The Departure of St. Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem
On this day, the holy father Anba Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, departed. This holy father was Bishop of Cappadocia, and he came to the city of Jerusalem to receive the blessing of the holy places and then return to his country.
St. Narcissus, who was the Bishop of Jerusalem at that time (Second century - his departure on the first day of Baramhat), was advanced in age and had reached over 110 years. He often asked his people that he wished to retire from his See, but they refused. When St. Alexander finished his visit and decided to return to his Chair in Cappadocia, the people of Jerusalem heard a voice from heaven saying: "Go to the gate of the city, and the first one to enter it, seize him and make him stay with Narcissus to assist him." When they went to the gate they met the Bishop Alexander, and they pleaded with him to stay with Abba Narcissus to assist him. He refused because he could not leave his flock that the Lord Christ had entrusted him with. They told him about the voice which they had heard from heaven and that it was God's Will. He accepted and wrote to the people of his parish what had happened, apologized, and allowed them to appoint another bishop in his place. He remained in Jerusalem, assisting its bishop Anba Narcissus, for about 5 years.
After the departure of St. Narcissus, he continued to shepherd the people of Jerusalem with the best of care, until Maximianus, the infidel, seized him, inflicted him with severe tortures of every kind, and then imprisoned him. When Gordianus reigned, he released him, and when he died and Philip reigned, he released the rest of the confessors. This father sat in quietness and peace until Decius rose, killed Philip, and reigned in his stead.
Decius afflicted the Christians exceedingly; he seized this holy father and many others, and tortured them, especially this father. He beat him cruelly with sharp pins until he broke his ribs, then commanded to drag him by his feet and throw him in prison. He remained there until he delivered his pure soul in the hand of the Lord, and received the kingdom which is prepared for the saints.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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