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February 28, 2019 - Amshir 21, 1735

Departure of St.Zacharias, Bishop of Sakha

On this day also St. Zacharias, Bishop of Sakha, departed. He was the son of a scribe called John who left his job and was chosen to be a priest. His son Zacharias was raised on studying literary and religious subjects.

When he grew up, El-Wazeer appointed him as a scribe in his court. Afterward he agreed with a friend called Ptolemy who was the prefect of the town of Sakha, to leave their work and go to the wilderness to become monks. That coincided with the coming of a monk from the monastery of St. John the Short, so they decided to go with him to the monastery. When the ruler (El-Wazeer) knew about that, he prevented them from going to the monastery.

A few days later, they saw a vision as if someone was asking them, 'Why did you not fulfill your vow?' Immediately, they left in secret, walking to the wilderness, without knowing their way. They met on their way, by the will of God, a monk who took them to the monastery of St. John the Short (Colobos). When their friends knew about that, they took a letter from the Governor to bring them back, but the Lord defeated their counsel. As for Zacharias and his friend, they put on the garb of the monks and exerted themselves in many worships. That was during the time of the saints Abba Gawargah and Abba Abraham who were the best guides for them.

When the Bishop of Sakha departed, the people wrote to the father, the Patriarch, asking for Zacharias to be their bishop. The Patriarch brought him and ordained him against his will. At the time of the ordination, when the Pope was about to put his hands on Zacharias' head, a light shined in the church and his face appeared as a bright star.

When he arrived to his diocese, the people rejoiced and went out to meet him with great honor. The church was illumined with his teachings. St. Zacharias was eloquent and filled with grace and he wrote many articles, sermons and discourses. He stayed on his chair for 30 years, then departed in peace.