Author Topic: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.  (Read 74694 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #90 on: March 25, 2014, 04:27:50 PM »
Tomorrow the Coptic Church will commemorate the martyrdom of the deacon St. Sidhom Bishay, brutally murdered by a mob of Islamists at his time.  His body is preserved until today, and it is well known that he is the grand uncle of Metropolitan Bishoy of Demiatta, the same village where St. Sidhom grew up in and was martyred.

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On this day also the church commemorates the martyrdom of Sedhom Bishay in Domiat on the 17th. of Baramhat year 1565 A.D. (March 25th., 1844 A.D.). He endured the torture for the Name of the Lord Christ and his martyrdom made the rising of the Cross during the Christian funeral processions openly, for it was forbidden before.

This martyr was a clerical employee in the government of the port of Domiat during the days of Mohammed Ali Basha the Governor of Egypt. A revolt of mobs in the port arose, they seized Sidhom Bishay and accused him falsely that he cursed Islam and witnessed against him before the religious judge a low uncivilized person and a donkey driver. The judge decided either he would forsake his faith or be killed, he whipped him and then sent him to the Governor of the city. After the Governor had examined his case he issued the same judgement against him as the judge did. Sidhom was steadfast in his Christian faith, not caring to be killed. They whipped, dragged him on his face down the stairs in the Governor palace, then they put him on a buffalo facing the tail and went around with him in the streets of the city insulting and degrading him. The Christians in the city became afraid and locked themselves in their houses.

The mob continued to insult him and tortured him in different ways until he was about to deliver his soul; so they brought him to the door of his house and left him there. His family went out and brought him inside and five days later he departed to heaven.

His departure was a great martyrdom, and the Christians counted him among the holy martyrs. They gathered regardless of their denomination and joined in his funeral in a celebration that there was nothing like it before. The Christians carried their arms and the priest put on their vestments headed by the Archpriest Yousef Michael who was the head of the Coptic congregation in Domiat and accompanied by the priests of the other denominations. They marched in his funeral in the streets of the city and in front of him the deacons carrying the banners of the Cross, and they arrived to the church where they prayed the funeral rites. The people went on objecting this reprehensible and painful incident and talking about the patience and endurance of the different kinds of torture in silence and the steadfastness of Sidhom the martyr.

The prominent people of the Christian community in Domiat deliberated as how to avoid these incidents in the future. They decided to ask the consuls of the foreign countries to mediate with the ruler of the country and the Pope the Patriarch of the Copts and sent to them detailed reports. Mr Michail Sorour the official representative of seven countries in Domiat was in charge of this mediation.

The ruler of Egypt was concerned about this incident and sent two official representatives to examine the case. So they reopened the inquiry and they realized the injustice and the ill-treatment that befell the great martyr and convicted the judge and the governor for their wrong doing, stripped them from their honor then exiled them. They asked, as a good will and to comfort the people, to allow the raising of the Cross publicly before the Christian funerals, and the ruler allowed that in Domiat. This was allowed later on all over the country during the Papacy of Pope Kyrellos IV.

The blessings of this great martyr be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.


May his prayers be with all!  Amen!



« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 04:29:37 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #91 on: March 25, 2014, 05:26:39 PM »
And today the Coptic Church commemorates the departure of the 45th successor to St. Mark, Pope St. Mikhail I (also known as St. Khail).  Many reasons to celebrate the memory of this man.  I particularly enjoy the fact that they recorded the binding and enforcing of the monk to become the Pope of Alexandria, as being a Pope at this turbulent time was actually quite an unneeded and frightening vocation for anyone to be in.  That fear would be actualized, as he would later be considered a confessor, who was imprisoned and tortured by the Ummayid Muslims of the time, and many Copts were giving up the faith that they may enjoy rights under the Islamic rule.  It wasn't until the OO King of Nubia at the time came to save the day for the Church and force the Islamic government to back off for some time.

The Synexarium is quite interesting, as it claims historically that in a OO/EO debate, he won over the EO Pope Cosmas of Alexandria to his side.  The story may be disputed but it's worth quoting the Synexarium for this:

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On this day of the year 483 A.M. (March 12th, 767 A.D.) the holy father Anba Khail (Mikhail), the forty six Pope of the See Of St. Mark, departed. This father was a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius and he was knowledgeable and ascetic. When Pope Theodorus the forty fifth Patriarch, his predecessor, departed the bishops of Lower Egypt (Delta) and the priests of Alexandria gathered in the church of Anba Shenouda in Cairo.

