Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Holy Martyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch. The Holy Prophet Moses, who saw God. (September 4)

The Holy Martyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch.
This ``great and wonderful man, if he could be called a man''-as St. John Chrysostom spoke of him-was Bishop of Antioch during the reign of the wicked Emperor Numerian. This Numerian concluded a peace treaty with a barbarian king, who was more noble and peace-loving than he. As a sign of his sincere desire for a lasting peace, the barbarian king gave his young son to be brought up and educated in Numerian's court. One day Numerian stabbed this innocent boy to death with his own hands, and offered him as a sacrifice to the idols. Still hot from the crime and the innocent blood, this criminal with an emperor's crown went to a Christian church to see what was going on there. St. Babylas was at prayer with the people, and heard that the emperor had come with his retinue and desired to enter the church. Babylas interrupted the service, went out in front of the church, and told the emperor that as he was an idolater he could not enter the holy temple where the one, true God was glorified. In a homily about Babylas, St. John Chrysostom said: ``Who else in the world would he fear-he who, with such authority, repulsed the emperor?… By this, he taught emperors not to overreach their authority beyond the measure given to them by God, and he also showed the clergy how to use their own authority.'' The shamed emperor turned back, but planned revenge. The following day, he summoned Babylas and berated him, urging him to offer sacrifice to the idols, which, of course, the saint steadfastly refused to do. The emperor then bound Babylas and cast him into prison. The emperor also tortured three children: Urban, age twelve, Prilidian, age nine, and Hippolinus, age seven. Babylas was their spiritual father and teacher, and they, out of love for him, had not run away. They were the sons of Christodula, an honorable Christian woman who had herself suffered for Christ. The emperor first ordered that each child be beaten with a number of blows corresponding to his years, and then had them cast into prison. He finally had all three beheaded with the sword. The chained Babylas was present at the beheading of the children and encouraged them. After that, he laid his own honorable head under the sword. He was buried in his chains by the Christians, in the same grave as those three wondrous children, as he had willed before his martyrdom. Their holy souls flew off to their heavenly habitation, while their miracle-working relics remained for the benefit of the faithful, as a constant witness to their heroism in the Faith. They suffered in about the year 250.

 The Holy Prophet Moses, who saw God.

Moses was a great leader and the lawgiver of Israel. He was born in Egypt in about 1550 b.c. For forty years, he lived at the court of the pharaoh; for forty years, he lived as a shepherd in contemplation of God and the world; and for his remaining forty years, he led the people through the wilderness to the Promised Land. He beheld the Promised Land, but was not allowed to enter it, for he had once sinned against God (Numbers 20:12). Moses reposed at the age of 120. As a miracle-worker, he was a prefiguring of Christ, according to St. Basil the Great. He appeared from the other world on Mount Tabor during the Lord's Transfiguration. According to the witness of St. John Climacus, he appeared also to the monks in the Monastery of Mount Sinai.

Respectfully Taken From the:
"The Prologue of Ohrid"
by St. Nikolai of Zica, Serbia(Velimirovic)

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