Saint Kirstos Semra : A Hagiography

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Saint Kirstos Semra is considered to be one of the first female philosophers. She is an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Saint too. Her contemplation of creating peace between God and Satan is being studied by religious philosophers. Just to add up to these studies, De Birhan Media has produced this general translation of her hagiography. 


Click here to read more about her philosophy. 

Following is GEDLE KIRSTOS SEMRA  (MIRACLES/ HAGIOGRAPHY KIRSTOS SEMRA).


GEDLE KIRSTOS SEMRA  (MIRACLES/ HAGIOGRAPHY KIRSTOS SEMRA)

©De Birhan Media (October, 2011)

Tinsae ZeGubae Prinitng Press

1976

The hagiography was originally written in Geez and Amharic languages. It has 104 pages. According to the publisher, Saint Kirstos Semra was one of the many Ethiopian saints.

The First 13 pages of the miracle book contain the prelude and discuss various inscriptions from gospel together with advice and interpretations of Saint Kirstos Semra’s miracles/hagiography. The prelude is not part of this translation.

This is a general translation attempting to catch the overall messages of  her miracles.


Off you go…

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An Imaginary drawing of Saint Kirstos Semra

Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of September


September


Saint Kirstos Semra was born in Shewa Region, Bulga Province, Ethiopia in a specific place called Saint Gaye.

There were two affluent couples in this area; the husband was called Dersani and the wife was called Eleni. Both were generous and God fearing. They gave birth to Kirtos Semra whom they have nurtured teaching her God’s laws and norms.

When she reached her puberty stage they got her married off to Semre Giorgis. He was rich and loved Kirstos Semra who was so beautiful. Her Father in law Eyesus Moa used to prophesise that she is a select for a big deal and always used respect her like our Lady.

She had eleven children with her husband; nine men and two women. 

The king during her time was Atse Gebremeskel and listening about her amazing ethics and reputation, he used to love and respect her too.

Asking her to remember him in her prayers, King Gebremeskel sent her servants, horse, mule and clothes and shoe made of gold. She did not like all the gifts; she liked the gifts to be sold and given to the needy and the Church.

One day, the head of angles, the Arc Angel Saint Michael appeared in front of her face with three breads. Although she asked her servants to bring her the breads, none were able to see what she saw and asked. The Arc Angel said to her ‘’eat this Kirstos Semra, this was given to you by the generosity of our God’’. She ate it and did not eat or drink for three days after that as the Holy Spirit had dwelled on her.

She had one servant who had a very bad manner…one day annoyed and angered by this servant…Saint Kirstos Semara sent flames into the servant’s mouth. Her servant died. Then Saint Kirstos Semara started to cry and seek for forgiveness from God. She prayed God to follow him leaving her wealth and family aside if he reunited the dead woman’s body and soul. Her prayer was listened and the woman that died was resurrected. She  believed that she should carry out what she promised to her God. She continued her prayers citing from the Psalms of David and Saint Yared.

She finally joined Debre Libanos Females Monastery. Here, she was blessed and praised by our God.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of October

October


One day the arc Angel Saint Michael took Saint Kirstos Semra to the island of Tana, in Northern Ethiopia. Then she spent 12 years standing and praying in the sea until her body had holes where fishes could flow. After 12 years when she was standing in the sea, Jesus Christ came to her. Jesus promised her that when she dies, he will send her Angels and his Mother, Mary. The Virgin Mary and Jesus had visited her too.

There was a man called Makebe Egzioo who used to live aside to Tana Lake. This man had denied Jesus Christ and was advised to insert a herb that would protect him from dangers and all hardships of this world. However, one day this man had confessed to Kirstos Semra about his acts and informed her that he sought for forgiveness from God on her name. Saint Kirstos Semra duly prayed to God to forgive him but Jesus said that the man did deny Him and used a herb for devilish purposes. She said to Him “You created the herbs, so destroy the Herbs and save his soul please”. God did listen to her prayers and forgave the man. Similarly, she had prayed for other sinners and gotten them forgiveness from God. She had frequent contact with God. Taken by St. Michael, her soul went to Jesus and there, God promised her that she could save souls from hell. He also promised her that he would not forgive those who do not believe when the miracles of holy people and saints are read.

