Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands, U.K.

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Monday, April 27, 2015 | Parmoute 19, 1731

The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Parmoute

Vespers

Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 95:5,6

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
And Glory be to God forever


Matins

Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 18:1,2

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 17:10-13

And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
And Glory be to God forever


Pauline Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God. A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Romans. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Romans 2:4-7

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the 1 Epistle of St. John. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the worldthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Amen.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 4:23-27

And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ. "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium

The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Parmoute, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins are forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers, Amen.
Martyrdom of Saint Simeon the Armenian the Bishop of Persia and 150 with Him
On this day, St. Simeon the Armenian, Bishop of the country of Persia, and 150 with him, were martyred. This Bishop lived during the reign of Sapor (Shapur), the son of Hormiz, king of Persia, who was unjust and oppressive to the Christians. This Saint wrote a letter to king Sapor and told him: 'Those whom the Lord Christ has bought with His honorable Blood had rid themselves from the servitude of men, and it is not conceivable for them to be in servitude for those who transgress the Law.' When the king had read this letter, he became exceedingly wrath. He brought him, bound him with chains, and cast him into the prison. In prison, he found prisoners who worshipped the sun. The Saint rebuked them, taught them, and they believed in the Lord Christ. They confessed their faith before the king, who brought the Saint from the prison, because he preached them the faith. The king ordered to cut off the heads of the Saint and the 150 persons with him, and they received the crown of martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.

Martyrdom of Saint John Abu Nagaah the Monk
On this day also, of the year 719 A.M., the blessed Youhanna (John) Abu Nagaah El-Kabeer, was martyred. He was one of the noble Copts in the tenth and eleventh centuries. He was the head scribe in his time, as he was the lay leader during the reign of Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah the Fatimid Caliph. This great elder was a contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, who was enthroned on March 28th. 979 A.D. and departed on November 8th. 1003 A.D. Youhanna was a devout Christian, righteous, virtuous, charitable, and loving to the church. He was zealous in the Orthodox faith. When Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah completed the extermination of the people close to him and the leaders of the army, he turned to the notables and chiefs of the scribes. He called ten of them and offered them to adopt Islam. Youhanna, who was their head, was called first. Al-Hakim told him: 'I want you to leave your faith and adopt my faith, the Islam. I will make you my minister to manage the affairs of my kingdom.' Youhanna replied saying: 'Give me a chance until tomorrow to deliberate the matter with myself' Youhanna went to his house, called his friends, informed them with what had happened, and told them: 'I am ready to die in the Name of the Lord Christ, and my reason for asking for the delay, not to deliberate the matter with myself but to see you and my family, to bid you and my family farewell, and to commend you and them. Now my brothers, do not ask for this vain glory, for you will loose the eternal glory of the Lord Christ Who satisfied us with the richness of the world, and now with His mercy, He had called us to the Kingdom of Heaven, so strengthen your hearts.' His golden words, which were full of wisdom, influenced those who heard them, strengthened their hearts, and they decided to die in the Name of the Lord Christ also. He made a great feast for them, and then they went to their homes. The next morning, Youhanna went to Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah who asked him: 'O Nagaah, have you decided?' Youhanna (John) replied saying 'Yes'. The Caliph asked: 'Which way have you decided?' Youhanna answered steadfastly and with courage: 'Remaining in my faith.' The Governor attempted with all ways of persuasion and threatening to make him forsake Christianity. John was steadfast as a rock; nothing shook him away from the Christian faith, and the Governor could not with all his powers make him renounce the faith of his fathers.

