Life of Mar Aba – chapter 5

5.  As the blessed one saw the virtue of this student, and thought much about his words, he decided in his heart to go and learn at the Christian college, and fasted and prayed much. 

He was working for a respectable man named Chudaibod, the secretary of the Finance Director of the district of Beit Aramaye, and was then in Radan.  After the latter was called to Ctesiphon, the blessed one also went down with the secretary for whom he was working.  He fasted daily and prayed constantly at the stone church.[1] 

The secretary heard, where he was, that the blessed was being instructed in Christianity and said one day, “Aba, have you become a messianist?”  He said, “Yes, I am a messianist.”  The secretary said, “I will say this and accuse you before the Finance Director, and you will be put in chains.”[2]  The blessed one said, “Just say it; I am willing to allow myself to be chained and to die for the name of Christ.”  So spoke the saint, although he had not yet received the seal of baptism. 

After he had spent some time in Ctesiphon, he returned to his home and after fasting and praying constantly, he entered into holy baptism in the village of ‘KD.[3]  From then on he was more eager in fasting, prayer and virtuous works.  He left the secretary and his service, renounced the world, and decided to go into the desert and the mountains, there to live and to please God by his conduct.

  1. [1]German “Kalkkirche”.
  2. [2]It was illegal in the Sassanid realm for Zoroastrians to convert to Christianity, and the convert could be executed.
  3. [3]This name is given in this unvocalised form in the BKV.

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