1 May 2022
ʿAbdishōʿ of Kashkar was tortured with the priest ʿAbdā Alaha by Ardashir, brother of Sapor; ʿAbdā was arrested with seven friends and seven virgins. Barḥaḏbshabā and Samuel also were executed. Then ʿAbdishōʿ and ʿAbdā Alaha were executed. They were buried by Byzantine slaves in a neighboring village. He was martyred with 38 companions.
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First Sunday after New Sunday
2nd Sunday after Easter (had'bshabo trayono d'Qymtho) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In today's Gospel, Christ appears to His disciples for the third time following His resurrection.
The Holy Bible readings from the Church Lectionary:
St. John 21:1-14
St. John 21:15-25
Before Holy Qurbono:
Great Wisdom 1:1-8
St. Mark 8:11-21
St. John 21:1-14
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel reading: https://goo.gl/UrW8wE
Tone of the Day: 2 (6 for alternate days of the week)
Syriac prayers for had'bshabo trayono d'Qymtho: https://goo.gl/H5X5ZE
On MASOCNA calendar
St. Ahron the hermit
St. Athanasius of Alexandria
May 1st is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Athanasius of Alexandria (St. Athanasius the Great) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Athanasius was born in AD295 to wealthy Christian parents. He studied Theology & Greek mythology. He lived some years with St. Antony in the deserts spending time in prayers & meditation. He has also written the biography of the saint.
He was ordained a deacon in AD 319 by Patriarch Alexander & he served him as his secretary. At the time Arius, an old priest in Alexandria, taught that Jesus was not fully divine but he was only similar to God & was created at the beginning of creation. In AD325 the Ecumenical Council held in Nicaea put Arius on trial & denounced him. The council confirmed the error of his teaching. The primary opponent was deacon Athanasius who worked as the secretary of Patriarch Alexander in this Council.
Upon the demise of Patriarch Alexander in AD328, Athanasius who was only 33 at that time ascended the throne. There were many allegations against him & he was banished five times. There were even attempts on his life. The Arius faction severed the arm of a dead man to be presented as a proof that it was the right arm of Episcopo Arsanios who was murdered by Athanasius. Their allegations were proved baseless when Arsanius himself was presented before them.
A Synod at Tyre excommunicated him. Two years later he returned to the diocese. Again in AD339, a synod with the connivance of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, banished him. He was given sanctuary by Mor Yulios of Rome. The Serdica synod in AD343 re-established him in his ecclesiastical rights & declared him the lawful Patriarch of Alexandria.
His episcopate lasted for forty five years till AD 373. Of these he had spent seventeen years in hiding, in deserts & in foreign countries. In spite of all the trials he succeeded in transferring true faith to the next generation.
Mor Athanasius is commemorated every Sunday in the Thubden d-Qadishe (5th Thubden/Dypthic) of the Syriac Orthodox Church Holy Qurbono.
Biography adapted from 'Martyrs, Saints & Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Athanasius! Plead for the Holy Church, that her children and hierarchy remain steadfast in the true faith always! Amen.
St. John Dekfone
St. John of Kfone (Mor Yuhannon de-kfone). Mor Yuhannon was a native of Athens, & disciple of Mor Awgin. He evangelized Tur Abdin from late 4th century to early 5th century. He is believed to be buried in the village of kfone. There is a Church dedicated to his honour in the Syriac Aramean village of Mzizah (Dogancay, modern Turkey).
St. Michael the hermit
St. Qawme (Mar Kauma). Mar Kauma stands as a luminous star, in the heavenly abode of Saints & Prophets. His strenuous ways of life & consistency in faith for God has bought him the title ‘the angel of earth’. The word ‘Kauma’ means ‘standing in an erect position’. He prayed in the shape of a cross on a tree & hence got the name ‘Kauma’. He spent 45 years of his life in this position under solitude, having little food to sustain life.
For full biography of St. Qawme: https://goo.gl/hYRNm9
Biography of St. Qawme in Malayalam: https://goo.gl/tXL98s
Mor Ahudemeh +575
2 May 2022
May 2nd is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Ahudemeh +575 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Ahudemeh was born to in Balad, Iran to a Nestorian family. He received theological education under Nestorian teachers & subsequently became a Nestorian bishop. However, he left the heresy of Nestorianism & embraced the Orthodox (Miaphysite) True faith. He preached to the nomadic Arab tribes of Beth Arabaye province of the Persian Empire, & countless ethnic Arabs accepted the Orthodox faith. He built a Monastery dedicated to Mor Sergius so the Arabs did not have to go to the Byzantine Empire to pray, but it was sadly destroyed by the Nestorians.
The Miaphysites came under fierce persecution within the Byzantine Empire after they rejected the Council of Chalcedon. Many miaphysites took refuge in the Persian Empire. However, the Persian Sassanid Shah did not welcome them. He believed the Miaphysites to be spies who were loyal to Byzantine, as their spiritual leader (Patriarch of Antioch and all the East) was residing within Byzantine territory. The Nestorians also spread lies to deceive the Shah into believing that Orthodox could not be trusted. So the Orthodox faithful were persecuted simultaneously in Byzantine & in Persia.
Shah Khosrau decided to hold a debate between the Orthodox & the Nestorians at his court to see which faith was superior. The Nestorians were represented by their leader Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Joseph who was also the physician of Shah Khosrau. The Orthodox were represented by Mor Ahudemeh. At the end of the debate, the Shah realized that the Orthodox faith was superior & therefore granted the Orthodox freedom to worship & build churches, monasteries etc.
Mor Yac'ub Burd'ono seeing the greatness of Mor Ahudemeh, consecrated him Metropolitan of the East to protect, shepherd & promote the Syriac Orthodox Church in the territories of the Persian Sassanid Empire. He was counted as the first Metropolitan of the See of the East after it had been usurped by the Nestorians. With greater authority, Mor Ahudemeh began strengthening the Orthodox Church, rebuilding monasteries, evangelizing etc.
The son of Shah Khosrau was baptized to Christianity by Mor Ahudemeh who sent him to Byzantine for safety, which angered the emperor. The Shah imprisoned Mor Ahudemeh. The Syriac Orthodox Arab tribes who were converted by the missions of Mor Ahudemeh offered 3 times his weight in gold to the emperor for Mor Ahudemeh's freedom. However, Mor Ahudemeh declined, deciding to remain in prison & was later executed. Thus he attained the crown of martyrdom. His mortal remains were interred in Qronta, opposite Tikrit.
Mor Ahudemeh was also a philosopher, theologian & scholar known for his great intelligence. He was a staunch supporter of Orthodoxy even till his death.
Oh Mor Ahudemeh! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Biography adapted from, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
On MASOCNA Calendar
Prophet Noah the just
St. Daniel of Galash +439
In hagiography: Daniel of Galash (Aghlosh or Golosh) was a married man who left his wife to become a monk. He met many ascetics in his life, including Mari and Julien Saba. He visited the portrait of Christ in Edessa. He stayed in a cave with Mari, and then he established a monastery on Mount Aysum. His son Lazarus became his disciple. He built a small monastery in Rome for his father.
St. Marutha of Takrit +649
Mor Marutha of Tagrit (Syriac: ܡܪܘܬܐ ܕܬܓܪܝܬ) was born in Sharsak, a village in Bethnehudra in Mosul around A.D. 569 His father was the village chief, a religious person & very affluent. After his primary education he joined ‘Sardas’ Monastery, where he obtained his priestly ordination. He later moved to Mor Sakkai Monastery to pursue theological studies as well as the study of Greek & Syriac.
He spent 10 years there under malphono Theodorus & studied scholarly books of Mor Gregorios Thevologus. Mor Marutha who was a seeker of knowledge became the disciple of Thoma, the blind in Urhoy (Edessa) & attained dexterity in composition of literary works & calligraphy from Shem’vun Shubdia & Mor Aaho. He became a teacher of Theology & interpretation of the books of the Prelates in the church in Mor Mathai monastery.
In A.D. 628 he was ordained Maphrian of Tigris by Mor Athanasius I Gammolo. Initially, 12 dioceses were under him, but when people of Urhoy migrated to Persia at the time of war three more dioceses (Azarbaijan, Kursan, & Afganistan) were added.
Mor Marutha constructed churches & established monasteries. He also wrote books. The litany used while blessing the water for Epiphany, the biography of Mor Ahudema, bishop of Tigris (+575), interpretation of The Gospel, The Holy Qurbono Thakso, speeches for some feasts are examples. It is recorded in the writings of Bar Sleebi (+1171) that the Nineveh Fast, (3 Day Lent) was put into force by Mor Marutha.
Mor Marutha passed away in 649AD at age 80 after having served the Syriac Orthodox Church for twenty years. His remains were interred in the church which he had constructed.
Biography adapted from 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Metropolitan Consecration of HE Mor Julius Abdelahad Shabo
3 May 2022
HE Mor Julius Abdelahad Shabo, Metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia was consecrated on May 3rd 1987 by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
St. Sergius and St. Bacchus
May 3rd is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus +303 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Sergius & Mor Bacchus were officers in the Roman army on the border of Syria, & they were close companions. The two were very close to Roman Emperor Maximian. Tradition states that Sergius & Bacchus were not willing to worship the Roman deity Jupiter for they were Christians. As punishment, they were dressed in female attire & paraded around the city in humiliation. They were then sent to Barbalissos(Beit Bales) where the military commander Antiochus was a friend of Sergius. There the pair was inflicted with great torture but they wouldn't renounce their faith. After Bacchus died from the extreme torture, Antiochus ordered his body thrown into the river. Thus Mor Bacchus attained the crown of martyrdom.
