IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day Saint Ptolemachus and his brethren became martyrs.
Salutation to Ptolemachus and his brethren.
Salutation to Paul, the new Tawrasi.
And on this day also died the holy father Abba Zachariah the
monk. The name of the father
of this holy man was ‘Akaryos. And
‘Akaryos wished for the garb of the monk, and when he told his wife this
thought, she agreed with what he said unto her.
And he had two children, one boy and one little girl. And ‘Akaryos left the children with their mother, and he
went to the desert of Scete, and he became a monk there under the
direction of a certain holy old man who was a monk.
After a few days there was a great famine in the city, and his wife
took the two children and came to the desert of Scete to their father
‘Akaryos, and she told him of the tribulation which had come upon her
through the famine. And she
said unto her two children, “Go to your father,” and the two children
wandered about for a little, and the girl returned to her mother.
And ‘Akaryos said unto her, “Behold, God hath done what is
right, and hath divided the two children between us; take thou the girl
and I will take the boy.” And
the woman took her daughter and departed, and ‘Akaryos took his son, who
was this father Zachariah, and brought him to the holy old men, and they
prayed over him, and they prophesied that he would become a perfect monk.
And Zachariah was brought up with every kind of good work in the
desert of Scete, and with every kind of virtue and righteous work.
And his form was exceedingly handsome, and there were many
murmurings in the desert because of him, and the monks said among
themselves, “How is it possible for such an exceedingly handsome young
man to dwell in the desert of Scete among monks?” And when Zachariah heard that the monks were murmuring
because of him, he departed to the lake of Dabra Natrun, which is like
unto salt. And none of the
people knew him, and he stripped off his apparel, and plunged his body
into the lake, and he remained under the salt water for many hours.
And his body swelled and became discolored, and his flesh became
full of sores like unto that of a man who is sick.
Then he went forth from the lake and put on his apparel and came to
his father ‘Akaryos; and when his father saw him he did not know him,
but after a few days he recognized him and knew that he was his son.
And he asked him and said unto him, “What is it that hath changed
thine appearance?” And he
told him everything that had happened and how he had submerged himself in
the lake of Natrun, which is hambo (salt). And when the First Day of the week came, he went to the
church to receive the Holy Mysteries with the brethren.
And God shewed to Abba Isidore, priest of Scete, what Abba
Zachariah had done, and when Abba Zachariah came to Abba Isidore to
receive the Offering he looked at him and marveled at him, and he said
unto the monks, “Zachariah received the Offering on the last First Day
of the week like every other man, and now he hath become an angel of
God.” And when the other
monks knew what Zachariah had done they marveled exceedingly, and they
ascribed blessing and praise to him.
And this Father Zachariah possessed together with other excellences
the virtue of humility, and his humility was so perfect that his father
spake of it to the monks, and said unto them, “I have labored greatly,
but I have never attained to the rule of this my son Zachariah.”
This Zachariah lived a strenuous life and strove exceedingly for
five and forty years; now when he came to the desert of Scete he was seven
years of age. And all the
days of his life were two and fifty years, and he was well pleasing unto
God and he died in peace. Salutation
And on this day also are commemorated ‘Eulana, and Eulacius (Eulochius?), and Theodore, and ‘Ablas and his brethren, and Nitolaus, and ‘Abela.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.