5 El Nasiy
(The Fifth Day of the Blessed Month of El-Nasi)
1. On this day, in the year
804 A.M. (August
1088 A.D.), and during the Papacy of Pope
67th Patriarch, the church celebrates the
commemoration of the pure father, St. James, Bishop of Misre (Cairo). This saint
longed for the monastic life from a young age, so he went to the wilderness of
St. Macarius, and lived in a cell there for many years. Then he was ordained
Archdeacon for the church of the monastery of St. John. Because of his virtuous
life, great knowledge and piety, he was ordained bishop for Misre (Cairo).
Having been seated upon the episcopal seat, he added to his prayer, asceticism,
and worship. He was a teacher, spiritual advisor, and a deterrent to the
sinners, during his episcopate. When he finished his good strife, he fell sick.
He called his people, commanded them not to be negligent in the Divine
commandments, and explained to them what the punishment of sinners would be.
Then, he made the sign of the glorious Cross on his face, and delivered his pure
soul in the hands of the Lord.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. This day also marks, the departure of the
righteous prophet Amos, one of the twelve minor prophets. He prophesied in the
days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel.
God had sent him to the children of Israel to caution them and advise them to
bear fruit that befits repentance before the coming of the day of vengeance. He
prophesied concerning the passion of the Lord and the darkness of the sun on
that day. He also prophesied concerning the lamentation and sorrow which should
come upon the children of Israel after this, how their festivals should be
turned into days of sorrow, and their joy into weeping; how they should lack he
help of God, and how they should hunger and thirst through the lack of teaching
and knowledge, how they should be scattered in all countries among the nations.
And all these things were fulfilled upon them. It was said that this prophet was
killed because of his harsh rebuke for their sins. This prophet lived about
eight hundred years before the advent of the Lord Christ.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
3. On this day also, in the year
1033 A.M., the great saint who was perfect
in the love of God, Anba Barsoma the "Naked" (El-Erian), departed. He was born
in Misre (Cairo). His father called El-Wageeh Moufdel, was the scribe of the
Queen "Shagaret El-dor", and his mother was from the family of El-Taban. When
his parents departed, his uncle took possession of all that they had left.
Barsoma did not quarrel with him but forsook the world and lived the life of the
righteous hermits. He lived outside the city for five years suffering the
harshness of the summer heat and the winter cold. He wore no clothing except a
hairy sackcloth, following the example of the Saint Anba Paul (Anba Paula), the
first hermit. Then he shut himself in a cave inside the church of St. Marcurius
Abu-Saifain for twenty years in ceaseless prayer and fasting, by day and night.
There was a huge serpent in that cave. When he entered the cave and saw this
serpent, he cried saying, "O my Lord Christ, the Son of the Living God, who gave
us the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and every power of the
enemy. You granted healing to the children of Israel, who were bitten by the
serpents, when they looked to the brass serpent. Now I look to you, O You Who
was hanged on the Cross, so that you might grant me power to be able to overcome
this beast." Then he made the sign of the cross over himself, and moved toward
the serpent saying, "You trampled the serpent and the snakes, and You tread upon
the lion and the dragon. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I
fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" Then he
said to the serpent, "O blessed one stand still in your place," and then he made
the sign of the cross over it. He prayed to God and asked Him to remove the
beastly nature from it. As he finished his prayer, the serpent changed its
nature and became tame. The saint said to the serpent, "Henceforth, O blessed
one, you shall not have power or might to harm any man, but you shall be subject
and obedient to what I say to you." The serpent manifested signs of submission
and obedience, and became with the saint as the lion was with Daniel, the
prophet, in the den.
Then he left the cave and lived on the roof of the
church. He endured the summer heat and the winter cold, until his skin became
dark from much worship and asceticism. He remained in this state for fifteen
During his days, a great persecution befell the
Christian nation. The churches were shut and the Christians were forced to wear
blue turbans. As for this saint, the ruler seized him, severely smote him, then
cast him in prison. When he was released, he went to the monastery of El-Shahran,
where he lived on the roof of the church and he increased in his asceticism. He
did not replace his white turban. The rulers of that time from princes, judges
and others, visited him and saw his white turban, but no one dared to force him
to wear a blue one for they knew that the power of God was with him. The saint
continually asked and supplicated God to take his anger away from His people.
Having completed his strife, he departed at a good old age, in the year
1033 A.M. He was then sixty years old, and
was buried in the monastery of El-Shahran.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
4. Today also, in the year
1346 A.M. (September
1629 A.D.), Pope Yoannis XV (John),
99th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was
from Mallawy, and was known by the name of Yoannis El-Mallawany. He became a
monk in St. Antonios monastery, and was ordained Patriarch in the
7th of Tute,
1336 A.M. (September
1619 A.D.). He was chaste, knowledgeable,
and just in his judgements. He was modest, impartial, and only sought the truth.
He was zealous about the church, compassionate to the priests, loving to the
poor, and provided shelter for strangers. He did not desire anything of this
world, but rather he was absorbed in prayer and worship, day and night.
In the year
1340 A.M. (1623
A.D.), a grave epidemic befell Upper Egypt. It lasted from the month of Tubah
(January) till the month of Baramoudah (April), which perished multitudes of
people and devastated many families. Pope Yoannis was in Upper Egypt, and
returned to Cairo in
1341 A.M. In year
1342 A.M. another severe epidemic spread
through the land, which was less severe than the first. The Pope went to upper
Egypt again in the second year of the epidemic, then returned to Cairo. On his
way back, he passed by the city of Abnub, and he spent a night there. He
suffered abdominal pain. It was said that he was given a poison where he spent
that night. The owner of that house had concubines besides his wife and the Pope
admonished him for that. When the Pope felt ill, he asked for a boat, which he
sailed in. He ceased in the boat on his way, and was buried in the monastery of
the Saint Anba Bishiah in El-Biadiah. He was on the Chair for nine years, eleven
months and twenty-two days.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to our God
Days of the month of Pi Kogi Enavot (the Little Month):