Sergius was greatly disheartened, but later that night, Bacchus appeared to him in a dream, telling Sergius to remain steadfast in the faith. Antiochus continued to torture Sergius, driving nails into his feet, tied him up to a horse & ordered him to be dragged to the town of Resafa. There, even after continuous torture, Sergius would not renounce his faith in Christ. He was eventually beheaded. Thus Mor Sergius attained the crown of martyrdom.
St. Sergius & St. Bacchus were very popular throughout Late Antiquity. The close friendship between the saints is strongly emphasized in their hagiographies & traditions, making them one of the most famous examples of paired saints. Churches in their honor were built in several cities. In AD431 Bishop Alexander of Hierapolis renovated the church which was built over the tomb of Sergius. The church at Resafa & the tomb are now famous pilgrim centres. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I renamed Resafa as Sergiopolis. Justinian built churches in the name of Sergius at Constantinople & Palestine. The Syriac Orthodox Church had a monastery in Azerbaijan dedicated to their honour.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Sergius & Mor Bacchus! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Timothy and his wife St. Maura
4 May 2022
Lazarus of Habsenas
In hagiography: Lazarus of Habsenas is a saint from Habsenas and contested bishop of Qartmin after whom Simeon of the Olives named a monastery with a tower.
Wednesday of the Third Week after the Resurrection
Archangel Michael (BL17134) [in the Malakioun which bears his name]
St. Rabbula of Edessa (BL14504)
Commemorated annually on the Wednesday of the third week after Easter
Daniel of Scetis
5 May 2022
Daniel of Scete was an Egyptian monk from the sixth century who was venerated in the Syriac tradition.
For more wise stories read: 'Witness to Holiness. Abba Daniel of Scetis' including chapter 4 'Syriac Accounts' by Dr. Sebastian Brock
Great Prophet Daniel
Prophet Daniel was taken captive along with the Israelites by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon when he captured Jerusalem in the year 3398 of the world. He stayed in babylon for seventy years. This prophet was very young in age, however, he conducted himself in virtuous life, the Holy Spirit filled him and he prophesied in Babylon.
In the fourth year of the exile, Nebuchadnezzar the king saw a dreadful dream and was extremely frightened. When he woke up, he forgot the detail of his dream. He gathered all the wise men of Babylon to tell the king his dream and its meaning. If they failed to tell the king the dream and its interpretation they would all be killed, among those also were Daniel and the three young men. Daniel and the young men prayed to God with supplications to reveal to them the King's dream. God answered their prayers and revealed to Daniel the dream and its interpretation. Daniel went to the king and told him his dream and its interpretation. He also told him about the kings that they are about to rule after him, and what would happen to every one of them. Nebuchadnezzar was pleased with Daniel, and fell on his face before him. The king presented Daniel with great gifts and appointed him over the wise men of Babylon.
After some time had passed, Nebuchadnezzar saw another dream, and Daniel interpreted the dream for him. Daniel told the king that because of his arrogance, God would drive him from among men, to dwell among the beasts of the wild and would eat grass like oxen for seven years, and then God would bring him back to his kingdom, and all that happened to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel also explained to Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, what the angel of the Lord had written on the wall, when king Belshazzar drank wine in the gold and silver vessels of the temple of the Lord. Daniel told the king: " O king, the Most High gave Nebuchadnezzar your father, a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor... But when his heart was lifted up in pride, he was deposed from his kingdom and thrown from his throne into among the animals. And you, Belshazzar, although you knew all what happened to your father, yet you also lifted your heart against the Lord of heaven. They brought the vessels of the house of the Lord before you, and you , your lords, wives and concubines (mistresses) drank wine from these vessels... Then the fingers of a Hand were send from the Lord, and His writing was written: "Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Upharsin..which meant:
Mene means: God has numbered your days as a king and terminated you rule. Tekel means: You have been weighed in the balances of the Lord and was found wanting. Upharsin means: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians after you. All of them came to pass and the king was killed with all his lords and the kingdom of the Chaldeans ended. Darius, king of Persia, ruled after him.
There was an idol in Babylon named "Bael" which king Darius worshiped. When Daniel was asked why he did not worship it, Daniel answered: "I do not worship something that has no life in it." The king said to him: "He is alive for he eats and drinks every day." Daniel told him that could not be true. The king was angry and wanted to check the matter for himself. He put the food and the drinks in the temple of the idol and closed the door and sealed it. On the next day, he went to the temple, opened the door and did not find the food nor the drinks. But Daniel with the help of some of his companions, covered the floor of the temple with fine ashes, found the feet tracks of those who entered the temple by night and stole the food and drinks.
The king arrested the seventy priests of the idol Bael, together with their wives and children and tortured them until they told him about the secret entrance to the temple. The king then ordered them all to be killed and allowed Daniel to destroy the idol and its altar. The people rebelled against the king and asked him to deliver Daniel to their hands. The king surrendered to their demands and Daniel was cast into the den of lions. However God kept Daniel safe and destroyed his enemies.
Daniel saw in a vision the kingdoms and the kings to come after him to rule the world to the end of time. He also saw the glory of God and the Divinity of Christ the Savior. He prophesied about His coming and His death, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the abolition of the sacrifice and the offerings, and all has been fulfilled.
Paris 146 and Vat. LXIX
The holy Great Martyr Irene was born in the city of Magedon in Persia during the fourth century.
St. John the Holy Apostle
On the fifth day of the third week week after Easter: St. John the Evangelist
Commemorated annually on the Thursday of the third week after Easter
St. Pelagia of Tarsus in Cilicia
Prophet Job the just
6 May 2022
St. Evodius, the Patriarch of Antioch +68
Mor Evodius was a pagan who converted to Christianity due to the apostolic work of Saint Peter. According to the Book of Acts, the first communities to receive evangelism werer the Jews and pagans of Antioch.
St. Evodius the successor of St. Peter, the Apostle, was one of the seventy disciples sent out by our Lord to preach. John Chrysostom counts Evodius contemporary with the Apostles and is also known as the first bishop of Antioch ordained by St. Peter. After the martyrdom of St. Peter at Rome in AD 67, Evodius became the Patriarch of the Holy See of Antioch. St. Evodius wrote several compositions. In one of them he writes that the Most Holy Virgin Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world.
St. Evodius was the bishop of Antioch until AD 68, and he was martyred under Emperor Nero
Biography Courtesy: "Martyrs, Saints, and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church"
St. Queen Helena
May 6th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Helena +328 according the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mort Queen Helena the mother of St. King Constantine was born in Drepanum. She married Constantine Chlorus, who after the birth of Constantine, later divorced her for political reasons. Helen embraced Christianity at the instance of Constantine at the age of 63.
Queen Helen was very considerate to the poor and needy. Queen Helen was eager to discover the cross on which Jesus was crucified. This is evident from the hymn recited during the procession of MidLent (phelgo d-sawmo/paathinombu):
Queen Helen came Jerusalem – From Rome, Royal town
To worship the Cross on which – Jesus was hanged on
She called together – All the Jews she knew
Asked them to show her – Place of Jesus Cross
They told her that they got a - Leading commander
If you ask him, he will show – Place of Jesus Cross
Halleluiah.. Vu .. Halleluiah….
Three crosses were discovered on March 24 while preparing the site for constructing the church at Golgotha. In the Sh'himo The Bo’outho of Mor Yacoub of Sarug (the Prayer of the third hour for Friday) describes the anecdote vividly:
“Judas stood up and girded his loins manfully and dug and found three crosses which lay together; the mother of the king was sad because of this, because she did not know which was the cross of the Son of God.
Judas said to her: do not be grieved, blessed one, the Lord lives who will show you which is his cross. The Father was pleased to show the cross of light by means of a dead youth, who was being accompanied on the way to the grave.
When they placed them one after the other on the dead man, the people cried: living cross, show your power; the dead man saw the cross of light and rose from the bier and all who saw him gave glory to him who raised him up”
The portions of this cross were considered to be very precious and prelates used pieces of this cross in their handcross during the fourth century. A portion of the cross is inserted in the handcross of St. Gregorius Abdul Jaleel +1671 of North Paravur.
The last days of Queen Helen were spent at Palestine and her dead body was taken to Rome when she passed.
Biographies courtesy "Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of The Syriac Orthodox Church"
Oh Morth Helena plead for us before God's throne of grace! May the power of the true Holy Cross protect us from the evil one and all his forces. Amen
May 6th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus +303 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Commemoration of the Apparition of the Sign of the Precious Cross Over Jerusalem
7 May 2022
The Precious Cross appeared in the sky over Jerusalem on the morning of May 7, 351 during the reign of the emperor Constantius, the son of St. Emperor Constantine. St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote about the apparition in his letter to the Emperor.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem's Letter to the Emperor on the Apparition of the Holy Cross Syriac & English Translation: https://bit.ly/CyrilJerusalemLetterCross
Deacon Habib of Edessa
A contemporary and associate of St. Jacob of Serugh.
Mor Ya`qub, son of Zebedee
St. James (Jacob) is usually called “the Greater” in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle James, the “brother: of the Lord, who is called “the Less”. He was the brother of St. John the Evangelist (sons of Zebedee and Salome) and came from Bethsaida in Galilee, where his father owned a fishing boat.
St. Matthew 9: 35 - 10: 10
St. Matthew 19: 27 - 30
Before Holy Qurbana:
Genesis 12 : 1 - 9
Daniel 1: 8 - 21
Isaiah 43: 1 - 7
Acts 1: 12 - 14
I Corinthians 12: 28 - 13: 10
St. Luke 6: 12 - 23
http://www.syriacchristianity.info/doc/Apostles.htm#ST. JAMES, Apostle
St. Hobel the Stylite
St. John the Evangelist
St. John is the youngest son of Zebedee & Salome. John's older brother is St. James. He was the youngest of the disciples, & unlike the others he did not face martyrdom. John was the only Apostle present by Jesus' side at the crucifixion. Christ entrusted the care of St. Mary to John as he was the one 'Jesus loved the most'. St. Mary lived under John's care until her death.
