Tuesday, 20th December 2011 --- 10 Kiahk 1728
Day 10 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Kiahk, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
The Tenth Day of the Blessed Month of Kiahk
Relocation of the Body of Saint Abba
Severus, Archbishop of the City of Antioch
On this day, the body of St. Severus,
Archbishop of Antioch, was relocated to the Zogag Monastery. This holy
man departed in the city of Sakha at the house of a righteous wealthy man
called Dorotheus, where he was hiding. Dorotheus sent the body, in a ship,
with trustworthy men to the Zogag Monastery, located to the west of the
city of Alexandria. He commanded them not to enter the bay but to use the
lake until they came to the shore. When they came to Kartasa, facing north,
they sailed towards the west, but they did not find water deep enough to
sail their ship and the crew was saddened and worried. God, the Lover of
man, He Who saved the children of Israel from their enemies, and opened
up a way for them in the Red Sea and made them pass over, this same God
preserved the body of Saint Severus from those who hated him. God made
manifest this miracle. He made the ship sail in shallow water for six miles
until they arrived to the shore. From there they took the body of the Saint,
carried it to the Zogag Monastery and laid it in the place which Dorotheus
had built for it. There was great joy in the city of Alexandria and God
worked great signs and wonders through the body of His saint Abba Severus.
God honored St. Severus after his death even more than during his life.
May His blessings be with us. Amen.
Departure of St.Nicholas, Bishop of Mora
On this day also the righteous
St. Nicholas, Bishop of Mora (Myra), departed. He was from the city of
Mora, his father's name was Epiphanius and the name of his mother was Tona.
They were rich, as well as God-fearing, people. They had no children to
bring joy to their hearts and to inherit their wealth after their deaths.
They remained without a son until they grew old and they were enveloped
with despair. God had pity on them and gave them this saint. He was filled
with the Divine grace since his young age. When he reached school age,
he demonstrated, through intelligence and knowledge, that he learned far
more from the Holy Spirit than he did from his teachers. He learned all
the doctrine and the teachings of the church since his young age and was
ordained deacon. Then he became a monk in a monastery wherein his cousin
was the abbot. He lived an ascetic and a righteous life, and was ordained
a priest when he was 19 years old. God gave him the gift to work signs
and wonders and to heal the sick. St. Nicholas is too illustrious to describe
all the signs that were performed by his hands, but an example of his good
deeds and benevolent works follows: There was a very rich man in the city
of Mora who lost all his wealth. He had three daughters who had passed
the age of marriage, and he could not marry them because of his poverty.
Satan tempted the man to think that he should make his daughters live in
sin so that they might get their food by means of fornication. God revealed
to St. Nicholas the thoughts which were in this man's head, and what he
intended to do. St. Nicholas took 100 dinars of his father's money and
tied it up in a sack. During the night, secretly and without anyone seeing
him, he threw the money into the window of that poor man's house. When
the man found the gold, he was astonished and rejoiced exceedingly and
was able to give his eldest daughter away in marriage. During another night
the saint threw another hundred dinars into the man's house and the man
was able to give his second daughter away in marriage. The man wanted to
know who this charitable person was. The third time when the saint threw
the gold into the house, the man was watching and immediately when he felt
the drop of the sack, he ran out of his house to see who was throwing the
gold to him.
He found the kind bishop
St. Nicholas and the man bowed down at his feet and paid him great homage
and thanked him because he saved his daughters from poverty and from a
life of sin. The saint refused to accept any thanks and asked them to thank
the Lord Who put this thought in his heart. St. Nicholas drove out the
devil and his angels from people, he healed many sick people, and he blessed
little bread to satisfy many people, with much more left over. Before being
selected bishop, he saw in a vision, a great throne and magnificent vestments
placed on it and a man said to him, "Put on these vestments and sit on
this throne." Another night he saw our Lady, St. Mary, giving him the vestments
of the priesthood and our Lord Jesus Christ gave him the Gospel. When the
Bishop of Mora departed, the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Archbishop
and told him the one who was chosen for this rank was Nicholas and described
his virtues to him. When he woke up he told the bishops what he had seen,
and they all believed that vision. They knew that it was from the Lord
Jesus Christ. They took St. Nicholas and made him Bishop over the city
of Mora. Shortly thereafter, Diocletian reigned, and incited the pagan
worship. When Diocletian arrested many of the believers, he heard about
this saint. He seized him and tortured him severely for many years. The
Lord Christ strengthened him, protected him, and raised him whole from
all these tortures so that he might become a mighty branch of the tree
of faith. When Diocletian was tired of torturing him, he cast him into
prison. Saint Nicholas wrote to his congregation from prison to teach,
encourage and confirm them in the faith. He remained in prison until God
perished Diocletian and established the reign of Constantine the Just.
Constantine brought out all the confessors from prison, among them was
St. Nicholas, who returned to his city. When the Council of Nicea convened
in the year 325 A.D. to judge Arius, he was one of the 318 fathers assembled
there. Having finished his course and guarded his flock, he departed to
be with the Lord. He sat on the episcopal throne for more than 40 years,
and all the days of his life were about 80 years.
May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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