Ariana governor of Ansana, Malawy, Upper Egypt, heard about Abba Amonius bishop of Esna. He heard how he transferred the city into a church kindled with the spirit and the love of God. Ariana grew very wrathful, as he hated the name of Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, he dedicated all his efforts to destroy Christianity. As he entered the city from its northern gate with his soldiers ready to kill any Christian they would meet they found no one in the city. They walked till they reached the southern gate. There, they found an old woman.
The governor asked her about the people and the priests. She answered, “they went to St. Isaac’s monastery to pray with Bishop Amonius.”
“Did they know of my coming so they feared and fled?”
“Yes, they heard of your arrival so they rejoiced, as they’re longing for passing to the Lord.”
“Don’t they fear death or torture?”
“Through torture, they share with Lord Jesus His pains and proclaim their love to him. And through death, they pass to Him.”
He got furious of her bravery, asked her to guide him to the monastery and then ordered her to be beheaded. She rejoiced as if presented a great reward. The soldiers went to St. Isaac’s monastery. As the people saw the soldiers advancing, they went out to receive them joyfully. Then, they saw Lord Jesus Christ coming among His angels. Therefore, they cried, “’Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest.’”
Ariana was astounded. He ordered all to be beheaded save the bishop. He chained him and took him to Ansana to torture him there.
+ You filled Your people’s life with joy.
Then, they saw You coming with Your angels,
Even through their persecutors.
They welcomed Ariana and his soldiers with praises.
+ How did they receive Ariana when he was martyred?
The doors of paradise opened.
Martyrs went out to see their persecutor a martyr.
The one whose heart was filled with hatred,
His heart now is filled with love.
They saw him, who was threatening and killing,
Now praising and loving.
She saw the King
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