“From time to time Wisdom and the Pure Teaching have always been brought to mankind by Messengers of God…. Apostles and Messengers have I sent out to all the lands.” (Gospel of Mar Mani 30:1; 36:7)
(Verses are linked to the Holy Book or commentaries when available)
1 March, Tuesday
Emanations, Light of Karuzuta, Mar Shimon-Kephas
Daily Reading: Gospel of Mar Mani 64
2 March, Wednesday
St. Darius of Spain
Daily Reading: Gospel of Mar Mani 65
Each year, our brethren in the East, specifically within the Manichaean Church in the East, commemorate the memory of St. Darius of Spain, also known as “St. Darius the Hermit.” This year, the Mother Church in Iran encouraged brethren in the West, to commemorate this and three other saints beginning this year.
St. Darius was a Hearer and hermit who resided in the north-eastern region of Spain, where he occupied a very small, one room home. He was under the spiritual guidance of Mar Marcus of Memphis, circa 400 C.E. His days were filled with incessant prayer, the copying of Scriptures and epistles, and helping other Manichaeans in Spain and France during perilous times. Many would visit Darius at his humble hermitage, under the cover of darkness, to receive the blessing of his knowledge of the holy texts. Although he had very little food of his own, he would share whatever he had with any of his brethren who would visit.
Today, 25 February, we commemorate the memory of St. Abursam. He is also known as Abursam bar Shabuhr, since his father was Shabuhr.
We have very little information on this particular saint, but we do know that he was an early disciple of Mar Mani and was called to be among the first twelve Apostles of the Holy Prophet.
“He who recites a psalm is like those who weave a beautiful garland, while those who answer after him are like those who put roses in his hands.” — Gospel of Mar Mani 58:3
The Holy Book encourages us to use psalms in our prayers. Psalm 76:7, a quote of Mar Mani, says: “He that sings a mazmora (psalm) is like one who weaves a garland.” If we are blessed enough to be accompanied in our prayers with a brother or sister, they can give the responses to the psalms, as the Gospel says, “those who answer after him are like those who put roses in his hands.”
The Living Cross, as explained by Mar Mani, is the soul imprisoned in matter. The Holy Book warns that we are not to “recklessly and greedily” bring harm to the Living Cross.
Bringing harm to the Living Cross is done so by our eating, but the Holy Book also recognizes the obvious need for the human body to consume food. However, it says that when we do, it should not be done “recklessly and revelling in gluttony and greed.” Mar Mani teaches us that we should eat when in hunger and drink when in thirst so as to “derive nourishment for your bodies.”