She then returned to earth and her flesh and soul were reunited by St.Michael the arc Angel. She had also travelled to visit St. Lalibela in Roha.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of November

November


Once upon a time, Jesus Christ had given St.Kirstos wheat grains in remark of her role in bringing souls to heaven with her. Kirstsos Semra was allowed to suck Jesus’ side which was stabbed by Jews. He also gave her his flesh to eat. She was then filled with light. Through her dedication and prayers, Kirstos Semra has become one of the few women who had huge respect and bounty.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of December

December


Once upon a time she saw two people on one side and two people on the other crying and three other on another side and they were all crying. However, one man who was standing alone was laughing out loud. She asked the arc Angel Michaelwhythis man alone is laughing. The arc Angel Michael, told her to ask the man who was laughing. However, the manshoutedupon her and mistreated her, when she requested him to tell her why he was laughing. Finally, he explained to her that those who were crying were Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sara and Entos and Mekars and they were all crying about their children. The one who was laughing was devil.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of January


 January


On his Saint Day, January 12, Saint Michael gave Saint Kirstos Semra a grain of wheat. She then said to Jesus that she does not wealth in this world and that she has no place to plant it. Nevertheless, He told her that the wheat grains were human souls and not to be planted. In addition, the arc Angel Michael gave her the examples of the grains and the souls in remark of fish that would be saved by the net using what God said in the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind”. Like angels, Saint Kirstos Semra also grew six wings and those wings had 1000 eyes.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of February

February


Once upon a time on the Saint Day of Holy Saviour, March 27, she entered the church, to receive the Holy Communion. In the church, the flesh and blood that the Deacon brought for the Holy Communion changed into a child. Then the child was slaughtered. The congregated have all eaten from the blood and flesh. The Archangel told her that this is an explanation of the fact that although he dies in the flesh he is alive in soul. One other day, Satan came to her claiming that he was the Archangel and she asked him to teach her about saintly things if he was the Archangel. Assuming that he got her under his control, Satan advised her to stop weakening her body praying inside the lake. She said to him that she finds what he said different from the Bible. She said the bible says those who fast and pray will get their due and you are advising me otherwise. When she said this, he got angry with her. She asked him what defeats him. He said three things win me : When human beings are alive if they receive and hospitalize guests, those who bear sufferings in their patiently, and one who knows that he has come from the ground and goes to the ground and thus treats all with compassion and courtesy wins me.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of March


March 


At one point, people were hit with hunger, famine, and hardships. During these times, a person who was part of those that caused these hardships went to speak Saint Kirstos Semra. He discussed with her many issues including who he was and that himself and his colleagues would be ordered by our God through the Archangel to affect people who have done bad and did not follow his rules.


 Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of April

April


Saint Kirstos Semra was baptised by Mosses, Elias and John. When John poured the holy water on her body, she was filled with light. They told her that she was the only one to be baptised in Jordan River after Jesus Christ. When she asked them to pray for her and that she may be healed from her ailments, they explained her that saints and those that God loves would get sick and that she should rather pray to have the strength to cope with it.

Before they left, they had announced to her that after some time she will be an Administrator of a Monastery called Guangutand those daughters of the clergy, nobilities would surround her. When she heard this, she was frightened and did not desire to be among these people as she felt that devil comes among/with people. They have told her citing an example from the gospel that says, “A village in a mountain cannot live/remain hidden ’’. After this, they have ascended to heaven.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of May

May


 One day she was praying in Guangut Island about the vanity of this world and the passing of things: – Jesus Christ appeared in front of her and she suddenly fell at his feet. He told her not to be afraid and tell Him her mind. She said to Him ‘Haven’t You crucified for the sake of Adam and his children?’ He said yes. She said ‘then please forgive all those that died since the times of Abel to those who will die at the end of the world. Jesus said to her ‘dear Kirstos Semra, compare the sufferings I endured in the Holy Friday with the sins that Adam and his children committed.’ He detailed and explained to her the sufferings and hardships he had gone through, and asked her if he should forgive those people who sin knowing. He has gone through all this hardships for the sake of them. She made her points saying ‘there is no wood that does not smoke and a human being that does not offend? ’ Thus instead of investigating/challenging them please do forgive them.

Jesus said to her ‘my dear Kirstsos Semra do tell me what is in your heart?’

‘If so, my Creator I beseech you, to forgive Devil so that Adam’s children could be saved from sufferings and being cursed. Because you want a sinners return not of his disappearance’, she said.

“I am not asking You to forgive Satan because I love/like him but because I hoped that if he is forgiven there will not be suffering and curse on Adam’s children. As their flesh is Your flesh, as my flesh is your flesh” She said to Jesus.

When she said this, Jesus smiled and said ‘Dear Kirstos Semra, you are asking that what those who were before you or those who will come after you won’t think ’. After this, Jesus called the Archangel Michael and told him that she wants Him to forgive Satan and thus take her to hell so that she would ask Satanel to bring him if he agrees with her. When she was going with the Archangel, she was saying to him, if Satanel makes up or asks for forgiveness then Adam’s children would be saved.  When they reached the top of hell, the sufferings she saw were unspeakable; humans were biting each other like dogs. The Archangel told her to call him ‘Devil’ if he seeks forgiveness. She called him in the language of angels ‘Satnaeal’ three times.

Satnael said, “Who is calling me while I am in the realm of the crowd. I was hunting you for many years but today you have come to my place.”

She said to him “Lord had forgiven you so come out with your people from this place of suffering” When she said this the heart of Devil was burning like a fire. The devil then held her left hand with his left hand and threw her to hell. However, the Archangel hit the Devil with his sword and the doors of hell were opened. At this moment, there was a loud and disturbing noise and scream and souls in hell surround and circled her. At this moment, 10,000 souls were saved/taken out of hell via the Archangel’s wind and the wing that she was given. When she saw this, she was delighted, due to her extreme delight she was jumping among them like a breast-feeding calf, which was jumping at the same time.

Then she went to the Lord Jesus Christ and thanked him for his forgiveness, love and forgiveness. He said to her “did you bring lives winning Devil?” She said yes. He then called the Archangel and told him to take those souls to Saint KitrstosSemra’s residence that I readied for her before creation of the world. She said to Him, “Where is my residence, my Lord?” Lord said to her “you place of residence is with my Mother, the Virgin Mary, and your rank will be second to her and all those who love you are respected.”

She was delighted when she heard this. Turning back her head she saw 10 glittering crowns and they all had four stars on each of them; a total of 40 starts. The Archangel told her that they were all for her. He said they were given to her for keeping the 10 words of Old Testament, six words of the Gospel and leaving her wealth, children, and this world and for loving and following the ways of God.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of June

 ©De Birhan Media


June


In the Saintly celebration day of Saint Michael November 12/June 12(Eth.cal), the Archangel came to Saint Kirstos Semraandasked why she does not erect a church in Guangut Island. She said she is a weak and helpless woman and cannot be able to build the church. The Archangel said that God would help her and that he would be with her too. The Archangel said that the prophecy that saints that baptised her announced has come true and children of the nobility would come and sit with her and help her build it. He advised that she the chosen and not to feel weak and incapable to do this. As the Archangel did tell her a monk called Yishak came to her. He told her that he came to her so that she consoles him and help him  in his problems. He told her that he was orphaned at the age of 10 and since then started living in a cave planting his own food and selling the rest in the market. “And one day, the administrator of the market asked the people about my address. All said they do not know. The Administrator sent few people to follow me and see where I live. As I arrived my place and started to eat my cabbage, the men came in took me roughing me up. They said that I was a rebel living in the other place with joy and happiness and then they whipped me. My suffering was immense. The Archangel told me that for the sufferings I endured, God has given me seven crowns and he also advised me to come to you to get consolation.” The Monk told her.

