1. On this day, the church commemorates the consecration of the first altar that was built by the Jacobite Christians, who were residing in the land of Egypt for St. Nicholas, bishop of Mora. St. Nicholas was one of the fathers of the council of Nicea, the Three Hundred and Eighteen. This altar was built in the church of the saint Anba Shenouda, to the east of the city.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also, marks the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St. Agabus, one of the Seventy Apostles. He prophesied about the events that afflicted St. Paul saying: "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" (Acts 21:10-11)
His prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, St. Alexandra, the Empress, Emperor Diocletian's wife, departed. When the great martyr, St. George deluded Emperor Diocletian that he would worship his idols, the Emperor embraced his head and brought him into his royal palace. The Saint prayed and read some of the Psalms before Empress Alexandra and interpreted to her what he read. He explained to her the Divinity of the Lord Christ. His words entered her heart and she believed in the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory.
When the Saint stood before the idols, he called the Name of the Lord Christ, and the idols were destroyed. The Emperor and those with him were humiliated. When the Emperor returned to the palace and told the Empress what had happened, she told him: "Did I not tell you not to set yourself against the Galilean, for their God is strong and powerful?" Diocletian became extremely raged, tortured her severely, then threw her in prison where she departed in peace.
Her prayers be with us. Amen.
4. On this day also, of the year 1372 A.M. (April 20th., 1656 A.D).), Pope Mark (Marcus) VI, 101st Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was known as Marcus El-Bahgoury. He was from Bahgourah, and became a monk in the monastery of St. Antonios.
When Pope Matteos III, 100th Pope, departed, the archon Beshara, the lay leader of that time, agreed with the people on ordaining this father. Anba Khristozolo, Bishop of Jerusalem, headed the celebration of the enthronement, on Sunday, the fifteenth of Barmoudah, 1362 A.M. (April 20th. 1646 A.D.), and was called Marcus VI. After his ordination, a vast dispute took place between him and the archon Beshara.
From his famous achievements, he issued an order preventing the monks from living in the world, ordering them to return to their monasteries. The monks were raged because of this order, did not consent to it, and refrained from obeying it. Satan, the enemy of the good, moved one of the monks called Kodsy, to write a petition to the Governor (Basha), accusing the Pope that he tortured the people and killed them. The Governor ordered an investigation to uncover the truth. During the inquiry, the monk denied writing the petition. The Pope was exonerated from the accusations that were in the complainant petition, but he was ordered to pay a heavy fine which was paid by the lay leaders of the country.
On the 21st of Tubah, 1365 A.M., an order was issued to prevent Christians from riding horses, wearing red caftans (A long sleeved outer garment), and red broadcloth skull caps. However they were to wear blue caftans thirty feet long.
The Patriarch went to Upper Egypt and stayed there for four years, during which he collected much money and was foolish in his conduct, to the point that all the people, bishops, priests, and lay leaders, were exasperated. The dispute, existed between him and the archon Beshara, went on until he returned to Cairo. He then reconciled with him, and his behavior was straighten after that. He built the prayer hall in the convent of the church of the virgin in Haret Zeewaila in Cairo.
Pope Marcus departed on the fifteenth of Barmoudah, 1372 A.M. (April 20th. 1656 AD.). He was buried in the church of Abu Saifain in Old Cairo, after he stayed on the Chair for ten full years. He was a contemporary to El Sultan Ibrahim I and El Sultan Mohammed IV, and the Chair was vacant for four years, seven months and sixteen days after him.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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