1st day of 8 day Fast
1 September 2021
St. Luke 8:16-21
St. Mark 3:31-35
Before Holy Qurbana:
Zechariah 2:10-13, 4:1-7, 8:3
I John 3:2-17
St. Luke 1:26-38
See more details
Catholicos H.B. Mor Baselius Paulose II, Malekurishu (+1996).
On September 1st the Syriac Orthodox Church commemorates the anniversary of the demise of His Beatitude Mor Baselius Paulose II +1996. HB was the Catholicos of the East & head of the Holy Synod in India, reigning from 1975 to 1996.
Paulose was born in Cherai, Kochi Kerala to Rev. Fr. Joseph Puthusseril & Elizabeth. He completed his secular education at CMS College Kottayam & UC College Aluva. He studied Syriac under his father who was a Malpan. He was ordained deacon by Mor Yulios Elias the Patriarchal Delegate to Malankara, followed by Priesthood 5 years later. He then became the personal secretary to Mor Yulios, & served as teacher at Dayro d-Mor Ignatius Manjinikkara.
Then Malankara Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Paulose, was in charge of the Kandanad diocese. As he was advancing in age, the faithful of Kandanad diocese chose Rev. Fr. PJ Paulose as designate. He accompanied Mor Yulios to Homs Syria, where he was consecrated bishop with the title Philexinos by the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum of blessed memory on October 19 1952. He took charge of Kandanad Diocese in January, his temporary headquarters was Malekurishu Dayro founded by former Patriarchal Delegate St. Osthatheos Sleebo (gifted to the Holy Throne of Antioch by Kuriako Valayal). After the demise of Mor Dionysius Mikhayel +1956, the dioceses of Kottayam & Kollam were also the responsibility of Mor Philoxenus. The same year, the schismatic faction which had rebelled against the Holy See returned & there was a period of unity. Mor Philoxenus was assistant Metropolitan of Kandanad while Mor Timotheos Augin the senior. Mor Philoxenus did his level best to impart the true Orthodox faith & loyalty to the Holy Throne of Antioch among the faithful. He served as head of the Sunday School Association.
Sadly, the period of peace broke down once again due to the underhanded & sinful nature of those who sought only power. The Church in Malankara was again split in two. Subsequently, Mor Philoxenus was consecrated as Catholicos Mor Baselius Paulose II by the thrice blessed late HH Mor Ignatius Yac'ub III of blessed memory in Damascus on September 7th 1975. He was a great shepherd for the Syriac Orthodox faithful in Malankara, strengthening his spiritual children as the Church faced insurmountable obstacles, litigation & persecution. His unflinching loyalty to the Holy Throne of Antioch was an example for young & old alike. The faithful looked to him as a beacon of hope as the Church waded through times of great turbulence.
On June 25th 1980, HH Mor Ignatius Yac'ub III reposed in the Lord. HB Mor Baselius Paulose II chaired the Holy Synod for the election of Mor Severius Zakka as the next Patriarch. He officiated the consecration ceremony of Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas on September 14th 1980. This was a historic moment because this was the first time that a Catholicos-Maphrian of Malankara (India) officiated the Patriarchal Enthronement ceremony! In addition, Mor Clemis Abraham Valiyametropolitan of the Knanaya Archdiocese also took part in the monumental event.
After serving the Malankara Church as Metropolitan for almost 44 years & as the Catholicose of the East for 21 years HB Mor Baselius Paulose II Bava passed away on September 1st 1996. His funeral ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of faithful. His mortal remains were entombed in the Malekurishu Dayro according to his last wishes.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Malayalam audio Biography by Basil C Alias: https://goo.gl/qdBs9b
For full biography: https://goo.gl/fXLrR8
In hagiography: Hormizd was a martyr of Beth Garmai under Yazdegerd. He had nine friends, and all were converts from Zoroastrianism or had Zoroastrian wives. They were tortured to death.
St. Malke +315
September 1st is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Malke +315 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Malke was born to Yuhannon & Rafka in Qulezmo (Egypt), a wealthy family who had only a daughter & waited years for a son. From a young age, Malke was taught the true faith & he grew in wisdom. A very religious child, at the age of 11 he desired to be a monk much to the dismay of his parents who wanted him to get married in the future. Malke left his grieving family & traveled to Tur Izlo (Mount Izlo) where he stayed at the Monastery of his maternal uncle Mor Augin. He became the disciple of Mor Augin & was later ordained priest by Mor Yac'ub of Nisbis. He went to Jerusalem, then Egypt, then returned to the Dayro d-Mor Augin. Malke later left to live in solitude, he reached the village of Arkah. There a child had fallen in to a pit leaving the townsfolk in despair. He prayed at the site, suddenly the child came out of the pit unharmed, but with him was a demon. However, seeing the power of Mor Malke, the demon fled.
St. Malke built a monastery on the location where God exiled the devil. Then he heard a voice from the heaven saying, “Malke, servant of God, force out Astrasis & his demons. Put down the sign of the Cross & it will protect you from evil.” The Holy One went down to the place where the devil abode & cast them out as the Lord commanded. The demons left complaining bitterly. St. Malke measured the place for an altar & carved a sign of the Cross on the stone. The villagers of Arkah came in great numbers to help build the Monastery.
The devil had a crafty nature. He went to Constantinople & took possession of Asanasis the daughter of King Constantine. The King was greatly sorrowful. He sent for St. Malke to come & heal his daughter because she said he was the only one who could heal her. The girl was brought before the saint & fell convulsing on the ground. She turned black & writhed in agony biting her arms. St. Malke lifted his hands in prayer & asked for God for help. He told her to rise. When she stood up it was as if she had been sleeping a long time. The devil poured out of her in the form of a black smoke. St. Malke told him to go to the dung pile & sit on it. St. Malke then remained in the court of the King & healed many people. The King offered him half the Kingdom if he would stay. But St. Malke refused & instead asked for a well & the stone collar that fit over the top of it. The king watched in stunned disbelief as St. Malke called out from hiding the devil, Astrasis, & commanded him to put on the stone collar around his neck & the well on top of his head like a hat. They went off together with the saint pushing the devil in front of him like a donkey. When they arrived at the monastery the saint told the devil to put down the well & he drove him away like a filthy dog.The community then finished the building of the monastery. Many monks came & lived there.
St. Malke was full of love & mercy for all human beings. For the remainder of his life he fought against evil. When death approached he gave a final benediction, “My beloved, always be merciful, dedicate yourselves to fasting & prayer. Let truth, love, & peace be your merits for all of your lives. Fight against evil with good." St. Malke left for the Heavenly abode at the age of 93. He was entombed in the Beth Qadishe of Dayro d-Mor Malke, Tur Izlo Turkey.
Oh Mor Malke! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Syriac prayers in honour of Mor Malke: https://goo.gl/erWBx6
St. Mary the Mother of God
St. Qawmo of Toralidon
On MASOCNA Calendar
6th century monk
The 8 Day Fast of the Virgin Mary (sawmo d-Yoldath Aloho Mariam tmanyo yaumin/Ettunombu)
On September 1st the Syriac Orthodox faithful will commence the 8 Day Fast (sawmo d-Yoldath Aloho Mariam tmanyo yaumin/Ettunombu) in preparation for the commemoration of the nativity of St. Mary the mother of God (Mawlodhe d'Yoldath Aloho Mariam).
The Fast of the Virgin Mary begins on the 1st of September & lasts for 8 days concluding with the Feast of the Virgin’s nativity. It is not one of the Obligatory Fasts as a proscribed in the Canons of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, this optional fast in connection with St. Mary's birth is observed in piety & devotion. Though not an Obligatory Fast, it has a historical precedent originating in the 6th century Basra Iraq as narrated in the history by Mor Gregorios Yuhannon bar'Ebroyo.
