IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN
On this day God sent Michael, the archangel, to Habakkuk, the prophet, in the city of Jerusalem, as he was carrying a mess of lentils, meaning to take it to the reapers in the fields. And Saint Michael seized Habakkuk by the hair, as he was carrying the food, and he brought him to the city of Babylon forthwith, and Daniel ate of the food. And Saint Michael, the glorious angel, delivered Daniel from the lions’ den, and he brought back Habakkuk to the land of Judea, and the food with him, and straightway he stood by the reapers. For this reason the doctors of the Church have commanded us to make a festival in honor of this glorious angel Saint Michael, the archangel, on the twelfth day of the month of Genbot. Salutation to Saint Michael.
And on this day died the glorious father John the Mouth of Gold (i.e. Chrysostom). This saint was of the men of Antioch, and his father, whose name was Sifandus (Secundus), was one of the rich men of that city, and the name of his mother was Athanasia (Anthusa). Both parents were exceedingly rich, and they brought up this holy son carefully and piously, and they taught him all learning and philosophy. And he went to the city of Athens and learned all the wisdom of the Athenians in the House of the Learned, and he excelled many in his knowledge and wisdom. Then he became a monk in his early years, and rejected the delights of this fleeting world. And Saint Basil had become a monk in that monastery before him, and they became close friends, and performed many works of excellence together. When his father and his mother died, he did not take any of his property, which they had left him, but he distributed it all among the poor and needy. Then he devoted himself to the career of the ascetic, and he fought a great spiritual fight. And there was in the monastery a certain just man, of restrained nature, a Syrian, whose name was Sisikos, and he was a perfect monk and could see visions by the Holy Spirit. One night whilst this man was keeping vigil and praying, he saw Peter and John the apostles come to John, the Mouth of Gold (i.e. Chrysostom), and Saint Peter gave him keys and Saint John the evangelist gave him a Gospel, and they said unto him, “Fear not. Whomsoever thou bindest shall be bound in heaven, and whomsoever thou loosest shall be loosed in heaven. We know, O thou second Daniel, that the Holy Spirit hath taken up its abode in thee, and we have been sent unto thee by the Great Teacher, our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Peter unto whom hath been given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and behold, I have given the keys of the churches which are in all the ends of the world.” And the other apostle said unto him, “I am that John who spoke in the beginning of my preaching in the Gospel, and I said, In the beginning was the Word, and that Word was with God, and God was that Word, and that Word is like a fiery sword against our enemies. And thou also, unto thee it is given by God, our Lord Jesus Christ, to know that in truth thou must bring up the nations in the True Faith.” And when that righteous man Sisikos saw this vision, he knew that Saint John was to be appointed to be a good and faithful shepherd. And then the grace of God descended upon Saint John, and he composed many Discourses and admonitory Exhortations, and he interpreted the Book of the Law (Pentateuch) whilst he was a deacon. And as Saint John was praying one night, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in apparel as white as snow, and when the saint saw him he was afraid, and fell upon the ground, and was dismayed. And when the angel of the Lord saw that he was afraid, and had fallen down, he changed his appearance and his form became that of a man, and he said unto him, “Rise up, and fear not, O my beloved, thou second Daniel.” And the saint strengthened his heart, and rose up, and said unto him, “Who art thou, my lord, for thine appearance terrifieth me?” And he said unto him, “I am the angel of the Lord, and I have been sent unto thee to strengthen thee, and to tell thee what it is seemly for thee to do, what the Lord my God hath commanded me. And now, be of good courage, for thy voice shall penetrate to the end of the world, and thousands of thousands shall hear thy teaching, and shall come back to God, and shall be saved; and thou thyself shalt become a great and strong pillar in the city of the kingdom of the heavens. And behold, the Archbishop of the city of Antioch shall come unto thee, and with him shall come all the priests and deacons of the Church, each in his grade; go thou with them and whatsoever he shall command thee that do, for it is God Who hath commanded thee this, and it is not meet for thee to transgress the commandment of God.” And after this the angel of the Lord appeared unto the archbishop, Abba Philotheus, and commanded him to appoint Saint John a priest. And on the following day the archbishop came, and with him were all the priests, and he took this father and made him a priest against his will. And when the Archbishop of the city of Constantinople died, the Emperor Arcadius sent and brought Saint John, and appointed him Archbishop of the city of Constantinople. And he went to his archiepiscopal office like the Apostles, and he taught the people frequently the Life-giving Doctrine, and admonished them often, and expounded to them the Books of the Church [and] the Old and New Testaments. And he composed many Homilies, and he rebuked many sinners, and was afraid neither of the emperor nor of his high officers of state. And the Empress Eudoxia, the wife of Arcadius, was a lover of money, and she took a garden belonging to a certain widow from her by force, to add to the grounds of the palace. And the widow came to Saint John and told him how the Empress Eudoxia had taken her garden, and Saint John sent to the Empress Eudoxia, and rebuked her, and entreated her with many entreaties to give back to the widow her garden; but when she refused to obey his request, he excommunicated her, and forbade her to enter the church or to partake of the Holy Mysteries. And fury entered her soul and she gathered together the company of the bishops whom John had excommunicated, and cut off from their sees, because of their evil deeds and sins, and they wrote letters, and made common cause against Saint John in order that he might be exiled, and the empress exiled him to the Island of ‘Akratao. When he arrived there he found that the men of that island were heretics, and that they walked in the way of evil deeds. And Saint John rebuked them, and taught them, and turned them from the path of error, and brought them into the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ by means of the signs and miracles, which he wrought before them. When Honorius, Emperor of Rome, and Yonaknidos (Innocent) Konifanyos, Archbishop of the city of Rome, heard of the exile of Saint John, they sorrowed exceedingly, and they sent letters to Arcadius, scolding him. And they said unto