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Day 12 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Kiahk, 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 Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
Martyrdom of St.Anatolius
On this day also we commemorate
St. Anatolius (Anatole - Patlas), the priest and martyr.
May His prayers be with us all. Amen.
Departure of St.Abraam, the Sixty-Second
Pope of Alexandria
On this day, of the year
970 A.D., the saint Anba Abraam, 62nd Pope of Alexandria, departed. This
father was a descendant of the Christians of the East, whose name was Ebn-Zaraa
the Syrian. He was a rich merchant who visited Egypt often, then finally
settled there. He was blessed with many virtues, including mercy to the
needy. His reputation of righteousness and knowledge became well known.
When the Patriarchal Chair became vacant, the bishops and the learned elders
all agreed to choose him as Patriarch. When he sat on the chair of the
See of St. Mark, he gave all his possessions to the poor and needy. During
his days, Cosman Ebn-Mina, the Coptic minister, was appointed a Governor
over Palestine. Before his departure to his new position, he entrusted
one hundred thousand dinars to the father, the Patriarch, asking him to
hold them until his return. He asked the Pope to give the money to the
poor, the needy, the churches and the monasteries, if he died there. When
the news of the taking over of Syria and Palestine by Hafktin (Kormati),
reached the Patriarch, he thought that Cosman had died. He distributed
that money according to Cosman's instructions. But Cosman was saved from
death and returned to Egypt. The father, the Patriarch, told him what he
did with the money, and Cosman was glad and exceedingly happy. Among his
accomplishments was the abolition of some corrupt and erroneous customs.
He prevented and excommunicated everyone who took bribes from anyone for
the purpose of gaining a clerical position. He also strongly forbade the
keeping of concubines. When the people who were practicing that knew his
orders, the fear of God moved them, for they also feared that the Patriarch
might excommunicate them. They set all their concubines free and went to
the Patriarch repenting, except for one of the rich men of the country.
This man did not fear God nor did he heed the fact that this father, who
chided him repeatedly and was very patient with him, would excommunicate
him. He did not return from his evil way and was not afraid lest God should
destroy him. In spite of that, this father did not slacken in teaching
and rebuking him. Furthermore he humbled himself like Christ, his teacher,
and he went to that man's house. When the man heard of the arrival of the
Patriarch to his house, he shut the door and refused to let him in. The
father remained standing at the door for two hours knocking but the man
neither opened the door for him, nor did he speak to him. The father realized
that this wretched man had intentionally separated himself from the flock
of Christ and became a corrupt member.
The Pope saw it fit to cut
him from the body of the church, so as not to corrupt the rest of the body.
He excommunicated him saying, "Let his blood be on his own head," and then
the Pope shook off the dust from his sandals at the door of the house of
that man. At this moment God manifested a sign before the eyes of those
who were present, for the doorstep, which was made of granite, had split
in two. Later on, the Lord showed his might, and the man lost all his wealth
and he was fired from his position in disgrace. He became ill which led
to his death in a horrible way. He became an example to the others; since
many sinners learned a lesson and were afraid as a result of what happened
to him. During the days of this father, El-Mu'izz, the Khalifa, had a Jewish
Vizier; his name was, Jacob-Ebn-Yousef, who adopted the Muslim faith (Islam).
That minister had a Jewish friend (Ebn-Killis), who used to go with him
frequently to the Khalifa and converse with him. That Jew took advantage
of the favor that his friend had with the Khalifa, and found this to be
an opportunity to ask for the presence of the father, the Patriarch, in
order that he might have a debate with him. Abba Abraam came along with
Anba Severus Ebn-EI-Mukafaa, Bishop of Ashmunein. El-Mu'izz ordered them
to sit, so they sat down silently. He asked, "Why are you not debating?"
Anba Severus answered, "How can we argue in the presence of El-Khalifa,
with a man who is less intelligent than an ox?" El-Mu'izz asked for an
explanation. Anba Severus said, "God has declared by the mouth of the prophet,
'The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib: but Israel does
not know."' (Isaiah 1:3) They debated that Jew and shamed him with all
the unrefutable arguments that prove the soundness of the Christian faith.
Then they left El-Mu'izz with great honor. The minister and his Jewish
friend were not able to bear the insults. So they sought the chance to
take revenge of on Christians. A few days later, the Jewish Vizier; Jacob-Ebn-Yousef
went to El-Mu'izz and maliciously told him, "Your royal highness knows
that the faith of the Christians does not have a sound base. Their Bible
states, 'If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to
this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move. (Matthew 17:20)
Prince of the faithful knows the falsehood of these sayings. And to verify
this, we will summon the Patriarch to give us the proof that their Christ's
sayings are true."
The Khalifa thought to himself, "If the saying of Christ is true, that
would be of great benefit to us, for the Mukatam mount is too close to
Cairo. If the mountain can be moved away, that would make the position
of the city greater than what it is now. If the saying is not true, that
will give us the justification to persecute the Christians." El-Mu'izz
called the father, the Patriarch, and placed this saying before him, and
asked for the proof of its soundness. The Pope asked for a three-day respite,
which was granted. When the Pope left El-Khalifa, he gathered the monks
and the bishops nearby and they all stayed in El-Mualaqua (the Suspended)
Church in Old Cairo, three days fasting and supplicating God. Before dawn
of the third day as Abba Abraam dozed off out of sheer weariness, our Holy
Lady, the Virgin, St. Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to him and told
him to rise up and go to the street which leads to the market. There he
would find a one-eyed man bearing a pot of water on his shoulder. She instructed
Abba Abraam to tell him that he was the man designated by God to perform
This holy man's name was
Simon and he was a Tanner. The father, the Patriarch, took him along with
some of the priests, monks and people to see El-Mu'izz, who was out with
the government leaders and the nobles of the city nearby the Mukatam Mountain.
The father, the Patriarch, stood with those who were with him on one side
and El-Mu'izz and his entourage stood on the other side. The father, the
Patriarch, and the believers prayed and knelt down three times, and every
they knelt, they said, "Kirya-layson" Lord have mercy. Whenever the Patriarch
and the congregation lifted up their heads after each bow, the mountain
would lift up and when they bowed down, the mountain was lowered down to
the ground, and whenever they walked, the mountain moved before them. A
great fear came on the Khalifa and his companions and many fell on the
ground. The Khalifa advanced on his horse toward the Patriarch and said,
"O great teacher, I now know that you are a holy man, ask whatsoever you
wish and I will give it to you." The Patriarch refused to ask for anything;
but when the Khalifa insisted, he asked the Governor to allow him to build
churches, especially the church of St. Mercurius (of the two swords) which
was in Old Cairo. He wrote him a decree permitting the building and the
renovation of churches and he gave him a large sum of money from the treasury.
The Patriarch thanked him and prayed for him, but he refused to take the
money. As a result, El-Mu'izz revered and respected him more for his piety
and righteousness. When they started building the church of St. Mercurius,
some evil men prevented them from working, whereupon El-Mu'izz came to
the sight and kept the troublemakers away. He remained there, standing
until they completed laying the foundation. This father renovated many
churches all over the See of St. Mark. When he completed his course, he
departed in peace after he sat on the chair for 3 years and 6 days.
May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God
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