When the Governor failed with Youhanna, he ordered to remove his clothes, be tied to the squeezing wheels, and be beaten. They beat him five hundred lashes on his delicate body, and his flesh was torn and his blood flew as water. The whips that were used were made of cow hides; even the mighty ones could not bear one lash from it on their bodies, much less, this gentle branch. Then the Governor ordered to beat him up to one thousand lashes. After he was beaten three hundred more lashes, he said as his Master: 'I am thirsty.' They stopped beating him and informed the Governor who told them: 'Water him after you tell him forsake your faith.' When they came to him with the water and told him as the Caliph ordered, Youhanna replied with pride and dignity: 'Take the water back to him, for I do not need it, because My Master Jesus Christ had watered me and quenched my thirst.' The people who were standing around testified that they saw at this moment water dripping from his beard. When he said that, he delivered up his soul. When they told the tyrant Governor about his death, he ordered them to beat the dead body to complete the one thousand lashes, and thus he was martyred, and received the crown of martyrdom that was prepared for him by the Great King Jesus Christ. The History of the Patriarch did not mention the day that he was martyred, but El-Makrizi in his manuscripts said: 'The Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, one of the ten men and the companion of Youhanna Ibn Nagaah, was slained in the nineteenth of Barmoudah, 719 A.M. (April 14th, 1003 A.D.)' The martyrdom of the blessed Youhanna Ibn Nagaah was mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs, before the mentioning of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim. Youhanna, in the feast that he made for his friends and kinfolks among whom were the other nine chosen ones, did not mention the account of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd in what he said during the feast. Accordingly, the martyrdom of this Saint was on the same day of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd.
May His blessings be with us. Amen

Martyrdom of Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim and his companions
This day also marks the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Elder the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, who was distinguished in the later half of the tenth century and early the eleventh century. He was also contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, and from the Fatimid Caliphs, Al Emam Al-Azeez Be Allah, and his son Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah. He was an Orthodox Archon, adhered to his faith, faithful to his church, and charitable. During his life, he never turned down anyone who asked him. Whenever he went through the streets riding and one asked him, he would extend the sleeve of his cloak and the one asking would find much good in it, and that to hide his virtue of giving. This vizier was one of the powerful and influential men of the government during the Fatimid Rule. Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah appointed him head of all the scribes and department heads. He built the church of the martyr St. Mercurius in the present monastery of Anba Rowais, which was known then by Dair El-Khandaq.

It is documented in the History of the Patriarchs that when Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah wanted to make the notable Coptic scribes apostatize their faith, the Vizier Fahd was one of the ten that was chosen for that purpose. He brought him and told him: 'You know that I have chosen and appointed you ahead of all the men in my government, then listen to me and be with me in my religion, so I will promote you more than what you are in now and be like a brother to me.' When he did not answer him, he ordered his neck to be cut off and to burn his body. The fire remained burning for three days and the body did not burn, and his right hand that he extended to give alms, was sound at all the time as the fire never touched it. It was mentioned also in the book of El-Khetat El-Tawfikiah that the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was discussing the affairs of the government with the head of the army, El-Housain Ibn Gawhar, and El-Hakim was luring him to apostatize his faith with many promises. When Fahd refused, he ordered his head to be cut off and to burn his body but God protected his body from burning. He was buried in the southern corner of the church of St. Mercurius, which he built in Dair El-khandaq. El-Makrizi wrote in his manuscripts: 'Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was killed after he had remained as a chief minister of the government for five years, nine months and twelve days.' God had taken revenge severely from the wicked people that discredited Abu Elaala Fahd before the Caliph and changed his heart against him. Twenty-nine days after the departure of Fahd, the wicked man, Aly Ibn Omar Ibn El-addas, was killed, then his companion, Taher Mahmoud Ibn El-Nahawy, was killed. The church also commemorates the rest of the ten chief ministers that the Governor asked them to apostatize their faith. When they refused and disobeyed him, he ordered to torture them. They were beaten with whips, and when the beating became cruel, four of them became Muslims, one of them died the same night, and the other three returned to their Christian Faith after the end of the time of persecution. The rest departed while they were being tortured and received the crown of martyrdom and acquired the eternal life.

Martyrdom of Saint David of Sebastia
On this day also, Daoud Ibn Ghobrial El-Bargy, the monk, was martyred. He was from the village of Berkit Karmout. He was tortured severely but did not forsake the faith, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1099 A.M.
May their intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Divine Liturgy Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 7:1,17

O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me, I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
John 7:39-42

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ."But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"
And Glory be to God forever