Martyrdom of the 49 Saints, the Elders of Sheheat (Scetis)
Departure of St. Anastasia
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Isidoros was related to two patriarchs of Alexandria, Theophilos and his nephew, Cyril. He used this relationship wisely. From a wealthy and well educated family, he became a monk male religious living in a cloister and devoting himself to contemplation and prayer and work. in a cloister religious residence: residence that is a place of religious seclusion known as Pelusium. He came to be a priest a member of the clergy in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders and also the abbot the superior of an abbey of monks there. He dedicated himself to right abuses of the clergy the formal religious leadership within a given religion. , from deacons generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. In many traditions, the diaconate, the term for a deacon's office, is a clerical office; in others, it is for laity. to patriarchs. To this end he wrote many thousands of letters, instructing, reprimanding and advising. The collection of these letters have been turned into several volumes. He wrote that it is better to do good works than to preach. After John Chysostom had been exiled, Chysostom's name was stricken from the church records. Isidoros wrote to Patriarch Cyril and convinced him to restore the name and works of John. Isidoros died peacefully in the fifth century.


Nicholas, from Crete, went to visit his relative Theodore, who was the abbot of Studite Monastery in Constantinople and became a monk. The two confronted the iconoclast a destroyer of images used in religious worship. , Leo the Armenian, and were tortured and imprisoned for three years. Later, Nicholas succeeded Theodore as the abbot and was also given spiritual gifts. He healed the wife of Emperor Basil and the wife of a patrician member of an order of high nobility in Byzantium appointed by the emperor. . To another, who had lost several children, he prophesied that their new daughter would live a productive life. Before he died, he told his monks that the wheat they were lacking would be given them in three days. These events all came to pass.

Martyrdom of the 49 Saints, the Elders of Sheheat (Scetis)

On this day, the church commemorates the martyrdom of the 49 elder priests of Sheheat, Martinos, the envoy of the Emperor, and his son.

Emperor Theodosius the Less, the son of Emperor Arcadius, did not have a son. He wrote to the elders of Wilderness of Sheheat (Scetis) asking them to pray to God to give him a son. St. Isidore (see above) wrote back to him saying that God did not will for him to have a son who would take part with the heretics after him. When the Emperor read the message, he offered thanks to God. Some people advised to marry another wife to have offspring from her who would inherit the empire after him. He responded that he could not do anything except what the elders of Sheheat commanded. Then he sent to the elders of Sheheat an envoy whose name was Martinos to consult with them about that.

Martinos had a son named Zius who accompanied him on his visit to the elders in order to receive their blessings. When they arrived and the elders read the message, they took the messenger to the body of St. Isidore, for he had departed. They called on him saying, "Our father, we have received a letter from the Emperor, what shall we answer to him?" A voice came from the pure body saying, "What I had said before, I also say now, that the Lord will never give him a son to take part with the heretics, even if he marries ten women." The elders wrote back to the Emperor recounting what they had heard.

When the messenger wanted to return, the pagan a person who does not acknowledge your god. barbarians attacked the monastery. One of the monastary's great elders, whose name was St. Youanis, called upon the brethren and said, "The barbarians have come to kill us. Whoever amongst you would like to become a martyr, let him stand, and whoever is afraid, let him hide inside. Some of them hid, but he remained with 48 elders. The barbarians slaughtered them all. Martinos and his son were in hiding.

The son looked up and saw the angels placing crowns of glory on the elders who were killed. The son said to his father, "I see spiritual beings putting crowns on the heads of the elders. I shall go to receive a crown like that." His father replied, "And I also shall go with you, my son." Both revealed themselves to the barbarians, who killed them and they received the crowns of martyrdom.

After the barbarians had gone, the monks who were hiding in came out, took the bodies, and placed them in a cave, where they sang every evening.

Some people from the Batanoon (Google map) came and took the body of St. Youanis and returned with it to their city. After some time, they returned the body to its place. Also people from Fayoum stole the body of Zius son of Martinos and when they arrived to Lake Fayoum, the angel of the Lord returned it back to its place beside the body of his father. The elders tries many times to move the body of the son Zius far from the body of his father Martinos but could not. Every time they move it, it went back to the side of the body of his father. One of the fathers heard during the night, "Praise God, we were not separated in the flesh, nor are we separated when we are with Christ, why do you want to separate our bodies?"

When persecutions became rampant and the attacks on the Wilderness continued, the fathers relocated the bodies to a cave built beside the church of St. Macarius. At the time of Anba Theodosius, the 33rd Pope of Alexandria, they built a church for them. When Anba Benjamin, the 38th Pope of Alexandria, came to the Wilderness, he arranged a feast day for them on Amshir 5, which was the day of the relocation of their bodies to this church.

After a long time had passed, the church building deteriorated and they moved them to one of the cells. Later Ibrahim El-Gohary built a church for them around the end of the 18th century, where they placed the bodies of the saints. The church is still in existence today in the monastery of St. Macarius. The cell in which they were kept is known today in Coptic the liturgical language of the Coptic Church used in Egypt and Ethiopia; written in the Greek alphabet. as the cell of Ehmil Epseet or the cell of the forty-nine.

The Departure of St. Anastasia

On this day also, we commemorate the departure of St. Anastasia.

She was from a noble family in the City of Constantinople. She was very beautiful and had good characters. Emperor Justin who was married, wanted to marry her. She refused, went, and told his wife. The Empress Euphemia sent her to Alexandria on a private ship, and built her a convent a religious residence especially for women. outside the city and named it after her.

When the Emperor knew where she was, he sent for her, but she escaped and hid herself in the Wilderness of Sheheat (Scetis), disguised as a prince. She met with St. Daniel, the Archpriest a priest who has supervisory duties over a number of parishes. of the Wilderness and revealed her story to him. He brought her to a cave, and asked one of the elders to fill her water pot once a week, place the pot at the door of the cave, and leave. She remained in this place for 28 years without anyone knowing that she was a woman.

She used to write her thoughts on pieces of pottery and leave them at the door of the cave. The elder who brought her the water used to take the pieces of pottery without knowing what was written on them and give them to St. Daniel.

One day he brought a piece of pottery to St. Daniel who wept when he read it, and said to his disciple, "Come with me now to bury the body of this saint." When St. Daniel and his disciple entered her cave, they gave and received blessings from St. Anastasia. She said to St. Daniel, "For the sake of God, bury me with what I have on my body." (Meaning that no one should discover that she was a woman.) Then she prayed and bade them farewell and departed in peace. They wept and buried her.

As the disciple was preparing for her burial, he found out that she was a woman, and he marveled in silence. After they buried her, they returned to their place. The disciple knelt before St. Daniel and said, "For the sake of God, tell me her story, for I found out that she was a woman." The elder told him her story, that she was from one of the noble families of Constantinople, and how she surrendered herself to Christ, forsaking the vain glory of this world.

Glory be to God forever, Amen.


Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants Isidoros, Nicholas, Anastasia, and the 49 elder priests of Sheheat, Martinos, the envoy of the Emperor, and his son 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.