November 6, 2017 - Baba 27, 1734
Martyrdom of the Righteous Father St. Macarius the Bishop of Edkow
On this day, the blessed father St. Macarius, Bishop of Edkow, was martyred. In this holy man, the words of David the Prophet were fulfilled saying, 'Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he meditates day and night.' (Psalms 1:1-2) This saint kept the commandments of His Master; traded with his talents and gained. Many were the signs and wonders God did through his hands.
In the city of Edkow, every time he went up on the pulpit to preach to the people, he wept. When one of his disciples asked him the reason for his weeping, he answered that he saw the sins of the people and their ungodly works. On another occasion he saw our Lord Christ at the altar, and the angels bringing unto Him the works of the people, one after the other. Anba Macarius heard a voice saying, 'Why, bishop, are you slack in preaching to your people?' He replied, 'My Lord, they do not accept my words.' So the Lord said to him, 'It is meet for the bishop to preach to the people and if they do not accept his words, their blood be upon their own heads.'
He was invited to go to the council of Chalcedon with Abba Dioscorus. On arriving at the royal palace, the guards prevented him from entering because of his modest clothes, until Abba Dioscorus told them that he was the bishop of Edkow. When he had gone in and heard what the infidels were saying about the Lord Christ, he excommunicated the Emperor in the council. He was ready to deliver himself to death for the sake of keeping the Orthodox faith. They exiled him with Abba Dioscorus to the island of Gagra. From there Abba Dioscorus sent him with a believing merchant to Alexandria saying to him, 'There you have a crown of martyrdom awaiting you.' Shortly after, he arrived in the city of Alexandria, the messenger of the Emperor arrived with the new Chalcedonian creed which stated the two natures of Christ. The Emperor had commanded him saying that, 'He who writes his name first on this creed will be the Patriarch of the city.' In the city, the head of the priests was Brotarios. He took the paper to write his name first but St. Macarius the Bishop reminded him of what Abba Dioscorus had told him before he went to the council saying, 'You shall possess my church after me.' Brotarios remembered that and refrained from writing.
When the Emperor's messenger knew that the Bishop disagreed with the creed of the Emperor and did not write his name also, he jumped over the Bishop and kicked him. St. Macarius died on the spot and thus received the crown of martyrdom. The believers took his holy body and buried it with the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet. That fulfilled what these two saints had told this father, the Bishop, in a vision, that his body would be with their bodies. He departed to the Lord Christ winning the crown of glory. May his prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.