Saturday, March 31, 2012

Abraham the Martyr

(from 04/01)

lived during the thirteenth century, and was descended from the Kamska Bulgars and brought up as a Moslem. He was good and kindly towards the destitute, and when the Lord enlightened him with the light of reason, he accepted Christianity.

In the city of Bolgara, on the lower stretches of the Volga, St Abraham began to preach to his fellow countrymen about the true God. They seized him and tried to force him to renounce Christ, but the saint remained firm in his confession. They tortured the martyr fiercely and for a long while, but he endured everything with unshakable patience.

On April 1, 1229 they quartered the holy Martyr Abraham, and then cut off his venerable head. Russian Christians living in the city buried the saint's body in the Christian cemetery. On March 6, 1230, the relics of St Abraham were transferred by the Great Prince St George Vsevolodovich of Vladimir (February 4) to the Dormition cathedral of the Knyaginin (Princess) monastery. His memory began to be celebrated from that time.

Propers for Abraham - Confessor and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Abraham with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.

BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall he brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

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