On this day died Saint Salome, the sister of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, the Godbearer.She was the daughter of Matata, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Aaron the priest; now Matata had three daughters; the name of the oldest was “Mary,” and the second was called “Sofia,” and the third was “Hanna.” Mary brought forth Salome, and Sofia brought forth Elisabeth, and Hannah brought forth our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary. And this Salome was brought up in the house of Joseph with our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, and she ministered unto her, and she was not separated from her when our Redeemer was born. When Joseph was thinking about our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, and wondering how she had brought forth her Son, being a virgin, this Saint Salome made bold to touch the seal of Mary’s virginity, and her fingers were burned by divine fire; but as soon as she touched the Child she was healed, [and her fingers] became as before. By this sign Joseph knew that our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, was the God-bearer. When Herod commanded that the children of Bethlehem should be killed, she made the Child and Joseph and His mother, the Lady Mary, to take to flight, and she became a participator in the trouble caused by Him, sometimes carrying Him in her arms, and sometimes washing Him; and she ministered unto Him all His days–three and thirty years. On the day of His Passion she was not separated from Him, and she lamented and wept, and on the day of His Resurrection she saw Him before the Apostles saw Him. And even in the upper chamber of Zion the Holy Spirit came down upon her and the holy women, and she made many to believe on Him in the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; and she received from the Jews much derision and much enmity. Salutation to Salome.

And on this day also Saint Cotylus, a physician from the city of Antinoe, became a martyr. This saint had a God-fearing father, and his mother also feared God; and his father was governor of the city of Antinoe. He had no son, and he besought God frequently to give him one, and at length He gave him this saint; and he admonished him and taught him the Books of the Church. This saint was pure from his youth up, and he was an ascetic, and fought the spiritual fight; he prayed many prayers, and his rule was to pray one hundred prayers by night, and one hundred prayers by day. When he was grown up his parents wanted to see him married, but this he did not wish. They had a daughter, whom they had begotten after this holy man Cotylus, and they married her to Arianus, the governor of the city of Antinoe, who succeeded the father of this saint. Now when the father of Cotylus had waxed old in days, he asked the emperor and the emperor removed him from his office, and gave it to Arianus his son-in-law. And when his father died, Cotylus built a house wherein pilgrims were received, and then he learned the books of medicine, and became a physician; and all the sick folk came to him, and he healed them without payment. When Diocletian denied Christ, Arianus joined him in his denial, in order to keep his office, and he used to torture the martyrs. And this Saint Cotylus yearned to become a martyr, and he went to the governor’s Council, and cursed Arianus, and the emperor, and their gods, which were idols; but Arianus was not able to do him any harm because of his sister [who was his wife], but he sent him to the city of Behensa, where the saint remained in the prison house for three years. And Cotylus sent to his sister, and she delivered him from the prison house. After Arianus, another governor was appointed, and [Arianus] told him the story of this Saint Cotylus. And the governor sent and had him brought, and he was angry with him, and said unto him, “If thou wilt not cast incense to the gods I will torture thee with very great severity.” And the saint said unto him, “I will not cast incense to unclean idols, but only to my Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And straightway the governor was wroth, and he commanded the soldiers to torture him with every kind of torture; but each time the angel of God came to him, comforted him, and strengthened him to endure, and He healed him and worked many signs and wonders by him. And when the governor was tired of torturing him, and Cotylus would not change his opinion, he commanded the soldiers to cut off his head, and they cut it off, and the saint received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens. Then the men of his house swathed him for burial, and they laid him in a beautiful shrine, and many great signs and wonders took place through his body therein. Salutation to Cotylus.

