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October 2, 2017 - Tout 22, 1734

Martyrdom of St. Julius El-Akfehas, the Writer of the Biography of Martyrs

On this day also was the martyrdom of St. Julius El-Akfehas, the writer of the biography of the martyrs. The Lord Christ set him up to care for the bodies of the holy martyrs, to shroud them and to send them to their homes. The Lord brought blindness into the hearts of the governors, and no one objected to him. They never forced him to worship idols. The Lord protected him to care for the martyrs. He used three hundred young men for this purpose. They wrote the biography of the holy martyrs and sent it to their homes. But Julius used to minister to the holy martyrs by himself and dress their wounds. The martyrs blessed him, saying, You must shed your blood in the Name of our Lord Christ, so you can be counted among the martyrs. When the reign of Diocletian the infidel came to an end, Constantine the righteous reigned. The Lord Christ wished to fulfill what the saints had prophesied about him to be counted among the martyrs. The Lord commanded him to go to Arkanius, the governor of Samanoud, and to confess the Lord Christ. He went there where the governor tortured him many times, but the Lord strengthened him. When the governor ordered to bring him to worship the idols, this saint prayed and the earth opened and swallowed up the seventy idols and the one hundred and forty priests who were serving them. When the governor beheld the destruction of his idols and their priests, he believed in the Lord Christ. The governor went with the Saint to the governor of Athribis who tortured Saint Julius with great severity, but the Lord Christ strengthened him.

One day there was to be a festival for the idols and they decorated the temple with ornaments and lamps and with palm branches. They closed the gates till the following day to start celebrating the festival. The saint asked the Lord to blot out their idols and the Lord sent his angel who but the heads of the idols and blackened their faces with ashes and burnt up all the palms, and all the idols in the temple. On the following morning when the people came dressed to celebrate the feast and saw what had happened to their gods, they recognized their weakness. The governor of Athribis and a large number of people believed in the Lord Christ. From there, the Saint went to the city of Towa and with him were the governor of Samanoud and the governor of Athribis, and they met with Iskandros its governor. First he refrained from torturing them, but later he ordered his men to cut off their heads. Julius and his two sons, Tadros and Yunias, his slaves, and the governors of Samanoud and Athribis and a great many people were martyred. They numbered fifteen hundred. They took his body with the bodies of his sons to Alexandria for it was there that they used to live. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen