St. Takla Hemanout the Ethiopian

On 30th August (24th of Misra) we celebrate the feast of St Takla Hemanout the Ethiopian. He was born into a Christian family, his father was a priest, Abouna Sagaz (meaning the gift of faith) and his mother was called Sarah.

St TaklaThey loved the poor and spent their lives serving those who were less fortunate. They had a special relationship with Archangel Michael and on his feast day they would invite the poor to their home, cook a great feast for them and give them money. Sarah longed to have a child but was barren, however, she continuously prayed for a baby as her faith in The Lord was strong. Eventually God granted  Sarah and Abouna Sagaz a child, they named him 'Joy of Zion'. This child was blessed; he performed many miracles when he was very young. When he was almost two years old there was a famine all over the land,  and his parents were upset they could not prepare any food for the poor for the feast of Archangel Michael. The child placed his hands over the small amount of flour and oil that were left then suddenly there was enough flour and oil to fill every container in the house, and again they shared this with the poor.  The child grew up learning the Psalms and continuously reading the Holy Bible.

When he was a teenager, Archangel Michael appeared to Pope Kyrillos of  Ethiopia in a dream, and told him that the next day a man would come and kneel before him and that this man had a blessed son who was chosen for heaven and great before God. "Consecrate him as a Deacon, then leave him to go peacefully", he said.  Abouna Sazag and Sarah wanted their son to get married but the saint wanted to give his life to The Lord.

One day while he was practicing his hobby of hunting in the woods, God appeared to him held on the wings of angels saying: "I am your God who protected you since your childhood. Now you hunt people instead of animals. From now your name will be 'Takla Hemanoat'," which means 'pillar of faith'. Soon after, Saint Takla was ordained as a priest. The Lord sent him to many places where God's work needed to be done. The saint performed many miracles, he healed the sick and brought out devils, because of this and his strong faith many people came to The Lord and were baptised as Christians.

Towards the end of his life, Saint Takla spent a lot of the time in his monastery  with the other monks, fasting and praying. When it was time for his earthly life to come to an end he saw the Heavens open. He saw God, the Virgin Mary and many angels headed by the Archangel Michael. His cave lit up with a heavenly light, and it was full of a beautiful scent and his soul was carried to heaven. This was on 24th of Mesra; the saint was aged 99 years and 8 months old. May the story of this saint inspire us to remain faithful to God and help us to remember that with the Lord we can do amazing things. May the prayers of St Takla be with us all, amen.

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

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    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX