(The Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah)
I. The Departure of Samuel the Prophet:
On this day, of the year 2947 of the world, the upright and great, Samuel the Prophet, departed. This righteous man was born in Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim. His father's name was Elkanah and his mother was Hannah. She was barren, and by continual supplication, the Lord gave her Samuel. She raised him in her house for three years, and then she offered him to the temple of God as she vowed before she conceived him. He served Eli the priest until he grew up. Eli's two sons had behaved badly and defiled the temple.
While Samuel was lying down to sleep, the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And Eli said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And Eli answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him. And the LORD called Samuel again a third time. Then Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears." Then the LORD said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." (1 Samuel 3:1-14)
Afterward, the Lord commanded Samuel to anoint Saul the son of Kish, a king for Israel. When Saul disobeyed the Lord Samuel anointed David, the son of Jesse, a king by the command of the Lord. He prophesied and judged for the people of Israel for twenty years.
May his prayer be with us. Amen.
II. The Martyrdom of St. Lucilianus and four others with him:
On this day also, St. Lucilianus and four others with him, were martyred. He was a priest for the idols during the reign of Emperor Aurelianus Caesar. He witnessed the torturing of the martyrs, their beating, burning, and being hacked to pieces. He also witnessed many being thrown into the fire without being harmed. He marvelled and realized that his idols did not posses the power to do likewise and the God that does these signs is the true God. Straightway, he cried saying, "I am Christian, I am Christian." They seized him, and brought him before the Emperor who rebuked him for that. He promised him many gifts, then threatened him. Since he did not return from his firm intention, he tortured him severely then cast him into prison.
Then the Emperor brought him again with the other four Christians and threw them into the fire. God sent heavy rain and it quenched the fire. Finally, they hung him upon a wooden cross and nailed his body with long nails. Thus he delivered up his soul in the hand of the Lord. As for the other four, they cut off their heads and they all received the crown of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
III. The Relocation of the Relics of St. Mercurius to Cairo:
Today also, we celebrate the commemoration of the relocation of the relics of St. Marcurius Abu-Saifain to his church in Cairo. That was during the papacy of Pope Yoannis (94th Pope of Alexandria).
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.