Baramhat 5 : The Departure of Anba Serapamon, Archpriest of Abba Yehnis (John) monastery, commemoration of the Martyrdom of St. Eudexia (Eutychia) and the Martyrdom of St. Peter the priest.
1. The Departure of Anba Serapamon, Archpriest of Abba Yehnis (John) monastery.
On this day the ascetic holy father Anba Serapamon the Archpriest of Abu-Yehnis (John) monastery departed. This Saint became a monk in his youth at the monastery of the saint Abu-Yehnis. He stayed there for thirty two years in worshipping God and serving the elders. Then he was promoted to be the archpriest (Heagomain) of the monastery and was delegated to manage it. He added to his works of righteousness and ascetism, and he spent his day fasting from the day of his monkshood until the day of his departure. After spending twenty years in running the monastery, he shut himself up in a church and no one saw him for a period of ten years. During this period he only ate on Saturday and Sunday.
When the time of his departure drew near, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision and gave him a cross of fire saying: "Take this cross in your hand". The saint replied: " How can I hold fire in my hands." The angel said: "Do not be afraid for Christ have not given the fire dominion over you." The Saint extended his hand and took the cross from the angel. Then the angel told him: "Be strong, partake of the Holy Mysteries and after three days I shall come and take you".
When he woke up from his sleep, he told the elders about his vision. They wept, bid him farewell, and asked him to remember them. He asked them to remember him in their prayers. He departed on the third day and the elders were around him.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
2. Commemoration of the Martyrdom of St. Eudexia (Eutychia).
On this day also is the commemoration of St. Eudexia which is interpreted "happiness". This Saint was Samaritan by race and religion, from the city of Baalbek. The name of her father was Younan and the name of her mother was Hakeemah. She lived her early life in immorality. With the beauty of her face and physical appearance, she stumbled many and made them to fall into sin acquiring thereby great wealth.
A saintly monk from Jerusalem called Germanus heard about her. He went to her, preached her with solemn and frightful words, mentioning to her hell, worms, darkness, and the fearful punishments which are therein. She asked him: "Does the body rise after death, and after it becomes dust to be judged?" He replied "Yes". She asked him: "What are the proofs on what you said, since the Torah that God gave to Moses the prophet and my fathers did not mention this?" He explained to her with biblical and logical proofs until she was convinced. She asked him: "If I go back on my evil works would God accept me?" He replied: "If you believed that the Lord Christ had come to the world, took away our sins by His Crucifixion, repented now a sincere repentance, and been baptized, He will accept you, and will not mention any of what you have done, but you will be as if you just have been borne."
Her heart opened to the faith and asked him to help her to fulfil that. He took her to the bishop of Baalbek and she confessed before him the Holy Trinity, the incarnation of the Word and His Crucifixion. While the Bishop was praying over the water to baptize her, the Lord opened her mind, she saw an angel attracting her to the water and the other angels were rejoicing for her. Then she saw an ugly terrifying looking person trying to drag her away from them and he was in wrath with her. What she saw increased her desire for repentance and baptism.
After her baptism, she gave all what she gained as fruit of her sin to the poor and needy. She entered a convent of nuns, she put on the garb of monasticism, and fought a good and perfect fight. Satan entered into some of her friends who informed the Governor about her. The Governor commanded his men to bring her. When she came into his house she found great lamentation and weeping for the governor's son had just died. She came to where the son was laid, prayed entreating the Lord Christ for his sake and He raised him up from death. The Prince believed in Christ through her. Another prince called Diogenes heard about her. He brought her before him, and she saw a soldier standing before him, who was blind in one eye, she prayed and made the sign of the cross over the eye, and it was opened. The prince released her instantly.
Shortly after this, another Prince called Bekeyfius was appointed, and he heard about her and had her brought to him. She asked the Lord Christ to give her a portion with the martyrs. The Prince commanded to cut off her head, and she received the crown of martyrdom.
May her intercession be with us. Amen.
3. The Martyrdom of St. Peter the priest.
On this day also the honorable presbyter St. Peter departed. This father spent his life fasting, he shut himself in and was disciplined in praying days and nights. The Lord granted him the gift of knowing the future, healing the sick through the water and oil after praying over them. He was ordained a priest, after much reluctance, and he was forced to obey the order. He offered the incense and celebrated the Liturgy daily. The people of the city rejoiced saying: "May the Lord grant us the forgiveness of our sins with his prayers and supplications." He had a wonderful power of reconciling persons at variance.
During his prayer one night, St. Peter the apostle appeared to him and told him: "Hail to you for you have kept the priesthood without blemish. Hail to you for your prayers and masses had ascended as sweet aroma." When the Saint saw him, he was terrified. St Peter told him: "I am the apostle Peter, do not be afraid for the Lord has sent me to comfort you and to inform you that you are leaving this toilsome world to the Eternal kingdom, so rejoice and be comforted." The priest rejoiced for that and said "Remember me O My Father." When he said that he departed in happiness, glory and honor.
May the Lord have mercy on us with his prayers and blessings and Glory be to God for ever. Amen.