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.
On 18 February, we commemorate the memory of St. Luke (Mar Lucas). This is Mar Lucas, one of the twelve original Apostles of Yisho Mashikha. Most know St. Luke as the author of one of the four Gospels in the Peshitta.
All spiritual communities within the Religion of Light commemorate St. Luke, although on various days in the year.
On 16 February, we commemorate the memory of St. Kabara (Khabra, Bahraya, Gavriavi). He is specifically referred to as Apostle Gavriavi in the Manichaean Holy Book (see Acts of Mar Mani 16:6; 17:8, 11).
Kabara was an early disciple of Mar Mani, and after the Prophet’s entering into the cloud, Kabara served as a temporary leader.
Today Manichaeans commemorate the birth of Mar Mani. Brethren are encouraged to read the Gospel of Mar Mani (especially Chapters 35-37), along with the Acts of Mar Mani over the next couple of days.
“Out of Paradise has come a Messenger, a Herald from the Kingdom, a Messenger with a dear name, the Chosen of God, the Holy Mani†, the gracious Word!” (Gospel of Mar Mani 35:1)