St. John lived in Jerusalem & later moved to Ephesus. He authored the Gospel & 3 epistles in his name. The book of Revelation was also written by him. He built many churches in Turkey & evangelized many to Christianity. Tradition states that he lived to 120 years of age. A church was built over the site of his tomb. However, this was converted to a mosque.
The Syriac History of John (Apocryphal hagiography of St. John son of Zebedee): http://bit.ly/JohnSyriac
St. Severus of Antioch hymn on St. John the Evangelist:
"All the peoples shall bless him" (Psalms 72:17)The preacher and Apostle, John the Evangelist, who by Christ, even God, his Master, was before named 'son of thunder', and for this reason divinely thundered with loud voice the words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God", and stirred up and instilled wonder in all the ears of wise and of unwise. Whom also Jesus particularly loved more than the rest of the disciples his fellows, by whom He was proclaimed God, let us beg and beseech together with the God-bearer and Virgin to entreat for us, in order that, building all the service of works of virtue upon this foundation of faith, we may be admitted to find great mercy."
St. Theopemptus, Bishop of Nicomedia
Barhadbshabba of Qartmin
8 May 2022
In hagiography: Barhadbeshabba of Qartmin was a monk and disciple of Samuel of Qartmin.
Mar Thoma V +1765
Mor Ivanios Philipose +1988
Mort Shmuni, her seven sons (Mort Shmuni u S'habho Bnayo Dilohand) and their teacher, Eleazar
Mort Shmuni & her 7 sons suffered martyrdom under emperor Antiochus IV. Their story is written in the 2nd book of Maccabees. While her name is not mentioned, within the Syriac tradition she is known as Shmuni. Though they lived before the time of Christ, they are counted among the company of the saints for attaining the crown of martyrdom.
The pagan king wanted the faithful Shmuni & her sons to consume pig meat. However, they refused as they did not wish to break the law given by God to Prophet Moses. Enraged, the king ordered them to be tortured and killed. One by one, each son was brutally tortured & then burnt alive within a large pot of flames. St. Shmuni seeing her sons tortured & killed still trusted God & she, "bore it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Lord." After all the sons were killed, St. Shmuni too suffered the same fate.
According to the Syriac Fenqitho (book of festal offices), the name of her sons are Habroun, Hebsoun, Bakhous, Adai, Tarsai, Maqbai and Yawnothon.
There are many churches dedicated in her honour, the oldest being Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church in Qarqosh, Iraq which is 1500 years old.
Various Fathers of the Church preached sermons on Mort Shmuni & her 7 sons, including Saint Ambrose of Milan, Saint Gregory Nazianzus and Saint John Chrysostom.
Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of St. Shmuni & her sons.
A sermon about Mort Shmuni by Late Lamented Cathloicose Baselious Paulose IIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVaQ5RsP0oM
St. Shmuni in various Syriac sources: http://bit.ly/ShmuniSyriacSources
Hoothomo by HG Mor Osthatheos https://youtu.be/RkJ4_QmpljI
Mother's Day 2022
Happy Mother's Day 2022!
Whom greater to be a role model for motherhood than the holiest of mothers, the Virgin St. Mary the mother of God, in whom the Word became Incarnate.
Mary is the New Eve, the mother of true life, the new beginning of the human race. Mary corrects the work of Eve, "because just as Eve in disobeying becomes the cause of her own death & that of mankind, so did Mary become in obeying, the cause of salvation of herself & for all humankind". St. Ephrem the Syrian says in one of his poems about the Nativity "in her virginity Eve put on leaves of shame; your Mother put on, in her virginity, the garment of glory that suffices for all". In our liturgy we sing, "blessed be you, for by you the curse of Eve is abolished & salvation gained..."
Today as the world celebrates Mother's Day, take a moment to pray & be thankful for the mothers in your life, including our spiritual mothers in the Holy Church. May the intercession of St. Mary be with all mothers, especially new mothers & those struggling to conceive.
Second Sunday after New Sunday
The Third Sunday after Easter (had'bshabo tlithoyo d'Qymtho) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
This Sunday's Gospel recounts Christ comparing the ministry of evangelization to the harvest and the reward of those who labour for the Lord.
St. John 6:16-29
St. Matthew 14:22-33
Before Holy Qurbono:
St. Mark 8:27-32
St. John 4:31-38
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel reading: https://goo.gl/l9dMk2
Tone of the Day: 3 (7 for alternate days of the week)
Syriac prayers for had'bshabo tlithoyo d'Qymtho: https://goo.gl/KXy1yL
St. Arsenius the Great +450
9 May 2022
St. Pachomius the Great +348
Founder of Coenobitic Monasticism
Itty Thommen Kathanar +1659
10 May 2022
Anjilimoottil Itty Thommen Kathanar is one of the most noteworthy leaders of the Malankara church who bravely resisted the Roman Catholic Portuguese persecutions in the 17th century. He was the chief adviser & the close aide of the then head of the Syriac Christians, Thomas Archedyaqno (who was later ordained MarThoma I Metropolitan).
After the historic ‘Koonan Kurishu Sathyam’ of 1653, Fr. Itty Thommen & Archedyaqno Thoma provided great leadership to end the Portuguese dominance over the Malankara Syriac Christians, thus paving way for the re-establishment of the apostolic faith & traditions of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India.
Fr. Itty Thommen was a bright star amongst the Knanaya (Urfalee) community of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India.
Itty Thommen Kathanar was laid to rest in his home parish, St. Mary's Knanaya Jacobite Syrian Church, Kallisserry. (Knanaya Valiyapally)
St. Jude the Apostle
May 10th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Jude the Apostle according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
St. Jude, also known as Labbaeus bears the surname Thaddeus, & was the son of James. (translated correctly in the Syriac Peshito of Luke 6:16 & Acts 1:13. It is incorrectly translated to brother of James in other versions)
He preached in Samaria, Mesopotamia & Persia where he reunited with fellow Apostle St. Simon.
He is the Patron of the Armenian Orthodox Church along with St. Bartholomew.
He attained martyrdom along with St. Simon.
Oh St. Jude, plead for us before God's throne of grace! Amen.
St. Simon the Apostle
St. Simon is known as Simon Kananaios (Greek translation of the Aramaic term 'qena na' ) meaning Zealot. He hailed from Galilee, the son of Cleophas of the tribe of Ephraim. He was a member of the 'Zealots' a Jewish nationalist organization which was against Roman oppression. After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, St. Simon preached in Jerusalem & Samaria along with St. Peter.
Once there was a prominent Jewish leader whose son died. The Christians who attended the funeral told the leader to invite St. Simon who was preaching nearby to pray. Simon asked the father if he believed in Christ, the father replied he would only believe if his son could be brought back. St.Simon turned to the east & prayed, “Christ, our Lord, the one who was crucified during the times of Pontius Pilate, please raise this boy from death so that they will believe you are God and your name will be hallowed and everyone will believe in you.” Then he walked towards the dead boy & spoke, “Rise in the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit so that all should believe in Jesus Christ.” Miraculously the dead boy opened his eyes and sat up. Simon asked them to serve him food. The assembled crowd knelt before him & cried, “How can we be saved?” Believe in Christ & you will be saved was his answer.
St. Simon continued preaching, especially in Aleppo, Mabug & Clovedia. He attained the crown of martyrdom by being crucified along with Apostle St. Jude.
Biography adapted from 'Martyrs, Saints & Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
King Abgar the Black of Edessa
11 May 2022
(Abgar ukomo u Malko d'Urha).
King Abgar, a contemporary of our Lord, was believed to have corresponded with Him. This tradition is based on various sources including 'Doctrine of Addai' (one of the earliest Syriac Christian writings, & the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (who personally testified that he read the correspondence in the archives of Edessa). During the public ministry of our Lord, King Abgar who was suffering from an incurable disease, sent a letter reiterating his belief in the Lord & requesting Him to visit Edessa so that he could get cured. He also extended an invitation to the Lord to live there as he had heard about the squabbles of the Jews. Jesus replied that He was unable to visit at that time, but ensured that He would send one of His disciples. King Abgar is one of the very first who believed in Jesus without seeing Him & without doubting.
After the ascension of our Savior, St. Thaddeus one of the Seventy disciples, as instructed by the Lord, was sent to King Abgar. Thaddeus went to meet King Abgar carrying with him a square face-cloth which Christ used. The cloth had an image of Christ miraculously imprinted on it. When King Abgar held this relic, he was healed immediately. This cloth known as the ‘Mandylion’ of Christ, is the very first Holy icon. This icon was not created by man & therefore has the title 'Not made by Human Hands’ The king & his subjects became Christians. Edessa thus became the first Christian kingdom.
On the fourth day of the fourth week after Easter: We celebrate the Feast of Mid Pentecost.
Commemorated annually on the 25th day after Easter.
Cathedral Homily XLVI of St. Severus the Great of Antioch deals with the feast of Mid-Pentecost.
