IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD. AMEN
Abune Meba Tsion - አቡነ መብዓ ፅዮን
Saint Abune Meba Tsion (አቡነ መብዓ ፅዮን) was born in the 15th century in the city of Shewa Tigulat to a childless couple who prayed to the almighty God through fasting and prayer. At young age Abune Meba Tsion was filled with the love of our holy mother and her son Our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos and entered a Monastery life.
Young Saint Abune Meba Tsion fought a great fight to remember the suffering of our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos and to understand his suffering on the cross so that he may be able to be in grieve and sorrow for his own sins. Once Our Lord came to him through vision and ask him my son “Would you like to see my suffering on the cross? Saint Abune Meba Tsion replied "Yes, I do. Few days later when Abune Meba Tsion was completing his Friday regular prayer he In-visioned our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos as His hands and feet were nailed and stretched out on the cross, and He had a crown of thorns on His head when he was brought to a Roman court. After this vision every Friday Saint Abune Meba Tsion used to carry a large stone on his back, struck his chest with rock, and used to drink Kosso (cup of bitter) to commemorate the suffering of our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos. Saint Abune Meba Tsion also lost his sight because of the fact that he was constantly crying remembering Lord’s suffering on the cross. But the Blessed Virgin Mariam, the Most High came to Abune Meba Tsion with Chalice of light and anointed his eyes and healed them. Our Holy Virgin Mother called his name Tekle Mariam. Because of the abundance of his righteousness, Saint Abune Meba Tsion planted his wood cane, and it produce lemons and other citrus fruits. When the righteous come to his rest day Tekemt 27 [November 6] Our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos the Redeemer who pays the true price for his saints came down to Saint Abune Meba Tsion and gifted him with many promises and covenants. One of the promises is anyone who honored saint Abune Meba Tsion’s name by making pilgrimage to the Monastery, on top of a tall mountain, will have all his sins forgiven. To this day visitors can see that the body of those who got burial at the Monastery doesn’t decay. The Memorial of Abune Meba Tsion is celebrated annually on Tekemt 27 on the Feast of the Crucifixion.
May the prayer of Abune Meba Tsion be up on us! Amen
Abuna Aregawi (also called Za-Mika’el 'Aragawi) is one of the Nine Saints that traveled in exile from Rome to Axum - North part of Ethiopia to escape persecution after the Council of Chalcedon (451). Abuna Aregawi and the other Eight Saints are credited in Ethiopia with enculturating and spreading the Orthodox Faith. The Nine Saints are Abba 'Afse, Abba 'Alef, Abba Garima, Abba Guba, Abba Liqanos, Abba Pantelewon, Abba Sahma, Abba Yam'ata and Abba Za-Mika'el 'Aragawwas.
The Nine Saints remained in Axum for 12 years before they left Axum to evangelize different parts of Ethiopia especially Tigray region. The Axum royal court had converted to Christianity over a century earlier, but much of the country, outside of Axum, had yet to hear about the Gospel. Saint Aregawi settled on the mountain of Debre Damo and established the monastery. According to his Gidel Archangel Saint Michael came to Abuna Aregawi carrying a sword in his hand and pointed towards Debra Damo, directing Saint Aregawi to the place where the saint is to establish Debra Damo monastery. The other eight saints settled around Tigray countryside.
The feast of Saint (Abune) Aregawi is celebrated on Tikimit 14 / October 24 Ethiopian calendar which culminates that Abune Aregawi taken to heaven and celebrated in a pilgrimage to Debre Damo from all over the country. Debre Damo is only accessible by climbing up by a rope which symbolize the saint was assisted by a giant serpent to the top. The rope is made of "plaited leather", lowered from the cliffs, which visitors tie around their waist and are then pulled up by a monk at the top of the cliffs. It is only accessible to men and male animals. Women and even female animals are forbidden to set a foot into the monastery, and must remain under the cliffs. Female believers may pray and take the blessing of Debre Damo at Kidane Mihiret, located at the entrance to the wall.
On this day we also celebrate the departure of Gabra Kirstos the Hermit.
May the prayer of Abune Aregawi and Gabra Kirstos be up on us!