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THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day took place the consecration of the church of Saint
Sergius and Saint Bacchus in the city of Rusafa. Now, Saint Sergius having been martyred in the city of Rusafa
certain believing men took his body and prepared it for burial [and kept
it] with them, and they lighted lamps before it; and it remained hidden
with them until the end of the days of persecution when they brought it
out and built a fine church for it. And
there gathered together about him in the church fifteen bishops, and they
consecrated it on this day, and many signs and wonders took place through
it. And when they removed his
body and laid it in the church there flowed forth from it scented unguent,
the perfume whereof was exceedingly sweet, and it healed all the sick folk
who received some of it in faith and in True Faith; and to this day a
sweet odor floweth forth from his body.
Salutation to the bishops who consecrated the shrine of Sergius.
And on this day also is the beginning of the fasting service of
the birth of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ for all the Christians of
Rome and ‘Afrangi (Europe?), and Syria and Armenia, with the exception
of the men of Egypt and Ethiopia and Noba.
And on this day also is commemorated Saint Bartholomew the
apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles.
And his preaching took place in the country of Al-Khargah (the
Great Oasis), and at length he turned many to the knowledge of God.
His martyrdom took place on the first day of Maskaram.
Salutation to the fighting apostle who was tied up in a hair sack
and cast into the sea.
And on this day also became martyrs Saints
Theophilus, and his wife Patricia, and their son Damalis.
This holy man was brought up in the fear of God and in the service
of Christ. And certain men
went and told ‘Antihipotos, the governor, that he was a Christian, and
the governor, who was in the temple of Jupiter, ordered his soldiers to
bring him to him. When they
had brought him the governor said unto him, “Whence art thou? What is thy faith?” And
Theophilus said unto him, “I am a Christian and I believe on my Lord
Jesus Christ.” And the
governor said unto him, “Offer sacrifice to the gods so that thou mayest
not die an evil death”; and Theophilus said unto him, “I will only
sacrifice to my Lord Jesus Christ.”
And the governor commanded his soldiers to hang him up and to
scrape his body until his bowels appeared, [and they did so], but he was
protected and did not suffer. Then
the governor ordered them to light a fire and to cast him into it, [and
they did so], but when the saint had prayed in the midst of the fire, the
fire was scattered and the saint came forth from it untouched thereby.
And the governor seeing this ordered them to cast him into prison
and to keep him under very strict restraint so that he might died of
hunger, [and they did so]. Eight
days after this his wife Patricia came to him carrying her boy, and she
encouraged him to become a martyr and to die for the Name of Christ.
And the governor went into the prison house to enquire if anyone
had given any food to Saint Theophilus.
When he opened the door of the prison house the sweet smell of
incense met him, and he found Saint Theophilus sitting upon a cushion,
which had been spread out, and three angels were with him, and they were
eating milk and honey. When the governor saw this he was terrified and withdrew.
On the following day the governor commanded the soldiers to bring
Theophilus to him, and he went, his wife accompanying him.
And the governor said unto him, “Sacrifice to the god Jupiter.”
And Theophilus said unto him, “I will only sacrifice to my Lord
Jesus Christ.” And the
governor commanded the soldiers to throw him to the lions, [and they did
so], and the lions rushed at him and kissed his feet, but in doing this by
the Will of God they wounded him slightly, and he delivered up his soul to
God. And Saint Patricia took
his body and put it into a chest, and the governor ordered his soldiers to
take her into the amphitheatre and to give her to the lions, [and they did
so]. When the boy Damalis saw
this he laughed, and said, “I believe in the Father and the Son and the
Holy Ghost”; now the child spoke being only five months old, and he was
crowned by the lion. Salutation
to Theophilus and his wife Patricia, and Salutation to their son Damalis,
who though ignorant of the names of his father and mother shed his blood
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.