Kirstos Semra listening to his words said that he was welcome to the place and allowed him to build a small hat in her place and lead his life crying and grieving for his sins.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of July

July


One day, the Archangel said to Kirstos Semra that day I had told you, has reached; children of the nobility will come to you, these girls will be made monks by Priest Yishak and build a church in my name as soon as you can. A group of girls came and said, “You, pride of us women peace be to you” bowing down on her legs. She replied “May the peace of our God be with you.”

The number of nuns joining the Monastery increased to 600 and Priest Yishask was canonizing them as monks. Priest Yishak finished the building of the Saint Michael’s church in cooperation with the monks and he blessed it inviting dignitaries and monks from monasteries near and afar. All of them; men and women took the Holy Communion. God has told her to teach them the Gospel and keep them from sleeping. And she taught them taking various examples that though about following the rules of Jesus, patience and laziness. She always used to teach them saying ‘those of you who wear earrings, dress your hair and tattoo your body and tempt others will face the burning fires. ’All of them listened and accepted her teachings duly and there were some among them who dug the ground and prayed inside it naked. There were also some who died in the holes while praying and fasting. She used to go and pray with them, Henok, and Elias too.

Then one day she called all the nuns and told them that she will assign them a new administrator for the Monastery and that she would only be present with them spiritually but not physically.

She then entered a dug ground. Then she asked one of her assistants and told her to put three sharp spears each in front, back, on her left hand and right hand sides. She also asked her to shackle her hands at the back of her. Standing in the middle of these spears she was repenting, bowing, fasting and praying. The stabs of the spears during her bowing prayers severed her body. She did this spiritual struggle for 12 years. God’s angel then advised her to go out and pray inside Tana Lake and she did this for three years.


Miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra to be prayed in the month of August

August


Jesus, The Mother Mary and Michael and many other saints came to Saint Kirstos Semra. King of Israel, David also came with them. Jesus said to her that he was there to transfer her from this unwanted world into the wanted world. He also made many promises to her saying that those who respect, call her name, build a church in her name and do well on her name, would do those favours and listens to their wishes and prayers. He said that even if she would be buried in earth, he would raise her after two days. He said he would forgive those who call her name, do good will be forgiven up to their 10th generation and named the Island she was in as ‘the Church of forgiveness and love’. He told her that her honour is equal to Cherkos, Aron, Mosses, St.George ,Entos and Mekarios. He said he would respect all those that respect her.

Saint Kirstos Semra’s soul left her flesh on August 24th (Eth. Cal.).Her soul was resurrected. When she resurrected she sat next to the Mother Mary. When Monk Yishak went to the Monastery to visit her, he found out that she was dead he then called all the nuns buried her. He then decided to follow her footsteps, dug a hole in his length, and started to live intheborehole praying and fasting. He also died and through the prayers and mediation of Kirstos Semra he joined heaven.

Saint Kirstos Semra lived 375 years on earth.

Filipos, the writer of the Miracle book says that he did not live during  times of Saint Kirstos Semra but She appeared to him in spirit during times of the Ethiopian King, Dawit II and ordered him to write her Miracles. Her saintly day is celebrated on the 24th of every month. Congregates head to Tana Lake, Amhara Region, Ethiopia every year to celebrate her saintly day in the church she was buried.


Miracles

· A person who was hit by diseases had promised to her saying that if she cures him from the disease, he would write her miracles. She did cure him. The man accomplished his promise.

· In her church in Guangut, she rained milk and honey for seven days. Blind and crippled were cured. During that time there was full happiness all over Ethiopia.

· In Shewa, Ethiopia, there was a childless soldier. Crying and in deep sorrow in front of Saint Kirstos Semra’s picture, he promised to give a silk curtain and gold umbrella to her Church if she gives him and his wife a child. Taking soil, nut, and fruit from the church of Saint Kirstos Semra, the couple returned to their home. Later, the woman gave birth to a boy. As promised, they gave the gifts to the Church. With immense joy, they thanked God and they respected Saint Kirstos Semra.

