Fast of Assumption (sawmo d-yoldath aloho) begins (old date)
1 August 2021
On August 1st the Syriac Orthodox faithful of Malankara will commence the Fast of the Mother of God (sawmo d-Yoldath Aloho) in preparation for the commemoration of her Assumption (Shunoyo).
In his article about the Holy Virgin Mary, the thrice blessed late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I of blessed memory states, "Her Assumption in the flesh and soul was not instituted by the Syriac Church as doctrine. The Virgin’s Assumption is a confessional patristic tradition based on the Syriac narrative of Apostle St.Thomas." During the Assumption, St. Thomas was given the Girdle (soonoro/belt) of the Virgin as testimony to the other Holy Apostles that she was translated to heaven. "Syriac tradition reports that St. Thomas took the girdle of the Virgin Mary with him to India where he was martyred at the hands of pagan priests. When Thomas’ relics were taken to Edessa in the fourth century the Holy girdle was brought with them. Finally the girdle reached the Church of the Virgin in Homs, which has been called the Church of the Virgin’s Girdle (Um al-Zennar Church) ever since."
In addition, the book ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagyte, the bishop of Athens (+95AD) relates that ”upon the dormition of St. Mary, all the Apostles gathered together so quickly coming from the Four Corners of Earth, where they were preaching the word. They arrived in Jerusalem, the Residence City of blessed Mary, & then Jesus came with His angels. Jesus received her soul and handed it to Michael the Archangel. Jesus appeared once more & transferred her holy body to heaven on a cloud. Up there, her body was united to her soul to enjoy her everlasting joy.”
Due to the sacredness of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church instituted that the faithful should go on a fast in preparation for the celebration of this Feast. The faithful would only have one meal a day to break the fast, consisting of only simple vegan foods. This fast traditionally began on the 1st of August every year and ended on the 15th with Holy Qurbono for the Feast of the Assumption (Hido d'shunoyo). Pursuant to the decision taken by the Council of Homs in 1946 it became five days starting on August 10. However, it is common for the faithful of Malankara to follow the status quo and begin their fast on August 1st even to this day.
May the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, the mother of God (Bthultho Yoldath Aloho) bless all the faithful who wholeheartedly keep the fast & earnestly seek her prayers. Amen.
Article about Shunoyo Fast by HG Mor Themotheos Thomas Metropolitan: https://goo.gl/2SuKB8
Arabic article on fasting by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I: https://goo.gl/y1Dt2M
Prayer book for the intercession of St. Mary in Malayalam/Manglish: https://goo.gl/zCjrrQ
Prayer book for the intercession of St. Mary in English: https://goo.gl/E2XqRm
Intercessory prayers to St. Mary by HG Mor Polycarpus Zachariah: https://youtu.be/ZbMd6QNOO1A
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Mort Shmuni, her seven sons (Mort Shmuni u S'habho Bnayo Dilohand) their teacher, Eleazar.
August 1st is the commemoration of the dukhrono of the Holy Maccabee saints Shmuni, her seven sons & their teacher Eleazar (qadishe maqaboye Mort Shmuni u s'habho bnayo w'Eli'ozor malfonhun) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mort Shmuni & her 7 sons along with Mor Eliozor suffered martyrdom under emperor Antiochus IV. Their story is written in the 2nd book of Maccabees. While her name is not mentioned in the Bible, 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. Various Fathers of the Church preached sermons on Mort Shmuni & her 7 sons, including St. Gregory Nazianzus & St. John Chrysostom.
The pagan king wanted the faithful Shmuni & her sons to consume pig meat. However, they refused to as they did not wish to break the law given by God to Prophet Moses. Enraged, the king ordered them to be tortured & 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. Thus they all attained the crown of martyrdom for following the law of God. Their teacher St. Eleazar was also martyred along with them. Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of St. Shmuni & her sons.
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 Syriac churches dedicated in her honour, one of the oldest being Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church in Qarqosh, Iraq which is 1500 years old. This is the home parish of St. Baselios Yeldho Maphriyano +1685 who is entombed in Kothamangalam.
Biography adapted from, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mort Shmuni, her 7 sons and Mor Eliozor! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Tone for the commemoration of saints: 8
Listen to a sermon about Mort Shmuni by our beloved late Catholicos of the East HB Mor Baselius Paulose II +1996 of blessed memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVaQ5RsP0oM
St. Shmuni in various Syriac sources: http://bit.ly/ShmuniSyriacSources
Huthomo by HG Mor Osthatheos Isaac: https://youtu.be/RkJ4_QmpljI
Ruben was a stylite of Qartmin
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
St. Luke 9:12-17
St. Matthew 16:13-20
Before Holy Qurbono:
St. Matthew 18:1-14
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel: https://goo.gl/sMdtB9
Tone of the day: 1 (5 for alternate days of the week)
Anniversary of Vishuda Grantham release
2 August 2021
August 2nd is the anniversary of the release of Vishuda Grantham (Malayalam translation of the Syriac Peshito Holy Bible).
On August 2nd 1994, late 'Malankara Malfono' (Doctor of the Malankara Church), 'Korooso Dasroro' (Proclaimer of the faith), 'Mtargmono d Etho' (Translator of the Church) Reesh Cor-Episcopo (Archpriest) Most Rev. Fr. Dr. Kurian Kaniyamparambil released the completed Malayalam translation of the Syriac Peshito Holy Bible. The Vishudha Grandham (Holy Bible) was released after the painstaking efforts to meticulously and authentically translate the Syriac Holy Bible without error so that the faithful in Malankara could read the scripture as intended by the Church.
What is the Peshito, and why is it important? The Peshito/Peshita is the Syriac version of the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible being the divine word of God almighty. Since the translation of the books of the Holy Bible into Syriac started as early as the first century, the Syriac version preserves the very ancient renditions of the original texts. In fact Syriac, the language of the Peshitta, is a dialect of Aramaic akin to the Aramaic of the Jewish exile and the Palestinian Aramaic of Jesus Christ. This sociolinguistic connection with the Semitic world gives new insights into the words of the Bible currently undisclosed by Western languages. Moreover, the Peshito Holy Bible is full of distinctive readings that are absent in other versions. The Peshito Bible is the official scripture of the various Syriac Churches including the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Prior to the translation of the Peshito into Malayalam by our Reesh Cor-Episcopo, the faithful in India were forced to rely on translations made by Europe Protestant missionaries who used German or English versions as their source. These texts were riddled with errors of translation in comparison to the original ancient texts.