In Malankara this fast also gained prominence during the persecution of native Christians of Kodangalur by Islamic invaders. The Syriac Orthodox Christians of Malankara vowed to observe a fast so that God might protect their women from the hands of invaders. During this time, women used to remain in the church in prayer & meditation till the afternoon.
Regardless of its canonicity, the Church promotes optional fasts & lent according to personal choices for the betterment of the faithful. However, one must never neglect the Obligatory Fasts instituted by the Holy Church Fathers in the Canons
One of the most famous churches where this fast is celebrated with great solemnity is at Manarcad St. Mary's Cathedral
Oh Virgin St. Mary the mother of God, pray for us sinners. 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.
History of the 8 Day Fast written by late HE Mor Chrisostomos Mosa Salama (former Bishop of Brazil diocese) translated into Malayalam: https://goo.gl/h4REGZ
2nd Day of 8 day Fast
2 September 2021
St. John 1:1-17
St. Luke 2:15-20
Before Holy Qurbono:
II Kings 4:8-17
Great Wisdom 8:19-9:3
I Samuel 1:19-23
I John 1:1-2:6
Galatians 3:23-26, 29:4-7
Deacons Habib, Gurias, Samona
September 2nd is the commemoration of the dukhrono of Sts. Habib, Gurias & Samona according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Habib of Urhoy served as deacon in the village of Telzeha, Phoenicia. Under the persecution of Emperor Licinius, Deacon Habib went secretly into the churches of Telzeha, where he ministered, read the Scriptures, encouraged & strengthened many by his faith, admonishing the faithful to stand fast in the truth of their faith, not fearing their persecutors. As a result, Habib had to face brutal torture & persecution. But he was relentless in his faith. Finally, the soldiers tied him to a stake & burnt him alive. Thus Mor Habib attained the crown of martyrdom. His mother & other relatives took down his body but were astonished that it was unharmed.
Mor Jacob of Sarug has described the burning of Habib in his homily. “Habib the martyr adorned by flames called me from his pyre. I do not know if I can number him with Hanania. Who is more glorious Assariya or Habib? Habib fought against the sword & fire. His love was warmer than that of fire. Hence, he was not scared. Habib taught us to embrace death not fearing fire or sword"
Mor Gurias, the ascetic & his friend Mor Samona were two victims of the cruel persecutions during the reigns of Emperor Diocletian(A.D. 284 – 305) & Emperor Maximian (A.D. 305 – 311). These two saints were put through endless torments & were finally beheaded because of their faith in Christ (A.D. 299 – 306). Deacon Habib was the next saint to be martyred after them. They were all eventually entombed together.
Biography adapted from, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Habib, Mor Gurias & Mor Samona! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Biography of Mor Gurias & Samona in Malayalam by Fr. Greger R. Kollanoor: https://goo.gl/3CNmmn
To know more about the martyrs & read the homilies by Mor Yac'ub of Serugh: https://goo.gl/7MZHX9
Mor Koorilos Yuyakim, Reesh Episcopa of Malankara, Mulanthuruthy (+1874)
September 2nd is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Coorilos Yuyakim +1874 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Coorilos was the Reesh Episcopo of Malankara.
Mor Coorilos Yuyakim, was sent as a Delegate of the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch to Malankara. He helped the Syriac Orthodox faithful in Malankara in their struggle against the protestant reformers.
Born in 1818 to Malke bar Israel who belonged to the 'Amir-d-gadhani' family in Tur Abdin, he was one among 8 children (he had 5 brothers & two sisters). He was enthusiastic about Syriac spirituality even at a young age & studied Syriac along with Orthodox theology under the tutelage of Mor Severios. At the age of 21 he was ordained as a deacon & soon afterwards tonsured as a monk. He was appointed personal secretary of the Patriarch, serving for a number of years. On February 18th 1845 the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Elias II of blessed memory consecrated Raban Yuyakim as Metropolitan with the title Coorilos at the Monastery of Mor Hananyo (Kurkmo Dayro/Deir ez-Za`faran).
The Malankara Church was facing a tumultuous challenge at the time. Anglican missionaries spearheaded by bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta, with the support of the British colonial power, were attempting to spread the protestant faith in the Malankara Church. They managed to gain the support of a number of local priests, namely Abraham Malpan Palakunnathu from Maramon who systematically began altering the liturgy & practices of the Holy Church to fit in line with the Anglican beliefs. To put an end to this, Mor Dionysius IV (Cheppad Philipose) convened the Synod of Mavelikara at St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church in 1836. At this Synod it was affirmed that the Malankara Church was part of & under the authority of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate, & that no alteration in the faith, traditions or liturgy of the Malankara Church could be made without the sanction of the Supreme Pontiff the Patriarch of Antioch. These decisions are recorded in what is known as the Mavelikara Padiyola of 1836. However, the crisis in the Malankara continued & the Church leaders sent word to the Patriarchate requesting further assistance. The Patriarch was initially hesitant to send a prelate, preferring to ordain a native bishop for Malankara. The Patriarch also considered the difficulties faced by earlier missions & he conveyed this to the Malankara church. While the Patriarch was awaiting the reply from Malankara, one deacon Mathew the son of Mathachan Palakunnathu & nephew of Abraham Malpan reached Mardin where the Patriarch was residing, & under the guise of carrying a request from the Malankara, he faithful was consecrated by the Patriarch as Metropolitan with the title Athanasius on February 2nd 1842. When he returned to Malankara Mor Athanasius Mathew was not initially attempting to spread the protestant practices but extolled the faithful to remain steadfastly to Syriac Orthodoxy. The declaration of faith adopted at the Association meeting of the Malankara Church held at Kallumkathra under his leadership attests to this fact, which is recorded in the Kallumakathra Padiyola of 1843. However, soon afterwards he was swayed by his relative Abraham Malpan along with the British powers to wreak havoc by vigorously spreading the protestant agenda.
As the situation of the Malankara Church was in dire straits, Mor Dionysius sent word to the Patriarchate, Patriarch Ignatius Elias II sent his former secretary Mor Coorilos Yuyakim to Malankara, who arrived along with his brother Israel on 2nd Chingam 1846 in Cochin. After a thorough investigation of accusations against bishop Athanasius Mathew, Mor Coorilos published the excommunication letter given by the Patriarch of Antioch, & submitted it to the authorities. The older Mor Dionysius, seeing the more youthful & vibrant Mor Coorilos was the need of the hour in Malankara, requested that he manage the affairs of the Malankara Church especially at this troublesome time. Thus, Mor Coorilos Yuyakim became the Reesh Episcopo of Malankara.
An angered Athanasius, with the support of Anglicans, convinced the Raja of Travancore that he was the legal Metropolitan. He would later become founder of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church in Anglican communion. Additionally, Athanasius convinced the British Resident to publish an ordinance prohibiting foreign bishops from entering Travancore & Cochin. Mor Coorilos was deported & was forced to stay in Fort Cochin at Mattancherry. During his exile in Mattancherry, Mor Coorilos built St. George Syriac Orthodox Church "to be used by the Delegates of the Holy See". Learning of the terrible situation, Patriarch Ignatius Yac'ub II of blessed memory sent Mor Athanasius Stephanos to Malankara. However he was not able to stop the Protestants who enjoyed the support of British colonial power, & he was forced to leave Kerala. Mor Athanasius Stephanos then went to London via Calcutta on 1st September 1852 & filed a petition in the Court of Directors of the British East India Company. The prohibition order on Syriac Metropolitans was cancelled in 1857 & as the travel ban on foreign metropolitans was lifted, Mor Coorilos Yuyakim could travel freely in Malankara.
