February 17, 2020 - Amshir 9, 1736
Martyrdom of St. Paul the Syrian
On this day also, St. Paul, the Syrian, was martyred. He was born in the City of Alexandria to Syrian parents who lived afterwards in the City of Ashmunin. They were very rich merchants. St. Paul heard about the persecution of the Roman governors to Christians. He gave up his money to the poor, after the death of his parents, and prayed to God to guide him in the way that pleased Him. God sent him His angel Soriel, who said to the saint, 'The Lord has commanded that I be with you and strengthen you, so that you should not be afraid.' The saint arose and came before the governor of Antinoe (Ansena) and confessed the Lord Christ. The Governor ordered him to be stripped naked, beaten with whips, and burned in the sides with torches. The governor tried again to entice him with money, but the saint said to him, 'My parents left me a fortune of gold and silver, and I rejected them for the sake of the love of the Lord Christ. How can I look to your money now?' The Governor became angry to hear that and he tortured him with different kinds of tortures. The angel Soriel came to him, healed and strengthened him. The Governor ordered to release venomous serpents on him, but they did not harm him. The Governor then went to Alexandria and took the saint with him and put him in prison, where St. Paul met his two friends: Anba Esi and his sister Teckla. His soul rejoiced when he saw them. God inspired him that he would be martyred in Alexandria. When the Governor wanted to go back to his city, he ordered that the head of St. Paul be cut off at the sea shore. The faithful came and they took the body and prepared it for burial, and they kept it in their possession. May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.