The Syriac Peshito and its authentic translation are the foundations of true Orthodox Christian spiritual enlightenment. When one uses a different translation such as Bible Society etc, they are deviating from the scripture as intended by the Holy Fathers of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there are countless faithful who continue using unauthorized translations within their homes, even when the perfect Vishuda Grantham is available. We encourage all Syriac Orthodox faithful of Malankara to begin using only the Vishudha Grandham & Syriac Peshito Holy Bible as the basis of scripture in their homes, and churches.
May the great efforts and labour of love by late Reesh Cor-Episcopo not be in vain...
To know more about the Syriac Peshito: https://goo.gl/9X5Y9C
To know more about the importance of this Malayalam translation please watch: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213345984944900&id=1256738283
Thanks to the diligent work of Mr. Cherian Jacob in the USA (with spiritual guidance from Fr. Jose Daniel & Very Rev Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil Cor-Episcopo http://vishudhagrandham.com) the complete Vishudha Grandham is available on mobile applications. This wonderful effort has brought the Malayalam translation of the Syriac Peshito to the digital age. You can have the true Holy Bible in your pocket. The app has both the Malayalam Vishuda Grantham and the transliteration (Manglish) into English script for those who cannot read Malayalam but can understand it.
To download for Android: https://goo.gl/QHNsCv
To download for Apple iOS: https://goo.gl/eAeTkq
Listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_nsnEjhrVGpMSsYFJv31Hw
Below photo: The Holy Bible (Vishudha Grandham) being taken reverently from Mar Thoma Church, Kothamangalam on August 2, 1994 for its release by the late Catholicos HB Mor Baselius Paulose-II (middle) of blessed memory.
Also seen in the photo is the present Catholicos HB Mor Baselius Thomas-I, late lamented HG Mor Gregorios Geevarghese (Perumpilly Thirumeni) and Metropolitan HG Mor Themotheos Thomas.
English translation of the Syriac Peshito which is released by Georgias Press under Evengeloyo Malfono George Kiraz: https://goo.gl/JtXsQ8
Finding of the relics of Sts. Gamaliel and Habib
Saint Gamaliel was a Pharisee, a doctor of the Law (Acts 5:34), and the teacher of Saint Paul (Acts 22:3).
Saint Abibas was the twenty-year-old son of Saint Gamaliel, who died before his father. His relics were uncovered along with those of Saints Stephen, Gamaliel, and Nicodemus in 415.
The relics of Saints Stephen, Gamaliel, Abibas, and Nicodemus were transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 428 and placed in the church of the holy deacon Laurence
Mor Ahudemeh +575
August 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'
Translation of the relics of the Protomartyr and Archdeacon St. Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople
The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Protomartyr Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople took place about the year 428.
Kuriakose of Amid +623
3 August 2021
In hagiography: Cyriacus was bishop of Amida and came from the monastery of Mar Zakka near Edessa. His church was seized by the Chalcedonians, but he restored his churches under Khusro II. He was the author of 30 ecclesiastical canons.
St. Lazarus the Confessor
In hagiography: Lazarus the Confessor was possibly a monk of Qartmin commemorated for martyrdom under a Persian general.
St. Eudokia of Persia
4 August 2021
The Martyr Eudocia was a native of Anatolia, living in the fourth century. The army of the Persian emperor Sapor took her into captivity with 9,000 Christians. Since she knew the Holy Scriptures well, she instructed the prisoners. The saint also preached to the Persian women and converted many of them to Christianity. For this she was subjected to lengthy and fierce tortures and then beheaded.
Mor Shalito, an Aramaic name meaning “the One with Authority”, was born into a pagan family in Egypt in the 4th century. In that time, the Emperor Constantine I the Great (306-337) called on the gentiles to turn away from idols and to start worshipping the one living God. Shalito was 15 years old when he renounced the idols, left his father’s house and was baptized. He had been taught well in philosophical sciences. After his baptism, he began to study the Holy Scriptures day and night and pray the Psalms.
A Confessor Before Arian Rulers in Alexandria
At the age of twenty years he entered a monastery in Alexandria where he was instructed under the guidance of Pope Athanasius the Great (* 295; Pope: 328-373). When Shalito was 25 years old, Pope Athanasius was exiled by the Arians. St. Shalito encouraged and strengthened the faithful not to deviate from the true faith.
A certain judge in Alexandria called Lularianus gave the order to bring Shalito before him. He questioned him about his faith. Shalito confessed his faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one true God; Christ, the Son of God, is not a creature of God, but consubstantial with Him, born of the Virgin Mary Mother of God. Because Shalito confessed this faith and did not deny, the judge had him imprisoned to prevent him from convincing others of this faith. In prison, he was tortured and tormented, yet he remained true to the faith, although Lularianus promised him high ranks and honor on the Patriarchal See of Alexandria. At night, Shalito was strengthened by Christ, raised and comforted. Then he began to teach the fellow prisoners about the true faith and to warn them of the heresy of Arius who taught that Christ was a creature of God. When the judge received the report that Shalito preaches in prison, he exiled him from Alexandria. Throughout Egypt, the Saint made many disciples and converted many pagans to the true faith.
In the Monastery of St. Pachomius and Hermit
One day he came to a village of pagans outside of Alexandria, who mocked him when they realized that he was a Christian. Suddenly, one of them became afflicted by leprosy, so that all were filled with fear and asked Shalito to heal him. He anointed the body of the afflicted one with consecrated oil, and he was immediately healed. The villagers came to the true faith and were baptized, 532 in number. He instructed them in the history of salvation, whereupon they collected their gold in great love and built three churches from it. The Saint went around in that area, preached and baptized innumerable people.
He was simple and humble and a steadfast ascetic in fasting and prayer. In this asceticism he spent five years in the monastery of St. Pachomius. One day, he cast out a demon from a possessed to whom the brothers did not dare to approach and therefore asked Shalito for help. After this miracle they greatly honored him.
