(The First Day of the Blessed Month of Tute)
I. Feast of El-Nayrouz (Beginning of the Blessed Coptic Year):
Today is the beginning of the blessed Coptic year. It is necessary to keep it a holy day with full purity and chastity. Let us start a new demeanor as St. Paul the Apostle says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:17-18) And Isaiah the Prophet says, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Isaiah 61:1-2) And David the Prophet says, "You crown the year with Your goodness; and Your paths drip with abundance." (Psalms 65:11)
We ask our God to keep us without sin and help us to act according to His will with the intercessions of the pure Saint Mary, all the Martyrs and Saints. Amen.
II. The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, the Apostle:
On this day also, the holy Apostle Bartholomew, one of the twelve disciples, was martyred. To this Apostle fell the lot to go to the oasis (the great oasis, Al-Khargah), in Egypt. He entered the city with Peter, who sold him as a slave. There he proceeded and preached to the people. He called them to the knowledge of God, after performing before them signs and wonders that amazed their minds. He worked in the vineyards of a rich man and whenever he trimmed the vine branches, they immediately bore fruit.
It happened that the son of the governor of that city died, and Bartholomew the Apostle raised him up from the dead. The people believed and he strengthened them in the knowledge of God.
Later on, the Lord Christ, to Him is the glory, commanded St. Bartholomew to go to the land of the Berbers and sent St. Andrew, His disciple, to help him. The people of that city were exceedingly wicked, and would not accept any of the signs or wonders the disciples performed. Yet the two disciples continued to preach to them and teach them until they entered the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, they appointed priests over them, and built churches for them, and soon after they left. St. Bartholomew went to the cities on the Mediterranean coast, where the inhabitants knew not God. He preached and converted them to the knowledge of God and the belief in the Lord Christ. He taught them to perform the works which were worthy of Christianity and commanded them to be pure and chaste. When King Agrippa heard of him, he was exceedingly enraged and commanded his servants to put him in a hair sack, to fill the sack with sand, and cast it into the sea. And so were consummated the struggle and martyrdom of St. Bartholomew.
His blessings and prayers be with us all. Amen.
III. The Departure of St. Melyos (Milius), the Third Pope of Alexandria:
Also on this day in the year 98 A.D., St. Melyos (Milius), the third Pope of Alexandria after St. Mark, departed. This Saint was enthroned in the fifteenth year of the reign of Domitian, son of Vespasian, Emperor of Rome, and 55 years after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. He pastured and guarded the flock of Christ well for 12 years and departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.