Life of Mar Aba – chapter 14

14.  When the chief magian and his companions heard these words of the blessed one, they grew even more enraged.  They went to the King of Kings and complained to him, “This man, the leader of the Christians, must not live, because he is destroying the religion (dên) of Hormizd.”  Since they now pressured the King of Kings strongly, the latter allowed the blessed one to be taken to the PSNIK’ DRWSPN[1], to appear before the Mopetan Mopet, that PSNIK’, and to explain himself to the magians who were accusing him.

When the blessed one heard this message, he threw himself down, turned to the east, made the sign of the cross on his face, stood up boldly and said, “There is one God, the Creator, Lord and ruler of all, and he is in three persons without beginning and end.  To believe in and confess him is available for any man who of his own free will takes him as his Creator, and believes and confesses his Lordship.  No-one can use that belief in God, of which anyone who confesses Him is guilty, to say, “He is mine alone,” as other, pointless religions do.  And, like the air that we breathe, which all men have in common, and like the light of the sun, the moon, the stars, and millions more, Christianity is not just mine, but for all rational people, past, present and future, who want to believe it.  I say before men, what I learned from the holy scripture.  Anyone who listens, accepts and does, I commend, honour and praise, and I do not push him out of the church.  Because he knows his Creator, and believes in His Providence.  The holy scripture does not tell me to bind someone, beat them, or take something from them.  But we pray and implore God for those who err, that he will lead them to the knowledge of truth; but I would warn the Christians to guard against the uncleanness of sacrificial victims.”

Then the Mopetan Mopet, and all those present gave the verdict: He is worth of death.

The homily of MarAba is rather moving, isn’t it?

  1. [1]According to J. Labourt, Le christianisme dans l’empireperse sous la dynastie Sassanide, Paris, 1904, p.181 n.3, this is the pasaniqarusphan, the director of prisons, although he doesn’t seem that sure about it.

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