He, however, so as not to fall into pride, left the monastery and withdrew to a mountain where he lived for ten years in a crevice, without being seen by anybody. His food consisted of wild roots and shoots of dates. In that deserted place he had to go through many fights against the Evil One. Satan could not bring the Saint to fall with his illusions, because Shalito ashamed him by the sign of the cross. The hermit was often attacked and beaten by demons. But Christ never abandoned him, strengthening him through revelations and visions, by which he was encouraged.
One day he was concerned that the Arian heresy could spread in the world. Then he saw in the spirit a fire eating and destroying hay, thorns, and weed. He was given to understand that the thorns were the Arian and all the other heresies, and the fire is the true faith of the holy apostolic Church.
Among the Discipleship of St. Augin in Mesopotamia
Then he went to a monastery where many monks lived. After receiving a revelation that the great Saint Augin (+363) would come soon, he chose from among the brothers seventy and said that he would go with them under the direction of Augin to the East to Mesopotamia in order to stop deceptive heresies and to spread the Gospel of Christ. They all stood up with him and went forth to meet St. Augin. Also St. Augin himself explained to the 71 that he was about to move to the East to spread the Good News of the Lord over there. They all knelt, prayed and marched up to Nisibis, which lay on the border of the Roman and the Persian Empire. They settled down in the Izlo Mountains (now Bagok in the south-east Turkey) where they built cells for themselves.
After three years, the bubonic plague spread in Nisibis which St. Shalito caused to cease by his prayer. One of the most prestigious in Nisibis saw in a dream that it was Shalito who had caused it to cease by his prayer. They brought all their sick and afflicted to him, and he healed them of their various diseases, 1,023 people.
Together With St. Jacob Bishop of Nisibis
At that time the great Saint Mor Jacob was consecrated Bishop of Nisibis (+338). This Saint visited Augin and his disciples on the Izlo Mountains. Bishop Jacob revealed his project to St. Augin to have a church built in Nisibis, and he was strengthened and encouraged therein. Both took also Shalito and prayed at the place where the church should stand. Then an angel came from heaven to them who measured the church from one side, Bishop Jacob from another, Augin measured the third side, and Shalito the fourth. The holy bishop had this church built, and the Lord brought it to completion.
Raising a Dead
St. Jacob had another church built in the mountains of Qardu (Ararat-Mountains) where the ark of Noah had come to rest. For the consecration of that church he took Mor Augin, Mor Shalito and many other disciples to accompany him. On their way they came to a thick forest where Shalito went to do his prayer. A young man ran towards him, wailing and crying, because his brother had been eaten by a giant monster. Mor Shalito began to pray, caused the monster to spit out the child, cursed the monster, so that it died immediately. He anointed the child with holy oil, and brought his dead body back to life. His brother ran into his village and made this great miracle known to all the villagers, so that all ran to the Saint, and asked him and his companions for their blessing. Those pagan villagers asked also to be baptized. Jacob of Nisibis baptized them all, and they participated in the Holy Communion. Many of those accompanied St. Jacob to the consecration of the Church. And the boy which Mor Shalito had raised from the dead, accompanied him and became his disciple. Augin called him “Ahee-Moreh”, meaning “His Lord has Revived Him”.
The Ministry of the Hermit and Missionary by the Tigris
Since Shalito was being praised and honored among the disciples of Mor Augin more and more, he moved away one night to escape from vain glory. When he asked God in his prayer for a new place, the Holy Spirit said to him to move to Beth-Zabdai (now in the south-east Turkey), where he would remain until the end of his earthly life. When he reached at the Tigris-River, he made the sign of the cross on the river and crossed it on the water. He found a narrow cave on a mountain and dwelt there, where he suffered much from the cold, for it was snowing heavily there. Even the first two months he stayed without food.
When Satan saw that Mor Shalito never tired of doing good, he entered an idol statue that was being worshiped in the neighboring village, and spoke through the idol to the villagers that if they don’t beat up and drive away the man who lives on the mountain, a disciple of the Nazarene, he would destroy their village. So they all started on their way in anger and beat St. Shalito half-dead. After they walked away, the grace of God came down upon him and he recovered. That night the angel of the Lord struck the whole village with the bubonic plague. One of them saw in a dream that the reason of the disease was that they had committed an offense against the servant of God who had to pray for them that the plague may cease. That man revealed his dream to all the villagers, and full of repentance t
St. Sabellius and Sapphira
5 August 2021
Sabellius and Shapira were the parents of Taliam and had him at the age of 52. A revelation predicted that Talia, at age two, would kill impious kings. This news reached the ears of the governor, and they were all arrested. The child was tried and tortured multiple times, and his parents were stoned. He was cut in many pieces, but still found intact. He was finally killed after many ordeals, and his example converted people. He was a martyr at age two. A shrine at Romaniya was built to him.
St. Thuthael +420
In hagiography: Thuthael was a stylite and disciple of Samuel of Qartmin, and was raised from the dead.
Thaddeus of Edessa
Mor Addai Addai has been venerated since the earliest times as one of the evangelists of the Tigris-Euphrates region along with Mor. Mari.
The Festival of Transfiguration(mtalé)/Koodaara Perunnal
6 August 2021
August 6th is the Feast of the Transfiguration (Hido d-Mtalé) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church. It is also known as Koodara Perunaal.
The feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord is celebrated each year on August 6th which is forty days before the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (S'hkohteh da-Slibo), because the transfiguration of the Lord took place, according to one tradition, forty days before His crucifixion. The Ma`de`dono (aanduthaksa; Book of Church Festivals), does not contain a special service for this feast in contrast to the other feasts of our Lord. However, as with every Sunday there are daily offices from the Phanqitho along with special hymns for post-Gospel, kasoloki, & huthomo which reflect the Biblical tradition & theological significance of this day.
Historically, the origin of this feast is related most likely to the Dedication of the churches of Mount Tabor, and was introduced into the Syriac Orthodox Liturgy in the seventh century or possibly much later.
The feast commemorates the transfiguration or metamorphosis of Christ on Mount Tabor, when our Lord appeared in His divine glory before the Apostles Peter, James, & John. Conversing with Christ is the Prophet Elijah and Prophet Moses. It also represents symbolically the transformation that happens in each individual & the whole creation by assimilating the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ.