The lifting of the prohibition was a major turning point at that period. The reinvigorated Mor Coorilos could now directly interact with the spiritual children in Malankara, he went to various regions strengthening the faith of the believers, uplifting their spirits & helped build many churches. Mor Coorilos mastered Malayalam & published a number of the Malayalam translations of the Syriac Liturgy. He was a highly educated person in theology & Biblical studies, along with being an excellent orator as well as a master in Syriac music & calligraphy. He left for us many letters & poems in Syriac.
Though further setbacks arose, the difficulties did not hinder Mor Coorilos from defending the true Orthodox Faith & the Syriac traditions. He also gained a friend & companion in Mor Dionysius V (Pulikkottil Joseph II), together they would strengthen the Malankara Church against the onslaught of colonial powers espousing the protestant heresies. Mor Coorilos Yuyakim was also blessed to have disciples in St. Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil & St. Coorilos Paulose Kochuparambil who both emulated the prayerful spiritual life of Mor Coorilos.
In addition to his efforts to strengthen the Malankara Church, Mor Coorilos was beloved for his piety & saintly nature. As a practitioner of traditional medicine, many flocked to him for curing of illnesses. He never neglected to do works of charity & to instill a love of God in everyone whom he encountered. Mor Coorilos spent his final days at Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Syrian Church (known as the second Jerusalem). On September 2nd 1874, Mor Coorilos Yuyakim departed for the heavenly abode after serving the Syriac Orthodox Church in Malankara for 28 years. His mortal remains were interred at the northern side of Mulanthuruthy Church. Countless faithful continued to flock to his tomb & seek his intercession for healing from illnesses. On October 10th 2008 vis Patriarchal Apostolic Bull E214/08, the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory declared Mor Coorilos Yuyakim as a saint, permitting the prayers at his tomb (Zadhiko). In 2017, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East HH Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II vis Patriarchal Apostolic Bull No. E I23/17; permitted the recitation of the name of St. Coorilos Yuyakim in the 5th Thubden (Thubden d-Qadishe) at all Malankara parishes across the world. Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II belongs to the family of Mor Coorilos Yuyakim in Tur Abdin.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church' and Syriac Christianity website
Oh Mor Coorilos Yuyakim! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
For full biography visit: https://goo.gl/s3LNYH
Mor Shem`un the Stylite (c. 390-459)
September 2nd 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.
Biography adapted from, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
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.
Sts. Theodotus and Rufina of Caesarea, in Cappadocia
The holy martyrs Theodotus and Rufina were the parents of Saint Mamas. They came from patrician families, and were honored by all for their Christian piety. Alexander, the magistrate of the city of Gangra, summoned them because they refused to obey the imperial decree requiring all citizens to worship the pagan gods. Those who disobeyed would be tortured and put to death.
3rd Day of 8 day Fast
3 September 2021
St. Luke 2: 22- 35
St. Luke 2:22-35
Before Holy Qurbana:
Leviticus 12:1-8, 22:17-23
II Samuel 5:1-6, 17-21
Ephesians 3: 13-21
St. Luke 2: 36-40
Prophet Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac
In hagiography: Ithalaha was the bishop from Edessa who attended the Council of Nicaea. There are literary fragments attributed to him that survive in Armenian. He built the church of Cyrus and Saʿad.
St. Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia and those with him
The martyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him suffered during the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). The persecution became particularly intense after a fire at the imperial court at Nicomedia. The pagans accused the Christians of setting the fire and reacted against them with terrible ferocity.
4th Day of 8 day Fast
4 September 2021
St. John 2: 1- 11
St. Luke 16:1-18
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Kings 18:29-46
St. John 2:1-11
St. Babylas 13th Patriarch of Antioch +253
Saint Babylas (+253). A patriarch of Antioch (237 - 251), During the Decian persecution (249-251) he made an unwavering confession of faith and was thrown into prison where he died from his sufferings. He was, therefore, venerated as a martyr, (according to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, VI, 39). He asked to be buried with his chains.
St. John Chrysostom Homily on St. Babylas: http://bit.ly/ChrysostomBabylas
St. Severus of Antioch veneration of St. Babylas https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZfoSYDxv1hV5vTQvU504bO_qmEwmj_EJ/view?usp=drivesdk
Hymns on St. Severus for the feast of St. Babylas of Antioch:
“Because the Lord hath done a wonder”
Let no man be surprised at seeing that Babylas the old and advanced in days, a man bowed down from length of time went down boldly to the arena and to the conflict of martyrdom and the boys of immature age and their mother. But let him praise Christ, the Word of God, who after the similitude of boys shared in blood and flesh and became man without change and so far helped and strengthened our feeble race. That even persons of tender age receive crowns of victory in the conflict against the devil who aforetime proudly boasted and said “I will go up to heaven, and above the stars of heaven will I set the seat of my kingdom: and I will be like unto the Most High.” Let us all in thanksgiving send up praise to Him by means of His Cross dissolved his power; and let us cry to Him, “Lord of all, praise to Thee!”
“Because of thy Grace, O God”
The great and divine Apostle Paul said that he prayed and entreated in a chain on behalf of the Gospel, and Babylas the martyr, imitating him, asked for the chain in which he was martyred to be buried with him, as a general the armour in which he did deeds of progress. Accordingly, even his dust is very formidable to the demons, and Apollo the idol, which was set at Daphne, was struck dumb and ceased to utter its lying folly, because of the neighbourhood of the dead man who was alive through the performance of the signs which he wrought. And to Julian the tyrant, who had gone mad and ordered demon worship; it was unable to give a deceitful revelation. And after the precious bones of the martyr had been removed and taken away, the spirit that speaks from the earth, the full of began to utter folly. And so through both facts, by its silence, I mean, and also by its foolish speaking, it proclaims and declares the victory of that combatant by whose prayers, Christ-God have mercy upon us.
St. Dioscorus of Alexandria +454
September 4th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Dioscorus +454 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Dioscorus I was the 25th Pope of Alexandria & presided over the second Holy Ecumenical Synod convened at St. Mary’s church in Ephesus on 8 August AD 449. It was attended by 150 bishops.The heresy that Jesus born of Mary possessed two natures even after the miraculous union, was condemned by this synod. This synod decided not to move away from the decision reached by all other universal synods prior to it. St. Dioscorus faced many tribulations as he refused to divert from the teachings of ancient Church fathers about Christology.
There was a schism following the decision of the AD449 synod, among the members of monasteries, prelates & administrators about the dual nature of Christ. As this dispute reached its height, the faithful Orthodox Emperor Theodosius died on 28 July AD450 without leaving an heir. His sister Pulcheria was a nun. The prelates of the Nestorian congregation who desired the support of the rulers allowed her to marry. She married Marcian & ascended the throne as the queen. Marcian supported the dyophysite position.
Mor Dioscorus had to face a trial in the Chalcedon Synod. He said Falvian of Constantinople was banished because he believed Christ had two natures after attaining the human form. He possessed letters of Church fathers like St. Athanasius, St. Gregory & St. Coorilos to prove that Jesus who attained the human form after the union has only one united nature (Miaphysite theology) & it was wrong to say he had dual separate natures, known as dyophysite theology. St. Dioscorus specifically stated at the Council, "One should not conceive of two natures but of one incarnate nature of the Word". He knew he too might be banished like those fathers but he was not ready to give up their teaching.
