Saturday, 21st July 2018 --- 14 Abib 1734
Day 14 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Abib, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
The Fourteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Abib
Martyrdom of St.Procopius (Proconius)
On this day, of the year
303 A.D. (July 8th), St. Procopius (Proconius), was martyred. He was born
in the city of Jerusalem, his father was a Christian whose name was Christophorus,
which means "Bearer of Christ." His mother's name was Theodosia, and she
was a worshipper of idols. When his father died, Theodosia took her son,
and went to Antioch. She presented much money and expensive gifts to the
Emperor Diocletian, and asked him to make her son a governor for one of
the cities. He accepted her gift, answered her request, and appointed her
son the governor of the city of Alexandria. He commanded that Procopius
torture the Christians. When the Saint had gone a little way from the City
of Antioch, he heard a voice from heaven calling him by his name, and censured
his deed. The voice also threatened him by death because he dared and accepted
to do what was against the command of God. Procopius asked, "Who are you,
O my Lord? I beseech you to show me yourself." A cross of light appeared
to him, and he heard a voice which said to him, "I am Jesus , the Son of
the Living God, Who was crucified in Jerusalem." He was afraid and trembled,
and he turned to the city of Bit-Shaan (Bisan). He made for himself a cross
of gold like the cross that appeared to him.
On his way to Alexandria,
some of the bedouins attacked him to plunder whatever he had. But he overcame
them by the cross that he had. His mother told him, "You must offer sacrifices
to the gods who delivered you from your enemies." The Saint replied, "Rather,
I will offer the sacrifice to Jesus Christ, Who helped me by the power
of His cross." When his mother heard his words, she became angry, and sent
to Diocletian to inform him about that. The Emperor sent to the Governor
of Caesarea, Palestine, to investigate the matter, and to handle his torture.
When the Governor brought him, Procopius confessed his faith in the Lord
Christ. The governor beat him so severely that he was close to death, then
he cast him in prison. The Lord Christ appeared to him, surrounded by His
angels, released him from his bonds, and healed his wounds. The next morning,
the Governor asked about the Saint, and they told him that they found him
free and sound. He had him brought to the temple of the idols, where the
Governor was going to pray. When the Saint came, and the people saw him
whole, they all marvelled, and they all cried out in the name of Christ
saying, "We are Christians, and we believe in the God of Procopius." Among
them were two prefects, twelve women, and St. Theodosia, mother of St.
Proconius. They cut off their heads, and they received the crown of martyrdom.
That was on the sixth day of the month of Abib.
The Governor ordered the
return of the Saint to prison, until he could determine what to do with
him. He brought him back three days later and told him, "Behold, I have
waited three days for you to return to your mind, to have mercy on yourself,
and to offer sacrifice for the gods." The Saint replied, "The Lord Christ
is the only true God. As for these statues, which are made of stone and
wood, they are not gods and can neither harm nor help." The Governor became
angry and ordered the soldiers to cut his sides with swords. A swordsman,
whose name was Archelaus, stretched out his hand to cut the sides of the
Saint, whereupon his hand dried up, and fell down dead. The Governor ordered
to stab him with knives and pour vinegar in his wounds. Then they dragged
him by his feet to the prison, where he stayed for three days. The Governor
was wondering what he should do with him. Then he threw him into a pit
filled with fire, but the Lord delivered him and no harm came upon him.
Finally, the Governor ordered to cut off his head and he received the crown
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of St.Peter the Fifth, the
83rd Patriarch of Alexandria
On this day also, of the year 1064 A.M. (July 8th,
1348 A.D.), Pope Peter the Fifth, 83rd Patriarch of Alexandria, departed.
He was known as Peter (Boutros) Ebn-dawoud. He was from St. Macarius monastery,
and was a priest in El-Shahraan monastery. He was enthroned on the 6th
of Tubah, 1056 A.M. (January 2nd, 1340 A.D.). All the days of his papacy
were peaceful and tranquil. He departed after staying in his Chair for
eight years, six months, and six days, and was buried in Old Cairo.
May his prayers be with us, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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Days of the Coptic month of Abib