"In the midst of the church will I praise thee" (Psalms 22:22)
When the festival was at its midst, the mediator of God and men - Jesus who is God- when standing at that time in the midst of the Jews, showed plainly that He is God of God by nature, even after He had emptied himself and by dispensation become truly man; and as a partner and sharer of the essence of His invisible Father, He says, "I know Him, because I am from Him", and He immediately added further as a mere man and said, "for He also sent me". Therefore let us praise Him who through the mediation of His mercifulness has joined us to his Godhead, according to the riches of His great mercy. - Hymns of St. Severus of Antioch on Mid-Pentecost
Mor Ya`qub of Nisibin (+338)
Known as "Moses of Mesopotamia", Mor Ya`qub was the bishop of Nisibin from 308/9 A.D. till his death in AD 338. Mor Ya`qub has always been a prominent figure in the Syriac-speaking Church tradition. He acquired a reputation for great learning, ability and holiness. Little is known about his life; however, we know that he took a leading role in opposing the Arian heresy at the Council of Nicaea (325). He is honored as a malphono (i.e., theological doctor) by both the Syriac and Armenian Churches. Mor Ya`qub of Nisibin undertook the construction of a church building in Nisibin between 313 and 320. His relics were saved from the a Persian invasion and were send to Constantinople for safety around the year 970.
St. Bosus and St. Susan +388
May 11th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Bosus & his sister St. Susan +388 along with their teacher St. Stephen, and St. Lewangina & the 11,000 martyrs of the villages of Beth Zabday according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Bosus & Mort Susan were twins who were the children of Aba Zarid the governor of Beth-Zabday region (Idil District of Sirnak province in modern day Turkey). Aba Zarid was a pagan & a persecutor of Christians. In the palace of Aba Zarid lived a Christian servant named Stephen. He secretly taught the siblings about Christ & guided them to become faithful Christians.
Once when their father Aba Zarid was away on a trip, the siblings secretly received baptism from a Christian named Lewangina from a nearby village. When their father returned, he made them worship & serve offering to the pagan idols. However, the two of them refused & left to Fil village. Their father was furious, but gave them time to forget Christ & return to paganism. The siblings would never leave Christianity, they escaped from Fil & headed to the village of Hedil. Furious, their father Aba Zarid chased them till the rocks of Hedil. He first slaughtered his daughter. Thus Mort Susan attained the crown of martyrdom. At the site where her blood flowed, a giant tree grew & it still exists today. Aba Zarid then murdered his son by the rocks. Thus Mor Bosus attained the crown of martyrdom. The village of Kefshenne (which means big rock) gets its name from the site of their martyrdom.
Seeing his children steadfast in their faith in Christ, Aba Zarid became even more enraged & spiteful towards Christians. On the same day, he ordered the mass slaughter of 11,000 Christian faithful in the valley of Roghulo ďGyhano. He also executed his servant Stephen the teacher of Christianity & Lewangina from whom the siblings received baptism. Thus on that day thousands attained the crown of martyrdom.
At the site of the martyrdom of Mor Bosus & Mort Shusan, a monastery (Dayro d-Mor Bosus) was built which still stands today in Hedil. Today there are not many Syriacs in Hedil. However, every year on May 11th, the faithful from nearby Miden town come by foot to the monastery to celebrate the feast of Mor Bosus & Mort Shushan along with the other martyrs of Beth Zabday region.
Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of the twins. The Monastery of Mor Bosus gave the Syriac Orthodox Church many saints, monks & prelates. Notable among them is the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Behnam Hadliyo (from Hidi/Hedel) of blessed memory who shepherded the Holy Church from 1445-1454 AD. Monk Dayroyo Dawod Tur-abdinoyo who brought the Girdle of St. Mary (Zunoro d-Yoldath Aloho) to Homs also hailed from the Monastery of Mor Bosus. A portion of the relics of Mor Bosus is kept in St. Mary's Church Homs, Syria. These relics were rediscover by the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum of blessed memory in 1953.
Biography courtesy Kefshenne our village ܟܦܫܢܐ ܩܪܝܬ̥ܐ ܕܝܠܢ كفشننة page, adapted from the English translation by m'shamshono Fadi Gorgees
Oh Mor Bosus, Mort Shushan, along with Mor Stephanus, Mor Lewangina and the 11, 000 martyrs of Beth Zabday! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen. May the cries of the Holy Martyrs be a refuge for us all. Amen.
St. Timothy +97AD
May 11th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Timothy +97AD according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Timotheos was native of Lystra in Lycaonia. While his father was a gentile, his mother was of Jewish ancestry, who along with his maternal grandmother embraced Christianity, their faith being commended by St. Paul (2 Timothy 1:5). The Christian citizens praised the merits of Timothy when Paul visited them. The life of St. Timothy is intimately linked to the mission of St. Paul. St. Paul had Timothy circumcised to prepare him for the ministry among Jews. He then took Timothy with him, in order to aid him in propagating the doctrine of our Lord. Timothy assisted Paul through the whole course of his preaching. St. Paul calls him not only his dearly beloved son, but also his brother, the companion of his labors, & a man of God. Timothy accompanied St. Paul from Lystra & sailed to Macedonia, preaching at Philippi, Thessalonica & Berea. Paul had to leave Berea, but Timothy remained there along with Silas to administer the new converts.
Timothy was sent by St. Paul to Thessalonica, where persecution had left the believers distraught. He would then go to Corinth to report what transpired & the condition of the faithful there; prompting Paul to write his 1st epistle to the Thessalonians. Timothy accompanied Paul on his visits to Jerusalem followed by Ephesus where they spent 2 years. Paul then delegated Timotheos to Macedonia to prepare the faithful for his return to Greece. Afterwards, Timothy was directed to Corinth to propagate the true faith & reinvigorate the believers. Later in his ministry, Timothy would be imprisoned & suffered great persecution for his faith.
Timothy was ordained bishop by St. Paul at Ephesus. St. Timothy is always described as the first bishop of Ephesus in tradition & by Church historians. Paul left Timothy at Ephesus to govern that Church, to oppose false teachers & to ordain priests, deacons, even bishops. When Paul was imprisoned in Rome & awaiting his execution, he wrote to Timothy desiring to see his friend & beloved brother in Christ one final time.
Timothy spoke out against the idolatrous practices of the Katagogia festival in honour of pagan deity Diana. While preaching the Gospel, the heathens beat him with clubs, dragged him through the streets & finally stoned him to death. Thus Mor Timotheos attained the crown of martyrdom. His body was taken by the faithful & entombed in a nearby mountain top. In the 4th century his holy relics were transferred to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.
Oh Mor Timotheos sahdo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Zeora of Amid
Ze'ora (Zaʿūra) was an anchorite whose life was memorialized by John of Ephesus. He was a stylite saint who famously replaced his teacher, another stylite, when the former was ready to retire. Zaʿūra also travelled to Constantinople in order to advocate for the cause of the Miaphysites before the Empress Theodora.
Life of Zeora: https://bit.ly/VitaZeora
Sts. Bartholomew the Apostle & Barnabas disciple and martyr
Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland; this is all that is known of him for certain according to the history of the Gospels. Concerning his apostolic work, certain say that he preached in Arabia and Persia, and especially in India, bringing to them the Gospel written by Saint Matthew, which had been written originally in Hebrew, and which was found there one hundred years later by Pantaenus, formerly a stoic philosopher and later an illustrious teacher of the Christian school in Alexandria (see Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., 5: 10). Other accounts say that he went to Armenia. According to some, he ended his life by being crucified, or by being flayed alive, in Albanopolis (Urbanopolis) of Armenia. This also confirms an ancient tradition preserved by the Armenians.
Saint Barnabas, one of the Seventy, was from Cyprus, of the tribe of Levi, and a fellow disciple with Paul under Gamaliel. He was called Joses, but was renamed Barnabas, which means "son of consolation," perhaps to distinguish him from the Joses called Barsabas and surnamed Justus (Acts 1:23). Saint Barnabas had a field, which he sold and brought the money to the Apostles (Acts 4:36-37). Before the conversion of Saul to Paul, it was Barnabas who was the leader of the Seventy Apostles, the first in preaching and chief spokesman. After Saul's vision on the road to Damascus, it was Barnabas who joined him to the Apostles when the others, because of Saul's reputation as a persecutor of the Church, still feared him (Acts 9:26-27); again it was Saint Barnabas who conscripted Paul as a preacher, bringing him from Tarsus to Antioch after the stoning of Stephen, to assist in spreading the Gospel (Acts 11:25-26). Saint Barnabas preached the Gospel in many places, traveled together with Paul, and finally was stoned to death by the Jews in his native Cyprus
St. Matthew 10: 16-33
St. Luke 12: 1-12
Before Holy Qurbana:
Genesis 4: 3-12
Daniel 3: 14 -30
Acts 23 : 11 - 25
Romans 8: 31- 39
St. Mark 8:34-38, 13 : 9 - 13
Theodore the monk
St. Azazael (Mor Izozoel)
12 May 2022
May 12th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Azazael +304 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Izozoel (Mar Azazael) is a holy saint who loudly professed that age is not a barrier to be a worthy testimonial for Christ's infinite love. It is believed that he was born in Samosata or Phrygia. His father was a very influential figure in the imperial court. After his parents' death, his uncle took care of him. Even in his heartbreak, he received the kindness & warmth of Jesus' love. Perhaps his uncle was a reason for his attraction to our Lord Jesus. The heart of Izozoel was filled with love & devotion to God. Along with his uncle, the holy saint began to proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in the neighboring regions where they were noticed by the king. Historical records exist which attest to the arrival of Mor Izozoel & his uncle to Rome. But there are two traditions in this regard. As per the first belief, St. Azazael & his uncle came to Rome to proclaim the Gospel. The second tradition states that both of them came to Rome as directed by the Emperor.
