On this day, the great St. Macarius, the son of Basilidis the Chancellor, was martyred. When the messengers reviewed the order of Emperor Diocletian, which dictates the worship of idols, with Macarius, he did not heed them. When the Emperor knew that, he sent Macarius to the governor of Alexandria. He bid farewell to his mother, and asked her to care for the poor and the needy, then he went with the envoy. The Lord Christ appeared to him in a vision, encouraged him, and told him what would happen to him. When he arrived to the city of Alexandria, he stood before Armanius the governor, who deceitfully treated him well because he knew that he was the son of Basilidis the Chancellor.
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.
On the 23rd day of Abib is the commemoration of the martyrdom of the blessed St. Marina, who overcame the Devil. She was one of the daughters of the nobles of Antioch. Her parents were pagan. When her mother died, her father sent her to a nanny to raise her, who was a Christian. She taught Marina the Faith of Christ. When Marina reached the age of fifteen years, her father died.
One day she heard her nurse talking about the biography of the martyrs and what glory they receive in the Kingdom of Heaven. She longed to become a martyr in the Name of the Lord Christ. One day St. Marina went out of her house with her maiden servants, and on her way she passed by Lopharius Ebrotus, the governor, who admired her much when he saw her. He ordered her brought to him. When the soldiers came to her, she told them that she was Christian. In turn, when they told the governor this, he was distressed for he liked her, and he had her brought to him by force. He offered her the worship of the idols and asked her to forsake God, but she refused.
Hosanna in the highest; what praise, what great depth of beauty and worship that the multitudes cry to Christ! Who really is this Man that comes riding on a donkey with great humility? He comes with neither army nor stallion with His head void of the majesty deserving thereof. As Christ the King enters through the gates of Jerusalem, the multitudes greet Him with exceeding bliss, they proclaim, “Hosanna.” But what is the meaning of the term uttered in all four of the Gospels? Derived from the Hebrew as meaning “save, rescue”, the heart reaches out to her Lord calling for salvation from He alone who can offer it. Although exalted above all, the Most High humbled Himself and took the form of a servant (Phil 2:7) and blessed my nature in Himself in order to save me.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
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)
The Church has provided her children with numerous stories of heroes who have overcome the world through their love for Christ. The Church has offered an abundance of martyrs to the Lord as an expression of this great love. St. Moses the Strong, also known as St. Moses the Black, exemplifies the transforming power of the Gospel; his story of victory over the evil that once was ascribed to his name, inspires listeners and readers over many generations to pursue the life of repentance.
St. Moses was born from a Berber tribe in the year 332 A.D. and little is known of his youth and early years. He excelled in the life of evil, and contrary to the stories of his virtue that were to spread concerning him later in his life, he earned a reputation as a murderer, fornicator and thief among the many examples of his