For detailed information about the Feast of the Transfiguration: https://goo.gl/SYJGzP
The Holy Bible readings from the Church Lectionary:
St. Matthew 16:27-17:13
St. Mark 8:38-9:13
Before Holy Qurbono:
Isaiah 60:12-15 61:1-3
I John 2:23-3:1
St. Luke 9:27-36
For sermons/commentaries based on the Gospel: https://goo.gl/xQGyBo
Kingdom of Heaven Revealed at Mount of Transfiguration by Dr. Sinu P. John: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uMu3QkEW5ZS8BHV8bQRDJNW_DYNF7nTO/view?usp=drivesdk
Hymns for Transfiguration: https://goo.gl/oxQSyE
Tone for the Feast of the Transfiguration: 6
Mor Dimet +408
7 August 2021
St. Abel the Stylite +500
In hagiography: Abel was the first stylite saint of the monastery of Qartmin and was a patron against eye disease and paralysis. According to hagiographic tradition, Philoxenus of Mabbug called upon him for a benediction.
St. Abrohom and St. Hobel the Stylite
Mor Abrohom of the High Mountain was the teacher of Mor Barsawmo.
Mor Hobil was a monk of Qartmin. He was a stylite and contemporary of Mor Philoxenus of Mabbug. He led a holy life of asceticism upon his pillar.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
In Midyat Turkey, the Monastery of St. Hobel & St. Abraham (Mor Hobil Mor Abrohom Manastırı ܡܪܝ ܗܒܝܠ ܘܡܪܝ ܐܒܪܗܡ) is a pilgrimage site and refuge for the faithful.
Oh Mor Abrohom and Mor Hobil! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
The Egyptians of Qartmin +648
In hagiography: the “Egyptians of Qartmin” were a group of 800 monks from Egypt who were buried at Qartmin. Their legend was connected to the crania in the monastery Qartmin. Eight hundred princes on pilgrimage from Egypt became monks of Qartmin.
First Sunday after the Festival of Transfiguration
8 August 2021
St. Mark 4:21-34
St. Matthew 13:44-52
Before Holy Qurbana:
1 Samuel 2:31-36
St. James 4:7-5:6
St. Matthew 21:28-32
St. Raboula of Edessa +435
August 8th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St Raboula of Edessa +435 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Raboula Urhoyo was born in a wealthy family of Kenneshrin/Qinnasrin village (Chalcis near Aleppo, Syria). His father was a pagan priest & mother was a Christian. He learned Greek & Syriac, got married in his youth & led a family life.
Once while listening to an evangelical talk in Mor Abraham Dayaro in Kenneshrin he felt a desire to listen to & study the word of God. Later he learned theology from Mor Eusebius of Smishath & Aakkak Episcopo of Aleppo. When he returned to Kennishrin he lived away from his family making his wife & children lead an ascetic life. He freed his slaves & shared his riches with the poor, later joining Mor Abraham Dayro.
St. Raboula was ordained a priest in AD 388 & in AD 411 after the death of Bishop Diogenes of Urhoy (Edessa), Raboula was ordained as the successor by the Patriarch of Antioch. He was a close friend of St. Cyril of Alexandria. Mor Raboula was vehemently opposed to Nestorianism. With fierce determination he combatted the growing rise of heresy in his diocese & elsewhere, even traveling to Constantinople to preach the true faith & denounce Nestorian ideology in front of Patriarch Theodosius (who was leaning towards Nestorianism).
His literary legacy comprises of rules for the ascetics, rules for the children of the covenant, rules about services in the Church, a few madraso, sugeetho & bovootho. He is a well known for abolishing the use of the Syriac Diatessaron (harmonized combination of the Gospels) ordering instead that the Syriac translations of the 4 canonical Gospels be made available in every church.
It was customary for Raboula to stay at Mor Abraham Dayaro every year fasting & meditating for spiritual rejuvenation. He took part in the Synod of Ephesus in AD 431. His reign as Bishop of Edessa lasted for 24 years.
Oh Mor Raboula Urhoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Talia was the child of Sabellius and Shapira, who had him at the age of 52. A revelation predicted that Talia, at age two, would kill impious kings. This news reached the ears of the governor, and they were all arrested. The child was tried and tortured multiple times, and his parents were stoned. He was cut in many pieces, but still found intact. He was finally killed after many ordeals, and his example converted people. He was a martyr at age two. A shrine at Romaniya was built to him.
Archdeacon Geevarghese of the Cross +1637
9 August 2021
Prophet Job the just
Fast of Assumption (sawmo d-yoldath aloho)
10 August 2021 - 14 August 2021
August 10th is the commencement of the Fast of the Mother of God (sawmo d-Yoldath Aloho) in preparation for the commemoration of her Assumption (Shunoyo) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In his article about the Holy Virgin Mary, the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory states, "Her Assumption in the flesh and soul was not instituted by the Syriac Church as doctrine. The Virgin’s Assumption is a confessional patristic tradition based on the Syriac narrative of Apostle St.Thomas." During the Assumption, St. Thomas was given the Girdle (Soonoro or belt) of the Virgin as testimony to the other Holy Apostles that she was translated to heaven. "Syriac tradition reports that St. Thomas took the girdle of the Virgin Mary with him to India where he was martyred at the hands of pagan priests. When Thomas’ relics were taken to Edessa in the fourth century the Holy girdle was brought with them. Finally the girdle reached the Church of the Virgin in Homs, which has been called the Church of the Virgin’s Girdle (Um al-Zennar Church) ever since."
In addition, the book ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagyte, the bishop of Athens (+95AD) relates that ”upon the dormition of St. Mary, all the Apostles gathered together so quickly coming from the Four Corners of Earth, where they were preaching the word. They arrived in Jerusalem, the residence city of blessed Mary, & then Jesus came with His angels. Jesus received her soul and handed it to Michael the Archangel. Jesus appeared once more & transferred her holy body to heaven on a cloud. Up there, her body was united to her soul to enjoy her everlasting joy.”
It should be noted that unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church firmly believes St. Mary had a natural death & the translation of her body occurred only afterwards.
Due to the sacredness of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church instituted that the faithful should go on a fast in preparation for the celebration of this Feast. The faithful would only have one meal a day to break the fast, consisting of only simple vegan foods. This fast traditionally began on the 1st of August every year & ended on the 15th with Holy Qurbono for the Feast of the Assumption (Hido d'shunoyo). Pursuant to the decision taken by the Council of Homs in 1946 it became five days starting on August 10.
