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The Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
Martyrdom of St.Andrew the Apostle, the
Brother of St.Peter
On this day, St. Andrew
the Apostle, the brother of St. Peter, was martyred. He was chosen to go
to the city of Lydd and to Kurdistan. He entered the city of Lydd, where
most of its people had believed at the hands of St. Peter. He was accompanied
by his disciple, Philemon, who had a sweet voice and was a good reader.
St. Andrew commanded Philemon to go up to the pulpit and read. When the
priests of the idols heard of the arrival of Andrew the Apostle, they took
their spears and went to the church. They stood outside the church to hear
if he was cursing their gods or not. They heard Philemon reading the words
of David the Prophet, "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's
hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak: eyes they have but they
do not see: They have ears, but they do not hear: noses they have, but
they do not smell: They have hands, but they do not handle: feet they have,
but they do not walk: nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who
make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them." (Psalms 115:4-8)
Their hearts rejoiced because
of his sweet voice and their emotions mellowed. They entered the church,
and bowed down at the feet of Andrew the Apostle. He preached to them and
they believed in the Lord Christ. Then he baptized them with the rest of
those who worshipped idols. Andrew the Apostle, then left them and went
to Kurdistan and to the cities of Aksis, Aregnas and Henefores, to preach
there. He also went with St. Bartholomew to the city of Azrinos. Its people
were wicked and knew not God. They went on preaching and teaching them
until they lead many of them to the knowledge of God, because of the signs
and wonders they performed before them. Those who did not believe plotted
against him. They sent for him so that when he arrived, they would attack
him and kill him. When their messengers came to St. Andrew and heard his
sincere teachings and saw his shining face, they believed in our Lord Christ
and did not return to those who had sent them. The unbelievers decided
to go to him and burn him. When they gathered around him to do what they
had intended, the Apostle prayed to the Lord, and immediately fire came
down from heaven and surrounded them. They were terrified and believed.
The report of St. Andrew the Apostle, was heard throughout all these countries
and many believed in the Lord. Nevertheless the priests of the idols did
not cease looking for him in order to kill him. Afterwards, they gathered
and went to him; they bound him and beat him severely. After they dragged
him around the city naked, they cast him into prison, so that they might
crucify him the following day. Their custom was to stone those who were
to be killed by crucifixion. The Apostle spent his night praying to God.
The Lord Christ appeared to him and strengthened him saying, "Do not fear
or worry for the time of your departure from this world is near." He gave
him peace and disappeared. St. Andrew's soul rejoiced for what he saw.
On the next day, they hanged him upon a tree and stoned him until he departed.
Certain believers came and took his holy body and laid it with great honor
in a private grave. Many signs and wonders were made manifest from his
May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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