October 6, 2022
Dear Children of God! how are you? how was holiday? We hope it was all good and well for you and your parents! Children as the ‘Summer’ season has passed, we started the new season ‘Autumn’ which is filled with the bloom of flowers. It is also the time of the commemoration of the migration of Holy Mother Saint Mary and her baby Jesus, our Lord to the land of Egypt the and Ethiopia.
Children! you might have seen your parents and other Christians coming from Holy Church carrying red, rose, white and other combined colors of flowers in this season. Do you know the reason for that? It is because we symbolize Saint Mary and Lord Jesus with flowers. It has its own story and so we might tell it to you another time. But for now, we will tell you the story about Saint Arsema, so be with us!
Dear Children! there were two righteous (people of God) people called Atnasia and Theodor. They were unable to have children. Then, they prayed to God so that He would give them a child and He gave them a very beautiful child; Her name is Arsema. They raised with good, manner teaching her with Church education. She was obedient to her parents and diligent by praying and fasting. She was also sympathetic (a person who feel sorry and sad for other people). When Arsema grew up, she went to a monastery and became a monk.
Children! during that time, there was a cruel King called Diocletian who worshiped the devil. He tortured Christians forcing them to worship Idol. One day, he saw Saint Arsema and wished to marry her. But, as she refused to be the wife of the cruel King and fled to the county of Armenia with her monks. They dwelt in a monastery for the time being but King Diocletian send a message to the Armenian King Dertades saying, “there are virgin monks who came to your country. Capture them and send it to me.” Then the King search for Saint Arsema and the other monks and found her in the monastery. When King Dertades saw her, he was amazed by her beauty and asked her to marry him. but Saint Arsema refused saying, “I am a virgin who is the bride of Christ. I do not want to get married.” The King then tried to force in to marriage but she defeated him in public. He was ashamed and ordered for her and their other monks severe torture. He gave them to the lions but they didn’t eat them. He starved them but God send them food and drink from heaven and fed them. Then the King put them into fire but they weren’t burn because God miraculously protected them.
Dear Children of God! Dertades got very angry that after all this torture, the monks refused to worship the Idol. He even cut off the head of each monks one by one to scare off Saint Arsema. Meanwhile, Crown of Martyrdom from heaven. Witnessing this, Saint Arsema encouraged them saying, “Be heartened!” But, the king got angry at Saint Arsema and threatened (scare) her saying, “I would not kill you easily like the others.” He then tortured her severely. He first tore out her tongue, pull out her eyes, cut off her breasts and chopped her body to pieces. This was on September 29 (Ethiopian Calendar).
Dear Children! After this, Lord Jesus came from heaven and vowed for Saint Arsema to save those who plead in her name, who read, perceive and write her story, who give alms (money, food, clothes and others materials to the poor).
Dear Children of God! Saint Arsema has saved many people with intercession (prayer) and performed many other miracles in her time. Even the cruel King Dertades was saved with her intercession after many years and testified about the true Lord Jesus.
Children! We learn about the lives of Saints so that we could stay away from bad deeds and live with good manners and Christianity. We shall be raised to be obedient, diligent and righteous.
Farwell children! We hope you have understood the story of Saint Arsema and commemorate her day for she would interceded for you to go to heaven. Until we meet on our next lesson, have a good time.
May God be with you, Amen!