THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day is celebrated the festival of the honored angel,
Michael the archangel, the head of the hosts of heaven, the angel who is
merciful to the children of men, who standeth at all times before the
great throne of God speaking on behalf of the children of man.
Joshua the son of Nun saw him in great glory like unto that of a
general of the king’s army, and he was frightened at him and fell down
and made obeisance unto him, and said unto him, “O my lord, art thou on
our side or on the side of the enemy?”
And Michael said unto him, “I am the tenth of the Chiefs of the
mighty armies of heaven, and this day I will give Amalek into thy hand,
and I will make thee king in the city of Jericho.”
This angel it was who was with all the saints and martyrs, and he
made them strong and enabled them to endure patiently until they finished
their strife, [and it is meet] that festivals of commemoration should be
held, and gifts offered in his name on the twelfth day of each month, for
he beseecheth God for the fruits of the earth, and the descent of the
rains, and the [flooding of the] rivers, and for good souls so that God
may make perfect all of them in integrity.
Now, there was a certain God-fearing man whose name was Dorotheus,
and [he had a] wife whose name was Theopista, and they were wont to make
festivals of commemoration for the honored angel Michael.
And all the money of these righteous folk came to an end, and they
had nothing wherewith to celebrate the commemoration of the honored
Michael. And because they were exceedingly sorrowful about this they
took their apparel to sell so that they might make a feast.
And Michael the archangel appeared unto Dorotheus and commanded him
to go to a sheep-master and to take from him a sheep worth one-third of a
dinar. And he was also to go
to a fisherman and to take from him a fish worth one-third of a dinar, and
he was not to slit the belly thereof except inside the house.
And he was also to go to a flour merchant, and to take from him as
much flour as he wanted. And the angel said, “Do this, and do not sell thy
raiment”; and Dorotheus did as the angel commanded him.
And he summoned all the people according to his custom, and he made
a feast in honor of the angel Michael.
When he had gone into his store-chamber to see if, peradventure, he
could find a jar of wine for the Offering, he found the interior of his
chamber filled with wine, and much flour; and Dorotheus was frightened and
he marveled exceedingly. When
he had ministered unto all the company, and they had finished the feast,
and all the people had departed to their houses, the honored angel
appeared unto the blessed Dorotheus in the garb wherein he had appeared
unto him before, and commanded him to cut open the belly of the fish.
When he had cut open the belly of the fish he found therein three
hundred dinars of gold, and three third parts of a dinar.
And the archangel Michael said unto Dorotheus and his wife, “Set
aside these three third parts of a dinar for the sheep, the fish, and the
flour, and these three hundred dinars shall be for your own needs.
God hath remembered you and the alms and oblations which ye have
been wont to make, and hath rewarded you for the same here in this world,
and at the last day He will make you to inherit the kingdom of heaven.”
And as they were frightened at this matter he said unto them, “I
am Michael the archangel who hath delivered you from all your tribulation,
and it is I who have loved your alms and oblations, and have taken them up
to God. Henceforward ye shall
lack no good thing whatsoever in this world.” And they prostrated themselves before him, and he disappeared
and went up into heaven. And
the angel Michael worked so many miracles that they are innumerable.
Salutation to thee, O merciful angel Michael whom I have feared
from my youth up; hide me under thy prayers at dawn and at eve.
And on this day also died the holy father Philotheus, the
sixty-third Archbishop of the city of Alexandria. In the days of his archiepiscopate the King of Ethiopia sent
a letter to George, King of Noba, and he said unto him: “God is wroth with us because of what the kings who were
before us have done. For they
transgressed the commandment of God, concerning Abba Peter, the bishop,
whom they drove out of his diocese, and they appointed in his stead Minas
the liar, in the days of Cosmas the archbishop; and, behold, six
archbishops have [not] appointed a bishop to our country.
And because of this our country is destroyed, and all our men and
beasts have perished through famine and plague.
Our enemies have risen up against us and have carried away captive
many men from our country and have plundered our cities.
The rain hath been withheld and it falls not, and the earth will
not give her fruit, and our enemies have burnt our cities, and plundered
the churches, and driven us from place to place.
I beseech thee to show friendship to me in this trouble, for
God’s sake, and for the sake of the Orthodox Faith.
And do thou write a letter to our father the Archbishop Abba
Philotheus of Egypt, and entreat him for God’s sake to absolve us, and
to open up our country, and to pray for us so that God may remove from us
and from our country the tribulation and trial which have come upon us,
and may have compassion upon us and may appoint us a bishop, and may send
him to us according to what was always done for our fathers, so that the
bishop may pray to God on our behalf to remove His wrath from us. And
this which I am saying unto thee I say, O my brother king, because I fear
[that if a bishop be not sent] the Christian Faith will perish from among
us. And behold, from that time unto this day six archbishops have
been enthroned, and they have neither remembered our country nor appointed
us a bishop. And we have
become like unto sheep which have been turned out, and have no shepherd.
Our bishops, and priests, and kings have died, and our churches
have been pulled down; but we acknowledge that this tribulation hath come
upon us rightly in return for what we did to our Bishop Abba Peter.”
And when the letter of the King of Ethiopia came to King George in
Noba, and he had read it, he was exceedingly sorry that trials and
tribulation had come upon the country of Ethiopia.
And straightway George, King of Noba, wrote a letter and sent it to
Archbishop Abba Philotheus, and in it described to him all the trials and
tribulation which had come upon the country of Ethiopia, and he besought
him to have compassion upon the Christian people of the country of
Ethiopia and to appoint them a bishop.
When the archbishop heard this he sent straightway to the desert of
Scete, to a certain righteous monk, and that monk, whose name was Abba
Daniel, came forthwith to him from the monastery of Abba Macarius, and he
appointed him bishop of the Ethiopians and sent him to them.
And when Abba Daniel arrived in Ethiopia the people received him
with great honor, and he removed the wrath [of God] from them, and he made
them to conquer their enemies who had rebelled against them in times past.
And all his work was right during the days of this Archbishop, Abba
Philotheus, and he made manifest many signs and wonders.
Salutation to Philotheus the apostle.
Salutation to ‘Admas. [Omitted
in the Bodleian MS.]
[On this day died Ba’eda Maryam I, King of Ethiopia, who died
on Nov. 8, A.D. 1478.]
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.