Commemorations for Tout 22

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The Martyrdom of Saints Cotylas (Kobtlas) and Axoua, his Sister, and Tatas, his Friend.
The Martyrdom of St. Julius of Aqfahs (El-Akfehasi), the Writer of the Biography of Martyrs.

1. The Martyrdom of Saints Cotylas (Kobtlas) and Axoua, his Sister, and Tatas, his Friend.

On this day, Saints Cotylas (Kobtlas) and his sister Axoua, the children of Sapor, King of Persia, and Cotylas' friend, Tatas, were martyred. Sapor worshipped fire and the sun. He inflicted many tortures on the believers, and no man throughout the country dared to mention the Name of Christ. His son, Cotylas, had a friend named Tatas who was a ruler over the country of Maydasayeen.

Certain people laid an accusation against Tatas before the king that he was a Christian. The king sent to him a governor named Tumakher to verify the validity of what was said and if it was true, to torture him. When Cotylas, the son of the king, heard that, he also went to that country, to his friend Tatas. When the governor arrived and found that he was Christian, he ordered his men to cast him in a furnace. St. Tatas made the sign of the Cross over the fire and the fire died out. Cotylas marvelled and asked him, "How did you learn this magic, 0 my brother?" He replied, "This is not magic but it is through faith in the Lord Christ." Cotylas asked, "If I believed, would I be able to do the same?" Tatas answered that with faith you can do more than this. Cotylas, the son of the king, believed in Christ, then he drew near the fire and made the sign of the Cross over it, the fire backed a distance of 12 cubits.

The governor sent to the king to inform him what had happened, and the king had them brought to him. He ordered to cut off the head of Tatas who thus received the crown of martyrdom. However, he tortured his son, Cotylas, with different kinds of tortures. He cast him in prison and sent for his sister Axoua, so she might persuade him to return to his father's belief. St. Cotylas preached her and turned her heart to the belief in the Lord Christ. He sent her to a priest who baptized her secretly.

She returned to her father saying, "I wish that you had what my brother and I have, for there is no God but Jesus Christ." The king became angry and commanded to torture her, until she yielded up her soul in the hand of the Lord Christ.

They tied Cotylas to the tails of horses and dragged him over the mountains until he yielded up his spirit. Then they cut his body into pieces and they cast it out for the birds to consume it. When the soldiers departed, the Lord commanded saintly priests and deacons who went secretly at night and took the holy body which was shining as snow. They hid it in a place until the end of the days of persecution.

Their intercession be for us all. Amen.

2. The Martyrdom of St. Julius of Aqfahs (El-Akfehasi), the Writer of the Biography of Martyrs.

On this day also, St. Julius of Aqfahs (1) (El-Akfehasi), the writer of the biography of martyrs, was martyred. The Lord Christ appointed him to care for the bodies of the holy martyrs, to shroud them and to send them to their hometown. The Lord brought blindness into the hearts of the governors, and no one objected to him. They also never forced him to worship idols. The Lord kept him to care for the martyrs. He used 300 young men for this purpose. They wrote the biography of the holy martyrs and sent it to their hometown. But he used to minister to the holy martyrs by himself and dress their wounds. The martyrs blessed him, saying, "You must shed your blood in the Name of our Lord Christ, so you can be counted among the martyrs."

When the reign of Diocletian the Infidel came to an end, Constantine the Righteous reigned. The Lord Christ wished to fulfill what the saints had prophesied to St. Julius; to be counted among the martyrs. The Lord commanded him to go to Arkanius, governor of Samanoud, and to confess the Lord Christ. St. Julius went there, and the governor tortured him with many tortures, but the Lord strengthened him. The governor ordered to bring him to worship the idols. This saint prayed and the earth opened and swallowed up the 70 idols and the 140 priests who were serving them. When the governor beheld the destruction of his idols and their priests, he believed in the Lord Christ.

The governor went with the Saint to the governor of Athribis who tortured Saint Julius with great severity, but the Lord Christ strengthened him.

Once there was a feast for the idols and they decorated the temple with ornaments, lamps, statues and with palm branches. They closed the gates till the following day to start celebrating the feast. The saint asked the Lord to blot out their idols. The Lord sent his angel who cut the heads of the idols, blackened their faces with ashes, burnt up all the palms, and all the idols in the temple. On the following morning when the people came dressed to celebrate the feast and saw what had happened to their gods, they recognized their weakness. The governor of Athribis (2) and a large number of people believed in the Lord Christ. The Saint then went to the city of Towa (3) along with the governor of Samanoud and the governor of Athribis, and they met Iskandros its governor. First he refrained from torturing them, but later on he ordered his men to cut off their heads. Julius and his two sons, Tadros and Yunias; his slaves; and the governors of Samanoud and Athribis and many people were martyred. They numbered 1500. They took his body with the bodies of his sons to Alexandria for it was their hometown.

His intercession be for us, and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.

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(1) The town of Aqfahs, district of El-Fashn, provoince of El-Minya.

(2) the remains of the city of Athribis is nearby the city of Banha.

(3) The remains of the city of Towa is nearby the city of Tanta.




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