Departure of Abune Ewostatewos

On this day died Abune Ewostatewos (Eustathius) , a teacher of the faith and a preacher of the Gospel.  Abune Ewostatewos was born on 21 Ḥamle from his mother Sine hiywet (ሥነ ሕይወት) and his father, Kristos MoAh (ክሪስቶስ ሞአ) His parents were both righteous and fearers of God, and they walked in all His judgments. They named him (Abune Ewestatewos) MaEkabe Egzi (ማዕቃበ እግዚ) When he grew up his father taught him the Psalms of David and the Books of the Church.  Then he took him to the monastery of Abba Zacharias, his mother’s brother, who when he saw him knew that the grace of God was dwelling upon him, and he taught him all the rules of monasticism, and he arrayed him in the apparel of the angels.  And the young man fasted and prayed with such intense devotion that the elders of the monastery marveled at the sternness of his strife; and he was girded with wisdom and knowledge.

After a short time Abune Ewostatewos was made a deacon, and he ministered in the church like Stephen the archdeacon.  And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him with St. Michael and St. Gabriel, and He embraced him and breathed into his face the Holy Spirit.  And He said unto him, “O my beloved Ewostatewos I have chosen thee from thy mother’s womb, and heave appointed thee to become a teacher of many nations from land of Agaezit  (Ethiopia and Eritrea) to Armenia. And thou shalt preach the Gospel without fear and trepidation. He who heareth thee heareth Me; he who rejects thee rejects Me.” When our Lord Jesus Christ had said this unto him He went up into heaven.  

Saint Ewostatewos went to the bishop and was appointed priest, and he began to preach the faith of the Gospel.  At length many men gathered together to him, and they became monks through him and they became disciples [of him], now the greatest of them was Abba ‘Absadi, and he turned many from their iniquity, and at length they forsook their evil works.  And his doctrine filled the whole earth, and in his days the honoring of Sabbaths and days of festival was established, and he turned not aside from [the ordinances of] the Apostles, neither to the right hand nor to the left. And he made two pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and God made manifest through him signs and wonders which were innumerable in opening the eyes of the blind, and in healing the paralytics, and in casting out devils.  Then he decided that he would go to Jerusalem by the will of God, and he gathered together his sons, and he laid upon them the charge of keeping all the canon of the monks, and of keeping themselves from mingling with the pagans; and he appointed his son ‘Absadi chief over them. And he went to Jerusalem and kept the Sabbath as he went, and he taught the faith of Christ. And he came to the Archbishop ‘Abba Benyamin and was blessed by him, and they conversed together on matters of the Faith.  Then he went down to Jerusalem and was blessed in the holy places, and was baptized in the Jordan.

 

Then he departed to Armenia, and having arrived at the sea of Jericho he asked the sailors to allow him to embark in a ship.  And when they prevented him from doing so, he cast his head-fillet into the sea, and said a blessing over it in the Name of the Holy Trinity, and made over it the sign of the Cross.  Then he got up upon the fillet as upon a ship, and two angels acted as sailors, and our Lord acted as captain, and they carried over his sons who had no fear of the terror of the sea.  And Ewostatewos said unto his sons, “Only take heed that ye do not lay up revenge and malice in your hearts; it seemeth to me however that one of you is about to perish.” And before he had finished uttering these words one of his sons dropped into the sea and was drowned because he was treasuring revenge and malice in his heart.  And by God’s will they crossed over the sea and came to the country of Armenia, and he held converse with the archbishop, and did homage to him, and was blessed by him. When the archbishop saw him he rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and he received him gladly.

 

And our father Ewostatewos continued to teach the men of Armenia the canons of the apostles, which are in the ordinance of the Synod until they were all one brotherhood in doctrine.  When the time for his departure from this world had drawn nigh, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him, and made a covenant with him in respect of those who should invoke his name, and those who should celebrate his commemoration, and those who should do into writing the story of his fight.  And when he died the bishops and priests prepared him for burial with great honor, and they buried him in the church of Mar Mehnam (i.e. Behnam) the martyr, and many miracles happened through his body.

 

Salutation to Ewostatewos and to his fillet whereon he crossed the sea.

Glory be to God

And to His Virgin Mother

And to His Glorious Cross

Amen

 

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