Mor Izozoel was 14 years old when he came to Rome. The preaching of the saint & his uncle attracted many of the countrymen to the Christian faith, infuriating the emperor, who summoned them to Rome for trial. Emperor Maximian ordered him to abandon the faith. When St. Azazael refused, he was brutally tortured. But that night, the Lord healed & comforted him. The emperor was shocked to see the saint regained his health completely overnight. However the emperor's heart of stone did not soften. The Emperor attempted to tempt the saint, but it was all in vain. So he once again chose to torture Izozoel, but with even more brutality. The saint collapsed frequently. But every time the saint regained his health with the help of God's grace. Failing repeatedly, the emperor fumed with rage. Finally, he ordered to kill the saint. St. Azazael was viciously murdered at the age of fourteen (or fifteen) in accordance with the emperor's decree. Thus Mor Izozoel attained the crown of martyrdom. The faithful buried his relics. A large shrine was built there in AD550, & countless believers flocked there in veneration of the holy saint. The feast of Mor Izozoel is celebrated in the Syriac Orthodox Church on May 12th & August 12th.
In Western Christianity he is known as St. Pancras. It is believed that the King of Northumberland in Great Britain received a portion of saint's relics & built a church dedicated to the martyr. Additionally, a number of churches in London & surroundings are in the name of the saint. A well known Railway station in London, England is named after St. Pancras.
Though young in age, his love for the Lord & courage during persecution until his final martyrdom serves as an exemplary model for us all.
Biography courtesy the Malayalam work by Fr. Dr. Greger R. Kollanoor. Translated into English by Miss. Shylin.
Oh Mor Izozoel! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Epiphanius of Salamis +403
May 12th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Epiphanius of Salamis +403 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Epiphanius was born in Besanduk village near Elethropolis, Palestine. Besanduk is in the neighbourhood of Gaza. While very young, St. Epiphanius followed a monastic life in Egypt. He was attracted to the ascetic life that followed the model & advice of St. Hilarion. He founded a monastery near Besanduk when he was in his twenties & stayed there for thirty years. He gained the ability to speak five languages; Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic & Latin. St. Jerome called him ‘a pentaglot’ on account of this. Among his literary compositions 'Ancorates' & 'Panarion' are very important.
He was a close associate of Patriarch St. Paulinos of Antioch who took a stern stand against the heresies of Arius & protected the Nicene Creed. In his letter (against all heresies) to the believers in Arabia he clearly asserted his belief in ‘The virgin mother of God’. Priests & many others in Pamphilia sought his help to resist & defeat the heresies of Arius. Even though he did not attend the Synod convened at Constantinople in AD 381, the declaration of the decisions taken in that Synod was a verbatim declaration of the Creed that existed in the church of Salamis. St. Epiphanius also spoke vehemently against Origen, & described Origen as "the forefather of Arius’ heresies". His magnum opus work against various heresies is known as Panarion.
Epiphanius stressed the importance of the Church in his teachings. “The Church alone, he says, has received the content of tradition, & it is in her teaching & decision that the faithful finds the truth.” He teaches thus, ‘the Church is built upon the foundation of the unshaken faith of the rock, St.Peter.’ he died enroute to Salamis returning from Constantinople.
Oh Mor Epiphanius! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Paul the Holy Apostle
On the fifth day of the fourth week after Easter: St. Paul the Holy Apostle
Commemorated annually on the Thursday of the fourth week after Easter.
Friday of the Fourth Week after the Resurrection
13 May 2022
Holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul
Commemorated annually on the Friday of the fourth week after Easter.
May 13th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Aday according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Aday was the first Bishop of Edessa (Urhoy/Urfa). He is the twin brother of St. Thomas the Apostle. In the Syriac tradition, St. Aday is one of the 72 Disciples our Lord appointed as written in the gospel of St. Luke 10:1. He was one of the primary evangelists in the region of Edessa. The story of his evangelization in Edessa is intertwined with that of great King Abgar V of Edessa.
King Abgar V of Edessa fell ill during the reign of Emperor Tiberius Caesar. According to church historian Eusebius & as written in the Syriac work 'Doctrine of Mor Adai', King Abgar sent a letter to our Lord Jesus Christ inviting him to live in Edessa away from the persecution of the Jewish pharisees. This historical fact is also confirmed in the Syriac Orthodox prayers for Midlent (phelgo d'sawmo/pathinombu). The royal secretary Hannan delivered this letter by hand to Christ himself. In His reply, Christ declines the invitation, instead saying when His earthly mission is complete & He has ascended to to heaven, He promises to send one of His disciples to Edessa, who will heal the king & evangelize the whole kingdom so that they may receive eternal life. Hannan returns to Edessa with the letter and a portrait of Christ (first icon of our Lord in history).
After the Ascension of our Lord, Mor Aday is sent to Edessa as earlier promised by Christ to King Abgar. Mor Aday healed King Abgar of his leprosy & baptized him. Thus, Abgar became the first king to embrace Christianity & the Kingdom of Osroene (with Edessa as its capital) became the very first Christian nation.
St. Aday played a key role in the evangelization of Mesopotamia, southern Armenia & eastern parts of Syria.
Oh Mor Aday! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. May your intercession protect the Syriac Christian faithful in Mesopotamia. Amen.
St. Isaac of Nineveh
St. Methodius of Olympus +311
Mor Ya`qub of Nisibis (+338)
14 May 2022
St. Isidore of Chios +251
Intercession of the Virgin Mary for the Crops
15 May 2022
May 15th is the Feast of the Virgin Mary for the Crops (Hido d'Yoldath Aloho Hal S'heble) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
St. Mary is venerated with great devotion in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. In addition to Feasts of the Virgin associated with the Lord & the Feast of her Nativity, there are three other Feasts that are celebrated by the faithful with much fervor.
Syriac poets called the 'Potters' (Quroyo) attribute setting these feasts of the Virgin Mary to St. John the Evangelist. Those poets are quoted saying: “With dew & drizzle the land of Ephesus was sprinkled when St. John brought to it the messages of the Virgin Mary commanding that the blessed Feasts of the Virgin be celebrated three times a year. The Feast of the Virgin Mary of the sowing is in January. In May is the Feast of the Virgin Mary for blessing the crops & in August is her Feast of the blessing of the vineyards, which are the symbol of the mystery of life”.
These three Feasts are on the fifteenth day of the three aforementioned months:
1) January 15: Sowing (zar'he, ܙܪ̈ܥܐ)
2) May 15: Crops (s'heble, ܫܒ̈ܠܐ), from which the wheat is processed into bread. This bread is used for the celebration of the Holy Qurbono (the lahmo).
3) August 15: Grapevine (sate, ܣ̈ܬܐ), from which comes the wine. This wine is used for the Divine Eucharistic celebration. This feast was replaced by the Dormition (shunoyo).
The Feast of the Virgin Mary for the Crops originated as an agricultural feast. It arose from the needs of the farmers to seek God's help for a fruitful harvest. The farmers were at the mercy of the elements and depended upon sufficient rain and good weather. As a result they sought God's assistance and begged the intercession of Mary for their crops. Christ our Lord, gives life to the world. Through the harvest we receive the gifts of bread and wine which become for us the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. St. Ephrem the Syrian says, "Mary became the field who received the grain of wheat in her womb. This grain of wheat is Jesus Christ our Lord, who gives life to the world."
St. Mark 4:26-29
St. Matthew 23:10-13
II Corinthians 9:1-15
St. Luke 6:1-5
Tone of the Day: 1
Arabic article about Hido d'Yoldath Aloho Hal S'heble by late His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas I of blessed memory: https://goo.gl/0mevQQ
English Article about the intercession of St Mary by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I of blessed memory: https://goo.gl/YwmsEo
Article about the tradition of Malankara Nasrani agriculturalists and the harvest feast: https://goo.gl/l4ePrT
Mor Shmuel of Qartmin +409
This Monday May 15th is the commemoration of the Qartmin father Mor Shmuel (+409) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Shmuel is one of the founders of Qartmin Monastery now known as Mor Gabriel Monastery (Dayro d-Mor Gabriel /Deyrulmur) in Tur Abdin Turkey.
Biography of Mor Shmuel: http://soc-wus.org/ourchurch/st.%20shmuel.htm
Life of St. Samuel of Eshtin: http://bit.ly/MorShmuel
Third Sunday after New Sunday
The 4th Sunday after Easter (Had'bshabo rbi'oyo d'Qymtho) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In this Sunday's Gospel, we remember Christ's proclamation, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
St. Luke 5:27-39
St. Mark 2:13-22
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Kings 20-28-30
I John 4:19-5:15
St. Mathew 16:20-24
St. John 6:47-58
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel reading: https://goo.gl/9J25Po
Tone of the Day: 4 (8 for alternate days of the week)
Syriac prayers for had'bshabo rbi'oyo d'Qymtho: https://goo.gl/PLsN1p
Syriac hymn 'eno-no lahmo d-haye emar Moran' (our Lord said, I am the bread of life/Kartavatuli cheythu, Njann jeevante aapam): https://goo.gl/OYOHbJ
St. Andrew, the disciple
16 May 2022
May 16th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Andrew the Holy Apostle +60 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Andrayos Sleeho, the brother of St. Peter, was a native of the town of Bethsaida in Galilee, & a fisherman by profession. Being first a disciple of St. John the Baptist, he later joined Jesus Christ, bringing to Him his elder brother Simon, with whom he became a member of the Holy Apostles.
Tradition states that he travelled in Jordan, Arabia, Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) Osreon (South eastern Turkey) & preached the Gospel among people who spoke Armenian language. Besides that he travelled across Cappodocia, Bithynia, Galatia around the Black sea & went to Acacia. It is even believed that he carried the Gospel as far as Russia & Poland, & that he preached at Byzantium.
He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion as he precipitated the anger of the Roman provincial Governor. When he reached Patras/Patrae in Achaia/Acaia, he heard the Governor’s wife Maxilla (Maximilla) was on her deathbed. As he arrived at their palace he found Aegeates, the Governor with a drawn sword ready to kill himself after the imminent death of his wife. As St. Andrew prayed she recovered & accepted Jesus Christ as her saviour. Her brother-in-law also accepted the Christian belief. The Governor was furious as his brother & wife converted to Christianity & consequently Andrew was imprisoned.
