There were four major prophets in the Old Testament and twelve minor prophets. Malachi, which means messenger, was among the twelve and was the last of the prophets 500 years before Jesus in the Old Testament. He spoke out at a time when the Jewish nation needed a spiritual revival. They had sunk to the depths of immorality. They believed that because of the oppression, plagues, famine, pestilence, and drought that God had abandoned them, and they were no longer committed to follow his laws. He chastised their spititual leaders and encouraged the people to forego the immoral ways. His companion was an angel, with whom he spoke often. Others could hear his voice but not see him. He foretold of the coming of John the Baptist, who would be the next prophet in Israel.
Departure of St. John Kama (Khame)
On this day, we celebrate the departure of the great saint, John Kama. He was from "Shubramento" of the region of "Sa." His parents were God-fearing Christians and he was their only son.
His parents forced him to get married against his will. On the eve of his marriage, he stood and prayed with his wife and then said to her, "My sister, you know that the world and all its lusts will go away. Would you agree with me to keep our bodies pure?" She answered and said, "My brother, as the Lord's name lives, this is also my desire and now the Lord has given me the desire of my heart." They mutually agreed to keep their virginity. When they slept, the angel of the Lord came and covered them with his wings.
For their many virtues, God planted a vine for them which grew up and covered their bedroom as a sign of their purity and holiness; what they did was above human nature, two young people, (a man and a woman) sleeping next to each other without being driven by the desire of the flesh. It was the divine care , which preserved them.
When their parents saw that they lived together for a long time without having any children, they thought that this was due to their young age. One day John expressed to his wife the desire to go to the wilderness to become a monk, and could not do so without her consent. She gave him her consent and she asked him to take her to a convent. In the convent she became a virtuous nun and performed many miracles, which qualified her to be the mother superior of the convent.
As for St. John, when he left his town the angel of the Lord appeared to him and guided him to the wilderness of Scetis. There he became a monk in the cell of St. Darudi in the Monastery of St. Macarius. He stayed with this saint learning virtues from him until St. Darudi departed.
The angel of the Lord then commanded him to go to a place on the West Side of the monastery of St. John the Short and to build a cell for himself there. He went and did as the angel commanded him. Three hundred brethren gathered around him and became his disciples. They built a church and a house with a garden. St. John Kama taught them how to pray and how to chant the praises of the "Epsalmodia."
One night, St. Athanasius appeared to him while they were chanting the praises of the "three young men." St. Athanasius then revealed many mysteries to him. Another time the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him, talked about his monastery and said, "This is my dwelling forever, and I shall be with them as I have been with you and this monastery will be named after me." The church of the monastery already was carrying the Virgin's name.
Monks from some of the monasteries in Upper Egypt expressed their desire to be under the guidance of St. John Kama for sometime and they asked him to come over to them. St. John summoned a brother named Shenouda to take care of his monastery in his absence. When he returned he found that Brother Shenouda did a good job in taking care of the monastery. When St. John Kama completed his course, he departed in peace.
St. Basil the Great wrote the biography of Gordios. He was from Caesarea and became a Roman officer. Disenchanted by the persecutions and lack of morality, he left the army to live alone in the desert on Mt. Horeb and to pray. The wild animals coexisted peacefully around him. He saw clearly the vanity and the worthlessness of all that people strive for. He went back to the city and denounced idol worshiop. He declared himself a Christian before the governor at the pagan games. He was flattered to recant, then threatened. He responded that it would be folly to trade this brief life for eternal torment, and so he was beheaded.
Glory be to God forever. Amen.