Wednesday, 8th July 2015 --- 1 Abib 1731
The First Day of the Blessed Month of Abib
Martyrdom of Saint Febronia the Ascetic
On this day, St. Febronia,
the ascetic virgin, was martyred. This saint was the niece of the superior
of a convent that had fifty virgins, in a place called "Ouryana" in Mesopotamia.
Her aunt brought her up in the fear of God and taught her the reading of
the Holy Books. St. Febronia vowed herself to the Lord Christ, and she
fought the good fight by asceticism, fasting for two days at a time, and
unceasing in her prayers. When Emperor Diocletian issued his edict to worship
idols, many Christians were martyred by his hands. When the virgins heard
that, they were afraid and left the convent and went into hiding. None
was left in the convent except St. Febronia, another sister and the abbess.
On the following day, the envoys of the Emperor came, seized the abbess,
and humiliated her. St.Febronia said to them, "Take me and set free this
old woman." But they took her as well, bound in ropes, and brought them
to the Governor. At that time she was twenty years old, and was attractive.
The Governor asked her to worship the idols and promised her many things
but she refused. He ordered that she be beaten with rods, and her dress
to be torn off. The abbess cried out to him saying, "May God rip you up,
O wild beast, for you want to put to shame this young orphan girl." The
Governor was wrathful, and ordered St.Febronia to be squeezed by the wheel,
and to comb her body with an iron comb until her flesh was completely torn.
During all that, she prayed to the Lord asking for help. He then cut out
her tongue and smashed her teeth so that she could not pray. But the Lord
strengthened her and comforted her. Finally, the Governor ordered her head
cut off, and she received the crown of martyrdom. A righteous man took
her body and shrouded it with costly shrouds, and placed it in a golden
May her prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of Saints Bioukha and Tayaban
(Banayen) the Priest
On this day also, the fighters
Sts. Bioukha and Banayen, departed. They were priests in the church of
"Tunah" of the diocese of "Tanda". Their father was the steward of this
church. It happened when the priest Banayen was celebrating the Divine
Liturgy, someone came calling him to see his father who was dying in that
instant. He answered him saying, "I cannot take off my priestly vestment
before the end of the service. If God is willing, I shall see him before
he dies, otherwise it will be the will of God." His father asked for him
three times, and he responded with the same answer. When he finished the
mass, he found his father had departed. The church vessels were stored
in a place known only by his father. Banayen the priest went to St. Daniel,
the priest of the wilderness of Shiheet, who guided him by Divine inspiration,
to the place where the vessels were stored. These two saints lived a virtuous
life until they departed in peace.
May their prayers be with us, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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Days of the Coptic month of Abib