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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 Twenty-First Day of the Blessed Month of Bashans
Commemoration of the Holy and Pure Virgin
On this day, the church commemorates
the pure and Virgin St. Mary, the mother of the Savior of the world, the
intercessor of all the Christians, from whom came the salvation of Adam
and his posterity.
May her intercession be for us all. Amen.
Departure of St.Marcian (Martinianus)
On this day also, St. Marcian departed.
He was born in the city of Caesarea of Palestine. He became a monk since
his young age at an elderly holy man living on a mountain near by his town
called mount El-Safina (The ship). He fought a great and strenuous fight
with many worships and he lived there for sixty six years, and his virtues
became known. An evil woman heard of him, and she said to some of those
who talked about his virtues: "For how long you will continue to praise
him, while he is in a wilderness where he does not see the face of a women?
If he saw me, I would stain his virginity and defile his holiness". They
rebuked her for what she said, because of what they knew of the purity
and holiness of this Saint, but she made a wager with them that she would
go to him and make him fall in sin. She straightway, rose up, took her
ornaments, her expensive apparels and her perfumes in a piece of cloth,
and put on an ugly dress and covered her face. She went to a place close
by where the Saint was and waited until the evening, then knocked on the
door of his cell, weeping, pretending that she had lost her way, and asked
him to let her stay with him until the morning. The Saint pondered about
her, if he left her outside, the wild beasts might eat her, and if he brought
her in, the warfare would increase against him because of her. Finally,
he opened the door to her, and went to another place in the cell. She arrayed
herself in her beautiful apparel, adorned and perfumed herself, then attacked
him tempting him to commit sin with her. He knew that she was a snare of
Satan plotted up for him.
He told her: "Wait a little for me until
I look at the road, for some people are used to come to me here every now
and then." He went out and lighted a great fire, and he started throwing
himself in the fire time after time saying to himself: "If you can't bear
the pain of a little fire, how can you bear the torment of the fire of
hell?" Then he fell on the ground weeping from the severity of the pain
from the burns that he suffered on his feet and his fingers. As he tarried,
she came out and saw him in that condition. She was terrified and she returned
to her senses. She stripped off her expensive raiment, knelt at his feet,
and begged him to help her to save her soul. He started to preach her telling
her about the vanity of this world and its lusts, and she repented with
all her heart. He took her to one of the convents, and asked the abbess
to take charge of her and she lived there a life of purity and ascetism
that was pleasing to God to the end of her life. She reached a high degree
of holliness, received the gift of healing and she healed many from their
infermities. But as for St. Martinianus, fearing lest the enemy might bring
to him another woman, departed to an island in the middle of the sea. He
made an agreement with a sailor to sell the works of his hand, and to bring
him food. However, a ship was wrecked near by the island, and a woman managed
to hang on to one of the planks, and the waves washed her to this island.
When the Saint saw her, he was preplexed and wanted to leave the island.
The woman asked him to make her a nun and he did as she wished then gave
her all what he had of bread. He crossed himself with the sign of the cross,
and threw himself in the sea, hanging on the plank that she hung on and
he put himself in the hand of the Almighty. The waves threw him on the
land, and he wandered about in the mountains and deserts for two years
until he arrived to the city of Athens, where he became ill. He called
the bishop, and told him all what had happened to him, and then he gave
up his soul in the hand of the Lord, and they buried him with great honor.
The woman that remained on the island, the sailor continued to bring her
food until she departed, then he took her body to his country.
May the prayers of this saint be with us and glory be to God forever.
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