May 11, 2020 - Bashans 3, 1736
Departure of St. Jason, one of the Seventy Disciples
On this day St. Jason, one of the seventy disciples who were chosen by the Lord, departed. He ministered with the disciples before the passion of the Savior, and performed many signs and wonders. Then he was supported by the grace and power on the day of Pentecost.
He was born in Tarsus, and was the first to believe from this city. He accompanied St. Paul on his evangelical missions, and journeyed with him to many countries. He was arrested with St. Paul and Silas in Thesalonica, and when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. (Acts 17:9)
He was ordained bishop by St. Paul over Tarsus where he shepherded the church of Christ with the best of care. He preached the Gospel also in the city of Korkiras, many believed on his hands and he baptized them. He built for them a church in the name of St. Stephen the Archdeacon.
When the Governor of the city knew about this, he arrested him and imprisoned him. He met seven thieves in the prison, taught them the faith and baptized them. They confessed their faith in the Lord Christ openly before the Governor who put them in a caldron filled with tar and sulphur, they departed and were granted the crown of martyrdom.
Then, the Governor brought St. Jason from the prison, and tortured him with much torture but he was not harmed. The daughter of the Governor watched this torture from her window and she believed in the Lord Christ, the God of St. Jason. She took off her jewelry and ornaments and distributed them among the poor, and confessed that she was Christian and believed in the God of Jason. Her father became angry, he threw her in prison, and ordered to throw arrows at her. She gave up her pure spirit in the hand of Christ whom she loved.
The Governor sent St. Jason to one of the islands to be tortured there. He took a boat with some soldiers to this island, and God drowned them all and saved St. Jason, who continued to teach and preach for many years until another Governor was installed. The new Governor brought him and the Christians who were with him, and tortured them much. When the Governor saw that his torture did not harm their bodies, he and all those in his city also believed in the Lord Christ Who only Has the power to protect His chosen one. The Saint baptized them all, taught them the commandments of the Gospel, and built for them churches. God performed through him many miracles and signs. He departed in a good old age. May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of St. Otimus, the Priest
On this day also, St. Otimus the priest was martyred. He was born in Fowwa, and because of his righteousness, he was ordained a priest for his city. He taught and confirmed the faithful in the faith. Afterwards, he moved to mount Ansena. When Emperor Diocletian incited the persecution against the Christians, the account of this Saint reached Arianus the governor of Ansena. He brought him and offered him to worship the idols, and the Saint did not hearken to his orders. He tortured him much, but the Lord strengthened him. When the Governor became weary of his torturing, he ordered him to be burned. He was burned and received the crown of martyrdom.
His body was taken by a God fearing priest, who shrouded the body and hid it in a place until the end of the time of persecution. They built him a church where God revealed many miracles. It is believed that his body still exists in the city of Kalabsha near El-Santa. May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of Pope Gabriel IV, the 86th Patriarch of Alexandria
On this day also of the year 1094 A.M. (April 1378 A.D.), Pope Gabriel the fourth, the 86th Patriarch, departed. He was the abbot of the monastery of El-Moharrak. He sat on the apostolic throne on the 11th day of Tubah, 1086 A.M. (January 6th, 1370 A.D.).
He was a great scholar and righteous ascetic. During his time, in the year 1370 A.D., a great light appeared during the night which looked like a day light and lingered until dawn. In 1371 A.D., there was a great flood in the river Nile valley which threatened to drown all the land.
He was contemporary of El-Sultan Shabaan and El-Sultan Ali Ebn-Shabaan El Mansour. He sat on the throne for 8 years, three months, and twenty two days. He was buried beside Simeon the shoe maker. May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.