February 19, 2023 - Amshir 12, 1739
Commemoration of the Archangel Michael
On this day the church celebrates the feast of the honored Archangel, Michael, the head of the hosts of heaven, who stands at all times before the great throne of God, interceding on behalf of the human race. Joshua, the son of Nun, saw him in great glory and was frightened by him and fell on his face to the earth and said to him, 'Are you for us, or for our adversaries?' So he said, 'No; but as Commander of the army of the Lord... I have given Jericho into your hand, ... and its king.' (Joshua 5:13-15, 6:2) The Archangel Michael was with all the saints and martyrs. He strengthened them and enabled them to endure patiently until they finished their strife. Festivals of commemoration are held and alms offered in his name on the twelfth day of each Coptic month. An example of one of his wonders: A God-fearing man whose name was Dorotheus and his wife Theopista, held a festival of commemoration for the honored angel Michael on the twelfth day of each month. It happened that this righteous family fell on hard times and had nothing to celebrate with for the commemoration of the honored Michael. They took their clothes to sell so that they might have a feast. Michael the Archangel appeared to Dorotheus and commanded him not to sell his clothes, but to go to a sheep-master and to take from him a sheep worth one-third of a dinar. He was also to go to a fisherman and to take from him a fish worth one-third of a dinar but Dorotheus was not to slit open the fish until he came back to him. Finally, he was to go to a flour merchant and to take from him as much flour as he needed. Dorotheus did as the Angel commanded him. He invited the people, as was his custom, to the feast honoring the Archangel Michael. When he went into his storeroom looking for wine for the offering, he found that all the containers had been filled with wine and many other good things. He marvelled and was astonished. After they had finished the celebration and all the people had departed, the Archangel appeared to Dorotheus as before and commanded him to cut open the belly of the fish. He found 300 dinars of gold and three coins each is a third of a dinar. He told him these three coins were for the sheep, the fish and the flour, and the 300 dinars were for him and his children. God had remembered them and their oblations and had rewarded them here, in this world and in the kingdom of heaven on the last day. As Dorotheus and his wife were astonished at this matter, the Archangel Michael said to them, 'I am Michael the Archangel who delivered you from all your tribulations and I have taken your oblations and alms up to God, you shall lack no good thing whatsoever in this world.' They prostrated themselves before him and he disappeared and went up into heaven. This was one of the innumerable miracles of this honored Angel.
Departure of St.Gelasius
Also on this day, St. Gelasius, the struggling ascetic, departed. He was born of Christian parents, who brought him up in the Christian faith. They taught him the church subjects, and then he was ordained a deacon in the church. He labored in his obedience to Christ and in carrying His yoke. He went to the wilderness of Shiheet and became a monk. Afterwards, he was ordained a priest, and the angel of the Lord guided him to a distant place where many monks gathered around him, and he was a great example for them. He considered himself as one of them. He was patient and long suffering to the point that he transcribed the Holy Bible and placed it in the church for the other monks to read. One day a stranger visited him and stole the transcribed Bible and went to try to sell it to someone. That person wanted to know its value, so he went to St. Gelasius and showed him the Bible. St. Gelasius knew that it was his book and asked him, 'For how much did he sell it to you?' He answered, 'For sixteen Dinari.' The saint said to him that it was cheap, and so the man took it and went to his home. When the seller came back to him to pick up the price, he said to him, 'I have shown the Bible to Father Gelasius and he said that the price was too high.' The seller asked, 'Did the father tell you anything else?' The buyer replied, 'No.' The man who stole the Bible said, 'I do not want to sell it.' He took the book and went to Father Gelasius and gave it to him weeping and regretting what he did. The saint did not accept it from him. However, after the man had insisted with many tears, the saint at last accepted it from him. God granted this saint the gift of performing miracles. One day, the monastery was presented with an amount of fish. After they were cooked, the cook asked one of the servants to guard it, but the servant ate a great part of it. When the cook knew what had happened, he was angry at that servant, for he ate before the time of eating and before the elders had blessed it. The cook beat him with a deadly hit that killed him. The cook was afraid of what he had done and went to St. Gelasius and told him what had happened. The saint told him to take the body and put it in the church in front of the altar and to leave it there. The saint and the monks came to the church, prayed the Vespers prayer, and then the saint departed from the church, and the boy rose up and followed him. The monks did not know of this miracle until the saint had departed. When this father finished the course of his life in a good old age, the Lord wanted him to rest from the labors of this world, and he departed leaving us with this good memory.