A Dispute arose among them about who was fit, and finally they called Anba Mousa, Bishop of Ouseem, and Anba Petros, Bishop of Mariout. When they arrived, Anba Mousa found the priests of Alexandria obstinate, he rebuked them for that, and dismissed them that night so their minds and souls might calm down. When they met the next day he mentioned to them the name of the priest Khail the monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. They unanimously agreed to his choice and obtained a decree from the Governor of Egypt to the elders of the wilderness of Sheahat (Wadi El-Natroun) to bring him from the monastery. On their way, when they arrived to Geza they found father Khail coming along with some elders to fulfill a certain task connected with the monastery. They seized him, bound him, and took him to Alexandria where they ordained him Patriarch on the 17th day of Tute, year 460 A.M. (September 14th., year 743 A.D.).

It Happened that there was a drought in the city of Alexandria for two years, and on that day the rain fell heavily for three days and the people of Alexandria considered that a good omen.

During the reign of Marawan the last of the Khalifas of the Umayyad rule and during the governorship of Hefs Ebn El-Walid and during the days of this father many great tribulations fell upon the believers.

A large number of the believers fled from Egypt and the number of those who denied Christ was twenty-four thousand, and because of that the Patriarch was in great sorrow until God perished those were responsible for that. This father endured many difficulties from Abdel Malek Ebn-Marawan the new governor. He imprisoned, beaten, chained, and tortured him with many other ways of painful tortures, then he released him. The Patriarch went to Upper Egypt to collect alms and when he came back, the Governor took the money from him and threw him back in prison.

When Keriakos king of Nuba knew that, he was extremely enraged, he prepared one hundred thousand soldiers and marched down to Egypt. Going threw Upper Egypt he slew all the Muslims that he met, until he reached El Fostat (Cairo), he camped around the city threatening to destroy it. When Abdel Malek the Governor saw the army surrounding the city and that all this had taken place for the sake of the Patriarch, he became terrified, so he released him from prison with great honor. The Governor entreated the Patriarch to mediate peace between him and the king of Nuba. The Patriarch agreed to his request, so he went with some of the clergy to meet the king and asked him to accept the peace from abdel Malek which the king accepted and returned back.

Abdel Malek respected the Christians and lifted up all his retribution. When the father the Patriarch prayed for the sake of the Governor's daughter, who was possessed with an unclean spirit, and with his prayers the unclean spirit left her, the Governor increased his respect for the Christians.

This father debated with Cosmas the Melchite Patriarch concerning the Hypostatic Union. Pope Khail wrote him a letter, signed it along with his bishops, which said in it: "It is not right to say that in Christ two distinct Natures or two distinct Persons after the Hypostatic Union." Cosmas was convinced with that and asked to become a bishop under the authority of Anba Khail. When Anba Khail completed his strife, he departed to the Lord whom he loved after he had spent on the Chair of St. Mark twenty-three and half years.

May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.


St. Khail was also known for the famous "canon of Khail" concerning the choice of the episcopate/patiarchate, and opposed even the sister Syriac Church at the time for the choice of a diocesan bishop to become the patriarch of Antioch.  HG Bishop Serapion recounts the story here:

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I. Pope Mikhail (Khail) I, the 46th Patriarch (744-767)

This saint survived a difficult era of persecution in the history of the Church, which saw the end of the Ummayad and the beginning of the Abbasid dynasties. He suffered tremendous persecutions from ruthless governors and was thrown in jail several times. Nonetheless, he stood firm and courageous in defending the Orthodox faith and shepherding his people with dedication, purity, and righteousness. We may read the whole history of this saint in Volume II of Iris Habib El Masry’s The Story of the Copts. Before the end of that era, a crucially important incident occurred that immortalized the name of Pope Mikhail I in the history of the Church with fame and glory.

The See of Antioch stayed vacant for a while because of the political incidents that accompanied the end of the Umayyad and the beginning of the Abbasid dynasties. It happened that Bishop Isaac of Harran desired to become the Patriarch of Antioch. Since he had an intimate relationship with Caliph Abdullah Abu Gaafar of Harran, Bishop Isaac sought his assistance to help him achieve his goal. However, two Antiochian bishops opposed Bishop Isaac’s wish while reminding him of the Church canons which forbid a diocesan bishop to move to the See of the Patriarch or to seek the assistance of the authorities to acquire a priestly rank. Caliph Abdullah was incensed at the two bishops and murdered them while helping Bishop Isaac sit on the See of Antioch. Wanting to confirm his situation, Bishop Isaac sent a delegation of bishops carrying a Letter of Communion along with both gifts and threats to Pope Mikhail I of Alexandria, who refused to accept Bishop Isaac as the Patriarch of Antioch. Pope Mikhail was summoned by Abdullah in light of the close political relationship between Egypt and Syria at the time. When Bishop Isaac’s messengers reached al-Fistat, they met with the governor of Egypt and informed him about their mission. The governor begged Pope Mikhail to accept the delegation and the Letter of Communion out of fear that Abdullah would harm him. Pope Mikhail asked the governor to give him three days to convene a synod of bishops to discuss the matter and the governor agreed. The synod gathered for an entire month without any interruption from the governor; he did not even remind Pope Mikhail that they had initially agreed on three days only.