It is recorded that a debate ensued as St. Andrew spread the true faith & spoke against the worship of idols & during the trial he was condemned to be crucified. In prison he influenced other prisoners & many repented. The Governor on hearing about this, issued orders to crucify him.
When Andrew saw the cross made of olive wood in the shape of ‘X‘ (St. Andrew's Cross) he hugged it with great happiness. He prayed, “May Jesus who saved me through the Cross accept me now by the same cross.” He was not nailed but bound to the cross tightly & the cross was made to stand erect. He suffered hunger, thirst & intense pain for two days in the same posture. Even in the midst of his agony he was preaching the word of God. Half an hour before his ordeal came to an end his face lit up, then his soul departed for its heavenly abode. Thus Mor Andrayos attained the crown of martyrdom. He was entombed in Patras at the order of Maxilla. The relics of the saint was later taken to Constantinople in 357, & deposited in the church of the Holy Apostles, built by Constantine the Great.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Andrayos Sleeho! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Martinian the Solitary
Ascetic living in the wilderness
St. Theodore the helpful
Disciple of St. Pachomius the Great
Mor Dionysius III (Punnathra) +1825
17 May 2022
May 17th is the anniversary of the demise of Mor Dionysius III (Punnathra) +1825
Mor Dionysius III was the Malankara Metropolitan until his demise. He was a member of Kallumgathara Church, & after ordination became its Vicar. He was consecrated as successor to Mor Dionysius II (Pulikkottil Joseph I). Mor Dionysius III had to contend with the CMS missionaries of the Anglican Church. He also continued the steps his predecessor took to establish a seminary for the Jacobite Syrians.
In 1821 Mor Dionysius III wrote a letter addressed to Lord Gambier (President of CMS) & Bishop Henry of the Anglican Church. In 1823, the same letter, which was translated from Syriac, was also published in "The Christian Journal and Literary Register" in New York. Some excerpts from the letter are as follows,
"Mar Dionysius, metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrians in Malabar, subject to the authority of our father, Mar Ignatius, patriarch, who presides in the apostolic see of Antioch of Syria, beloved of the Messiah.
...We who are called Syrian-Jacobites, and reside in the land of Malabar, even from the times of Mar Thomas the holy apostle until the wall of Cochin was taken in the reign of king Purgis, kept the true faith according to the manner of the Syrian Jacobites, of real glory, without division or confusion. But by the power of the Franks our Jacobite Syrian fathers and leaders were prohibited from coming from Antioch.
...came to us some holy Jacobite Syrian fathers from Antioch who turned us to our true ancient faith and set up a high priest for us."
The words of Mor Dionysius III in 1821, puts to rest the preposterous claims of those who say the Malankara Church was forcefully brought under Antioch only after the Mulanthuruthy Synod of 1876.
After serving the Malankara Church, Mor Dionysius III departed for the heavenly abode & his mortal remains were interred in Cheriyapally Kottayam.
Illustration of Mor Dionysius only for artistic purposes.
Oh Mor Dionysius III! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Andronicus the Evangelist
Among the Seventy Two (72) Disciples
Usually commemorated along with St. Junia.
St. Jacob, the dismembered/mutilated (Mor Yac'ub M’fasqo)
May 17th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Jacob, the dismembered/mutilated +422 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Yac'ub M’fasqo (St. Jacob the Persian or St. Jacob Intercisus) who was a Persian, lived in the town of Lopoth with his parents. The king of the country, Guharon, had great appreciation for Yac'ub. On knowing that he was a Christian, the king tried to dissuade him from following his belief by tempting him with gifts. This caused Yac'ub to turn away from God. Mor Yac'ub's parents appealed to him through a letter not to give up the true faith, Christianity. He repented & returned to the Christian belief.
After the death of King Guharon, his son Yazdegerd was informed about his change of heart & the new king questioned Yac'ub about it. He informed the king, “Our Saviour has promised a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2). Your feeling that you respect God is itself a folly. The king was furious listening to him & ordered his ministers to decide a punishment for him. This was the verdict, “He should not be killed all of a sudden. First his fingers, toes, then his hands, legs & hip should be severed. He should be beheaded after being dismembered thus”. Many believers were grieved to hear this verdict. They prayed, ”Oh God the mighty, strengthen him, this servant of yours to escape from this trial with success.”
Yac'ub requested some time for prayer before the callous punishment was implemented. He knelt down turning towards the east & prayed, "Oh God, please listen to this weak servant. Strengthen me at this moment. Bless me to be a friend & comforter to those who love you & receive persecution in your name.” The executioners then chopped off his fingers & toes. He kept on praying even while enduring severe pain. The tormentors slowly cut off his feet, then his lower limbs, followed by his hands and upper limbs. But St. Jacob was not dismayed instead he boldly exclaimed, "I will praise God till my last breath.” Finally, he was decapitated by the persecutors. Thus Mor Yac'ub M’fasqo attained the crown of martyrdom. Faithful Christian believers carried off his body & buried it while reciting Psalm 51.
Oh Mor Yac'ub M’fasqo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
18 May 2022
Sts. Peter, Dionysius, Andrew, Paul, and Christina
Martyrs who suffered under Decius
St. Patrick, Bishop of Prusa, and his companions
19 May 2022
St. Thomas the Holy Apostle
On the fifth day of the fifth week after Easter: St. Thomas the Holy Apostle
Commemorated annually on the Thursday of the fifth week after Easter.
Sts. Lawrence and Agrippa
Loranṭyos (Laurence) and Agrippa were companions and martyrs under Diocletian. Agrippa was a prefect of Syria who had converted to the faith in Mesopotamia. Martyred together with twelve thousand.
Fathers of the three Holy Synods
20 May 2022
Four Holy Evangelists
St. Dodo +609
May 20th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Gregorios Dodo +609 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Dodo was born in Sidos, a village in Iraq. His parents Simon and Helen were wealthy & well known for their strong faith. They were childless for a long time. Their faith led them to a monastery in Mt. Tabriz, Iraq. They stayed with the abbot Mor David spending their days & nights in prayers. Dodho was born because of their fervent prayers. Mor David baptized him & then the family returned to their village.
His parents wished for him to get married, but Dodo refused, saying he wanted to dedicate his life for the Lord. He carried the Bible always with him, read & meditated upon it. After the death of his parents, he distributed all their earnings and wealth among the poor. He followed literally, what Jesus had taught. “If you will be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21)
Dodo went to Mor David’s monastery. He observed rigorous penance. He desired to serve God leading a virtuous life. On Mount Tabriz, he lived a solitary life for twelve years. The Abbot saw in a dream that Dodo’s life was in danger and set out in search of him. He was brought back to the monastery severely ill.
After regaining his health, he visited the Holy land. Upon his return he departed to a different place, to a scary valley known as "ܪܓܘܠܐ ܕܓܗܢܐ Hell Valley" overlooked by the village of Esfes, 7 Kilometers South West of the town of Azekh (now Idil, Turkey). It was called "Hell Valley" because of the depth of the valley and it was an area fill of thieves and outlaws who robbed every person passing through that location. Dodo called upon his uncle and forty hermits and stayed with them. With everyone’s cooperation, he could construct a church there. The village soon became a beautiful place to live.
When the metropolitan of Tigris passed away in A.D. 589, the Patriarch Peter III (A.D. 581 – 591) nominated Dodo as his successor. Even though he tried to evade it he had to accept the position and was consecrated under the name Mor Gregorius. As a Metropolitan, he ordained one thousand three hundred Priests and one thousand seven hundred Deacons.
Mor Gregorius Dodo passed away in A.D. 609. His burial service conducted at Tigris Cathedral was attended by an enormous crowd of believers and one thousand eight hundred priests.
Twenty years later, his uncle St. Isaac saw St. Dodo in a dream telling him to move his remains out of Takrit to Turabdin (Turkey) region because soon there won't be any Christian left in that area. So Mor Isaac, transferred his relics from Tigristo Thurabdin in A.D. 629 and it was interred at Basibrin, Turkey. A church was constructed over his tomb.
Biography courtesy, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Gregorios Dodo plead for us before God's throne of grace! May your intercession bring forth many miracles in our lives. Amen
St. Thallelaeus at Aegae in Cilicia and his companions
The Martyrs Thallelaeus, Alexander, and Asterius lived during the reign of Numerian (283-284).
21 May 2022
Disciple of Abba Agathon
Persian martyrs killed by Shah Khosrow I
Chosroes (Khusrau) I
Paris 146 and Vat LXIX
Sts. King Constantine & Queen Helena
May 21st is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. King Constantine the Great +337 and his mother St. Helena +328 according the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Constantine the Great was the son of Flavius Constantius & Helena. He was brought up in Drepanum his mother’s birthplace.
With his Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, the three-centuries-long persecution came to an end. The external threat of the persecution by the Roman government ended However the internal threat of the Arian heresy sprung forth. Constantine convened the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea to combat the Arian heresy in 325AD. The council repudiated the Arian heresy and formulated the statement of faith known as "The Nicene Creed"
Constantine’s adherence to Christianity was closely associated with his rise to power. He fought the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (according to Eusebius, during the campaign against Maxentius) in the name of the Christian God, having received instructions in a dream to paint the Christian monogram (Cross) on his troops’ shields to invoke the help of Christ. In the Syriac Orthodox Church the prayers on the feast of the Holy Cross on 14 September allude to this event. In addition the Sh'himo prayers of Friday say, "May the cross of light that was shown to Constantine in the sky be a high wall to the churches and the monasteries."
