Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 --- 16 Abib 1730
Day 16 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 Sixteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Abib
Departure of St.John, of the Golden Gospel
On this day, St. John, the owner
of the Golden Gospel, departed. This saint was born in the city of Rome.
His father was a rich man whose name was Atrofius (Trabius). His father
gave him a copy of the Gospel of St. John written in letters of gold and
bound with a golden cover and from this he was generally known as "John
of the Golden Gospel." John rejoiced exceedingly with this gift. A monk,
who was on his way to Jerusalem, came to visit his father's house. John
asked the monk to take him with him. The monk told him that he was going
to Jerusalem and not to the monastery. He also told him that he was young
and could not endure the rough life that the monks practiced. Nevertheless,
John was sincere in his intention, so he embarked on a ship, without telling
anyone, to the monastery of that monk. When the Abbot saw him, he refused
to accept him because of his young age, and explained to him that the monastic
life was difficult for one like him. John pleaded with him, and when the
Abbot saw his firm intention and strong conviction, he accepted him. He
shaved his head, and arrayed him in the holy garb of the monastic life.
John devoted himself to the ascetic life with many worships. The Abbot
often advised him saying, "Have pity on yourself, and do as the rest of
the brethren." But John used to answer, saying, "The power of God and your
prayers support me."
Seven years later, he saw in a
vision, who told him, "Rise, and go to your parents, that you might receive
their blessings before your departure from this world." This vision was
repeated on three consecutive nights, and he told the Abbot about it. The
Abbot told him that this was from God, and advised him to go to see his
parents. When he left the monastery, he found a poor man wearing ragged
garments, he took them from him, and gave him his own monk's garb. When
he arrived at his father's house, he lived for three years, near the door
of the house, in a small hut made of straw. He ate, during this time, the
fragments from his father's table which the servants threw to him. Whenever
his mother passed by him, she was disgusted by his smell and the appearance
of his clothes. When his departure drew near, the Lord made it known to
him that after three days he would depart from this world. St. John sent
and called his mother. Without telling her that he was her son, he made
her swear to bury him in that hut with whatever clothes he had on. Then,
he gave her the golden Gospel and said to her, "Whenever you read in it,
remember me." When his father returned to the house, she showed him the
Gospel, and immediately he recognized that it was the Gospel of his son
John. They came in haste to St. John and asked him about the Gospel and
about their son. He asked them to assure him that they would not bury him
except in the clothes that he had on, and then he told them that he was
their son. They wept with a great weeping. When the nobles of the city
of Rome heard that, they gathered to see this righteous monk. After three
days, he departed and his mother clothed him with the clothes that she
had prepared for his wedding day before he went to the monastery. Thereupon
she fell sick, and her husband remembered the oath that they had given.
Immediately he removed the clothes of his son and clothed him with the
old ragged cloth that he had on and buried him in the hut in which he had
lived. Many miracles were manifested from his body. Then they built a church
in his name and placed his body in it.
May his prayers with us. Amen.
Recovery of the Holy Relics of St.George,
the Great Martyr
On this day also, was the
arrival of the holy relics of St. George, the great martyr, to his church
in Old Cairo. A monk called Fr. Marcus, who was the hegumen and Abbot of
El-Qualamoun monastery, used to visit the villages and the cities every
year to visit the Christians. One night, while he was visiting someone
in one of the villages he used to visit, he saw St. George (Gawargios)
in a vision, who told him, "Take my body from the woman that will be coming
to you tomorrow, and place it in my church that is in Old Cairo." On the
next day, a woman came to him and told him that she had a box that her
father had brought before his death from the church of St. George in Palestine.
This fulfilled the vision, and he went with her and examined the box. Then,
he went to Pope Gabrial, 88th Pope, and told him about the vision and the
box. Immediately the Pope rose up and took with him the priests and the
deacons, and went to where the box was. After they took the blessings of
the holy relics and gave some money to the woman, they carried the box
in a venerable celebration. They brought it to the church of St. George
in Old Cairo where many signs were manifested from it.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.
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