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Day 14 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Misra, 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 Fourteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Misra
Commemoration of the Great Sign, the
Lord had Manifested During the Papacy of St.Theophilus
On this day, the church celebrates
the commemoration of the great miracle which God performed during the papacy
of St. Theophilus, the twenty-third pope of Alexandria. There was in the
city of Alexandria, a Jewish man whose name was Philexinos. He was very
rich, feared God and practiced the Law of Moses. There was also in the
city two poor Christian men, one of them blasphemed saying, "Why do we
worship Christ and remain poor, while this Jewish man Philexinos is very
rich?" The other man answered him saying, "The possessions of this world
are nothing before God, for if it was, He would not give it to the worshippers
of idols, adulterers, thieves, and murderers. The prophets were poor and
persecuted, as also the apostles were, and the Lord said, 'the least of
these my brethren'" (Matthew 25:40). Satan, the enemy of good, would not
permit that man to accept any of the words of his friend. The rebellious
friend went to Philexinos the Jew and asked him to accept him as his servant.
Philexinos replied, "It is not lawful for me to employ anyone unless he
believes in my faith, but if you want alms, I can give some to you." This
miserable man replied, "Take me to your house, and I will adopt your faith
and I will do whatsoever you command me." Philexinos took him to the synagogue
and the chief of the Jews asked him before all the Jewish congregation
saying, "Is it true that you have denied your Christ and become a Jew like
us?" He replied, "Yes," and that debased man rejected Christ the Lord before
the Jewish congregation. Thus to poverty in money he added poverty in Faith.
Then the chief of the Jews
commanded them to make for him a cross of wood. They gave him a reed, on
the top of which was a sponge full of vinegar, and a spear. Then they said
to him, "Spit upon this cross, offer to him this vinegar, and pierce the
cross with this spear and say, 'I pierce you O Christ.'" That debased man
did everything as they commanded him. When he pierced the honorable cross
with his sinful hand, blood and water flowed forth, and ran down on the
ground. Then this apostate dropped dead instantly, and dried up like a
rock. Great fear fell upon all those who were present, many of them believed
and cried, saying, "One is the Lord God of the Christians, and we believe
in Him." Then they took the blood, and anointed their faces and eyes with
it. Philexinos took also some of the blood and sprinkled it on his daughter
who was born blind, and she saw straightway. He believed as well as his
household, and many others of the Jews. Afterwards, they informed Pope
Theophilus about this incident. He took Abba Kyrellos (Pope Kyrellos I),
many of the priests and people, and went to the synagogue of the Jews,
where he saw the cross, the blood and water. The Pope took the blood and
water, blessed himself and also blessed the people. He wiped the blood
from the floor, and laid it in a vessel for blessing. He ordered the wooden
cross carried to the church. Afterwards those present confessed their faith
before the Pope who baptized them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit, and blessed them. Then they went to their homes giving
thanks to the Lord Christ and glorifying his Holy Name.
Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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