He issued numerous laws relating to Christian practices. He extended several privileges to the clergy. Emperor Constantine died on 21 May A.D. 337 at Ancryona, Izmit, Turkey. Shortly before his death, he was baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia. After his baptism he refused to wear the imperial purple and died wearing the white baptismal robe. He was entombed in the church of the Holy Apostles.
Oh Mor Constantine and Morth Helena plead for us before God's throne of grace! May the power of the true Holy Cross protect us from the evil one and all his forces. Amen
Timotheos of Gaza
A native of Gaza, Timotheos was arrested and incarcerated in this city during the second year of the Diocletianic persecution (= 305). After undergoing multiple tortures, but still refusing to offer sacrifice, he was condemned to death by slow fire and executed in the same city. Martyr
Discovery of the Holy Cross
22 May 2022
Commemorated annually on the fifth Sunday after Easter
In the early Syriac tradition, there were two separate feasts for the Holy Cross, one on May 22 for the Discovery and another on September 14 for the Exaltation.
Fourth Sunday after New Sunday
The 5th Sunday after Easter (had'bshabo hmis'hoyo d'Qymtho) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In this Sunday's Gospel Christ tells the Apostles about the cost of discipleship. "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62
St. John 14:1-14
St. John 16:16-30
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Peter 3:17-22
St. Mark 9:9-15
St. Luke 9:51-62
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel: https://goo.gl/9XqKQU
Tone of the Day: 5 (1 for alternate days of the week)
Syriac prayers for had'bshabo hmis'hoyo d'Qymtho: https://goo.gl/KwNbhd
St. Basiliscus Bishop of Comana +308
The nephew of the Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit. he suffered together with his brothers Eutropius and Kleonikos during the persecution of the emperor Maximian Galerius
May 22nd is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Jude the Apostle according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
St. Benjamin the Great
23 May 2022
St. Polycrates of Ephesus
Eusebius of Bishop of Samosata +379
24 May 2022
Martyr and opponent of Arianism
Mor Shem`un the Stylite (c. 390-459)
May 24th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Simon the Stylite +459 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Shem'un Destonoyo was born in the village of Sesan, a place on the border of Cicilia & Syria in 392AD. His father's name was John & his mother's name was Martha. Before his mother had conceived of him, St. John the Baptist appeared to her in a dream & told her of her conception & what her son would become. Simon was a shepherd at a young age. While in the fields with his flock, an angel of the Lord appeared in a vision. Later, he disposed of his properties & the assets of his aunt, which had been entrusted to him. He distributed part of the proceeds among the poor & needy. The remaining assets he took to the monastery of Eusebona at Tell ‘Ada, situated between Antioch & Alleppo. He joined the monastery with his brother Shemse when he was in the teens.
Later, he dug a pit of about 4 ft in the garden & stood in the pit for about two months. After the midnight prayer he used to stand with a big stone hung around his neck. He also stood on a roller to resist sleep in the night. His fellow hermits were jealous about these practices of Simon & raised some false accusations against him. Thus, he left the monastery of Eusebona. The head of the monastery gave him four coins which he refused to accept saying, “May your prayers be the viaticum for me.” Mor Shem'un then reached the village of Telanissos(modern day Taladah), Deir Samaan. He sat beneath a tree & prayed, “O God, My Lord, by Thy will you protected me from all adversities. Help & guide me until I reach the heavenly abode.” He then reached the nearby Monastery of Morris. He healed several sick people while staying in this monastery. St. Simon was in the habit of observing the forty-day lent in all its seriousness. During the forty-day lent he did not eat anything. In AD423, he prepared a platform of about 4 ft. high & stood on it for about five years. Mor Shem'un went around the nearby villages to preach the Gospel. Angels, prophets Elijah & Moses appeared to him. Several miracles happened through the prayers of St. Simon. He later left the Monastery of Morris, to a nearby hilltop.
St. Simon spent about forty years on a pillar upon the hilltop. He prayed, “O Lord, my God, let not the hands of mortal men be necessary for my help. Let not me step down from this pillar to see men on earth. Help me O Lord to end my life on this pillar on which I ascended by your grace. According to Thy will, accompany the soul of Thy servant from this place.” Satan became envious of the saint for all his good deeds. St. Simon developed ulcers which caused him to suffer for 9 months. Emperor Theodosius sent 3 bishops to make St. Simon step down, but he refused. Instead, he spent his time in prayer & fasting. The Saint asked Christ to supply him with water, & a spring of water sprang up at the foot of the pillar. He preached to many people, taught them, & brought many back to the knowledge of Christ. He would write letters of instruction to those gathered. After his death in 459AD, his body was taken to Antioch in great veneration & entombed in a church there.
While Chalcedonians claim him to be a supporter of Chalcedon, Syriac letters in the British Museum written by Mor Shem'un Destonoyo indicate that he was a Miaphysite & opposed the result of the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD.
He is honored in the 5th Dypthic (Thubden d-Qadishe) every Sunday in the Syriac Orthodox Church.
A large complex was built in his honour comprising of 4 separate cathedrals with the pillar of Mor Shem'un as the central monument. Now known as Qalat Siman. It was a prominent pilgrimage site. It suffered major damage following an earthquake. Later it was sacked following the Muslim conquest of Syria. In 2011 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2012 it was taken over by terrorists. It was again heavily damaged by air strikes in 2016.
Oh Mor Shem'un Destonoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
A Defense of the Orthodoxy of St. Simon the Stylite: http://bit.ly/3t6L3PJ
Hymns of St. Severus of Antioch on St. Simon the Stylite:
"Come, hear, and I will tell you"
The sublime and great height of the life of Simeon the just and righteous brings into the mind of believers the words of the Lord which he spoke, "A city that is I set upon the top of a hill cannot be hid". For by ascending to a sublime height of virtues he showed this clearly and by means of his standing on the column, signifying that he is "a pillar and foundation of the truth" as it is written; drawing both unbelievers and barbarians to godliness, and those who were sitting in the darkness of error to the light of knowledge, like a brightly-shining star by its rising: by whose prayers, Saviour of all, have pity and mercy upon us.
25 May 2022
Note: The inclusion of this event in the online calendar is for educational purposes. It is to remind us all of the end of the 40 day period which the Bridegroom had spent after His glorious Resurrection, and what He imparted to the Holy Apostles during this time. This is not an annually recurring event or feast in standard calendars of the Syriac Church.
In this beautiful message from our beloved Patriarch, we learn about the teachings our Lord imparted upon the Holy Apostles during the forty days following His glorious Resurrection. The received wisdom was then passed on by the Holy Apostles to their direct successors, forming what we call today the "Apostolic Tradition", and encompasses - together with Scripture and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers - the earliest teachings of the Holy Church.
As St. Paul extols in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, "Brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or our epistle."
For the written sources of these instructions and traditions, much can be gathered from various excerpts in the works of the Church Fathers, such as their commentaries on the Holy Mysteries.
Additionally, the Church has received the instructions of the Holy Apostles found in texts categorized by modern scholars as "Apostolic Church Orders". Although scholars have determined these texts to be of varying geographical provenance, it is interesting to note the considerable overlap in content. Therefore, we understand that the Holy Apostles passed on a very unified & consistent faith and set of practices to their earliest successors, regardless of where they evangelized.
The most influential of these various "Church Orders" in the Syriac Orthodox Church includes the 'Didache', the 'Didascalia Apostolorum', the 'Testamentum Domini', the 'Clementine Octateuch', and the 'Teaching of the Apostles'.
May we hold fast to the traditions that we have received from the Church of God. As St. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote in his letter to Serapion, "Let us look at the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the catholic Church from the very beginning, which the Logos gave, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers preserved. Upon this the Church is founded."
Pope Michael II of Alexandria
St. Pope Peter I of Alexandria
Martyr and Patriarch
Ascension of our Lord (suloqo)
26 May 2022
The commemoration of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord (Suloqo d-Moran) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Ascension falls annually on the Thursday following the fifth Sunday after Easter (fourth Sunday after New Sunday). At the conclusion of the Quqalyon of the Blessed Virgin during the celebration of the Holy Qurbono, the clergy and the deacons descend from the sanctuary to the chancel. The priest takes the cross from the stand where it has been since Easter Sunday. He carries it in his hand in a procession that starts from the northern door of the sanctuary and ends at the southern door, followed by the readings from the Epistle of Saint Paul (Ephesians 4:1-16) and the Gospels (Luke 24:45-53), after which the Order of Zuyoho (hawde malakhe) takes place. During the responses, instead of ‘Crucified for us,’ say ‘He who ascended into heaven.'
Explanation of the Ascension service courtesy of 'Syriac Orthodox Resources' website: http://sor.cua.edu/Feast/Ascension.html
St. Luke 24:36-53
St. Luke 24:36-53
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Samuel 9:15-10:1
I Timothy 3:16
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel reading: https://goo.gl/W8NzDS
Tone of Day: 5
Syriac prayers for Suloqo: https://goo.gl/XcO7D4
Malayalam service book for the Feast of the Ascension (Swargarojana perunaal): https://goo.gl/KBfXV0
English (unofficial): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Mst-fVOMlza1c0SlREWjVBeW8/view?usp=drivesdk
Miles of Tel Hesh
The wonder-working monk Daniel the Doctor, a disciple of Mar Awgin, also healed Miles, the son of the governor of Tel Ḥesh. Miles was consecrated Bishop of Tel Ḥesh and was stoned to death under Shapur.
St. Carpus the Evangelist
St. Poemen of Egypt +450
St. Sergius the Solitary of the Barren Mountain
In hagiography: Sergius of the Barren Mountain (Jebel Butman/al-Jabal al-Qāḥil) was a monk who founded a monastery known as the Suspended Monastery (Dayr al-Muʿallaq). It became the residence of the bishops of Balad.
