In the Gospel of St. Matthew 4: 1-11, the evangelist tells a beautiful story of how our Lord Jesus can help us fight the devil and his temptations, especially during Great Lent. Our Lord had just been baptized and the revelation of the Trinity had occurred. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Here the wilderness can represent the world which is full of various evils and under the devil’s sway. Our Lord shows us 3 main ways to fight the devil. The first is that he fasted for forty days and forty nights. This helps strengthen our spirit when the body is broken and allows us to fight against temptations, and we remember our Lord’s sufferings. The second way is by thoroughly knowing the Bible, which is the word of our Lord God Jesus Christ. The devil has lived a very long time and knows the Bible very well and tries to use verses to trick us.
First, the devil tries to make our Lord fall by the hunger. He calls into question if Lord Jesus is indeed the Son of God by saying “If You are the Son of
By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
God's children should be strong because they were created in His image and likeness (Gn 1: 26); and God is powerful. We say about Him "Holy is the Lord God Almighty"; therefore, they should be strong like Him.
In the book of Numbers, when God ordered Moses to take a census of the people, this was restricted to young men who can go to war (Nu 1: 3). When the Song of Solomon talks about the men around King Solomon's throne, it describes them as valiant men; "They all hold swords, Being expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh, Because of fear in the night." (Sgs 3: 8)
On the 24th of Abib, St. Abanoub was martyred. He was born in the city of Nehisa (District of Talkha). His parents were pure and merciful and they reared him in the fear of God. When he was martyred by the Roman rule, Diocletian, who incited the persecution against the Christian, St. Abanoub was twelve years old, and he desired to shed his blood for the Name of Christ. On July 31 our Church celebrates his death, as the day of his birth into eternal life. Abanoub's relics, as well as the relics of many Christians who died with him, are still preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub church in Samanoud.
It is also said that the Holy Family visited that place during their Flight into Egypt. The church still contains the well from which The Lord Jesus, St. Mary, and St. Joseph drank. Numerous apparitions and miracles do occur in that church until this very day. Abanoub was born in a town called Nehisa in the Nile Delta. He was the only son of good Christian parents who died when he was a young child. At age twelve Abanoub entered the church to hear the priest asking the congregation to remain faithful during the persecutions provoked by Diocletian, the Roman emperor.
Today, I will take you on a journey in the life of one of my favorite saints. This saint was a young man who was filled with the Holy Spirit, faith, and power. His life is very unique and it shows us how we should be as Christians, and how our lives will be filled with joy and peace when we know God. By now you are probably saying to yourselves, “but isn’t this all saints,” well in generalization about saints, yes, however this saint is different. His story is written, even in the Bible and documented in the Book of Acts and the Synaxarium of the Church. Hopefully you know who this saint is, if not, allow me to tell you. The story of St. Stephen takes place when the number of the disciples was multiplying and they chose him to serve. “Then the twelve summoned a multitude of the disciples and told them ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word’” (Acts 6:2-4)