Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Daily Readings For Wednesday, 26 January (18 Tarr 2003)

From, and and

Daily Readings:


Saints/Martyrs/Feasts/Fasts to be observed/coemmemmorated/celebrated:  St. Ewstatewos

ICONS/StJacob.jpgThe Feast of St. Jacob of Nisibis

Bishop of Nisibis

One of the 318 Father of Nicea


Tir 18 - January 26
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church celebrates on this Eighteenth day of the month of Tir, on the Western calendar, the Twenty-sixth day of January, one of the Great Orthodox Fathers of the First Council at Nicea, St. Abba Jacob of Nisibis.

Abba Jacob was born in the later years of the Third Century in the city of Nisibis, located near the present day Turkey/Iraq border. His ancestry was Assyrian and in his early youth he chose the Monastic life over marriage. He was well educated, being a student alongside St. Abba Gregory in Caesarea, which was a famous educational center in ancient Asia Minor, in present day Armenia.

St. Abba Jacob's holiness as well known; he lived like the Prophet John the Baptist, wearing a sackcloth made of animal hair to protect him from the heat of summer and the cold of winter. His food was composed of the vegetation of the earth and he drank only water. For this reason, he was a very thin man, but his soul was illumined and full of God's grace. He was gifted by Almighty God with the gift of Prophecy and with performing miracles in the Name of Christ Jesus. He also was able to foretell the future and he advised the people of what would happen to them in advance...his miracles are numerous.

In 308 A.D., his holiness and virtues life became so widely known that he was chosen to be the 1st Bishop over the city of Nisibis. Abba Melidos, Archbishop of Antioch was the principle Consecrator of St. Abba Jacob.

Abba Jacob shepherded the flock of Christ very well, and protected his people from the Arian heresy. St. Abba Jacob was one of the 318 Bishops who attended the first Universal Council at Nicea in 325 A.D., which defended and proclaimed the Orthodox Tewahedo Christian faith. He also was serving as Bishop of Nisibis, when the Persian King Shapur II sent his army to the city and surrounded it. After a 70-day siege, the Persian army failed to break through to the city, due to the wise leadership and prayers of Abba Jacob. It is probably because of this historical episode that the Armenian St. Nersess Shnorhali composed a moving hymn dedicated to St. Abba Jacob memory.

The Armenian Orthodox Tewahedo Church also had a Monastery at the foot of Mt. Ararat built in the honor of St. Jacob in the early 5th century. However, it was destroyed in a sever earthquake in 1840 A.D.

After a long life, dedicated to the service of the Orthodox Tewahedo faith in Christ Jesus and his flock (as Bishop) he departed this life in 338 A.D. His tomb is still to be found to this day in the Cathedral in Nisibis.

The Synaxarium:


TIR 18

(January 26)



On this day took place the burning of the bones of the blessed Saint George (Gregory), the fighter, and chief of the martyrs.

And on this day also died the holy father, the fighter and ascetic, Abba Jacob, Bishop of the city of Nisibis, the teacher of Saint Ephraim. The saint and fighter was born and brought up in the city of Nisibis, and he was a Syrian; from his early years he adopted the garb of the monastic life. He wore sackcloth made of hair, and he fought the fight by night and by day, with fasting, and prayer, and prostrations, and vigils, and the heat of summer, and the cold of winter, and he never took off his apparel of hairy sackcloth. His food was the herbs of the earth, and his drink was rain-water only, and for this reason his body shone, and his soul sent forth much light, and God gave him the gift of prophecy, and the power to work signs and miracles. And he used to tell people what was going to happen before it happened, and this power he possessed to a remarkable degree. One day he saw a number of women laughing and playing together in a lewd manner by a fountain of water, and he dried up the fountain of water and made the hair of their heads turn white. And having repented and made entreaty to him, and bowed low before him, they begged him to restore to them that fountain of water, and he restored it to its former state; but the hair of their heads remained white, so that they might be patient and not magnify themselves [in future]. One day whilst he was journeying along the road he found a number of men who were laying out and covering for burial a man who was not dead, and they asked the saint to give them cloths wherewith to swathe him, but the saint by his prayer made the dying man to live. When the men came back and found the dead man [alive], they entreated him, and repented, and he healed them. And the virtues and the righteousness of this saint becoming known, the priests chose him to be Bishop of the city of Nisibis. And having been appointed he protected the flock of the Lord Christ, and he ruled them well, and he guarded them well against the Arian wolves. When the Emperor Constantine gathered together the Council of the Saints in the city of Nicea this father was with them, and he excommunicated Arius and drove him out of the church; and he drew up the Prayer of the True and Holy Faith with the holy Fathers, and it is the Sign to all believers and Christian people. And he raised a man from the dead at the coming of the Emperor Constantine, even as the Book of the Council testifieth. And when the King of Persia came to the city of Nisibis and attacked it, this holy man brought a dense and smoky cloud over their horses and buffaloes, and it caused them pain, and they backed and broke the ropes which held them, and stampeded. When the King of Persia saw this he was afraid with a great fear, and he rose up and fled and departed as far away as possible from the city of Nisibis. And this saint having finished his strife, and illumined his own soul, and the souls of his flock, he died in peace, and went to God Whom he loved, and inherited everlasting life. Salutation to Jacob of Nisibis.

Salutation to the burning of the bones of Saint George (Gregory).

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.

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