St. Zacchaeus the tax collector
Martyr and bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.
Commemorated annually on the Thursday of the fifth week after Easter
Discovery of the head of St. John the Baptist
27 May 2022
Prophet Elisha was born in one of the villages of Israel called Alamut. His father's name was Shaphat. Elisha was a servant to the holy prophet Elijah. When the Lord would take up Elijah the prophet into heaven, he went with him to the river Jordan. Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you." Elisha asked, "I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me," and it was as he asked. (2 Kings 2:1-18)
Elisha divided the river and passed through it. Then he went to Jericho and went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. (2 Kings 2:23-24)
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves." So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil." Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors; empty vessels; do not gather just a few." With his prayers the Lord blessed the oil and all the vessels became full. The woman sold the oil and paid off her debt. (2 Kings 4:1-7) He also raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead.
When Naaman the Syrian came to him, he healed him from his leprosy. Naaman offered him much money and costly clothes, but he refused them. Nevertheless, when his servant Gehazi took them for himself, the prophet knew that by the spirit. Elisha became angry and told him, "Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever."
Elisha had performed many signs and miracles. He prophesied for about fifty years. When Elisha died, they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, a plundering band was seen, and they cast the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, stood on his feet, and went back to his people. (2 Kings 13:20-21)
St. Heliconis of Thessalonica +250
The Holy Martyr Heliconis lived during the third century in the city of Thessalonica. She arrived in the city of Corinth during a persecution of Christians, and urged the pagans to stop serving senseless idols and instead to worship the one true God, the Creator of the universe.
Aaron of Serugh
28 May 2022
Aaron of Serugh was a disciple of Mar Awgin and founder of two monasteries near Melitene.
St. Eutychius Bishop of Melitene
The Hieromartyr Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene, was a co-worker with the Holy Apostles, and he suffered for Christ in the city of Melitene during the first century
318 Fathers of the Holy Ecumenical Synod of Nicea
29 May 2022
Installation/Enthronement of Patriarch H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II
May 29th is the anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II became the 123rd Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch & successor to St. Peter the chief of the Apostles, when he was enthroned on May 29, 2014, at St Ephrem’s Monastery, Maarat Saidnaya, Damascus, Syria.
The Amologia (Omologia) or 'Statement of Faith' by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II Patriarch of Antioch and All the East: http://bit.ly/Amologia
Remembrance of Ancient Catastrophes that Befell Antioch
The earthquake of 115AD
The earthquake of 526AD from May 20-29
Sunday before Pentecost (Sunday of the Monks)
The 6th Sunday after Easter (had'bshabo shtit'hoyo d'Qymtho) and the Sunday Before Pentecost (Qdom Phentiqostee) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In this week's Gospel, Christ extolls to the Holy Apostles and the crowd His famous proclamation, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Kings 17:17-22
II Kings 23:21-25
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel reading: http://www.malankaraworld.com/Library/sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_sunday-before-pentecost.htm
Tone of the Day: 6 ( 2 for alternate days of the week)
Syriac prayers for had'bshabo shtit'hoyo d'Qymtho: https://goo.gl/FRnBgR
Mor Coorilos Markose, +2005
30 May 2022
May 30th is the anniversary of the demise of HG Mor Coorilos Markose +2005. Mor Coorilos was the former Metropolitan of Niranam, Trivandrum & Kuwait dioceses.
Markose was born on October 6th 1946 to Varkey & Elyamma of Ramanthara family, members of Ponpally Church. After completing his higher studies in CMS College, he joined Old (MD) Seminary Kottayam. He was ordained deacon by then Catholicos Baselios Augen on 7th May 1970. He studied under the tutelage of late Mor Julius Yac'ub Madappatt (Manjinikkara), late Mor Timotheos Yac'ub (Thrikkothamangalam) & late Rev. Fr. TJ Abraham (Mulanthuruthy). On March 25th 1974 he was ordained Qashisho by late Mor Gregorios Geevarghese (Perumpilly). As a priest, he served in Kottayam Diocese along with various parishes outside Kerala & in Bahrain.
He was a respected Syriac scholar, teaching students for over 30 years (many of those years were in Vettickal Seminary). He wrote a number of books including a guide to the study of the Syriac language. His most invaluable book remains the guide to the order of worship in the Syriac Church. Beyond services to the Jacobite Church, he also served as teacher & guide of Syriac at St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) & was an examiner for Syriac at MG University.
Late Mor Yulios Kuriakose elevated him to the rank of Raban on 6th August 2000. On January 14th 2001, he was consecrated by the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory with the title Coorilos at Patriarchal Cathedral Damascus along with Mor Ivanios Mathews. Mor Coorilos, in an effort to safeguard the Holy Syriac Orthodox Church in India; convened the historic Malankara Association meeting at Puthencruz in 2002 & passed the constitution of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church. This meeting elected Mor Dionysius Thomas (presently HB Mor Baselius Thomas I Catholicos) as the Metropolitan Trustee.
Mor Coorilos led a simple life, even after his consecration. His warm demeanor & welcoming spirit was loved by the faithful who clung to his speeches. He remained steadfastly loyal to the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch. On May 30th 2005, HG Mor Coorilos Markose succumbed to illness & reposed to the heavenly abode. His mortal remains were interred in St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church Pangada.
Oh Mor Coorilos Markose! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Martyr and disciple of St. John
St. Macarius the Martyr
Egyptian, possibly https://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/11_22.html?lang=en#1
Mor Barsawmo (+ 457), the chief among Mourners (Ris'ho Dabile)
31 May 2022
The commemoration of St. Barsawmo according to the liturgical calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Barsawmo is remembered in the 5th Dypthic as the 'Chief among Mourners'
Mor Barsaumo (Barsaumo is a Syriac compound word from Bar– Son, Saumo– Fast, meaning ‘the son of fast’) In his childhood he was tutored by Mor Abraham the Great, the high mountain ascetic close to Samosata where he acquired piety & the fear of God that led his way towards asceticism. After his teacher’s death he decided to pay a walking visit to the holy land. He wore a sackcloth dress & walked towards Palestine empty handed. After a tough journey he arrived to the holy land & received blessings. When he returned he went into seclusion while feeding himself with the plants & fruits of the wilderness.
The villagers built him a monastery and was joined first by one then by three people and as time passed the number increased. In a quiet summer evening he stood outside his cell, lifted his eyes and saw the shining stars in the sky as pearls over a black velvet. He was in awe and he murmured, saying, “the servant doesn’t dare to sit in the presence of his master, so how could I dare to sit in the presence of the Creator of heaven and earth . . ! From that time on he crucified himself in front of God. This is what his biographer and student Samuel wrote in praising him: (Barsaumo, who stood trials and tribulations on the cross in front of his Lord for Fifty years. He looked like an iron pole never sleepy day and night; his body was bent from dawn to dusk. His days are finished and his supplications were sealed, and when he finished his prayers he departed to his Lord).
In 449AD he was recalled by Emperor Flavius Theodosius II (10 April 401 – 28 July 450), to attend the second Ephesus Synod representing the heads of the holy monasteries. But he was a zealous Orthodoxy defender & urging the faithful to hold tight to their Orthodox doctrine, the faith of the three holy Ecumenical Synods, refusing the Chalcedon Synod & its followers until he was arrested & brought to the capital city for trial. The judge screamed in his face, saying, “Don’t you know that I can send you in exile to the land where there is no water?” The saint replied, saying “The Lord of fountains will send me rain from heaven or spring forth from the earth, so can you send me where there is no God?” The judge answered with pride, saying, “Yes I can.” The saint said, “There is no place where God doesn’t exist except on the throne that you are sitting on, and the throne which your king Marcian sits on. If you send me into exile to these two places, God will come there for my sake.” The judge was so angry that he swore to cut him into pieces. Mor Barsaumo said to him, “O, you, your father & master Theodosius & out of respect he used to stand in my presence, & yet you are trying & threatening me? Let me tell you that you shall not judge another case.” The judge left his seat trembling & he soon died.
The Chalcedon bishops wrote to many churches excommunicating him but their letters were rejected. People were enraged denouncing this excommunication & declaring their support to Mor Barsaumo & his Orthodox doctrine. Seeing that their scheme failed, the Chalcedon bishops pressed king Marcianus to send a military force to arrest him. When the saint heard the news, he said: “I have great hope in Christ that Marcianus’ authority will not run over me because my death will take him out of the land of the living.”Indeed, as soon as the soul of the Orthodox great ascetic departed to heavenly abodes on February 3, 457 AD, Marcianus perished.
For full biography visit: http://soc-wus.org/2010%20News/242010141352.php
St. Hermias of Comana
Holy Martyr Hermias suffered for Christ in the city of Comana during the persecution under the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). The governor Sebastian ordered the sorcerer Marus to poison Saint Hermias with a potion. The poisonous drink did the saint no harm. A second goblet with even stronger poison also failed to kill the saint. The sorcerer believed in Christ the Savior, and was immediately beheaded.
St. Jacob of Edessa +708
Mor Jacob of Urhoy, Urfa was one of the most distinguished of Syriac writers. A man unique in the extent of his knowledge and chief among the doctors of the church, Jacob had a brilliant mind, critical temperament, sharp wit and sound judgment. He was a grammarian, a man of letters, a poet, a translator, an historian, a commentator, a legislator and a philosopher-theologian.
St. Judah Kyriakos
Also known popularly as Judas of Jerusalem, was the great-grandson of Jude, brother of Jesus, and the last Jewish Bishop of Jerusalem, according to Epiphanius of Salamis and Eusebius of Caesarea.
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