Article about Shunoyo Fast by Very Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil Cor-Episcopo: https://goo.gl/y7LTeK
St. Archdeacon Laurence, and those with him, of Rome
10 August 2021
The Martyrs Archdeacon Laurence, Pope Sixtus, Deacons Felicissimus and Agapitus, the Soldier Romanus were citizens of Rome, and suffered in the year 258 under the emperor Valerian (253-259)
St. Poemen +450
11 August 2021
Sts. Eusebona and Appolonius
In hagiography: Eusebonia was a martyr with Apollonius
St. Azazael (Mor Izozoel)
12 August 2021
August 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.
Sts. Anicletus and Photius of Nicomedia, and those with them
St. Palladius of Antioch +390
13 August 2021
Also saints John and Abraham
14 August 2021
Sts. Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs +306
August 14th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Cosmas and St. Damian +306 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Qozma & Mor Dumyana were twin brothers. They were born in Arabia & they studied the sciences in Syria & became eminent in their skills in medicine. They treated patients without taking any fee, instead asking those who were healed to believe in Christ Jesus.
They were imprisoned by the order of Lysias, governor of Cilicia. The brothers were persecuted for their faith in Christ. It is recorded that while they were hanging on crosses, the mob stoned them, but the stones flew backwards & hit the tormentors; similarly, the arrows of archers who were brought up to shoot at them turned in the air & scattered the bowmen. After various torments, they were beheaded for the faith. Thus Mor Cosmas & Mor Damian attained the crown of martyrdom. Three others, Anthimus, Leontius & Euprepius are also said to have been martyred with them.
Many miracles of healing were ascribed to them after their death. St. Cosmas & St. Damian are the patron saints of doctors.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Qozma & Mor Dumyana! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Known as anargyroi (silverless) or unmercenaries RSoH
St. Theodotus of Amid +698
15 August 2021
In hagiography: Theodota (Theodute) was the Bishop of Amida. He was born in Ingilene and was a monk at Qenneshrin. He served the poor. He taught chant to the monks at Qartmin. He was known to travel with a bag full of relics to use in healing others.
The Assumption of St. Mary the mother of God (shunoyo d-yoldath Aloho Mariam )
August 15th is the Commemoration of the Assumption of St. Mary the mother of God (shunoyo d-yoldath Aloho Mariam) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In his article about the Holy Virgin Mary, the thrice blessed late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I of blessed memory states, "Her Assumption in the flesh & soul was not instituted by the Syriac Church as doctrine. The Virgin’s Assumption is a confessional patristic tradition based on the Syriac narrative of Apostle St.Thomas." In this narrative we read about the gathering of the Apostles in spirit in Jerusalem for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, & about the late arrival of Thomas, his encounter with the Virgin up in the sky on the way up to heaven, & his acquisition of her girdle, which he brought to the Apostles & his request to reopen her grave. Upon reopening, Apostles did not find her holy body. Thomas declared to them the truth of her ascension to heaven in her glorified flesh & that he witnessed her procession & received the girdle from her in testimony whereof. The Apostles believed him.
St. Jacob of Serugh (+521) said in his Memre in Syriac on the death of the Virgin Mary, “When the virgin was on her death bed, Angels, the righteous, prophets & fathers descended on her from high upon the order of God. The twelve Apostles and Evangelists came…they buried her in a rocky cave. Glory prevailed in heaven & on earth when the angels beheld her soul ascending and flying towards abodes of lights”.
In addition, the book ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagyte, the bishop of Athens (+95AD) relates that ”upon the dormition of St. Mary, all the Apostles gathered together so quickly coming from the Four Corners of Earth, where they were preaching the word. They arrived in Jerusalem, the Residence City of blessed Mary, & then Jesus came with His angels. Jesus received her soul and handed it to Michael the Archangel. Later Jesus appeared once more & transferred her holy body to heaven on a cloud. Up there, her body was united to her soul to enjoy her everlasting joy.”
During the Assumption, Mor Touma was given the Girdle (soonoro/belt) of the Virgin as testimony to the other Holy Apostles that she was translated to heaven. "Syriac tradition reports that St. Thomas took the girdle of the Virgin Mary with him to India where he was martyred at the hands of pagan priests. When Thomas’ relics were taken to Edessa in the fourth century, the Holy girdle was brought with them. Finally the girdle reached the Church of the Virgin in Homs, which has been called the Church of the Virgin’s Girdle (Um al-Zennar Church) ever since." The girdle was discovered in 1852 during the time of Archbishop Mor Julius Peter (The thrice blessed late HH Mor Ignatius Peter IV of blessed memory). The girdle was placed in the Altar. The thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum of blessed memory, rediscovered the girdle in 1953. It has been carbon tested by archeologists to determine its age; the authenticity is confirmed. Photographs of these events are also kept near to the Holy Girdle's place. The two stone plates, one with a hole inside where the Holy Girdle was kept, & the other one which was covering the first stone plate with an inscription about it, is also kept in a nearby place of the Madbaho.The shrine of the girdle in the church in Homs has become a source of blessing for the faithful.
May the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, the mother of God (Bthultho Yoldath Aloho Mariam) bless all the faithful who earnestly seek her prayers.
For more info on Shunoyo: https://goo.gl/Ygey3R
St. Luke 11:27-32
St. Luke 2:42-51
St. Matthew 12:46-50
Before Holy Qurbono:
St. Luke 10:38-42
St. John 19:25-27
Tone of the Day: 7
Syriac prayers for Shunoyo: https://goo.gl/LCmqWU
Malankara World Shunoyo special supplement with sermons & other articles: https://goo.gl/RF6PTj
Sermon by Dr. Babu Paul IAS: https://goo.gl/e8pT8N
Huthomo sung by HG Mor Osthatheos Isaac: https://youtu.be/14MNlTFvgjI
Holy Girdle (Soonoro)
Mor Ivanios Hidayatulla +1688
16 August 2021
Patriarch Kuriakose of Takrit +817
Quriaqos (Cyriacus) of Tagrit
St. Sobo (Mor Sobo Forsoyo)
St. Myron the Presbyter of Cyzicus
17 August 2021
The Holy Martyr Myron was a presbyter in Achaia (Greece), and lived during the third century. He suffered in the year 250 under the emperor Decius (249-251). The presbyter was gentle and kind to people, but he was also courageous in the defense of his spiritual children
St. Stratonike and her husband Seleucus +310
Stratonike, her husband Seleucus, and their companions were martyrs from Cyziqus on the Sea of Marmara. Martyred under Maximinus, Stratonike was honored in the Hymns on the Holy Women, among the "martyrs of the East and West."
