Departure of St. Poemen the Confessor

On this day, the Church commemorates the departure of St. Poemen the martyr without bloodshed. He was from the village of Bani-Khaseeb of the district of El-Ashmonen.

He was the steward of a rich man. Because of his chastity and his righteousness, everyone loved him. The wife of this rich man trusted him greatly.

Because of his disdain for the vanities of this world, he left his work and went to a monastery in this city wherein he became a monk. When the rich man, his employer, knew about it, he and his wife went and asked him to return to his job, for they were sad because of his departure. The saint did not go along with them and went on with his worship and asceticism. After a while he was not satisfied with that, and longed to become a martyr by the shedding of his blood in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He went to Ansena and found many Christians being tortured for the name of Christ. He went forward and confessed his faith. They tortured him severely by beating him, burning and chopping off his limbs and by squeezing him on the wheel. During all that the Lord Jesus strengthened him and raised him whole.

While he was suffering in this manner, the era of worshipping idols came to an end; for Constantine the righteous became Emperor and set free all those who were imprisoned for their faith in the Lord Jesus.

The Lord Christ appeared to this saint and commanded him to make known to all the saints in prison that the Lord reckoned them among the martyrs and called them the confessors. Emperor Constantine sent for 72 of them. They went to him along with St. Abanob the Confessor.

St. Poemen lived after that in a monastery, which was outside the City of El-Ashmonen. God had given him the gift of healing the sick and the news spread to all those districts.

The Empress of Rome became sick with a serious illness, which was difficult to treat. She visited many monasteries and churches but she was not healed of her sickness. Finally, she came to the city of Ansena, accompanied by the Governor of the city and his men to the place where St. Poemen was. When they informed him of the Empress' presence and expressed to him her desire to see him, he did not wish to go out to meet her but said, "What have I to do with the kings of the earth." When the brethren besought him to go out to meet her, he did so. When she saw him, she bowed down at his feet.

The saint prayed over her and anointed her and she was instantly healed from her sickness. The Empress offered St. Poemen a lot of money together with several expensive gifts but he did not accept them, except for a few sacred vessels for the altar, a paten, a chalice and a cross of gold. The Empress returned to her country glorifying God.

There was a saintly bishop who was celebrating with some of the believers the feast of some of the martyrs in one of the monasteries. This bishop realized that the Arians (followers of Arius) took to themselves a false bishop and led many people astray. The bishop went to St. Poemen and told him. St. Poemen took some monks, went to the heretics, and debated with them explaining to them their evil counsel and the Lord dispersed them.

The saint went back to his monastery, stayed there until he was old and became sick. He gathered the brethren and advised them, telling them that his time was drawing nigh to be with the Lord. The brethren were sorrowful. When he delivered up his soul, the brethren swathed him and prayed over him. Many healing signs were manifested through his body.

Glory be to God forever. Amen.