to thy rest; God hath helped thee. For he hath delivered my soul from death, and mine eyes from tears, and my feet from slipping, as God was well-pleased in the country of the living” (Psalm cxvi, 6 ff.). When Abba ‘Ebelo the shepherd heard this, he fell down upon the ground, and was as one dead through fear. Then the angel, in the form of a monk, put forth his hand, and lifted him up, and the shepherd saw that the angel in the form of a man was strong of heart, and he received the Holy and Divine Mysteries which had come down from heaven from the hand of the shining angel, with great reverence, and with fear and trembling. And the angel of God ascended into heaven. And when Abba ‘Ebelo had received the Offering from the hand of the angel, his body became white like snow, and he and the desert monk rejoiced, and glorified God until the evening. And the shepherd Abba Ebeloy did not cease to pray as of old, saying, “I have sinned seventy times seven; I have done evil, forgive me, for Thou art God, and the Good Father; there is no man without sin, and God is not without mercy.” And they passed that day, which was the First Day of the week, in glorifying God, and they did so until night, and then an exceeding sweet smell of a fragrant perfume made itself apparent, and it was stronger than before. And the desert monk said unto Abba ‘Ebelo, “O my brother, wash in a little water, for this is the hour wherein thou wilt receive for my sake [the reward of thy] toil. Rejoice, my brother, for thou shalt rest now”; and straightway the angel of God administered unto them the Holy Mysteries; and Abba ‘Ebelo the shepherd died forthwith. And the angels took up his soul and flew up with it into the heights, and the desert monk wept for him, saying, “What shall I do? I am an old man, and I cannot carry thy body, and I have nothing wherewith to dig [a grave for thee].” And straightway two lions came and crouched by the body of Abba ‘Ebelo, and they made signs with their heads to the desert monk, as much as to say unto him, “What shall we do?” And he made a sign to them, and they dug a grave for him, and they carried Abba ‘Ebelo to it, and buried him as men would have done; and the desert monk was sorry, and he said, “Father, let me find someone to bury my body!” And a voice came unto him saying, “I will bury thy body. There are left only three days before thou shalt have peace. Behold, I will send unto thee three men; tell them all the story of the fight of Abba ‘Ebelo, the shepherd, so that they may tell it unto others, that those who have fallen into sin must not despair of the mercy of God.” And on the following day three men came unto him, and he told them the history of the fight of Abba ‘Ebelo, the shepherd, and they marveled exceedingly, and they wrote down everything and they remained with him until the third day. And then the desert monk prayed and delivered his soul into the hand of God. And the two lions came and dug a grave for him near that of Abba ‘Ebelo, and they buried him as if they had been man, and then departed. And the three men followed them until they brought them to the monastery of Abba Macarius, of the desert of Scete; and they told the monks everything, which had happened. And the monks marveled exceedingly and they wrote down the story of the fight of Abba ‘Ebelo, the shepherd, and they used to read it aloud each Sunday; now his death took place on the fifth day of Yakatit. Salutation to Abba Ebeloy, whom Satan tripped up. Salutation to Abba ‘Ebelo, the teacher of the Law.And on this day also took place the deaths of Banwa, and Bula, and ‘Amoni and ‘Esia, the father and mother of Abba ‘Ebelo.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.