· One day from Enfraz she started her journey to Guangut, the Church of Saint Kirstos Semra. While on her way, a man who wanted to rape her stooped and caught her. She begged the man in the name of God to leave her. He refused and threw her to the ground to fulfil his wish. The woman prayed to Saint Kirstos Semra and she immediately helped her in her mediating power. Suddenly, a lightening came and slit the man in two and his flesh was slit into 10. And the woman was saved.

· In Shewa, province there was a rich woman called Tsgie Negus, who had three children. Two of her boys became blind and her daughter went deaf. Although herbalists and healers tried to cure them none were successful. She once remembered the miracles of Saint Kirstos Semra and then prayed to her saying that if she cured her children she would give 100gm of Gold to her church and would celebrate her saintly days. They were cured and she gave what she promised.

· One day during a church celebration in the month of January, the church’s museum guard left the lamp without turning it off. When he came in the morning, none of the materials or manuscripts was damaged except the taps. This was a miracle of Saint Kirstos Semra.

· There was a vagrant in the Guangut Islands who used to kill and destroy the products of the monks and nuns in the Island. One day after dismounting from his mule, when he reached River Gumera he went on to a boat, however, a crocodile ate his mule. When he saw this vagrant man cried to Saint Kirstos Semra. Saint KirstosSemra listened to him and advised him not to sin and offend anymore. She ordered him that he returned all that he stole from the monks. He did return all that he stole and made up with them. The nuns and monks were happy because Saint Kirstos Semra made peace between them and that betraying enemy through her prayers.

· Once upon a time, there was a savage animal in Gojjam and Gonder that used to hunt the people and even people in graves. One day as usual it went to the Church of Saint Kirstos Semra to eat whatever it gets. However, when he reached the door of her Church, which is called earthly/secular heaven an enormous lightening came and split him into two. The people were so happy that this happened through the prayers of Saint Kirstos Semra.

· One officer wanted to burn Saint Kirstos Semra’s church. He went to her church with his soldiers and ordered the monks and nuns there to obey him and pay tax otherwise he will burn the church and the people there. The freighted people gathered and started praying to the Saint Kirstos Semra. The man was hit by lighting while on his horse.

· One-day people in Guangut island started arguing and fighting over their ownership and inheritance of Saint Kirstos Semra’s land. In the middle of this, one priest went to the church with a lamp and key to read what the manuscripts about the issue. However, he did not find any left with the lamp put on. The lamp caught the curtain and Her church was burnt. The people’s and her prayer saved the Church.

· In the Guangut Church, there was a lazy and impolite Priest. The priest son was sick and was bed ridden for years. One day he went to Saint Kirstos Semra and cut a piece of filament at his own will. He took the filament and gave it to his son and his son was cured. The priest died two days later.

· One rich lady begged Saint Kirstos Semra that she does not die before confessing and when she dies her tomb would be in Guangut Church ,which is the example of Jerusalem and is called ‘Church of Forgiveness’. Herprayerswere listened and all that she wished happened.

· People pray and baptise themselves in Tana Lake where she had prayed for many years and all their prayers are listened and she gives them protection, cure and respect.

· There was a hermit who loved and respected Saint Kirstos Semra. He spent a long time teaching people and visitors about the miracles of Saint Kirstos Semra. He collected and saved all the gifts and money that those people gave to her Church with a senior monk called Priest Gebre Eyesus Kirstos. Later when the hermit went to Gojjam, thieves entered Priest Gebre Eyesus Kirstos’ house and stole all the saved items and wealth. When the hermit learnt about this incidence, he was so grieved and said to Saint Kirstos Semra that he will not return to her Church unless those thieves are punished for their misdeeds. Finally, Saint Kirstos Semra told him that they were all punished and he did return to her Church.

 ©De Birhan Media (October, 2011)