After that month passed, the bishops held a meeting at the Church of St. Mary known as El Mu’allaqah (the “Hanging Church”) where Pope Mikhail issued the following decision of the Holy Synod concerning Bishop Isaac’s request:

No sword, fire, throwing to the lions or banishment, or all of those things together can scare me. And I will not accept an illegal act. I will not put myself under my anathema which I wrote with my own hand writing and in which I declared that it is not permissible for a bishop to be a patriarch. Our honored fathers considered those who receive the priesthood from authorities are anathema. For the bishops had written to me from Antioch during the days of Yohanna the Patriarch that all the bishops who after him to sit on the throne of the Patriarchate to be anathema. So how am I supposed to accept what I had refused before? And our honored fathers themselves had declared that all who conduct that behavior to be anathema.

Pope Mikhail handed this decision to the bishops sent by Bishop Isaac.

The delegation returned to the governor of Egypt and requested that he command Pope Mikhail to accompany them to Harran. The governor, who cared for Pope Mikhail, again begged him to yield to Caliph Abdullah and Bishop Isaac, but Pope Mikhail thanked him and refused to change his declaration. He told the governor that he was ready to go to Harran. Two other Alexandrian bishops, Abba Moses and Abba Theodosius, both declared that they were ready to accompany Pope Mikhail in his journey to Harran. After the honorable Pope made preparations for his journey, a messenger arrived in al-Fistat declaring the death of Bishop Isaac. When the delegation of bishops heard this, they returned to their country immediately in silence. As for Pope Mikhail and the bishops of Egypt, they thanked God for His support.

We learn from this story the following points:

1. Pope Mikhail I lived a holy life full of courage in front of unjust rulers, like Abdullah, and possessed amazing endurance that helped him preserve the Canons of the Church despite being jailed several times.

2. The declaration issued by Pope Mikhail was not his own personal opinion only, but rather, the result of a Holy Synod of bishops who gathered for a whole month to research the Canons of the Holy Church. In addition, two of these bishops were ready to die with Pope Mikhail in Harran for the sake of defending the Canons.

3. The Canons of the Holy Church forbid a bishop to move from one diocese to another, or to receive the priesthood from the hands of worldly authorities. These Canons are not local canons belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church only, but rather, are universal Canons belonging to the whole Church. As the declaration of the Holy Synod mentioned, the bishops of Antioch wrote to Pope Mikhail during the days of Patriarch Yohanna and said, “Those who may follow him (Patriarch Yohanna) from the metropolitans as Patriarch will be anathema.” Pope Mikhail agreed and signed this declaration with the bishops of Antioch. This is why Pope Mikhail asked, “How can I justify today what I banned yesterday?”

Thus, the anathemas of Pope Mikhail I were not personal ones, but rather, were issued from the Synods of the Church of Antioch and the Church of Alexandria. Two Antiochian bishops were martyred by Caliph Abdullah when they refused to agree to the transfer of Bishop Isaac to the See of Antiochian. In addition, the Pope of Alexandria and two of his bishops were also prepared to become martyrs for the same reason. The declaration of Pope Mikhail became an important historical document in the history of the Church; so much so that it is called the Canon of Pope Mikhail. Our glorious Church applied that Canon until the nineteenth century when the idea of moving a metropolitan or diocesan bishop manifested itself again.

from http://lacopts.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Choosing-The-Patriarch-Lessons-from-the-History-of-the-Church-English.pdf

An interesting life of endurance, strength, and courage, even when considering some of these issues as controversial today.  In the context of its time, it was a testimony to his fidelity to the Church's customs and traditions even in the face of persecution.  May his prayers be with us all.  Amen!

« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 05:31:48 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #92 on: March 14, 2015, 09:08:09 PM »
Website about St. Gregory of Nareg:

http://narekatsi.agnian.com/en

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #93 on: July 18, 2015, 03:08:57 PM »
Give this image some time to load:



This is a Coptic icon of Abba Abraham of Hermonthis, icon made around 590/600 AD.  It was one of the earliest Coptic icons we have, and the saint it represents is thought to be the bishop of Hermonthis at the time of Pope St. Damian of Alexandria, so late sixth century.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 03:11:52 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #94 on: September 03, 2015, 08:22:50 PM »
Tomorrow the Coptic Church will commemorate the martyrdom of the deacon St. Sidhom ...

I wanted to share this link I read that goes into a bit more detail on the way St. Sidhom was tortured:

http://www.raymondibrahim.com/muslim-persecution-of-christians/christians-burned-alive-for-refusing-islam/
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 08:23:14 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #95 on: November 06, 2015, 03:49:14 AM »
One  of the greatest Coptic saints of the last century (just outside a century by a year, departed in 1914) is the Bishop of Fayoum, the Great Anba Abram, the lover of the poor.

Below is a quote from a book on his life written by Father Tadros Malaty.

"There is a man in Egypt whose name is unknown to the ruling class, and who is yet the most talked of and the most venerated man in all the valley of the Nile. Although he is a Christian bishop he is just as much a saint of heaven to the Moslem as to the Christian; and the Christians who join in the daily throng that seek his spiritual help and blessing include Copts and Greeks and Romans - the latter being by no means confined even to the natives of Egypt. Before I even thought of seeking an audience with this wonderful old man I had heard Catholic people, as far away as France, speaking of the bishop of Fayoum and Gizeh in Egypt as an ascetic in whose powers were confirmed all the signs which our Lord had said should follow them that believe, "In My name they shall cast out devils... they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." This old saint whose power is known all over the Eastern world, is in the direct and unbroken succession of those early Christians...No matter where I had gone in Egypt, I had heard again and again of the bishop of Fayoum; and incredible stories were told to me of his self-denials, his fasting, his mystical wisdom, his power of divination, his faculty to exorcise evil spirits and the cure of all manner of sickness and of the comfort his words gave to the afflicted both in soul and in body; of his unstilted kindness to the poor..." The wife of Late Nassif Mahrous spoke about the effect of their meeting with the bishop. She said, "Some ladies and I, were welcoming Mrs. Leeder, after her visit to the saint and she told us in French, “We had been in the Presence of Christ, we were filled with the Spirit of God."

You can read a short biography here
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/synexarion/abraam.html#Life%20Story

Accounts of his miracles are here
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/synexarion/abraam-miracles.html

May his prayers and intercessions be with us.


Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #96 on: November 30, 2015, 05:53:08 PM »
Saturday, November 28th, the Syrian Orthodox and its calendar affiliates celebrated the memory of St. Jacob Baradaeus, one of the most important Church fathers in OO history.  It is because of him why Syrian, Indian, and even Coptic Orthodox in history were called "Jacobite", because he was given authority to ordain clergy of all ranks for Egypt and Assyria.

He is the patron saint of the Coptic blog Return to Orthodoxy, and he is one of my favorite.  A man of exceptional asceticism, he had the physical and spiritual capability of replenishing thousands of clergy (some sources seem to point myriads), including 27 bishops.

May his prayers and blessings be with us!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 06:11:54 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #97 on: December 17, 2015, 04:19:54 PM »
On December 7th (Hator 27), the Coptic Church commemorated the martyrdom of St. James the Persian, "the mangled".  He is a fourth century pre-Chalcedonian saint.  Nevertheless, his connection and popularity increased in post-Chalcedonian times, when St. Peter the Iberian by unfortunate circumstances received the body of the saint from Persia, and then had to take the body to Egypt through more unfortunate circumstances.  His monks received inspiration from the very saint that he wanted to remain buried in Egypt under the care of  Bishop Moses at Oxyrhynchus, an anti-Chalcedonian, the land of a multitude of martyrs.

The Coptic text of the Martyrdom of James the Persian has been translated by Alfred Alcock recently

We also celebrate the consecration of the Church in Egypt on December 26th (Kiahk 16) and the translation of his relics on April 8 (Baramhat 30).

May his prayers and the prayers of St. Peter the Iberian be with us!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 04:28:56 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #98 on: December 23, 2015, 06:18:40 PM »
For those who like the name "Barsanuphius", you'll be interested to know that the Coptic Church has a post-Chalcedonian Coptic monk named Barsanuphius who we commemorate today for being martyred for a false accusation of what seems to be insulting the religion and leaders of Islam.

May his prayers and blessings be with us all.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Post Chalcedon Oriental Orthodox saints.
« Reply #99 on: January 10, 2016, 02:51:04 AM »