IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,ONE GOD. AMEN.
On this day died the holy father and ascetic, the blessed Jacob, the monk. He rejected the world in his youth, and went and lived in a cave for fifteen yeas, and he fought the fight, with long fasting, and prayer, and vigil by night, and prostrations without ceasing; and he never went out from his cell, or entered a city, for a period of fifteen years, and he never looked upon the face of a woman. And certain evil men who were among the followers of Diabolus made a plan against him, and they caused a certain harlot to go to the saint, and she went into his cell to him, and she made lewd gestures before him, and invited him to work sin with her. And the saint warned her about the fire of Gahannum, and the punishment, which is forever, and through him she repented, and fought the spiritual fight and pleased God. And after this Satan made a plot against him, and he entered into the heart of a daughter of a certain nobleman of the city, and he cast her down on the ground, and rolled her over, and Satan put into the heart of her father [the idea] that no one could heal her except Jacob the monk in the cell. And her father took her, and brought her to the saint, and he asked him to heal her by his prayers; and the saint prayed over her, and she was healed straightway, but her father was afraid to take her away at once, saying that the Satan might come back to her. And the father left her with the saint, and her brother who was a little boy with her, and departed. Then Satan took up war against the saint by night and by day, and at length he made him to fall into sin with her. And having fallen into sin with her he became afraid lest the sin should be made manifest, and that the people would kill him because of it, and he killed the woman and her brother. Thereupon Satan cast despair in his heart, and he went forth from his cell to go into the world. And He Who desireth not the death of a sinner had compassion upon him, and He sent a righteous monk unto him, and the holy man found him on the road as he was journeying along, and he welcomed him and embraced him. When he saw that Jacob was sad and sorry, he asked him, saying, “What hath happened to thee? What maketh thee sad?” And Jacob told him everything, which had happened, how he had fallen through that maiden, and how he had killed her and her brother. And that righteous monk said unto him, “Fear not, be strong, and cut not off hope, for God is compassionate and merciful”; and then he laid upon him fasting, and prayer, and prostrations. And Jacob went back and entered his cell, and shut himself in, and he endured great toil and tribulation; and he fasted frequently and prayed, and kept vigil and made many prostrations. And he always ate grass, and the herbs of the earth, and he sorrowed in his heart, and was sad, and said, “Will God accept me and forgive me my sin?” And he continued to fight, and repented deeply for forty years. And God willed to reveal to him that He had accepted his repentance, and He brought a great famine upon the city that year, and said unto the Bishop of that city, “The famine will only pass away through the prayer of Jacob, the monk who is in a pit.” And the bishop rose up straightway, and took with him the priests and people of the city, and they came to Saint Jacob, and asked him to pray on their behalf, that God would have mercy upon them and bring down rain. And he refused, saying, “I am a sinner and a wrongdoer, and I have provoked God to wrath with my sins”; and the bishop told him what God had said concerning him. And straightway he submitted to the bishop, and he went out with the people and he prayed, and wept, saying, “They think that Jacob is a man,” and his prayer was with tears. And he said unto God, “How can I show my unclean face before Thy holiness, O God? How can I lift up my face which is blackened with much sin to the heaven of Thy holiness?” And he prayed a long time, and before he finished his prayer much rain fell, and he knew that God had accepted his prayer and his repentance, and had forgiven him his sin. And after this he doubled his fasting, and his prayers, and vigils, and prostrations, and he admonished himself, saying, “Fight and take care that thou dost not fall a second time.” And he ended his days at a good old age, and he pleased God and died in peace. Salutation to Jacob.
And on this day also took place the translation of the body of Abba Ephraim, the Syrian. Salutation to the translation of thy body, O Ephraim.
