The Coming of Saint Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, to Egypt
On this day St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, came to Egypt in the days of Eustinos the Emperor. This Emperor opposed the Orthodox belief, following that of the council of Chalcedon. However Queen Theodora, his wife, was an Orthodox and she loved St. Severus because of his Christian virtues and his true faith. The Emperor called him one day and many discussions took place regarding the faith, but the Emperor would not turn away from his wrong belief. The Emperor issued his orders to slay St. Severus. The Queen besought the saint to escape to save himself but he refused saying, "I am ready to die holding the Orthodox faith." However, as the Queen and the God loving brethren insisted, he and some brethren left to Egypt. When the Emperor sought St. Severus and did not find him, he sent soldiers after him. But God hid St. Severus from the soldiers and they did not see him although he was close to them. When he came to Egypt, he went disguised from place to place and from monastery to monastery, and God made many signs and wonders by his hands. One day, he went to the desert of Scete, at Wadi-El Natroun, and he entered the church in a uniform of a stranger monk and a great miracle took place at that time. It came to pass, that after the priest had placed the bread (Kourban) on the altar and gone around the church offering the incenses, and after the reading of the Epistles and the Gospel, he lifted off the Ebrospharin (altar covering), and did not find the Kourban in the paten; so, the priest was disturbed and wept. He turned towards the worshippers saying, "O my brethren, I did not find El-Kourban in the paten, and I know not whether this thing has happened because of my sin or because of your sin." The people wept; and straightaway, the angel of the Lord appeared to the priest and told him, "This has happened not because of your sin or because of the sin of the worshippers but because you offered El-Kourban in the presence of the Patriarch. The priest replied, "And where is he, O my Lord?" The angel pointed towards St. Severus. St. Severus was standing in a corner of the church and the priest recognized him by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The priest came to Abba Severus, who commanded him to continue the liturgy after they brought him to the altar with great honor. When the priest had gone up to the altar he found the offering on the paten as before. They all praised God and glorified His Holy Name. St. Severus went forth from that place and came to the city of Sakha where he dwelt with a noble, and righteous man named Dorotheus, and he remained there until his departure. His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
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