The Departure of St. Cosmas, the Fifty-Eighth Pope of Alexandria
On this day of the year
648A.M. ( 27th of February 932A.D.) the blessed father Anba Cosmas, the Fifty-Eighth Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was righteous, pure, merciful, chaste, and knowledgeable of the books of the church and in the interpretations thereof.
When he was chosen Patriarch, on the
4th of Baramhat 636A.M. ( 28th of February 920A.D.), he shepherded his flock in the fear of God and with wisdom. He distributed to the poor, the needy and to building churches, all of the church revenue after the little he used. The evil one, however, did not leave St. Cosmas without grief when he saw his pure life. He ordained a Metropolitan for Ethiopia from the monks, whose name was Peter, and sent him there. The king received him with great joy. A short while later, the king fell sick and felt that his end was near, so he brought his two sons and asked the Metropolitan to come to him. The king took off his crown and handed it to the Metropolitan saying: "I am going to my Lord Christ and whomever you see fit from my sons to rule the kingdom enthrone him."
When the King departed to the Lord, the Metropolitan and the Cabinet saw that the younger son was more suitable for ruling the kingdom, so they crowned him. Shortly afterwards, a monk from the monastery of Anba Antonius called Victor and along with him a companion named Mina came to Ethiopia. They asked the Metropolitan for money; but he refused to give it to them. The devil enticed them to scheme against him. One of them put on the garb of the bishops and the other one as his disciple. They falsified a letter from the father, the Patriarch, to the nobles of the government saying in it: "We have been informed that a deceptive man called Peter came to you claiming that we have sent him as a Metropolitan for you and he is lying in that. The one who is carrying this massage to you is the legitimate Metropolitan Mina. We have been informed also that Peter has enthroned the younger son of the king instead of his older brother, against the church and civic laws. On the arrival of this message, you should exile both the Metropolitan and the king, consider Abba Mina the carrier of our message to be your legitimate metropolitan and to allow him to enthrone the older son a king."
The two monks handed the forged letter to the older son of the king. When he read the letter he gathered the cabinet and the nobles of the government and read it to them. They ordered the exile of Metropolitan Peter and seated Mina in his place. They then took away the crown from the younger son and crowned his older brother. Nevertheless, a dispute occurred between the false Metropolitan and his assistant, who took the liberties of the absence of his Metropolitan and expelled the servants, plundered all what he found, returned to Egypt, and became a Moslem. When the news reached Pope Cosmas, he grieved exceedingly. He sent a letter to Ethiopia excommunicating Mina the liar. The King of Ethiopia was outraged from Mina's actions and slew him. He asked for the return of Metropolitan Peter from his exile but found that he had departed to his Lord and Savior. The father, the Patriarch, refused to ordain for them another Metropolitan and so the four Patriarchs that followed him.
The days of this father were peaceful and tranquil, if not for this accident. He occupied the throne of St. Mark for twelve years and departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
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