The Chalcedon Synod of AD451 suspended Mor Dioscorus & he was compelled by Marcian’s commander to sign the decisions of the synod. The saint refused saying, “Even if my hand is severed & blood flows over the paper I will not sign it.” Then according to the orders of Marcian he was banished to Gangra (now Cankri, Turkey) where he passed away 3 years later after consecrating Timothy II as legitimate Orthodox (Miaphysite) Pope of Alexandria. Mor Dioscorus is commemorated every Sunday in the Thubden d-Qadishe (5th Thubden/Dypthic) of the Syriac Orthodox Church Holy Qurbono.
Oh Mor Dioscorus! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. By your prayers may the Holy Orthodox Church and her faithful be protected from all manner of persecution. Amen.
5th Day of 8 day Fast
5 September 2021
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
St. John of Kafar Sania +311
In hagiography: This martyr, John of Kafar Sania, died under Maximinus Hercules.
St. Sharbil of Edessa and his sister St. Babai
September 5th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Sharbil of Edessa +105 and his sister St. Babai according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Sharbil Urhoyo was once the chief pagan priest of Edessa. Their history is recorded in the Syriac document 'The Acts of Sharbil'. During this time, Trajan Ceasar commanded through his governors that all citizens should worship & give offerings to the idols of the deities Nebu & Bel. Bishop Barsamya, Priest Tiridath & deacon Shalula went to Sharbil to express their great displeasure with the ruling, & attempted to convince Sharbil to worship only the one true God. As he listened to them speak, he had a change of heart and repented, he desired to be a Christian. Sharbil & his sister Babai came to Barsamya later at night as promised. They confessed the faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit & received baptism. They wore garments suitable for Christians. Many men, women & leaders of the town followed Sharbil’s footsteps & accepted his new Christian beliefs.
The chief judge Lysanias learning of Sharbil's conversion had him seized from the church & brought to trial. He told him to renounce Christ or face punishment. However, Sharbil would not deny Christ & so underwent extreme persecution. He was beaten, hung upside down, sharp iron combs were dragged into his body while salt & vinegar were applied to his fresh wounds. However, Sharbil remained unfazed by the torture, seeing it reward for knowing Christ who will provide true life to the believers. Without dismay, he continued to say, “Those who are saved by the Cross cannot worship idols of deceit. The created being cannot be worshipped. Only the Creator can be worshipped.” Finally the judge ordered Sharbil to be chopped into pieces & his head sawed off.
As per the custom of offering drinks to the murderers he too was offered wine. He did not accept it, instead he asked for time to pray. He turned to the east & prayed, “Lord Jesus, forgive me for the sins committed against you & for provoking your anger by turning to unholy sacrifice & oblations. Have mercy on me as you have been merciful to the robber. I entered your vineyard at the eleventh hour. Kindly spare me from the last judgement.” Sharbil’s sister Babai said, “May my spirit join you when you reach Christ whom you knowingly believed.” Enraged, the judge ordered her to be executed as well. Thus both St. Sharbil & St. Babai attained the crown of martyrdom. Barsamya the bishop had them entombed in the same place as his own father.
Oh Mor Sharbil Urhoyo & Mort Babai! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Biography in Malayalam: https://goo.gl/w3mpRz
Mor Sharbil Dayro Thrikkothamangalam dedicated in his honour: https://goo.gl/oqzzHc
Third Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary
St. Matthew 19:1-12
St. Luke 19:11-27
Before Holy Qurbana:
I Samuel 3:16-21
St. James 5:1-6
II Corinthians 10:1-7
St. Matthew 17:22-27
6th Day of 8 day Fast
6 September 2021
St. John 7:37-52, 8:12-20
St. Luke 22:1-13
Before Holy Qurbana:
I Samuel 10:17-21
Isaiah 24:16-18 54:4-10
I Corinthians 11:23-34
St. Luke 22:14-30
St. Eudoxius the military commander
Saint Eudoxius held the high position of a military commander in the imperial armies. He had a martyric death for Christ under the emperor Maximian Galerius, the successor of the emperor Diocletian.
Metropolitan Consecration of H.E. Mor Malatius Malki Malki
7 September 2021
H.E. Mor Malatius Malki Malki, Patriarchal Vicar of Australia & New Zealand was consecrated on September 7th 2003 by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I.
St. Sozon of Cilicia +304
St. Theodotus of Ancyra +303
Martyr, from Galatia
Feast of St. Mary's Birth (Mawlodhe d'Yoldath Aloho Mariam)
8 September 2021
September 8th is the commemoration of the Nativity of St. Mary the mother of God (dukhron mawlodho d'Yoldath Aloho Mariam) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church, there are 9 feasts for the Virgin Mary. She & John the Baptist are the only two mortals whose nativity is celebrated by the Church. She is called the mother of God (Theotokos or Yoldath Aloho). In the Liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church, countless hymns & prayers in her honour have been written by the Holy Fathers through divine inspiration. The commemoration of her nativity is celebrated in all Orthodox Churches.
In his article about the Holy Virgin Mary, the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory states, "it is noteworthy to mention that the conception of Mary took place according to the natural law for she was of a man (Joachim) & a woman (Hanna)." Mary is the child of two once-barren persons, just like Isaac, Samuel & John the Baptist. St. Mary was born in the tribe of Judah, a descendant of King David through her father & she was a descendant of the priestly Levi tribe of Aaron through her mother. She is the descendant of priests, prophets & kings.
As St. Mary was born to her parents in their old age, at the age of 3 she was offered to the temple as fulfillment of their vow. The prayer from the book of daily offices (Sh'himo) on Friday morning reads, ”Mary became an orphan, for her parents passed away. She was left for the priests to take care of her. They took her to Jerusalem according to the command of Moses to be brought up there. The Lord of Prophets descended from high. He blessed and sanctified her. Hallelujah. May the prayer to her be a fence and protection to us”
Like all others who have come & left this world, the Virgin Mary was not born without sin. She inherited the ancestral sin of, as St. Athanasius the Great says, 'corrupted nature inherited in the body.' Thus the Orthodox Church doesn't agree with the Roman Catholic dogma of immaculate conception. In his commentary on St. Luke 11:27-28, St. Ephrem the Syrian says, “Blessed is the womb that bore you.” He took blessedness from the one who bore him and gave it to those who were worshiping him. It was with Mary for a certain time, but it would be with those who worshiped him for eternity. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Likewise, commenting on the same verse St. John Chrysostom writes, "In this answer He sought not to disown His mother, but to show that His birth would have profited her nothing, had she not been really fruitful in works and faith. But if it profited Mary nothing that Christ derived His birth from her, without the inward virtue of her heart, much less will it avail us to have a virtuous father, brother, or son, while we ourselves are strangers to virtue."
Oh Virgin St. Mary the mother of God! Pray for us sinners, now & at all times & at the hour of our death (Morth Maryam bthulto emeh Daloho b‛oy ḥlofayn ḥaṭoyé hosho wabkhul ‛edon wabsho‛tho d-mawtan) Amen.
The Holy Bible readings from the Church Lectionary:
St. Mathew 12:38-50
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Samuel 17:37-40, 48-51
I John 3:2-16
St. Luke 8:16-21 11:27-28
Tone of the Day: 1
Malankara World Special Supplement for St. Mary: https://goo.gl/B7Uw7A
Syriac Prayers for Mawlodhe d'Yoldath Aloho Mariam: https://goo.gl/Jtpuh8
Hymns in honour of St. Mary: https://goo.gl/MMecq1
St. Jacob of Edessa, Letter on the Genealogy of St. Mary: http://bit.ly/MaryGenealogy
St. Theodotus of Amid +698
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.
