1. On this day, St. James the Apostle, son of Alphaeus, was martyred. After he had preached the Gospel in many cities, he returned to Jerusalem and entered the temple of the Jews. He preached the gospel publicly and proclaimed the faith of the Lord Christ and His resurrection. The Jews abducted him and brought him to Claudius, the deputy of the Roman emperor, and told him that he was preaching another king instead of Caesar. Claudius ordered him to be stoned to death, until he departed in peace. The faithful took his body and buried him beside the temple.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
2. On this day also, St. Justus, son of Emperor Numerian, was martyred. When he returned from war, he found that Emperor Diocletian had married his sister and had become the new emperor. Emperor Diocletian had apostatized the faith in the Lord Christ, and St. Justus was greatly sorrowful for what happened.
When the nobles of the empire met together to enthrone him in place of his father, he did not accept, for he preferred the heavenly kingdom over the earthly. He came before Diocletian and declared his faith in the Lord Christ. The Emperor sent St. Justus with his son Abali and his wife Theoclea to the Governor of Alexandria, and commanded him to persuade them first and to behead them if they did not obey.
When they arrived in Alexandria, the Governor received them and treated them well to persuade them. As he could not change their deep conviction in their faith in the Lord Christ, to Whom is the Glory, he sent St. Justus to Antinoe (Ansena), Abali, his son, to Basta (near Zagazig, Sharkia), and Theoclea to Sa (Salhagar, Gharbia). Each of them took a servant with him so when they completed their strife, the servant would take care of the body. They tortured them, beheaded them, and they received the crown of martyrdom.
Their prayers be with us all. Amen.
3. On this day also, the ascetic, scholar and holy man, Anba Isidore of Pelusium (El-Pharma), departed. His parents were among the rich and noble people of Egypt. He was related to Pope Cyril and Pope Theophilus, patriarchs of Alexandria.
He was the only child of his parents, who cared about his education. They taught him the books of the church, and the Greek language in which he excelled and surpassed many. He was also ascetic and humble. When he knew that the people of Alexandria and the bishops wanted to make him the Patriarch of Alexandria, he took flight by night to Pelusium and became a monk in a monastery there.
Then he went to a small cave where he lived alone for several years. During these years, he wrote many books about emperors and governors. He also commented on many books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. His epistles that he sent to bishops and patriarchs were counted as eighteen thousand epistles. The gifts of the Holy Spirit poured upon him, and he reached a good old age, then departed to the Lord in peace.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
4. Today also, the honorable St. Philo, bishop of the Persians, was martyred by the hand of the Persian emperor. When he did not accept worshipping fire and the sun, they tortured him with different kinds of tortures, and then they beheaded him with the sword.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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