The Martyrdom of St. Sarapamon, Bishop of Niku
This day marks the martyrdom of St. Sarapamon, Bishop of Niku (Nakiyos). He was born in Jerusalem. His father's name was Abraham, the son of Levi, the son of Joseph, Simon's brother and uncle of Stephen, the Archdeacon and the first martyr. He was from the tribe of Judah. At birth, he was called Simon after his grandfather.
When his father died, Simon longed to become a Christian. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and commanded him to go to Abba John, Bishop of Jerusalem, who taught him the mystery of the incarnation of the Lord Christ. However, he did not dare to baptize him in Jerusalem, for his fear of Jews, and he was pondering what he should do.
The Virgin St. Mary, appeared to Simon and told him to go to the city of Alexandria, to St. Theonas, 16th Pope of Alexandria. He departed and the angel of the Lord, in the form of a man, accompanied him on his journey to the city of Alexandria. He went to Pope Theonas, who rejoiced on seeing him, preached to him and baptized him.
He then became a monk in El-Zogag monastery, (the monastery of Abba Severus, outside Alexandria). When Pope Theonas departed and Abba Peter, the seal of the martyrs, succeeded him, Abba Peter summoned Simon so that he could assist him in the works of the patriarchate.
When the chair of the city of Niku (Nakiyos) became vacant, Abba Peter ordained Simon Bishop over it. His flock rejoiced greatly in him and the Lord performed many signs and wonders at his hands. There were pagan temples close to his city, and he pleaded to the Lord Christ until they were destroyed and were covered with water and Paganism was eradicated from his diocese. The heresy of Sabilius of Upper Egypt, who taught that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one person, was also eradicated.
When Diocletian denied Christ, they told him that Sarapamon the Bishop had hindered the worship of idols with his teachings. Diocletian ordered Anba Sarapamon to be brought to him. When Anba Sarapamon arrived in Alexandria with the messengers, he spent the night in prison. Pope Peter, accompanied by some clergy, came to see him. When they embraced him, they saw his face as though it was that of an angel.
When Anba Sarapamon came before the Emperor, he tortured him with all kinds of torture, but the Lord Christ raised him up every time without suffering. When the Emperor saw that many people believed because of him, he sent him to Arianus, Governor of Ansena, who tortured him and threatened to cut off his head if he did not change his mind.
It happened that Arianus was in Alexandria, so he took St. Sarapamon with him in the ship. When the ship reached Niku (Nakiyos), his home town, the ship stopped and no one was able to move it. They took the saint off the ship and led him to the northern part of the city, where they cut off his head and he received the crown of martyrdom. The people of his diocese carried his body to the church with great honor.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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