On this day of the year 86 A.D., the holy father Abba Anianus, the second Pope of Alexandria, departed. This saint was a native of Alexandria, the son of pagan parents, and he was a cobbler. When St. Mark, the Apostle, entered the city of Alexandria, it happened by God's Divine Will that he tripped and tore his sandal. He gave it to Anianus to repair. While Anianus was thrusting the awl into it, the awl went through to the other side of the sandal and injured his finger. He screamed in pain, saying in Greek, "Eis Theos" which means "O, the Only God." When St. Mark heard him mentioning the Name of the Lord, he glorified the Lord Christ. Then he took some dust from the ground, spat on it and applied it to the finger of St. Anianus and he was healed immediately.
Anianus was exceedingly amazed. He took St. Mark to his house, asked him about his name, his belief, and where he came from. The apostle began to tell him of the books of the prophets concerning the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mystery of His incarnation, His Death and Resurrection and the performing of miracles in His Holy Name.
Anianus' mind was illuminated and he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and all the people of his house believed with him. They were all baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and God's Divine Grace was poured upon them. They continued to listen to the teachings of the Apostle Mark, who taught them the doctrine of the church, its ordinances and its laws.
When St. Mark decided to go to Pentapolis, he laid his hand on Anianus and ordained him Patriarch over the city of Alexandria, in the year 64 A.D. St. Anianus continued preaching and baptizing its people secretly, helping and strengthening them in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He turned his house into a church; and it is said that it is the one known as the church of St. Mark the Martyr, where the church of St. Mark in Alexandria stands now. This saint occupied the throne of St. Mark for 22 years, then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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