9 September 2021
September 9th 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. 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.
Oh Mor Osio Hakeemo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen
St. Julian the Hermit (Youlyané Ounwoyo) also known as St. Elian of Emesa
September 9th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Julian the Hermit according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Youlyané Ounwoyo also known as Mor Elian was from Emesa (modern day Homs Syria). Church tradition tells us that he was a teacher of St. Ephrem the Syrian. He refused to renounce Christ & so was murdered by his father, a Roman officer. Thus Mor Youlyané attained the crown of martyrdom. A Monastery was built in his honour in the 5th century, however it was sadly destroyed by ISIS terrorists in 2015.
Oh Mor Youlyané Ounwoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen
Sts. Yuyakim and Hannah, parents of Virgin Mary
September 9th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of Sts. Joachim & Anne according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Yuyakim & Mort Hannah (Deena) are the parents of St. Mary the mother of God. They are both descendants of King David, additionally St. Anne comes from the priestly tribe of Levi & is a descendant of Aaron. They were both very pious & god fearing. Apocryphal texts & Church tradition tells us that Mort Hannah (who's name means blessed in Hebrew) was barren & even to her old age could not have a child. They prayed & fasted continuously for a child, making a vow that their child will be offered unto God. An angel appeared before Hannah & said, “God has seen your tears. The fruit of your womb will be called ‘the blessed’ throughout the world.”Joachim also received a similar command. God blessed them with a child, whom they named Mariam.
As St. Mary was born to her parents in their old age, at the age of 3 she was offered to the temple as fulfillment of their vow. This event was once a Feast in the Syriac Orthodox Church Liturgical Calendar being celebrated on November 21st annually. After offering Mariam to the temple Joachim died & he was entombed in Jerusalem. Soon Hannah also died & was entombed along with her husband. The prayer from the book of daily offices (Sh'himo) on Friday morning reads, ”Mary became an orphan, for her parents passed away. She was left for the priests to take care of her. They took her to Jerusalem according to the command of Moses to be brought up there."
St. Queen Helena built a Church over their tomb, which was later taken over & made into a madrassa (Islamic school) in the 9th century.
Oh Mor Yuyakim & Mort Hannah! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
St. Matthew the Apostle
10 September 2021
September 10th is the commemoration of the dhukrono of St. Matthew the Apostle according to the liturgical calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus & was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversation he was a publican, ie., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.
St. Matthew can be considered as the prototype of a sinner saved by the grace of Christ. He was a tax collector, despised by the Jewish people for collaborating with the Roman Empire. Yet our Lord chose him to be among His Holy Apostles saying to those who questioned His choice, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Mark 2:17 KJV
The Holy Bible readings for the Feast of an Apostle according to Church Lectionary are as follows:
St. Matthew 9: 35 - 10: 10
St. Matthew 19: 27 - 30
Before Holy Qurbono:
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
For full biography: http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/2_12.html#2
Severus of Nisibis
11 September 2021
Feast of the Twelve Apostles (Hido D'Trahsar S'hlihe)
12 September 2021
September 12th is the Feast of the Twelve Apostles (Hido D'Trahsar S'hlihe) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
The names of the Holy Apostles along with the how they died and their Feast day in the Syriac Orthodox Church are as follows:
1. St. Peter: Mor Phetros was crucified upside-down. This was at his own request, as he wanted to kiss the feet of his Master, feeling unworthy to share the same death as the Lord. Commemorated on June 29th
2. St. Andrew: Mor Andrayos was bound to an X-shaped cross and left to hang for two days suffering starvation & intense pain until his last breath. Commemorated on November 30
3. St. James the Greater: Mor Yac'ub considered first to be martyred, was executed by the sword of King Herod Agrippa. Commemorated on May 1st
4. St. John: Mor Yuhannon was the only Apostle to not be martyred. He departed for the heavenly abode at the age of 120 in Ephesus. Commemorated on May 8
5. St. Philip: Mor Philipose was crucified upside down at the order of the Emperor. Commemorated on November 14
6. St. Bartholomew: Mor Barthulmai was flayed alive and then crucified upside down by the ruler of Azerbaijan. Commemorated on June 11
7. St. Thomas: Mor Touma died from his injuries after being pierced by a lance while preaching in Mylapore India. Commemorated on New Sunday (had b-shabo hadto/puthu nzhyaar), July 3rd (shifting of relics to Edessa from Mylapore) and December 21 (martyrdom)
8. St. Matthew: Mor Mathai was burnt alive then buried in Antioch. Commemorated on February 24, May 20(The Four Evangelists), August 24, September 21, November 16 (These multiple dates suggest his relics were moved around to various places in history)
9. St. James the lesser: Mor Yac'ub bar Halpphai was crucified while preaching in Egypt. Commemorated on October 23rd
10. St. Jude: Mor Labbaeus was stoned to death either in Yarvada or Ararat. Commemorated on May 10
11. St. Simon: Mor Shem'un was crucified while preaching in Persia. Commemorated on May 10
12. St. Mathias: Mor Mathias was stoned to death by the Jews of Jerusalem. Commemorated on March 4 and August 24
13. St. Paul: Mor Phawlos was beheaded in Rome by order of Emperor Nero. Commemorated on June 29th
To read the full biography of all the Holy Apostles see this book by Very Rev Fr. Mani Rajan Cor-Episcopa: https://goo.gl/XsucYG
St. Matthew 9:36-10:5
St. John 21:15-25
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Kings 8:1-6
I Corinthians 12:28-13:10
St. Luke 6:12-23
Tone of the Day: 8
Syriac prayers for The Feast of the 12 Apostles (Hido D'Trahsar S'hlihe): https://goo.gl/vGZrxW
This Malayalam hymn from the Qolo of Ramsho (Evening prayers) of Wednesday's Sh'himo (known as sleeba namaskaram in Malankara), is seeking the intercession of the 12 apostles for blessing of the 12 months of the year: https://youtu.be/y_r3zzZNa7s
Fourth Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary
St. Matthew 18:1-11
St. Matthew 18:12-22
Before Holy Qurbana:
Exodus 3:1-2, 11-14
I Peter 2:1-5
I Corinthians 3:16-23
St. Mark 6:1-6
St. Olympias (Olympiada) the Deaconess of Constantinople
St. John Chrysostom (Mor Ivanios) 'Gold-Mouthed', Patriarch of Constantinople +407
13 September 2021
This greatest and most beloved of all Christian orators was born in Antioch the Great in the year 344 or 347; his pious parents were called Secundus and Anthusa. After his mother was widowed at the age of twenty, she devoted herself to bringing up John and his elder sister in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (S'hkohteh da-Slibo)
14 September 2021
September 14th is the commemoration of the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (Hido d'S'hkohteh da-Slibo) according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In the Syriac Orthodox Church no sacrament or any kind of worship can be performed without the sign of the Cross. The Church places it at the very heart of its life and worship. It has become the sign and symbol of Christ's death and resurrection for us.
This feast, also known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross commemorates the historical discovery of the True Cross of our Lord & its exaltation amongst the faithful. Here the Cross is a symbol of Resurrection & the victory of Christ, rather than His suffering. The Cross was discovered by St. Queen Helena, the mother of St. King Constantine the Great. St. Helena made a vow through prayer & fasting that if her son became Christian she would find the True Cross. God willed & showed Constantine the sign of the cross in the sky in the middle of the day & with it wrote, “In this sign you will conquer.” So Constantine took the sign of the Cross as a banner for his army & conquered his enemies & became a devout Christian (This is referenced in the Sh'himo prayers of Friday).
