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Day 7 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Bashans, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Bashans
Commemoration of the Departure of Abba
Isaac, the Priest of El-Qalali (Cells)
On this day, the church
commemorates the holy father Abba Isaac, the priest of El-Qalali (Cells).
He was born in an Egyptian village from poor parents, but he was rich in
his righteous works. He took the opportunity of the presence of the elders
of the monks in the village to sell the works of their hands, and followed
them to the wilderness. He served them under the yoke of obedience. When
he became a monk, he excelled in asceticism and worship to the point that
he never possessed two garments at the same time. They asked him once:
"Why don't you possess two garments?" He answered: "Because when I was
in the world before being a monk, I did not have two garments at the same
time." He wept very often during his prayers, and he mixed his bread with
the ashes of the censer and ate it. Once he became sick of a grievous sickness,
and some of the brethren brought him food, but he did not eat it. One of
the brethren described to him the benefits of food and urged him again
to eat some of it. He insisted on not eating anything of it, and said to
him: "Believe me my brother that I desire to remain sick for thirty years."
When he became seasoned and everyone heard about his virtues, the fathers
by consensus decided to ordain him a priest. He fled and disappeared among
the fields. When they were looking for him, they passed by the field, where
he was hiding in and sat to rest. They had with them a donkey, which went
into the field and stood where the father was. When they went after the
donkey to catch it, they found him, and they wanted to bind him so that
he could not escape again. He said to them: "I will not escape now, for
I know that this is the will of God." He went with them, and they ordained
him a priest, and he increased in obedience to the elders and in teaching
the beginners the virtues. When the time of his departure drew near, they
asked him: "What can we do after you leave us?" He told them: "Do exactly
as you have seen me do, if you wish to steadfast in the wilderness", then
he departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Commemoration of the Martyrdom of St.Isidorus
(Isidore) of Antioch
This day also marks the commemoration
of the martyrdom of St. Isidore. He was born in Antioch and his father's
name was Bandalaon, who was one of the noble men in the empire of Diocletian,
and his mother's name was Sofia. He had a sister whose name was Ophimia,
and their parents taught them the Christian faith. When Diocletian apostatized,
St. Bandalaon and his son Isidore left all their possessions and went secretly
to a mountain where they lived with a holy man whose name was Abba Samuel.
When the Emperor knew of what had happened, he brought them before him,
and he tried to persuade Bandalaon with promises, then threatened him.
When he refused, not paying attention to what he was saying, he cut off
his head. St. Isidore, who was only twelve years old, was tortured with
different kinds of tortures. His mother and sister were beside him, comforting
him and strengthening him to endure. Then the Emperor ordered them to be
beheaded. They received the crowns of life. God performed many miracles
on the hands of this Saint, and many believed through him and were martyred.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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