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THE SIXTH MONTH
YEKATIT 15
(February 22)

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, 
ONE GOD.  AMEN.

On this day died the righteous prophet Zachariah, who was one of the Twelve Little Prophets.  This righteous man was of the tribe of Levi and the name of his father was Berechiah, who begot him in the land of Gilead.  And they carried him away captive to the land of the Chaldeans, and whilst he was there he prophesied with the divine gift of prophecy, which descended upon him.  And God spoke by his tongue many faithful and profitable words, and he prophesied to Iyosedek, and said unto him, “Thou shalt beget a son, and he shall be a priest to God in Jerusalem.”  And he took Iyasu (Joshua) and built a sanctuary in Jerusalem, after the Captivity, and was buried therein.  And he prophesied to Salathiel, and blessed him, and he said unto him, “Thou shalt beget a son and shalt call his name ‘Zerubbabel’”; and he begot Zerubbabel, and it was he who built the sanctuary in Jerusalem with Iyasu (Joshua) (Zechariah iv, 9).  And he prophesied to the unclean one, the King of Persia, and revealed to him the signs of the conquest (?).  And he prophesied concerning the coming of our Lord into Jerusalem riding upon an ass, and upon the foal of an ass.  And he prophesied concerning the forty pieces of silver, which Judas received for the betrayal of our Redeemer.  And he prophesied concerning the scattering of the Apostles on the night of the Crucifixion.  And he prophesied concerning the darkness, which took place on the day of the Crucifixion, and concerning the light, which hid itself.  And he prophesied concerning the coming of our Lord in His glory, and concerning the sorrow of the children of Israel who did not believe in Him saying, “And they shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn Him as [parents] mourn for an only son, and there shall be much grief in Jerusalem” (Zechariah xii, 10).  And when the days of his prophesying were ended he died in peace and was buried in the graves of the prophets.  Salutation to Zachariah.

Salutation to Babnuda.

And on this day is commemorated the consecration of the Church of the Forty Soldiers of the city of Sebastia, who were martyred.  This is the first church, which was built in their names.  The great Saint Basil consecrated it, and he pronounced a discourse upon them and many encomiums on that day; and he celebrated a great festival in their honor as it were this day.  Salutation to the consecration of this church.

And on this day also died the holy father, the devoted ascetic and fighter Abba Paphnutius.  This father became a monk in his early years, and he fought a great fight, and devoted himself strenuously to the path of the ascetic life, especially in respect of fasting, and prayer, and prostrations, and vigils.  When he had finished these good works, God, the Most High, commanded him to go into the remote parts of the desert, far away from the monasteries of the monks, and to visit the desert saints, and to write down the story of their fights for the benefit of those who were to read them, and to make us bow to the commandment of God.  And he went into the interior of the desert, and he traveled about among [the saints], even as a man walketh about through the city; and he found many monks there, and he learned from them their histories, and he wrote down the histories of their fights; among these monks were Timothy, the desert monk, and ‘Abunafer.  At the beginning of his journey into the Inner Desert great tribulation fell upon this Saint Paphnutius through hunger, but the angel of God appeared unto him and strengthened him; now he was seventeen days without food.  And after this he hungered, and dew nigh unto death, and the angel of God appeared unto him again and rubbed his body and his mouth, and he again remained for seventeen days without food.  And this saint related very many wonderful things about the desert fathers, and how that some of them had lived for sixty years, and more, in the desert, without ever seeing a man during the whole period of these days.  And he described also the tribulation of the desert monks when they first arrived there, and the sufferings which they had endured on their first entrance into the desert, and how their natural passions contended with them, and how unclean spirits made war on them, and how afterwards they subdued them, and how the spirits submitted to them, and worshipped at their feet.  And likewise the wild beasts and the lions used to minister to their wants, and he described how they submitted to them, like a slave to his master.  And he related concerning them that they used to receive the Holy Mysteries on the day preceding the Sabbath, and on the First Day of the week, and how the angel of God used to bring to them the Holy Body and Honorable Blood, and give them of the fruits of the Garden.  And it is evident that this father saw and heard marvelous things; and after this he died in peace.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.