Mor Philoxenos of Mabbug (Mor Akhsnoyo) martyrdom +523
18 August 2021
August 18th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Philoxenus of Mabbug +523 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Also known as Mor Akhsnoyo, Xenaya was born in Tahal, Persia. He studied in Edessa followed by Tel'ada Antioch, later joining the Qartmin Monastery (aka Dayro d-Mor Gabriel) & entering priesthood. St. Philoxenus was consecrated bishop of Mabbug (Hierapolis) by HH Patriarch Peter II (Peter the Fuller). This was during a time of great turbulence in Christianity, hardly 30 years had passed since the infamous Council of Chalcedon. Philoxenus was a vehement champion of the Orthodox Miaphysite theology.
In AD512 St. Severius the Great Patriarch of Antioch replaced the Chalcedonian Flavius II. Mor Philoxenus became his trusted spokesperson. He was a renowned scholar, among the most learned theologians. He wrote several letters on ascetic life, the perfect Christian life, the Holy Trinity & the incarnation, in addition to three texts of Holy Qurbono, & prayers for different hours. Mor Philoxenus also commissioned Cor-Episcopo Polycarp to produce what is known as the 'Philoxenian Bible' in Syriac which was used in the Miaphysite churches till about the 7th century when it was superceded by the Syriac Peshito (which already existed in the complete form since the 5th century).
Regarding the incarnation, Mor Philoxenus wrote espousing the Miaphysite theology: “The very personality of God the word descended from heaven & became man in the womb of the Virgin, personally without conversion. Thus, He became a man who could be seen, felt, handled, & yet as God He continued to possess the spiritual, invisible, & impalpable character essential to Deity. Neither the deity nor the humanity was absorbed one by the other, nor converted one into the other. Nor again by a combination of the two natures was a third evolved as by chemical transformation”
Sadly, following the death of the faithful Orthodox Emperor Anastasius, Justin I became ruler. He adhered to the Chalcedonian faith, & began a great wave of persecution on the Orthodox Miaphysites. Justin I exiled both St. Severius & St. Philoxenus. While in exile Mor Akhsnoyo was murdered by suffocation of smoke. Thus on December 10th 523AD, he attained the crown of martyrdom. Mor Philoxenus of Mabbug is commemorated every Sunday in the Thubden d-Qadishe (5th Thubden/Dypthic) of the Syriac Orthodox Church Holy Qurbono.
Oh Mor Akhsnoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Priesthood according to Mor Philoxenus of Mabbug by Abouna Fr. Roger Akhrass: https://goo.gl/Gjc5QT
Lust in the Belly: https://goo.gl/mzuU5r
Sts. Florus and Laurus of Illyria
Mor Laby the disciple
19 August 2021
Remembrance of all Prophets
St. Andrew Stratelates, and soldiers with him, in Cilicia
Around 500 martyrs
20 August 2021
St. Bassa of Edessa and her sons Theogonius, Agapius, and Pistus
21 August 2021
The Martyr Bassa with her sons Theognis, Agapius and Pistus, lived in the city of Macedonian Edessa and she was married to a pagan priest. From childhood she had been raised in the Christian Faith, which she passed on to her sons
St. Lucius +310
The Martyr Lucius, a senator, was beheaded by the sword on the island of Crete in the year 310 for confessing his faith in Christ.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Patriarchs of the Old Testament)
22 August 2021
First Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary
St. Luke 14:25-35
St. Luke 15:1-10
Before Holy Qurbana:
I Samuel 8:4-10
I John 2:22-29
St. Mark 10:35-45
St. Agathonicus of Nicomedia, and those with him, who suffered under Maximian
The Martyrs Agathonicus, Zoticus, Theoprepius, Acindynus, Severian, Zeno and others accepted death for Christ during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305)
Metropolitan Consecration of H.G. Mor Anthonios Yac'ub
23 August 2021
H.G. Mor Anthonios Yac'ub, Metropolitan of Honnavar Mission was consecrated on August 23rd 2009 by the thrice blessed late Patriarch H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory.
Paul of Edessa
Paul of Edessa was a bishop from the Italian peninsula who left his see and travelled to Edessa where, in disguise, he was hired into service as a household servant by John of Edessa, a priest. The two lived a life of prayer and spiritual companionship. They travelled to Sinai. Back in Edessa, they interacted with Matthew the eunuch, a woman hiding in a monastery. They travelled to Jerusalem. Paul performed miracles and fled to Nisibis. John found him there, and Paul told him to return to Edessa. Paul died, and John died 8 months later. The story was set in the time of the Bishop Rabbula.
St. Eustathius of Antioch +337
August 23rd is the commemoration of the dhukrono of St. Eustathius of Antioch according to the liturgical calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Sometimes surnamed the Great, St. Eustathius of Antioch was a bishop & Patriarch of Antioch in the 324-337. At the Council of Nicæa (325), since he was presiding the council, he distinguished himself zealously against the Arians & was one of the most prominent opponents of Arianism, & from 325-330 he was engaged in an almost continuous literary warfare against the Arians.
But the mad Arius, as St. Eustathius called him, refused to renounce his errors. He & those who shared his opinion were excommunicated from the Church by the Council. Among the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed were some who sympathized with the heresy of Arius, but signed the Acts of the Council through fear of excommunication.
After the Council, his enemies plotted against St. Eustathius. With great cunning they gained his consent to convene a local Council at Antioch. Having bribed a certain profligate woman, they persuaded her to appear at the Council with an infant at her breast, & falsely declare that St. Eustathius was the father of the infant. The Arians declared St. Eustathius deposed with the help of King Constantius (who shared the heretical views of the Arians).
Even in exile, Saint Eustathius struggled for Orthodoxy with the same zeal. He died in exile in the year 337AD.