And on this day also Saint Abba Heroda became a martyr. This holy man was from the city of Sebastia and he lived in the days of the persecution of the Christians by Diocletian, the infidel; now he was God-fearing from his youth. One day whilst he was lying upon his bed, and thinking about God’s good pleasure, he said in his heart, “What doth it profit me to live in this fleeting world? I have heard the voice of my Lord Jesus Christ, Who saith in the Holy Gospel, ’He who denieth not this world and what is therein is not able to devote himself to Me (Matthew 16:24). And now, I will arise, and I will go and pour out my blood for the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ.” And as he was thinking these thoughts in his heart, behold Saint Michael, the archangel, came to him, and said unto him, “Peace be unto thee, O holy and blessed Abba Heroda! Be not afraid, for behold our Lord Jesus Christ hath prepared for thee a crown and a throne of glory, in the kingdom of the heavens. I am Michael, the archangel, and I will go with thee to the place of torture, and no torture whatsoever shall prevail over thy holy flesh.” And when Saint Michael had said these things to him, he gave him the benediction of peace and went up into heaven. And the blessed Abba Heroda went outside his city, a little to the west, and turning his face towards the east he prayed, saying, “I beseech Thee, O Father, Sustainer of the universe, and Thee, O Only Son, my Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and all blessing from my mouth, for to Thee praise is meet, I beseech Thee to strengthen me so that I may finish that which I have determined to do for Thee.” And having said this he went to the governor’s Council, and cried out boldly, saying, “I am a Christian.” And the governor said unto him, “So thou art a Christian? Where is thy country? Who art thou? What is thy name? And what is thy nation?” And Saint Abba Heroda answered and said unto him, “I am a man of the city of Sebastia and from the province of Behensa, and from my youth I have been a soldier in the service of the king.” And Lucianus the governor said unto him, “Art thou ready to sacrifice to the gods Apollo and Artemis? If thou wilt do this I will promote thee, and I will honor thee more than any other soldier, and I will give thee much money.” And Saint Abba Heroda answered and said unto him, “O fool, it is written in the Holy Scriptures thus: Woe be unto the man whose confidence is in man and blessed is the man whose confidence is in God (Psalm 40:4), and in the Name of the God of heaven and earth. I will not offer sacrifice to unclean idols, for my hope is God.” And straightway the governor was wroth, and he commanded his soldiers to scourge him, and to torture him. And they beat the saint with rods of iron, and with stakes of the thorn tree, until his blood flowed down on the ground like water; but the saint suffered no pain whatsoever from these tortures, for God was with him. And straightway Saint Michael the archangel came down to him from heaven, and he touched the body of the saint, and healed his wounds, and made him whole. When the people saw this miracle they believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and became martyrs; and they were in number five hundred men. And when the governor became tired of torturing him he commanded the soldiers to cut off his head with the sword. Thereupon the soldiers put a bridle in his mouth, and they carried him away to cut off his head with the sword. And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him and said unto him, “Peace be unto thee, O blessed Heroda! I am Christ thy God; fear not, for a throne hath been prepared for thee with the saints in the heavens. Verily I say unto thee that whosoever shall commemorate thy toil, and make an offering, and give alms to the poor on the day of thy commemoration, shall not have one barren animal among his flocks, and sons shall not be wanting in his house, and Satan shall never have any power over any of his works. Or whosoever shall write the history of thy strife and martyrdom, his name will I write in the Book of Life, and I will destroy the bond of his debt. I will deliver from all his tribulation the man who is in tribulation, when he maketh mention of thy name; and whosoever shall celebrate thy commemoration I will forgive all his transgressions. My peace shall be with thee.” When our Redeemer had said these things He went up into heaven with great glory. And Saint Abba Heroda rejoiced with a great joy at the end of his fight, and he turned to the people who were following him, and said unto them, “If there be among you a man who feareth God, let him take my body and lay it up by him; for a great blessing shall rest upon the place wherein my body resteth.” And straightway he stretched out his neck, and they cut off his holy head with the sword, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Genbot.And after seven months his kinsfolk came and took the body of the saint, and brought it to the city of Sebastia and laid it in a shrine, which they had built for it; and through it many signs and miracles took place, and many sick folk were healed. Salutation to Abba Heroda. Salutation to the thirty thousand souls who were hacked to pieces with knives, or died by the sword.

And on this day also are commemorated Saint Balanus, and ‘Alontran (Elantherius), and Romanus, and two hundred and fifty martyrs, and the Emperor Constantine, and his mother Helena.

And on this day our Lord planted pieces from Joseph’s rod in the place Bisos, and they grew and became trees.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.