In 326AD, St. Helena then set out towards Jerusalem to find the True Cross at Golgotha. The Queen found 3 crosses (of the Lord & the 2 thieves) but she was assured by a miracle which one was the real cross which the Lord Jesus was crucified on at Golgotha, when the True Cross was placed on the body of a dead young man, immediately when it touched the body he was resurrected, two other miracles occurred before she took the cross back to Jerusalem. The Patriarch of Jerusalem (who was under the authority of the Patriarch of Antioch), Mor Makarios took the Cross onto a raised platform & lifted it on high, "exalting" it, for all the faithful to see. The people fell to their knees, bowing down before the Cross, crying out repeatedly, "Lord, have mercy!" To house the relic of the True Cross, St. Helen had a church built over the Holy Sepulcher (Golgotha). The Church was consecrated 9 years later on September 13th with a portion of the relics of the True Cross. The relic of the True Cross was shown to the faithful the next day on September 14th 335AD. Thus amongst Orthodox Christians the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross became an annual commemoration.
The portions of the True Cross were considered to be very precious & prelates used pieces in their handcross during the fourth century. A portion of the cross is inserted in the handcross of St. Gregorius Abdul Jaleel +1671 who is entombed in St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Church North Paravur.
In the Liturgy of this feast, there is a tradition of lighting a fire to commemorate Queen Helena ordering her soldiers to light a fire indicating the discovery. "On her way to Jerusalem, she left one of her servants on a mountain. Once the cross was discovered, she ordered her men to light a fire on top of a nearby mountain. Having seen the fire, the servant staying on the next mountain lit another fire, & in this manner the news of the discovery of the Holy Cross reached the capital, Constantinople." On the eve of the Feast, a bonfire is lit an the faithful light up torches, carrying it in a procession.
Source: Patriarchal & Hekamtho journals; SOR
A hymn for the Feast of the Holy Cross by Patriarch St. Severus the Great of Antioch:
"Everybody who swears by him shall be praised (Psalms 63:11) By your life-giving Cross, O Christ, the depth of the riches of wisdom and power can be seen. For when you who are the power of God were nailed upon it, upon the wood of infirmity, that is, the Cross, You changed it into a wood of power, such as befits God. Since you are the wisdom of God and the Father, through Him you have made those who preached the good news of the Gospel fully wise. Therefore fishermen and uneducated people defeated and made useless the wisdom and the wise of the world. And those from among the gentiles who believed and bore witness destroyed and put to shame by their valour the might of the tyrants. By one piece of wood all the wood and stone that had been carved and made into gods fled and perished, and every lust of the body then vanished, being killed by the nails of the Cross. For blessed is the wood through which comes righteousness as it is written [Wisdom 14:7]. Praise be to You!"
Sleebo otho d-shayno–Sleebo neesho d-zoqutho Sleebo d-behu freeqinan–w-beh khulan meshthabhrinan!
Shubha chinam thaan Sleebaa–vijayakodi thaan Sleebaa namme rekshicheedum-Sleebaayil pukazhunoo naam!
The Cross is the sign of peace–and the sign of victory. By the Cross we have been saved–and in it we all glory!
St. Matthew 24:1-35
St. Mark 13:1-33
Before Holy Qurbono:
I Samuel 17:37-53
St. Luke 21:5-28
Tone of the Feast: 8
Malankara World Special Supplement for Slibo: https://goo.gl/PnKpbS (https://goo.gl/PnKpbS)
Sermon by Dr. Babu Paul: https://goo.gl/CnteVV (https://goo.gl/CnteVV)
Slibo hymns on YouTube: https://goo.gl/3cxrRH (https://goo.gl/3cxrRH)
Service from Ma'De'Dono: https://drive.google.com/file/d/13gO71Cnb8v566yh6F9iRWUgrnX1shrl0/view?usp=drivesdk
The Cross in the Writings of St. Ephrem (Thesis by Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II): http://bit.ly/MorAphremCross
Metropolitan Consecration of H.E. Mor Dionysius Isa Gürbüz
15 September 2021
H.E. Mor Dionysius Isa Gürbüz, Patriarchal Vicar of Switzerland & Austria was consecrated on September 15th 1996 by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I
Metropolitan Consecration of H.E. Mor Severios Malke Mourad
H.E. Mor Severios Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar of Brazil was consecrated on September 15th 1996 by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I.
St. Nicetas the Goth
Uncovering of the relics Saint Acacius, Bishop of Melitene
Saint Acacius the Confessor lived during the Decian persecution, and was Bishop of Melitene, Armenia.
Arrested as a Christian, Saint Acacius was brought before the governor Marcianus, who ordered that he be tortured. He was not put to death, but was set free after a while, bearing the wounds of Christ on his body. He died in peace.
St. Thomas the Holy Apostle
16 September 2021
St. Sophia and her children Faith, Hope, and Charity
17 September 2021
Sophie (sapientia) or "wisdom" with her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity, (also known as saints Pistis, Elpis, and Aghapi) were martyred in Rome under Hadrian. Sophie was invoked as a saint to fight malaria.
Mor Ahudemeh +575
18 September 2021
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.
September 18th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Mathew the Hermit according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Mattai Renuoyo was born in the early 4th century in the city of Amid or in a village close by. Little is known about his early life. Mor Mattai was a monk in that region when the anti-Christian persecution of Julian the apostate took place.
In 361, Mor Mattai & other monks were forced to flee to Nineveh where he found a hermitage on Alfaf Mountain in the Nineveh plains. It was during that time that he met prince St. Behnam, the son of Sencharib, during a hunting trip. Mattai taught him about Christianity & Behnam became a disciple of Mattai. Impressed by his teachings, Behnam went back to his mother & persuaded her to let him take his sister Sara, who had leprosy, to the saint. She was cured by the saint & after the miracle, both Sara and Behnam were baptized by the saint alongside Behnam's forty companions. Upon learning of his children's conversion, King Sencharib killed his children & their forty companions on a hill in Nimrud.
The king was then struck with a disease. Behnam appeared to his mother in a dream & told her to get Mor Mattai. She did & the saint cured the king. To show his gratitude, the king built a monastery in the mountain where Mor Mattai healed his daughter. This became known as Dayro d-Mor Mattai Nineveh.
Biography courtesy of Syriac Orthodox Resources
Oh Mor Mattai! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
About Dayro d-Mor Mattai Nineveh: https://goo.gl/Tzgo4a
Biography in Arabic: https://goo.gl/ZTTVvm
St. Jacob the Recluse (Mor Ya'cub Hbishoyo)
September 18th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Jacob the Recluse +421 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Yac'ub hbishoyo, the "luminous example" was born in 330 AD. in Egypt. In his school days, he was considered the "shining example".He went to the desert on the edge of Alexandria, where he founded a monastery with Elisha, Mark, Joseph and Isaiah.
When, however, Julianus released a decision either to renounce Christian faith or to be delivered terrible torture, he, as a foreign huntsman, asked his brothers, saying, "Come, let us worship God, and He will open His way for us. They neither drank nor ate nothing all the day and all night till they finally fell asleep. Mor Jakob saw a man in a dream, who asked him, "Take your brethren, and go into this wilderness, for the Lord hath made a place for you there."