For full biography visit: http://www.soc-wus.org/ourchurch/St.%20Eustathius,%20Patriarch%20of%20Antioch.htm
St. Isaac the Syrian
St. Meletius of Antioch +381
Elisha of Tanhir
24 August 2021
Metropolitan Consecration of H.G. Mor Irenious Paulose
H.G. Mor Irenious Paulose, Metropolitan of Kozhikode Diocese and Patriarchal Vicar of Muscat, was consecrated on August 24th 2008 by Late H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.
St. Mathias the Apostle +64AD
August 24th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Mathias the Apostle +64AD according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Mathias was born to the tribe of Ruben in Bethlehem. While he is not mentioned directly, it's evident from the words of St. Peter that he was with the Holy Apostles throughout the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:21-22). St. Mathias was chosen as the replacement of Judas Iscariot who had betrayed Christ. When the Apostles & other believers gathered in the upper room of St. Mark's home (now Dayro d-Mor Marqos), St. Peter the chief of the Apostles called upon them, telling them that to fulfill the scriptures, a replacement should be sought. Among the two candidates, the lot was cast upon Mathias who was chosen to be numbered among the remaining Apostles of our Lord. (Acts 1:15-22)
He preached the Gospel in Palestine, Abbyssinia, Cappadocia, Armenia & Georgia. Many miracles were performed by him, & even in the midst of ongoing persecution he was protected by the Lord.
Mor Mathias was stoned to death by the leaders of the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Thus he attained the crown of martyrdom.
Oh Mor Mathias Sleeho! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
25 August 2021
Bishop and disciple
On MASOCNA calendar
St. Ananias the hermit
26 August 2021
August 26th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Ananias the Hermit +816 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Hananyo was the Metropolitan of Kfartuta. He was originally from the Dayro d-Mor Mattai Nineveh, he was appointed by the thrice blessed late HH Patriarch Quryaqos of Takrit, of blessed memory . He was instrumental in renovating the buildings of what is known as the Saffron Monastery (Kurkmo Dayro) after a period of decline due to damage inflicted by the Persians. The Monastery eventually became dedicated in his honour as Dayro d-Mor Hananyo. St. Ananias lived a pious life, always full of joy & displaying great affection to the faithful, ever thankful to God. After completing the work of the Monastery, Mor Hananyo finally entered the abode of the saints in 816AD.
The Monastery of Mor Hananyo, also known as Kurkmo Dayro (in Syriac) or Deir ez-Za`faran (in Arabic) meaning the "Saffron Monastery," is situated some five kilometers east of Mardin (in South eastern Turkey), in a shallow basin half-way up the side of the mountain ridge. This is one of the most famous & ancient structures of Upper Mesopotamia, & a prominent religious center of the Süryani Kadim (Syriac Orthodox Community). The origin of this imposing monastery goes back to the 5th century; mosaics remaining from that period are still present. It was originally built by Mor Sleymun (Solomon) in 493AD, but it suffered major damage at the hands of Persians prior to the repair work ordered by Mor Hananyo. From 1160 until 1932 it was the official seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East. Many scholars of the Church came from Saffron Monastery.
Oh Mor Hananyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
To know more about Dayro d-Mor Hananyo: https://goo.gl/TEwZaz
Official website of Saffron Monastery: https://goo.gl/rMCMZp
St. Diomedes the Physician of Tarsus, in Cilicia
Sts. Adrian and Natalia and 33 companions, of Nicomedia
The Martyrs Adrian and Natalia were married in their youth for one year prior to their martyrdom, and lived in Nicomedia during the time of the emperor Maximian (305-311).
27 August 2021
August 27th is the Commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Osio +377 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Osio was born to God fearing Christian parents who were childless for many years. They prayed unceasingly to have a child, & God blessed them with Osio. An angel appeared to a monk named Mark, telling him to baptize the child with the name Osio (Syriac for doctor), for God will work many wonders through the child.
His parents wanted him to marry the governor's daughter, but Osio refused. He left to Jerusalem, desiring to give up worldly comforts, choosing to follow the divine path instead. Eventually, Osio was ordained as a priest. He then journeyed to Mount Sinai where he stayed for sometime, finally reaching the Kafra desert. It was here that he met Mor Dimet, becoming his disciple. Mor Osio stayed with Mor Dimet for 14 years until the latter's demise.
Osio was well known for his prayerful life, strict asceticism & most importantly his fasting. He evangelized many & carried out great charity work. Thousands of individuals followed Christ after hearing his preaching. Osio traveled to Homs, Antioch & Nicodemia, healing the sick & protecting the villagers from wild animals. After returning to Antioch from Nicodemia, Osio realized his end was near. He called his students to his deathbed & said, “Children, I am going. As long as you live on this earth, do not deviate from the path I have taught you. Be careful not to fall into faulty ways. Continue worshipping God. Always tread the path of virtue & purity. This world and everything in it are mere shadows.” Mor Osio left for the heavenly abode in AD377. His dukhrono is a major feast for the Syriac Orthodox faithful of Aleppo on October 15th.
Oh Mor Osio Hakeemo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen
Zacchaeus the tax collector
Became bishop of Caesarea
St. Moses the Abbyssinian +405
28 August 2021
August 28th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Moses the Abbyssinian +405 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Mushe Kushoyo (Musa al-Habashi) or as he is known in the Coptic Church, abba Moses the Strong, was an ethnic Ethiopian who lived in Egypt. He was physically a towering figure. Once a slave of an Egyptian official, after committing murder he was thrown out. Moses later joined a band of robbers, becoming their leader due to his sheer physicality & frightening demeanor. He is known to have taken revenge on individuals for minor things such as disturbing his sleep, going as far as swimming across the Nile River to slaughter the herd of someone's who's dog spoiled one of their robbery plans.
He lived a dreadfully sinful life. On the run from authorities, he took shelter amongst monks in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, where he was was so influenced by them that he sought to relinquish his evil past. By the great mercy of God, Moses repented & decided to live a solitary life of prayer & strict fasting. However, he still wrestled with his passions on a daily basis. He sought the advice of the elderly monk abba Isidore, who told him to fast regularly & to remain hungry so as to never give in to any form of profligacy. For six years St. Moses kept to himself in a solitary cell, every night after praying going to fill the water jugs of the sleeping monks around him, then returning to prayer, so as to keep his mind occupied from evil thoughts.
