September 23, 2022 - Tout 13, 1739

Departure of Pope Mattheos the Second, Patriarch of the See of St. Mark

On this day of the year 1182 of martyrs, departed the exalted father Abba Mattheos the Second, the Ninetieth of the Popes of the See of St. Mark. He was a monk in El-Muharraq monastery. His selection and ordination for the papacy was in the year 1169 of martyrs and he sat on the throne of St. Mark for thirteen years and then departed in peace. May his prayers and blessings be with us all. Amen.

Commemoration of the Miracle made by St. Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia

On this day also is the commemoration of the great miracle made by St. Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia with a young man who loved his master's daughter. Satan, his enemy and the enemy of the human race, deceived him and made him resort to a magician who made him write a covenant to deny the faith and to surrender completely to Satan that he might grant him his wish. Satan kindled lust in the heart of the girl, and she loved the young man exceedingly. She asked her father insistingly not to object to her marriage to that young man. Eager for his honor and fearing for her life, he married her to him.

When she had spent with him many days, and had seen that he did not enter the church or partake of the Holy Sacraments, or make the sign of the Holy Cross over himself, she revealed to him her doubt about his faith and his love to God. He told her what had happened to him, and how he had written to Satan a covenant of obedience till death. She cried exceedingly and rebuked him for his deed and straightaway, he took him to St. Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea, who listened to his confession and saw his grief and desire to go back to the life of worship, fellowship, and righteousness. St.Basilius asked him to stay with him for a while in seclusion, fasting and praying. He shut him up in a room near him for three days. On the third day St. Basilius visited him and he made known to him that the evil spirits did not cease disturbing and fighting him in many ways. He strengthened him, calmed him down, gave him food and prayed for him. He asked him to keep staying in seclusion for for praying and fasting. After a few days, he came back to visit him again. The young man told him that he did not see any more but he still heard their cries and threats. He fed him again and prayed for him and left him to the life of seclusion to fight and pray, and the bishop went to pray for him also. And this went on until forty days were completed. When the Saint came to him and asked him about his state, he told him that he saw him (the Saint) fighting against Satan on his behalf, and he vanquished him and finally was victorious.

The Bishop gathered all the priests and the monks and prayed for that young man all night. On the following morning he led him into the church while everyone was crying, Lord have mercy upon us, and they continued to cry out until that writing, which the young man had written as a covenant to deny the faith and to surrender to Satan, fell down in the midst of all the people.

The Bishop, the young man and his wife, and all the people were exceedingly glad. The Bishop blessed that man and administered to him the Holy Sacraments. The man and his wife departed to their house full of joy for their salvation, and exalted for the remission of their sins. They praised God and thanked St.Basilius by whose prayers they were saved. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.