THE FOURTH MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day died Saint Abba Ba’Amin the faithful, who became a
martyr although he did not shed his blood.
This holy man was from the monastery of the sons of Khadhib, to the
north of the province of ‘Eshmunayn, in the country of Egypt, and from
the city of Tersa; he was the steward of a certain rich man, and was
beloved by everybody because of his sincerity and justice. And the rich man had a wife who loved Abba Ba’Amin, and she
trusted him greatly. And
Saint Abba Ba’Amin pondered about the end of the world, and he left the
service of that rich man, and he went to a monastery in that [place] and
became a monk therein. When
the rich man heard that Saint Ba’Amin had left him, and departed, he was
exceedingly sorry. And taking his wife with him he went unto him, “We cannot
part from thee by any means, and we will not let thee go.” And the saint said unto them, “I cannot [return], I have
vowed myself to God”; and they departed from him sorrowing greatly
because of their parting from him. And
this holy man fought a great and a good fight, and he lived a life of
strenuous devotion to God for many years with fasting, and prayer, and
vigil. And this was not
enough for him, for he wished to become a martyr and to pour out his blood
for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And he went to the city of Antinoe where he found many Christians
suffering torture, and he confessed our Lord Jesus Christ, and they
inflicted severe tortures upon him, and they scourged him, and they burnt
his body with fire, and they chopped off his limbs, and threw him on the
wheel, and they made iron rods red-hot and burnt his flesh with them.
And under all these tortures our Lord Christ strengthened him, and
raised him up whole and uninjured. And
whilst he was suffering in this wise the worship of idols came to an end,
for Constantine the Just became emperor, and he commanded the keepers of
the prisons to set free the Christians who had been shut up in the prison
houses by the infidel Diocletian for the sake of Christ’s Name.
And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto Saint Abba Ba’Amin and
commanded him to go unto all those saints who were in prison, and to make
them to know that our lord Christ reckoned among the martyrs those who
were called “Confessors”; and the Emperor Constantine commanded [his
servants] to bring seventy-two of them.
And there was there with them Abba Nob, the confessor, and they
went to him. And Saint Abba
Ba’Amin dwelt in a monastery which was outside the city of ‘Eshmunayn,
and God give him a great gift, and he healed the sick, and the report of
him was noised abroad in all countries. Now a very severe illness came upon the empress, the wife of
the Emperor of Rome, and it happened because of a certain God-fearing
deacon who was near her, and who used to read to her every day the Book of
the Vision of John the Evangelist, that is to say, “Abukalamsis (i.e.
the Apocalypse).” And one
of the emperor’s stewards was jealous of him and he went to the emperor
and said unto him, “Know, O my lord, that John the deacon lieth with our
lady the empress, thy wife, and maketh the pretence of reading to her the
Book of the Vision of John every day.”
When the emperor heard this he was very sorry, and he rose up
straightway and went into his palace where the empress was, and he found
the deacon standing before the empress and reading the Book of the Vision
of John. And the emperor
commanded [his soldiers] to take the deacon and his book and to sink them
both in the river; and two men saw the form of a shining man descending,
and he came and snatched the deacon out of the river together with his
book, and he took him and placed him on an island; and when the two men
saw this they marveled exceedingly, and they went to their houses and told
no one connected with the emperor what they had seen.
When the empress saw what they had done to that deacon she was
exceedingly sorry, and her illness increased, and the disease attacked her
belly; and she continued to suffer from this disease for five and twenty
years. And many physicians came to her but they were unable to heal
her of her sickness. And a
certain learned man counseled her, saying, “If thou wert to go to the
holy men who are in the land of Egypt, then thou wouldst be healed of thy
sickness and tribulation.” And
straightway she rose up, and there were many soldiers with her, and she
arrived in the land of Egypt, and she went about and visited many
monasteries and churches, but she was not healed of her sickness.
When she came to the city of Antinoe the nobles who saw her
marveled exceedingly concerning her coming, and she told them everything
about her sickness, and they counseled her to go to Saint Abba Ba’Amin;
and she embarked in a ship for the monastery of Saint Abba Ba’Amin.
And one told the saint, saying, “Behold, the empress hath come to
thee, and wishes to be blessed by thee.”
And he said unto him, “What have I to do with the empress of the
earth and her greatness?” And the brethren besought him earnestly to go out to her, and
he did so; and when the empress saw him she bowed low at his feet.
And Saint Abba Bawmin prayed concerning her sickness over some oil,
and he anointed her therewith, and she was healed of her sickness.
And Saint Abba Ba’Amin said unto her, “Knew
thou that this sickness which hath come upon thee is caused by the
deacon whom the emperor drowned in the river, but he is alive at this day
and dwells on this island in the river, and the Book of the Vision of John
Abukalamsis is with him”; and when the empress heard these words she
marveled exceedingly, and she praised God and rejoiced with very great joy
because the deacon was alive. And
she offered to Saint Ba’Amin much money and many gifts, but he took
nothing from her except money [sufficient to buy] sacred vessels for the
church, a paten, a chalice, and a cross of gold; then she returned to the
city of Rome praising God. And
when she met the emperor she told him all that had happened to her, and
how Saint Abba Ba’Amin had told her that the deacon whom he had drowned
was alive at that time; and when the emperor heard this he marveled
exceedingly and sent messengers to the island, and they found the deacon
alive, and the Book of the Vision of John was with him; and they returned
and reported this to the emperor. And
the emperor sent a messenger to him a second time to entreat him to come
to him; and they brought him to the emperor; and when the emperor saw him
he rejoiced with very great joy, and bowed down at his feet, and he said
unto him, “Forgive me my sin which I committed against thee.”
And the saint said unto him, “May God forgive both of us our
sins.” And after this that
deacon was appointed Archbishop of the city of Rome, and he translated the
Vision of John Abukalamsis. And
Saint Abba Ba’Amin fought by day and by night, ceaselessly, the
spiritual fight. And there
was near him a certain holy bishop who made a festival of the martyrs,
with several believers, in a certain monastery; and the Arian heretics
took to themselves a false bishop and led astray very many of the people,
and the bishop of the city came to Saint Ba’Amin and told him of his
sorrow [which was caused] by those heretics.
When the festival of the martyrs arrived Abba Ba’Amin prayed and
entreated God, and prostrated himself with his people that He would make
the counsel of the heretics void. Then he took a palm rod in his hand, and all the monks who
were with him took each his palm rod in his hand, and they went to the
place where the heretics were, and drove them away, and God, the Glorious
and Most High, made void their counsel, and they have not returned to this
day. And Saint Ba’Amin,
being an aged man, fell sick of a mortal disease.
And he gathered together the brethren and commanded them, and
comforted them, and told them that [the end of] his days was near, and
that he was going to God, and the fathers and the brethren sorrowed
because of his [approaching] separation from them, and then he delivered
up his soul to God his Creator. And
the brethren swathed him for burial in costly cloths and they sang psalms,
and hymns, and dirges over him, as was meet.
And his body was a help unto all those who came to it, or to the
church, in the True Faith, and what they asked for came to them.
Salutation to Abba Ba’Amin who lay on a red-hot iron bed.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.