April 8, 2020 - Baramhat 30, 1736
Commemoration of the Archangel Gabriel the Announcer
On this day, the church commemorates of the Archangel Gabriel the announcer, for his honor is great with God, he was worthy to announce the birth of His only begotten Son to the Virgin St. Mary. He also foretold Daniel the prophet about the return of the people of Israel from exile, about the first coming of Christ, to Whom is the glory, for the salvation of the world, and also about the end of the animal sacrifices. For what God had done for us through him it is meet for us to honor and venerate him. May his intercession be with us. Amen.
Commemoration of the Transfer of the Relics of St. James, known as the Mangled
On this day also, is the commemoration of the relocation of the relics of St. James (James the mangled). His biography and martyrdom are mentioned under the 27th day of the month of Hatour. May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Commemoration of Samson, One of the Judges of Israel
On this day also, is the commemoration of Samson, one of the Judges of Israel. The name of the father of this righteous was Manoah from the tribe of Dan, and his mother was barren. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and announced her of his birth, and commanded her not to drink wine nor to eat unclean food all the days of her pregnancy. The angel also commanded her that no razor should come on his head, for the child was to be a Nazirite (dedicated) unto God from the womb, and that he would deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.
When she told her husband about what the angel had said to her, her husband asked God to allow the angel to appear to him. The angel appeared, and said to him: 'All that I commanded your wife let her observe.' The woman conceived, and gave birth to Samson, and God blessed him and the Spirit of God filled him. At one time, he tore a lion apart as one would tear a young goat, and on another time, he killed thirty men and burned their fields. The Philistines rose against the tribe of Judah to fight and seize Samson, but Samson told the men of Judah: 'Swear to me that you will not deliver me to them or kill me yourselves.' They said to him: 'No, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hands. We surely shall not kill you.' They bound him with two new cords and brought him to the Philistines, who jumped upon him to kill him. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the strong cords that were on his arms became as flax that were burnt with fire, and his bonds broke loose off his hands. He found a fresh jaw-bone of an ass, reached out and took it with his hand and killed a thousand men with it. Then he became very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord and said: 'You have given this great deliverance by the hands of you servant, and now shall I die from thirst... ?' The all mighty God then split a hollow place and water came out. He drank and his spirit returned, and he survived. When he was in Gaza, the Philistines surrounded the place and laid wait for him all the night at the gate of the city to capture and kill him. Samson arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate, pulled them up, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill. The Philistines came to his wife, Delilah, and asked her to entice Samson to find out the secret of his strength. When Samson told her that the secret was in his hair, for he was a Nazirite Dedicated unto God). She told his enemies, lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man to shave off the seven locks of hair off his head. She began to afflict him, as his strength went from him. The Philistines took him to their city, insulted him, and plucked out his eyes.
His hair grew again, and his strength came back to him. He went to the temple of their idol, and took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple. Samson leaned with all his strength on the two pillars and said: 'Let me die with the Philistines.' The temple fell on three thousands of the Philistine people and their lords killing them all. So the dead that he killed on his death were more than he killed in his life. He judged for the people of Israel twenty years, then departed in peace. To our God is the glory for ever. Amen.