December 18, 2017 - Kiahk 9, 1734
Departure of St. Poemen the Confessor
On this day St. Poemen, the confessor, departed. He was from the village of Bani-Khaseeb, district of El-Ashmunein. He was the steward of a rich man, whose wife trusted him greatly. Because of his chastity and his righteousness, everybody loved him. Because of his disdain for the vanities of this world, he left his work and went to a monastery in this city wherein he became a monk. When the rich man, his employer, knew about it, he and his wife went to him and asked him to come back to his job, for they were sorrowful for his departure. When he did not go along with them, they returned sad. The saint went on with his worship and asceticism, but he was not satisfied with that, and longed to become a martyr by the shedding of his blood in the Name of the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory. He went to Ansena and found many Christians were being tortured for the Name of Christ. He therefore went forward and confessed his faith. They tortured him severely by beating him, burning him, by dismemberment of his body parts, and by squeezing him on the Hinbazeen. During all these tortures, the Lord Christ strengthened him and raised him up whole. While he was suffering in this manner, the era of worshipping idols came to an end; for Constantine the Just became emperor and ordered all those in prison, because of their faith in the Lord Christ, to be set free. The Lord Christ appeared to this saint and commanded him to make known to all the saints in prison that the Lord, Whose Name be blessed, reckoned them among the martyrs and called them the confessors. Emperor Constantine sent for 72 of them in order to receive their blessings. They went to him along with St. Abanob, the confessor. St. Poemen lived after that in a monastery outside the city of El-Ashmunein. God granted him the gift of healing the sick and these reports spread in all the surrounding districts. The Empress of Rome became sick with a grievous illness which was difficult to treat. She visited many monasteries and churches but she was not healed of her sickness. Finally she came to the city of Ansena, and the governor of the city and his men accompanied her to the place where St. Poemen was. When they informed him of the Empress' presence and expressed to him her desire to see him, St.Poemen did not go out to meet her but said, What have I to do with the kings of the earth. When the brethren, the monks, besought him to go out to meet her, he did so. When she saw him, she bowed down at his feet. The saint prayed over some oil and anointed her and she was instantly healed of her sickness. The Empress offered St. Poemen much money along with several expensive gifts but he did not accept them, except for a few sacred vessels for the altar, a paten, a chalice, and a cross of gold. The Empress returned to Rome glorifying God. There was a holy bishop close to St. Poemen while he was celebrating the feast of some martyrs with several believers in one of the monasteries. He knew that the Arian heretics took a false bishop and lead many people astray. The bishop went to St. Poemin and told him. St. Poemen took some monks and went where those heretics were. He debated with them, explaining to them their evil counsel, and the Lord dispersed them. The saint went back to his monastery, until he became an old man. When he became sick, he gathered the brethren and advised them, telling them that his time was drawing nigh to be with the Lord. The brethren were sorrowful because of his approaching separation from them. When he delivered up his soul, the brethren swathed him and prayed over him. Many healing signs were manifested through his body. May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.