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Day 12 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Bashans, 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.
Amen.

The Twenty-Second Day of the Blessed Month of Tute

Martyrdom of Saints Kobtlas and Aksu, his Sister, and Tatos, his Friend.

       On this day was the martyrdom of Saints Kobtlas and his sister, Aksu, the children of Sapor the King of Persia and Kobtlas' friend, Tatos. Safor was a worshipper of fire and of the sun. He inflicted many tortures on the believers, and no man throughout the country dared to mention the Name of Christ. His Son, Kobtlas, had a friend named Tatos who was a ruler over the country of Maydasayeen. Certain people laid an accusation against him that he was a Christian. The king sent a governor named Tumakher to find out the truth about what was said and if it was true, to torture him. When Kobtlas the son of the king, heard that, he too went to that country to his friend Tatos. When the governor arrived and found that he was a Christian, he ordered his men to cast him in a furnace. St.Tatos made the sign of the Cross over the fire and the fire died out. Kobtlas marvelled and asked him, "How did you learn this magic, O my brother?" He replied, "This is not magic, but it is through faith in the Lord Christ." Kobtlas asked, "If I believed, would I be able to do this?" Tatos answered him that with faith you can do more than this. Kobtlas, the son of the king, believed in the Lord Christ, then drew near the fire and made the sign of the Cross over it, and the fire backed a distance of twelve cubits. The governor sent to the king to inform him what had happened, and the king had them brought to him. He ordered his men to cut off the head of Tatos who thus received the crown of martyrdom. But his son, Kobtlas, was tortured by him in different ways. He delivered him to the warden to torture him. He cast them in prison and sent for his sister Aksu, so she might persuade him to return to his father's belief. Saint Kobtlas preached to her and turned her heart to the belief in the Lord Christ, then he sent her to a priest who baptized her secretly. She returned to her father saying it would be a good thing if he had what she and her brother had, for there is no other but Jesus Christ. The king became angry and commanded to torture her, and they did so, until she yielded up her soul in the hand of the Lord Christ.

       Then they tied Kobtlas to the tails of horses and dragged him over the mountains until he yielded up his spirit and then they cut his body and they cast it out for the birds of heaven to consume it. When the soldiers departed, the Lord commanded saintly priests and deacons to bury Kobtlas, and they went secretly at night and took the holy body which was shining as snow. They hid it in a place until the end of the days of persecution.

May their intercession be for us all. Amen.

Martyrdom of St.Julius El-Akfehas, the Writer of the Biography of Martyrs

        On this day also was the martyrdom of St.Julius El-Akfehas, the writer of the biography of the martyrs. The Lord Christ set him up to care for the bodies of the holy martyrs, to shroud them and to send them to their homes. The Lord brought blindness into the hearts of the governors, and no one objected to him. They never forced him to worship idols. The Lord protected him to care for the martyrs. He used three hundred young men for this purpose. They wrote the biography of the holy martyrs and sent it to their homes. But Julius used to minister to the holy martyrs by himself and dress their wounds. The martyrs blessed him, saying, "You must shed your blood in the Name of our Lord Christ, so you can be counted among the martyrs."

        When the reign of Diocletian the infidel came to an end, Constantine the righteous reigned. The Lord Christ wished to fulfill what the saints had prophesied about him to be counted among the martyrs. The Lord commanded him to go to Arkanius, the governor of Samanoud, and to confess the Lord Christ. He went there where the governor tortured him many times, but the Lord strengthened him. When the governor ordered to bring him to worship the idols, this saint prayed and the earth opened and swallowed up the seventy idols and the one hundred and forty priests who were serving them. When the governor beheld the destruction of his idols and their priests, he believed in the Lord Christ. The governor went with the Saint to the governor of Athribis who tortured Saint Julius with great severity, but the Lord Christ strengthened him.

        One day there was to be a festival for the idols and they decorated the temple with ornaments and lamps and with palm branches. They closed the gates till the following day to start celebrating the festival. The saint asked the Lord to blot out their idols and the Lord sent his angel who but the heads of the idols and blackened their faces with ashes and burnt up all the palms, and all the idols in the temple. On the following morning when the people came dressed to celebrate the feast and saw what had happened to their gods, they recognized their weakness. The governor of Athribis and a large number of people believed in the Lord Christ. From there, the Saint went to the city of Towa and with him were the governor of Samanoud and the governor of Athribis, and they met with Iskandros its governor. First he refrained from torturing them, but later he ordered his men to cut off their heads. Julius and his two sons, Tadros and Yunias, his slaves, and the governors of Samanoud and Athribis and a great many people were martyred. They numbered fifteen hundred. They took his body with the bodies of his sons to Alexandria for it was there that they used to live.

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

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Acknowledgement

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