Once a band of thieves attacked him in his cell, he tied them up & carried them on his shoulders to the Church saying it was unchristian to harm them, they repented & joined a monastery. The bishop wanted to test Moses, so after ordaining him a deacon he declared, "look now abba Moses is fully white!" later recanting & abusing Moses as an unworthy Ethiopian not fit for the Altar. Moses replied, "only outwardly am I white with these vestments, God knows I'm still dark within" & he left the Altar without succumbing to anger. Upon seeing this humility & piousness the bishop ordained him a priest.
When he was 75, Moses learnt that the Monastery would be attacked by Berbers, & he told his fellow monks to leave, they asked him to escape as well but he replied, “For many years now, I have awaited the time when the words of my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, should be fulfilled: ‘All who take up the sword, shall perish by the sword." The bandits came & killed all the remaining monks. Thus, St. Moses the Abbyssinian attained the crown of martyrdom. He was entombed in the Paromeos (Baramos) Monastery. There is a Syriac monastery called Dayro d-Mor Mushe Kushoyo dedicated in his honour in Syria, it is now administered by the Syrian Catholics.
Oh Mor Mushe Kushoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Beheading of St. John the Baptist
29 August 2021
August 29th is the commemoration of the beheading of St. John the Baptist according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Yuhannon Mam'dono, son of Zacharias the priest, known as the forerunner of Christ was martyred by the order of King Herod. When St. John rebuked Herod because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip whom he had taken as a wife, he said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (Mark:6:18) Herod seized the Saint & cast him into prison; however, he feared John. An opportune day came when Herod, on his birthday, gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers & the chief men of Galilee. Herodias' daughter herself came in & danced, pleasing Herod. He promised her anything she might ask for, even as much as half of his kingdom. She went to her mother saying, "What shall I ask?" Her mother replied, "Ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter." When Herod heard this, he was exceedingly sorry. But because of his promise & those who were sitting with him, he did not want to refuse her request. He therefore commanded his servants to cut off the head of Mor Yuhannon & they gave it to the damsel who gave it to her mother. (Mark 6:20-28)
Mor Yuhannon's mortal remains are entombed in Sebaste. Syrian tradition states the head of St. John the Baptist is in the Basilica of Saint John the Baptist in Damascus Syria. After the rise of the Umayyad Dynasty, this church was converted into a mosque. However, the shrine housing his remains was kept intact. Today, Umayyad Mosque or Great Mosque of Damascus (Ğām' Banī 'Umayya al-Kabīr) continues to be a pilgrim site for both Christians and also Muslims (to whom he is known as prophet Yaha).
Oh Mor Yuhannon Mam'dono! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
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
Second Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary
St. Luke 17:22-24
St. Luke 18:1-8
St. Luke 18:9-17
Before Holy Qurbana:
II Peter 3:8-14
I Thessalonians 5:1-6
St. Luke 11:9-20
St. John the Arab
In hagiography: John the Arab was a monk who originally was from a rich family in Ḥirta. He studied at Nisibis, went to Mount Sinjar, and became a shepherd. He found a place on Mount Izla, and he performed many miracles. Many fought over his relics after his death, and a monastery was built over his remains near the monastery of Mar Awgin.
August 29th is the dukhrono of St. John the Arab (Mor Yuhannon Tayoyo) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Yuhannon Tayoyo was a 5th century monk and the third abbott of Dayro d-Mor Augin.
In his hagiography, there is a miracle in regards to transformation of water into wine. Once John was sent to the village by his abbot St. Andreas to buy wine for the Holy Qurbono. On arriving there, he gave away the money meant for the purchase of wine to a poor man begging at the village gate. As he had no money to buy the wine, Mor Yuhannon filled the barrels with water and returned, worried at what the abbot would say. He reported the matter to the abbot. On inspection, they found to their surprise that the water had miraculously turned into wine.
This miracle of St. John the Arab is commemorated in one of the Huthomo of the Syriac Orthodox Liturgy:
"Saint John who trans-formed water into superb wine, Ahudemeh - who restrained death - by his incense, Those cave dwellers - Matthew, Zachai - and Companions Abraham and – Daniel are – praying for us."
- General Huthomo I, (Tune of Mor Yac'ub) English text from JSC Publications English Huthomo book (Courtesy Qleedo+ app)
St. Pelagia the Harlot of Antioch
Pelagia was a circus dancer and prostitute in Antioch, but she converted to Christianity and became a 'transvestite monk', "Pelagion," living in Jerusalem.
Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus
30 August 2021
31 August 2021
August 31st is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Gabriel +667 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Gabriel was born in Beth Qustan, where he attended a local school & learned how to read & write in a relatively short time. Even in his youth, Gabriel read holy books to obtain spiritual strength & wisdom. His parents wanted him to get married & build a family but he chose to live an ascetic life with God. When he was 15 years of age, he left his parents' house while they were sleeping & went to the Monastery of the well-known ascetic Gewargis. Gewargis allowed him stay in the cloister & later the same year, Gabriel was inaugurated as a monk. He was known to sleep just two hours a day & spent the remainder of the time praying to God & reading books. He was very humble & he always walked barefoot & tortured himself, sometimes until he started to bleed. After seven years of staying at Gewargis' cloister, he decided to leave the area because of the constant pressure he received from his parents. With permission from the abbot, Gabriel fled at night to Qartmin Monastery.
After some years, at the age of 39, Mor Gabriel was elected abbot of the Monastery. During his life, Gabriel is alleged to have performed many miracles. He is known to have resurrected 3 people. In 634, he was ordained as bishop of Tur Abdin. When St. Gabriel passed, thousands of people gathered on that day with ten bishops and hundreds of monks, nuns, and priests.
The Qartmin Monastery was later renamed in his honour. Dayro d'Mor Gabriel - Turabdin (Deyrulumur) is the oldest functioning Monastery in the entire world. Sadly it has been embroiled in a dispute between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Turkish government which has usurped it along with 50+ other church institutions.
Oh Mor Gabriel! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Syriac prayers in honour of Mor Gabriel: https://goo.gl/qEcy2m
Life of Mor Gabriel: http://bit.ly/MorGabriel
Dayro d-Mor Gabriel renamed in his honour
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