March 17, 2023 - Baramhat 8, 1739

Martyrdom of St.Matthias, the apostle

On this day St. Matthias, the apostle was martyred about 63 A.D. He was born in Bethlehem, followed the apostles and was chosen in place of Judas Iscariot in the upper room on the mount of Zion. Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 'Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 'for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.' (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 'For it is written in the book of Psalms: 'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no one live in it'; and, 'Let another take his office.' 'Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 'beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.' And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, 'You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 'to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.' And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-26)

Afterwards he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and went to preach the Gospel until he came to the country of cannibals. The custom of those people was whenever they seized a stranger, they put him in prison for thirty days feeding him grass, then they bring him out and eat him. When St. Matthias came to them and preached among them the massage of love they seized him, plucked out his eyes and put him in prison. Before the thirty days were over God sent to him Andrew the apostle and his disciple. They came to the prison and saw the prisoners and what abominable things the people of the city did to them. Satan inspired the people of the city to seize them also and kill them.

When they were about to seize them, the two Saints prayed to the Lord, and a stream of water flowed from under one of the pillar of the prison. The water flowed out into the city, and rose up until it reached the necks of the people. When the people of the city gave up all hope of saving their lives, they came to the apostles, and wept before them confessing their sins. The apostles told them 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.' They all believed and they released St. Matthias.

St. Matthias, along with St. Andrew and his disciple taught them the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord Christ. The Apostles prayed and entreated God Who made the water to cease then they baptized them in the Name of the Holy Trinity. They also prayed to The Lord Christ Who removed from them their barbaric nature. The Apostles appointed over them bishops and priests. They tarried with them for a while during which they instructed them and confirmed them in the faith, then they left. The people of the city entreated them to come back to them speedily.

St. Matthias went to the city of Damascus and preached there in the Name of the Lord Christ. The people of the city became angry so they took him and laid him upon an iron bed, they lighted a fire under it which did not harm him but his face was shining with light like the sun. They marvelled exceedingly and they all believed on the Lord Christ through St. Matthias the apostle who baptized them, and appointed priests for them. He tarried many days with them confirming them in the faith. Afterward he departed in peace in one of the city of the jews called Falawon (Pilawon) where his body was laid.

May his prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Julian, the Eleventh Pope of Alexandria

On this day also of the year 188 A.D. (3rd of march) the holy father Pope Julian the Eleventh Pope of Alexandria departed. This father was a student in the seminary established by St. Mark, and was ordained priest in the city of Alexandria. He surpassed many in knowledge, righteousness, and purity so he was ordained Patriarch on the 9th of Baramhat (Year 178 A.D.) After his enthronement he saw that the pagans did not allow the bishops to leave the city of Alexandria, so he used to leave the city in secret to ordain priests everywhere.

Before his departure the angel of the lord announced to him that the one who will bring him a cluster of grapes, is the one to succeed him on the Patriarchal Chair. One day, while Demetrius the vine dresser was trimming his trees, he found a cluster of grapes and was not in season. He took the cluster and gave it to the Patriarch Abba Julian who was pleased with the present. He gathered the bishops and told them about the vision and commanded them to enthrone him Patriarch after him.

This father composed many homilies and discourses, he taught the people continually, preached and visited them. He stayed on the Apostolic Chair for ten years then departed in peace.

May his prayers be with us. Amen.

Martyrdom of St.Arianus, the Governor of Ansena

On this day also St. Arianus, the governor of Ansena was martyred. When he ordered to shoot St. Apollonius with arrows, and one of the arrows glanced back and struck his eye and destroyed it, as it is mentioned in the Seventh day of Baramhat, one of the believers told him: 'If you take some of his blood and smear your eye with it, you will receive your sight.' The Governor took some of his blood, smeared his eye, and immediately he was able to see. Arianus believed on the Lord Christ, with great sorrow for all the evil things which he had done to the holy martyrs and the severity with which he tortured them. Then he rose up, destroyed his idols, and he refrained from torturing any of the believers.

When Diocletian heard the report of Arianus, he brought him, and asked him why he had forsaken the worship of his idols. Arianus began to tell him about the signs and wonders which God was working by the hands of the holy martyrs, and how, in spite of the tortures which he had inflicted upon them, and the cutting of their bodies, they rose up again whole. The Emperor became furious with him because of what he said and ordered him to be tortured severely, and to cast him into a pit and to cover it until he dies.

The Lord Christ sent His angel, who brought him out from the pit, and took him by the bed of the Emperor. The Emperor woke up from his sleep, and when he saw and recognized that he was Arianus, he was amazed and terrified. Diocletian again ordered him to be placed into a hair sack, and to cast him into the sea, so they did. Arianus the martyr delivered up his soul while he was in the hair sack. The Saint had told his kinsfolk when he bid them farewell that the Lord had told him in a vision of the night that He would take care of his body, return it to his town, and they could find it on the shore of Alexandria.

The Lord ordered a sea creature who carried the Saint, and brought him to the city of Alexandria, where it casted him on the shore. His men took his body, brought it to Ansena, and laid it with the bodies of the Saints Philemon and Apollonius. Thus, he finished his good fight and received the heavenly crown.

May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.