Their journey took them to Syria, where they sailed for three days. When they arrived, they saw a pillar built by a Gabriel who served to pray. The travelers sat down there and Gabriel, who was in the pillar, saw a light/ radiation, shouted out of the window to Jacob: "Blessed Jacob." Jacob answered, "Yes, sir!" Gabriel: "Why are you sitting there? Get up and come to your brother. The Lord has prepared you, and I ask you to carry out my funeral. After they had eaten and drunk, he asked Gabriel to pray and asked for the peace of the world. After ten psalms, the blessed Gabriel knelt before them, saying, "My brethren, come and bring me the word of the Lord, for He will not allow me to rejoice with you even a day. Come closer now, give me peace and close my eyes. "During the conversation, he died and all of them were crying. Immediately they heard a voice calling to them, "Welcome, O man, who has performed the will of the Lord. The sanctuary of the righteous long after thee." When they received this words with astonishment, they got up and buried the corpse of Gabriel in his grave, which was under the pillar. After three years Satan tried to dissuade them from the truth. They were rehearsed by hallucinations for seven years. Then Mor Jacob brethren became tired and asked the saint to pray for God's help, but the Blessed One demanded their patience. Then the Holy Father went down to the foot of the pillar, and wept before God, and said, "Lord God, you gave serpents to the apostles, to whom they will fight, and to fight against all the evil forces do not perish thy servants, who trust in the Holy Name, and wait for thy rich gifts: confound and humble this enemy who will take you out of thy camp."
After two years, the Lord sent an angel with the message: "Your prayers have been heard. Now get up quickly, and go into the city of Amida, for there is the Lord's delight in resting you from your work." After sending his brothers away, he wandered around the desert and was abducted by the Holy Spirit. When he awoke, he found himself at the foot of the bank. When he saw a ship sailing on the sea, he wandered on the water to the ship. When he was asked of the crew, who thought to see a phantom, where he wanted to go, he said to Tarsus. When he got onto the ship a strong wind came up and the ship was at the port of Tarsus. There he first healed a terrible wound of a boy named Antonius and he healed many people in the city. Abbot Bar Shabo, from Tur Abdin, heard of him and invited him to the monastery for the night. The mayor of Hasankefh, Rufus and the metropolitan of the city, Mor Sergis, were also invited.
After two months a general of the Persians marched into these regions and the people fled into the castles. But the general surrounded the entire region with his entourage, and he himself stood in front of the castle. In the near was a village, Shiloh (Saleh), where there was a temple of the Persians. Also the general went to this temple. There, in the monastery, Bar Shabo and his ten disciples were tired up, the General called Bar Shabo, led by the devil, he told him to renounce their Christian faith, but Bar Shabo replied by spitting in his face. Then he and his ten disciples were beheaded. When Mor Jacob saw this, he rejoiced, and cried to his brethren, "My sons, do not relax from the truth, see, today the Messiah calls us to his wedding." After a joy, he said, "Those who are with us will be invited by the Messiah. "And also they were beheaded by the sword except Mor Jacob.
One of the servants saw, as angels of God placed crowns on the heads of each who was beheaded and raised them up into heaven. This servant took off his clothes and dressed himself in one of the beheaded clothes and said, "The Messiah calls me to his feast." And he too was beheaded. With them was fulfilled the word of David: "We are led like lambs to the slaughter." A cloud came up and the sound of the angels sounded. Everyone ran away, but they drowned in the Tigris. When it was all over, and Mor Jacob saw what had happened, he was afraid of his holiness, and he cried and prayed, for the fear of God was great, for he blamed himself that this martyr was found, for it was him who did not allow people to flee.
He built an apartment from earth, for he would not leave this place. The name of St. Jacob was known and since he did not want to accept riches, they built a temple over the place where Bar Shabo and his followers were beheaded. In the night you could hear the call: "Hallelujah". Until today it is called the House of the martyr Bar Shabo and his eleven disciples. Many people have been cured threw him. When his time approached, he went to the people, crucified the multitude, and said, "The grace of the Lord shall come upon you. May He give you a good reward in His kingdom. The Lord should surround you with a strong wall. He shall keep you crossed under His Victory. Mor Jacob made the cross on himself and on 18th September of the year 421 he gave his soul to his Creator.
Oh Mor Yac'ub hbishoyo! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
Biography courtesy of translation by Ranya Kucukkaplan in 'Syriac Orthodox Theology Facebook group'
First Sunday after Sleebo/ the Feast of Holy Cross
19 September 2021
St. Luke 17:20-37
St. Matthew 24:36-51
Before Holy Qurbana:
I Corinthians 2:10-13
St. Mark 13:30-37
Sts. Trophimus and Sabbatius
Suffered for Christ during the reign of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282).
St. Habib of Scetis
20 September 2021
In hagiography: Habib of Scetis was a monk who appears among a group of disciples of Mar Awgin. He may have become bishop of Tanaos or Athens.
Mar Pinḥas, martyr from Persia
St. Isaac bishop of Cyprus
21 September 2021
St. Matthew the Evangelist
St. Simon, bishop of Jerusalem
Son of Joseph, brother of our Lord Jesus Christ
22 September 2021
Yazdin the Ascetic
In hagiography: Yazdin was an anchorite from the fifth century. He converted to Christianity from Zoroastrianism along with his brother, Dadisho. Dadisho's son, Pethion, became a martyr and converted Adorhormizd and his daughter Anahid.
23 September 2021
Lived to 969 years of age
Remembrance of all women saints
Mor Dimet +408
24 September 2021
St. Tecla, the martyr +70
Sts. Eustathius Placidas and his wife Theopista +118
25 September 2021
In hagiography: Denha was a monk of the convent of Qabratha.
St. Euphrosyne of Alexandria
Saint Euphrosyne of Alexandria was born at the beginning of the fifth century in the city of Alexandria. She was the only child in her family of illustrious and rich parents. Since her mother died early, she was raised by her father, Paphnutius, a deeply believing and pious Christian.
Second Sunday after Sleebo/ the Feast of Holy Cross
26 September 2021
St. Matthew 14:34-15:11
St. Matthew 15:12-20
St. Matthew 16:1-4
Before Holy Qurbana:
I Kings 3:5-9
Great Wisdom 6:1-9
I Corinthians 2:14-3:3
St. Matthew 16:5-12
martyr Armenian Church
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.
St. Gayane of Armenia
27 September 2021
During the years of St. Gregory the Illuminator imprisonment, a group of virgin nuns, led by Gayane, came to Armenia as they fled the Roman persecution of their Christian faith. Tiridates heard about the group and the legendary beauty of one of its members, Rhipsime. He brought them to the palace and demanded to marry the beautiful virgin; she refused. The king had the whole group tortured and killed. After this event, he fell ill and according to legend, adopted the behavior of a wild boar, aimlessly wandering around in the forest. Khosrovidukht had a dream wherein Gregory was still alive in the dungeon, and he was the only one able to cure the king. At this point it had been 13 years since his imprisonment, and the odds of him being alive were slim. They retrieved him, and, despite being incredibly malnourished, he was still alive. He was kept alive by a kind-hearted woman who threw a loaf of bread down in Khor Virap every day for him.
St. Paphnutius and 546 companions in Egypt
The Holy Martyr Paphnutius hailed from Egypt and struggled in the desert. During the persecution against Christians under Diocletian (284-305), the governor Hadrian commanded that Saint Paphnutius be brought to him.
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.
Jonah of Hah
28 September 2021
In hagiography: Jonah of Ḥaḥ was a bishop of Ḥaḥ, martyred at Apamea.
Metropolitan Consecration of H.E. Mor Filuksinos Yusuf Çetyn
H.E. Mor Filuksinos Yusuf Çetyn, Patriarchal-Vicariate of Istanbul, Ankara & Izmir was consecrated on September 28th 1986 by late HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I.
St. Chariton of Jerusalem
Entry of St. Severus the Great into Egypt
29 September 2021
Paris 146 and Vat. LXIX
Metropolitan Consecration of H.G. Mor Theophilos Kuriakose
H.G. Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Resident Metropolitan and Professor of New Testament at MSOT Seminary was consecrated on September 29th 2003 by H.B. Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I.