him, “Take heed to this wicked act which thou hast committed. If thou dost not obey us, and dost not bring back Saint John from his exile, there shall certainly not be peace between us and thee from this time forward.” When Arcadius read their letters he was exceedingly sad, and he made his wife, the Empress Eudoxia, to stand aside. And he brought Saint John from exile; and when he arrived all the people of the city of Constantinople rejoiced with an exceedingly great joy. And after a few days the Empress Eudoxia returned, and exiled him a second time to the Island of Akratys, and he died on the Island. And when Honorius, the just emperor, and Yonakendinos (Innocent), the archbishop, knew that [the empress] had exiled Saint John [a second time], they were exceedingly sorry, and the archbishop sent a letter to the Empress Eudoxia, and anathematized her, and banned her from receiving the Holy Mysteries until she brought back Saint John from exile. Then straightway she sent [messengers] to the Island of ‘Atrakya to bring back Saint John from the Island, and they found that he was dead; and they took his body and brought it to the city of Constantinople. And they sent messengers to Abba Yonakendyos (Innocent), Archbishop of the city of Rome, and informed him that Saint John had died on the Island, and how they had brought his body to the city of Constantinople. And he sent a second time, and anathematized the Empress Eudoxia, and prohibited her from receiving the Holy Mysteries, and from entering a church for eight months; but they entreated him very urgently, and he sent and removed the ban. Nevertheless God afflicted her with a very serious illness, and she gave much money to the physicians, but she was not healed of her disease until she went to the body of Saint John, and bowed down before it. And she wept and entreated him to forgive her the sin, which she had committed against him, and Saint Abba John had compassion upon her, and healed her of her disease. And God made manifest very many signs and wonders through the body of this Saint Abba John. And as concerning why Saint Abba John was called “Mouth of Gold,” it is said that he was sitting one day with the Emperor Arcadius, who had his nobles with him, and the Emperor Arcadius said unto my father Abba John, “I want to ask thee to explain to me a passage which hath been in my mind for many days. It is this: Why doth John the evangelist say in the Holy Gospel, that Joseph did not know our holy Lady the Virgin Mary, until she had brought forth her first-born Son; did he know her as men usually know women?” And Saint John answered him, saying, “It is not thus, O Emperor, but when our Lord Jesus Christ was in the womb of our holy Lady the Virgin Mary, she used to change her appearance day by day, and at one time her person used to shine with great light, and Joseph did not know her understanding until she brought forth our Lord and Redeemer Christ. When she had brought forth our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ he knew the appearance of her person.” And there was in the emperor’s chamber a picture of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, the God-bearer, which was painted in gold, and a voice came forth from it, saying, “Thou hast well said, O John, thou Tongue of Gold”; and when the emperor, and his nobles, and the officers of his army heard this, they marveled exceedingly and praised God. And thereupon the emperor gave the command, and one brought a skilled worker in metals, and he made a tongue of gold for the holy and honored John, and he hung it by the picture of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, the Godbearer, so that it might be a sign for everyone to see. And the emperor commanded that men should call Saint John “Tongue of Gold,” and because of this Saint John is called “Tongue of Gold” to this very day. Salutation to John who preferred exile to partaking the
Offering with an empress who loved violence. Salutation to the companion of Jesus and His Passion, whose name was Isakos.
And on this day also appeared in mid-heaven, the Cross of Light above Golgotha, in the city of Jerusalem, when the holy father Abba Cyril was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem, in the days of the kingdom of Constantine the Less, the son of Constantine the Great. And it appeared at the sixth hour of the day, and it remained steadily in its position, and its light outshone the light of the sun, and it continued to be visible until the ninth hour; and everyone came from every country to see it. And Abba Cyril sent a letter to the Emperor Constantine, saying, “Know, O emperor, that in the days of thy glorious father, Constantine the Just, a cross appeared, which was like unto the stars of heaven, and in thy days also, O emperor, there hath appeared a cross of light above Cranium (i.e. Golgotha), and the light thereof outshineth the sun, and it extendeth as far as the holy tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as far as the Mount of Olives.” And he said [also] in this letter, “Beware, O emperor, of the Faith of the wicked Arius, and trust not, and receive not, any of those who believe in his wicked Faith.” And Saint Abba Cyril made a great festival on the day whereon this glorious cross appeared, and he ordained that the festival should be kept on this day, and it is meet for us [to keep it]. And he wrote it in the Exposition of Jerusalem, and similarly all Christian people everywhere have written it down, and they keep the festival this day, even as we always keep the festival of the Honorable Cross. For it is our salvation, and it is [our] armor against all our enemies, both those, which are secret and those, which are visible, provided that we take refuge therein in True Faith. Salutation I cry with perpetual voice to the Cross, which appeared this day above Golgotha.
And on this day also are commemorated the martyrs Minas, the deacon, and Stephen.
And on this day also died Jared, the son of Mahalaleel. After he had lived one hundred and sixty-two years, he begot Enoch; and his days were nine hundred and sixty and two years. He died on Friday at the third hour.
And on this day also took place the translation of the body of the glorious father, and teacher of the world, and head of all the monks, our father Abba Tekle Haimanot, the equal of the angels, and the apostles, and the martyrs; and the cause of its translation was thus. When the period of time had expired which God announced to him, saying, “After six and fifty years they shall translate thy body from thy cave to the shrine which they shall build for thee,” forthwith signs and wonders took place, and the blind [were made] to see, and the lame walked. These things happened in the days of Abba Hezekiah, the inheritor of his throne, and the day was the twelfth of Genbot. Salutation to Tekle Haimanot, for when a blind woman, who held in her hand a bread-cake of the festival of his commemoration, touched her eyes therewith, she was able to see the light.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.