Saint Agathodoros
Departure of St. Mary the Ascetic
Martyrdom of St. Bisada the Priest
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St. Agathodoros

Because St. Agathodoros confessed Christ to be true God, he was brought to the lord of the Cappadociana region in central Turkey, largely in Nev┼čehir Province. More at link. city of Tyana (which the Turks now call Nidra or Nigdel) by whom he was tortorted and martyred.


Departure of St. Mary the Ascetic (the Shut-in)

On this day, the church commemorates the departure of St Mary the ascetic, the shut-in.

Her parents were among the wealthy and noble people of Alexandria. Many sons of the great men in the city asked to marry her but she declined. When her parents departed, she distributed all that they left to the poor, keeping a small part for herself.

Then she went to a convent near the City of Alexandria and became a nun. She exerted herself in worship for 15 years, then she put on the holy EskeemCoptic: a belt of plaited leather with crosses at equal distances. It surrounds the chest and the back. One large cross is at the chest, and one at the back, then 12 more crosses. and put on a garb made of hair. She took the permission of the abbess to shut herself in her cell. She closed the door behind her and opened a small window to receive her provisions. She spent 22 years in this cell, fasting two days at a time. During the 40 days of the Great LentThe most important fasting season in the church year in Eastern Christianity. More at link. she fasted for three days at a time and broke her fast on some moistened beans.

On the 11th day of the month of Tubahalso, Tobi, Touba: the fifth month of the Coptic calendar. More at link., she asked for a little of the holy water. She washed her hands and feet. She then received the Holy Communion and drank from the holy water. After that, she became sick and stayed in bed until Tubah 21.

She received the Holy Communion once more, called upon the abbess and all the sisters, bade them farewell and asked them to visit her after three days. On the 24th of Tubah, they visited her and found that she had departed in peace. They carried her to the church, and after the prayers, they placed her with the bodies of the virgin saints.


Martyrdom of St. Bisada the Priest

On this day also, we commemorate the martyrdom of St. Bisada (Bisadi).

His father was from El-Kais and his mother, who was the daughter of one of the pagan priests, was from Ehreet. She was a believer in Jesus Christ. When the son of a pagan priest asked her to marry him, she took flight to El-Kais where she married a farmer. God gave them a son whom she called Bisadi. They brought him up in the fear of the Lord and in the keeping of His Commandments. When he was twenty years old, his father died and left him a great wealth. St. Bisadi increased in the deeds of charity and righteousness.

When Emperor Diocletian(A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). More at link. ordered that everyone in the Empire should worship idols, the saint hid himself in his home, and continued to worship God. A voice came to him from heaven saying, "Why are you waiting for?" Immediately, be rushed to the Governor and confessed his faith saying, "I am a Christian." The Governor ordered him to he tortured by beating him with whips, putting pins in his head, pulling out his nails and dipping his fingers in vinegar and lime.

He endured the torture for several days with great patience, and the Lord Jesus healed all his wounds. During these days, he performed several miracles. When the Governor became weary of torturing him, he chained him and sent him to the Governor of Fayouma city in Middle Egypt and the capital of the Faiyum Governorate, 130 km southwest of Cairo and part of the ancient site of Crocodilopolis. More at link.. There he raised a child from the dead when a large stone had fallen on the child while standing beside a wall. The bishop of the City of Fayouma city in Middle Egypt and the capital of the Faiyum Governorate, 130 km southwest of Cairo and part of the ancient site of Crocodilopolis. More at link. heard of him and ordained St. Bisadi a priest.

Then he returned to appear before the Governor who tortured him. The Governor then sent him to Alexandria where he received the crown of martyrdom. St. Julius El-Akfahsi(also, St. Julius Aqfahs) Writer of the Biography of Martyrs. More at link. (who wrote the biographies of saints) took his body and gave it to his mother who was present. She returned with the body to her hometown, Ehreet, and all the people of the town received the body with joy and they buried him with great honour. They built a church after his name and the Lord performed many miracles through his body.

Glory be to God forever. Amen.

Prayer

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants Agathodoros, Mary, and Bisada may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.