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Abune Teklehaymanot
Saint Takla Himanot the Ethiopian

 

Part 1: His Family

CHRISTIANITY IN ETHIOPIA

"And the Angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert". He arose and went."

"And, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet".

Philip baptized that eunuch after he told him about Jesus, his incarnation, his crucifixion and his ascension. The eunuch transferred this faith to his country, but some of the Jewish traditions remained.

By the beginning of the 4th century, Bishop "Athnasious" ordained "Fromenteuos" as a Bishop over Ethiopia and was called Bishop "Salama". The holy secrets were taken to Ethiopia, and since then the Ethiopian church is affiliated to Saint Marc's church in Alexandria.

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THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY

In the 13th century, a Christian family lived in Ethiopia; the husband who was a priest and loved Jesus very much was called "Sagaz Ab" (=the gift of faith), and the wife who was very rich and loved the poor was called "Sarah".

Their patron saint was the Archangel "Michael", and they used to make a feast for him on the 12th of every Coptic month by having a mass and after that a banquet for the poor.

The wife was sterile and that was why she always prayed to God for a child. "Sarah" used to spend her time in church, busy reading the bible and the psalms. She did her best with the poor and they called her "Agzaharia" (=the choice of God).

One day "Sarah" thought of giving their money to the poor and liberating their slaves, and she told "Sagaz Ab" this, hence they did that.

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ARCHANGEL MICHAEL THE PATRON SAINT

St-Takla.org Image: Kidnapping of Saint Sarah (St. Takla Haimanout 's mother) so the king could marry her - Ethiopian icon صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: خطف القديسة سارة والدة القديس تكلا هيمانوت لكي يتزوجها الملك - أيقونة حبشية

St-Takla.org Image: Kidnapping of Saint Sarah (St. Takla Haimanout 's mother) so the king could marry her - Ethiopian icon

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: خطف القديسة سارة والدة القديس تكلا هيمانوت لكي يتزوجها الملك - أيقونة حبشية

After many years of peace, a pagan called "Motmely" ruled the land of "Damoot" and "Shawa". He closed many churches and tried to revive the worship of idols.

One day "Talanece" (the place where "Sagaz Ab" and "Sarah" lived) was attacked. When the soldiers entered the country, "Sarah" was frightened and the people ran away from place to another.

"Sagaz Ab" took a route to hide and was followed by a soldier who wanted to kill him, until they reached a nearby lake, so "Sagaz Ab" threw himself in the lake to hide from the soldier asking the Archangel Michael to help him through this. At once he felt the water over him as if it’s a tent sheltering him, and the Archangel appeared to strengthen him. And when "Sagaz Ab" did not show up for a long time, the soldier thought he was drowned and went back.

The Archangel told "Sagaz Ab" that the soldier went away and hence he got out of the lake. At that time the Archangel Michael told "Sagaz Ab" that he was saved because of his child to be. He told him of great secrets about the child and carried him back to the town, and this was on 12th of Baramhat.

When the priest went back, he found that all the houses had been stolen either of money or of people. Among the latter was his wife "Sarah" who was kidnapped by the soldiers who wanted to give her as a present to their king "Montemely".

When the king saw the face of the saint "Agzaharia", he ordered for the richest clothes and precious jewels for her, and to be kept in the city of gods until their wedding.

"Sagaz Ab" was in great misery and sadness for what happened to his wife whom he loved very much, and was afraid of the evil king, but he went to the house of God at once. He went into the church and kneeled before the Holy Alter and cried and sobbed a lot while he prayed to God to save his wife.

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"SARAH" AND THE ANGEL

On the 22nd of Baramhat, "Sagaz Ab" was having a mass and he put his wife's name "Sarah" forward to God, and all the congregation prayed for her. While he was moving around the church he saw a woman in precious clothes praying in great fear and awe to God.

When he finished he went to talk to all the new faces that came to the church, and among them this woman. He asked her where she was from, she told him that she had heard of a man called "Sagaz Ab" whose wife was taken and kidnapped and hence she came to be his wife! Then the priest crossed and told her that priests do not remarry, and that God would protect his wife and would return her safely to him.

"Sarah" smiled happily for her husband's faith and told him she was his wife and took off the veil that covered his face. Her husband was surprised and asked her how she had come. She told him that the Angel had saved her and got her to the church. The two kneeled before God in the church and thanked Him for his protection. In the evening all the congregation came when they heard of the return of "Sarah" and they all prayed glorifying God for his great love.

Then she told him that she prayed for her safety, and Michael, the Archangel came to her to tell her that she would return for the sake of her son. When the wedding ceremony started and finished, and the people congratulated the king, there was lightening and thunder. The king got mad and the angel saved her and got her to the church.

At night "Sagaz Ab" had a dream where he saw the sun and a lot of stars in their bedroom and the next day the Archangel told them of the coming of their son.

In the morning they gave most of all they had to the poor and they used to make a feast for the archangel every month on the 12th of Kiahk.

1- His Family | 2- His Birth | 3- His Deaconism | 4- His Priesthood | 5- His Monasticism | 6- His Death

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