Mor Clemis Abraham Vayala, Knanaya Chief Metropolitan of the East (+2002)
September 29th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of Qooberneeyto Hakeemo Mor Clemis Abraham Vayala +2002 the Chief Metropolitan of the East.
Unnithan was born to Kochiduccala & Pennamma of the Vayala family in Ranni. After completing primary studies in Ranni he went to Alwaye for high school where he stayed with Mor Athanasios Paulose (+1936). He received a BA degree, followed by another Masters with honors in Political Science at Annammalai University. Unnitan was ordained mzamrono by Mor Dioscorus Thomas, followed by quroyo by HH St. Ignatius Elias III Patriarch of Antioch. Both ordinations were in Valiyapally Ranni in 1931. After learning Syriac from Thazhath Valliyachan, he completed further theological studies at Thrikunnath Seminary, Alwaye & Mor Ignatius Dayro, Omallur studying under both Mor Yulios Elias Qoro & Abdul Ahad Raban (later Patriarch HH Yac'ub III). He was ordained priest by Mor Yulios Elias Qoro in 1947 at Valiyapally Ranni. In 1949 he left to Iraq to join the Theological Seminary in Mosul & studied there for 2 years. After being unanimously selected by the Knanaya Association, he was consecrated bishop with the title Mor Clemis Abraham by the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum of blessed memory at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Homs Syria on April 15th 1951.
His first order of business as Knanaya Metropolitan was to introduce a 5 year plan to improve the progress of the Knanaya community. Mor Clemis went to the USA to study at the Union Theological Seminary in 1960. It was funded with the aid of a scholarship instituted by the millionaire John D. Rockefeller. Mor Clemis attained a Masters of Sacred Theology. After the passing of Malankara Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Paulose in 1953, Mor Clemis Abraham was selected to replace him by the Malankara Suriyani Kristhiani Association meeting held in June 1957 at St. Mary’s Cathedral Manarcad. He represented Malankara during the Holy Synod which elected new Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Yac'ub III & in November 1957 he participated in the Holy Mouron (Myron/Chrism) consecration.
Mor Clemis worked tirelessly for the growth of the Knanaya (Syriac Urfalee of India) community. He laid the foundation stone for St. Thomas College Ranni, started the first iteration of the Knanaya Women's Association & inaugurated the first convent for Knanaya nuns. During his tenure he created a reserve fund & money from this permanent central fund was used to start rubber plantation in the twenty five acres land of 'Edessa Gardens'. It was also during his tenure that HH the Patriarch granted permission according to Bull No. 30/90 on 6 April 1990 to include St. Kanai Thoma’s name in the 5th Dypthic (Thubden d-Qadishe/5th Thubden).
A stalwart son of the Syriac Orthodox Church, he offered courageous leadership in all endeavours for the protection of the true faith. Mor Clemis was unflinching in his loyalty to the Holy See of Antioch. During the seventies when schism reared its ugly head in the Malankara Church, Mor Clemis Abraham provided leadership not only for the Knanaya Church but for all faithful who wished to remain in obedience to the Holy See of Antioch. He participated in the Patriarchal election of HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas in 1980.
For his dedicated service to the Church & excellent leadership capabilities, he was awarded the title Qooberneeyto Hakeemo (wise captain) by the thrice blessed late Patriarch HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I of blessed memory during the Apostolic visit to Malankara in 1982. He was elevated to the rank of Chief Metropolitan of the East in 1989. Mor Clemis was active in Ecumenical forums, was invited to visit the Vatican & had an audience with the Pope twice in 1960 & 1980. He also worked to resolve issues between the Malankara Jacobites & Malankara Catholics in Nilackal
On September 29th 2002, Mor Clemis Abraham had his final Holy Communion, & passed away at night in Lissie Hospital Ernakulam. The burial was conducted on 1st October in Chingavanam Dayro church. It was attended by the Catholicos Mor Baselius Thomas I, the Patriarchal Delegate Archbishop Mor Yulios Yeshue Cicek, various metropolitans of the Malankara Church, the Chief Minister of Kerala & other eminent social, political & religious personalities.
Mor Clemis Abraham was a rare individual who had the great fortune to take part in the consecration of the Holy Chrism by 3 Patriarchs, HH Mor Aphrem I, HH Mor Yac'ub III & HH Mor Zakka I. He could also participate in the election of two Patriarchs. He faithfully served the Syriac Orthodox Church as bishop for over half a century.
Mutilation of faithful Orthodox in Alexandria
The index fingers of 80,000 faithful Orthodox Christians in Alexandria were cut off because they believed in the one Incarnate nature of Christ and made the sign of the Cross with one extended finger.
Ammi of Hah
30 September 2021
In hagiography: ʿAmmi of Ḥaḥ in Ṭur ʿAbdin became the first bishop of Ṭur ʿAbdin. He was a disciple of Simeon of Qartmin and martyred in Tanzi.
St. Gregory of Armenia, the Illuminator +331
September 30th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Gregory the Illuminator +331 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Gregorios is the patron saint of Armenia. Armenia was an exposed frontier & buffer state between the Roman & Persian empires. His father was prince Anak, a Parthian nobleman who assassinated King Khosrov II of the Arsacid dynasty. Following the assassination while trying to escape, Anak was killed. Gregory who was an infant along with his brother managed to escape with the help of their caretakers. While his brother was taken to Persia, Gregory was taken to Caesarea in Cappadocia (Kayseri, Turkey) & raised in a devout Christian home, educated by Holy Father Phirmilianos (Euthalius). Gregory got married to Mariam & they had two sons, Vrtanes & Aristaces (who became a bishop & attended the Council of Nicaea in 325AD). Eventually, Gregory embraced monasticism.
Gregory returned to Armenia to spread Christianity in his homeland. This was during a period of great persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. The son of Khosrov II, Tiridates III ruled Armenia, & like Roman emperor Diocletian, he hated Christianity. Tiridates learnt that Gregory was the son of his father's murderer, which angered him. He demanded that Gregory must renounce his Christian faith & worship the pagan idols. Gregory refused to deny Christ so he was thrown into a pit with deadly snakes & imprisoned for around 13 years. Tiridates fell ill & had a bout of insanity, having been betrayed by emperor Diocletian. Gregory was freed from the pit after Tiridates was miraculously cured following his prayers.
Reinvigorated, Mor Gregorios began preaching throughout Armenia, baptizing a multitude of individuals. After Tiridates was baptized, he proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia in 301AD, this was while Diocletian's persecution of Christians continued throughout the rest of the Roman empire. Thus Armenia became the very first nation in history (not including the Syriac kingdom of King Abgar the Black) to embrace Christianity as the state religion. The pagan temples & idols were destroyed as countless churches were built. With the support of Tiridates, Gregory built the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin near Mount Ararat. The Mother Church in Etchmiadzin became & remains the spiritual & cultural center of Armenian Christianity & headquarters of the Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
In 302AD Gregory was consecrated as Patriarch of Armenia by his childhood friend Leontius of Caesarea, becoming the first "Catholicos of all Armenians". In 318AD he named his son Aristaces as successor. He entrusted his grandson also named Gregory (son of Vrtanes) to spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the Caucasus & Anatolia. St. Gregory in his old age retreated to a small monastery in Mount Sebuh with a group of monks, remaining there until his death in 331AD.
Oh Mor Gregorios! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
The Baptism of The Armenian People
The conversion to Christianity and acceptance of Christianity as the official state religion of the Armenian Kingdom in 301AD.
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