And on this day also took place the death of Abba Ebelo, the chief of the anchorites, through whose virtues flourished the fruit of the Faith. When Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria, returned, Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, came to him, and the two of them passed the night in the church of ‘Abukir. And as they were talking together about the saints who were in the religious houses of Egypt, the father archbishop said, “Abba Pachomius [is the greatest saint],” and Basil said, “Abba Anthony, and Abba Amoni [are the greatest saints].” And whilst they were talking thus, and wishing to know rightly [who was the greatest saint], Abba Athanasius saw a vision on the fifth day of Yakatit, at midnight, of a great tree, [the roots of] which reached as far as the river, and the branches of which reached to heaven; and many men sheltered themselves under the branches thereof; and in the midst thereof was a Tabot (altar). And whilst he was rendered silent by the vision, Michael came down from heaven, and said unto him, “Tell this vision to Basil.” And Basil saw even as Athanasius saw, the tree and the altar and the angels. And Michael interpreted the matter to them, saying, “The tree which ye saw is the monastery of Abba Ebelo, which is built on the border of Egypt, and the branches thereof are the monks. And the altar is the church, which the angels visit, and it is the similitude of Peter because it destroyeth [evil] spirits. And a certain prefect of the city of Alexandria heard the story of Abba Ebelo, and he entreated the archbishop to send him to him so that he might receive a blessing from him. And the father archbishop sent him with seven monks, that is to say, Isidore, and John the Less, and Abba Besoy, and Abba Amoni, and Victor, and Agrinicus, and Abba Kalnas. And Abba Ebelo rose up and went, and met them with joy, and the prefect who had come with the brethren, who was one-eyed, embraced Abba Ebelo, and showed [him] his eye, and cried out, saying, “O bright star in the world!” Then the prefect said unto Abba Ebelo, “My wife labored with leprosy; she is under thy garb (i.e. she is a nun), and may the grace which hath found me find her.” And Abba Ebelo said unto her, “Healing shall be to her!” And she found health. One day Abba Ebelo stood up among the monks, and said unto them, “Let each one of you be certain that our Redeemer will come with His disciples to make us to know where the site of the church is to be.” And when it became daylight [on the morrow], Jesus Christ came, and His disciples and His angels were with Him, and He showed them where to lay the foundations of the building of the church. And Abba Ebelo exhorted his sons to be perfect in every good work, and to dwell in love; and whilst he was exhorting them his face changed, and his whole body burned, and light beamed forth from his face, as from that of an angel of God. And when his sons were afraid he said unto them, “Fear ye not, I am saying farewell unto you.” And having said this his soul was caught up, and a beautiful perfume spread itself about, and straightway his eye were opened, and he said, “O my Lord Jesus Christ, help me, and receive my soul to Thee”; and having said this he delivered up his soul into the hand of God.
And on this day also died Zenon, the worker of wonders. This saint having gone into the sanctuary (i.e. the temple) of Jerusalem to pray, came out and went to Imahus (Emmaus), to a holy elder, and after they had saluted each other they sat down and began to tell stories of the great deeds of God until the sixth hour. And there was in that city a certain believer, who used to visit the elder [and take him] bread and water. One day when he was carrying his food to him, one told him that his son was dead, and he took him and wrapped him up in cloth and laid him in a coffer, on the top of which he placed the elder’s food; and his wife followed him. When he came to the elder he found Abba Zenon with him, and he set the coffer before them, and asked them to pray. And they talked together, and one said, “Do thou pray,” and the other said, “Do thou pray”; and the elder made Abba Zenon to pray. And he began his prayer thus: “O Lord, Sustainer of the Universe, compassionate and merciful, these are the things which Thy servants the poor offer unto Thee as their First-fruits.” And with the end of these words the dead child rose up, and wept in the coffer. Then the father of the child cast himself down at the feet of Abba Zenon, and he said unto him, “Forgive me, O my father, for speaking unto thee, but this my son, who was dead, hath risen up through thy prayer.” And Abba Zenon feared the adulation of men, and he said unto him, “O my son, reveal this thing to no man whatsoever until I die.” And he fled from that place without eating, and returned to his own habitation, and after fighting many spiritual fights he died. Salutation to Zenon.
Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.