Habib the martyr, clad in flame,
hath called to me out of the fire,
for him likewise I should fashion an image of beauty among the
Comrade of conquerors, lo! He
beckoneth to me out of the burning,
That, as for the glory
of his Lord, I should sing concerning him.
midst of live coals stands the heroic man, and lo! He calleth
should fashion his image: but the blazing fire permits me not.
love is fervid, glowing is his faith;
fire also burneth, and who is adequate to recount his love?
reason of that love which led the martyr into the fire,
is able to recount his beauties divine.
shall dare enter and see in the blazing fire
To whom he is like, and after
what pattern he is to be fashioned among the
Shall I fashion his image by the
side of the youths, the children of the furnace?
Hananiah shall I reckon Habib? I know not.
these were not burned there: how, then, is he like?
I say, like them, when he was burned and the youths not?
I ask, the more beautiful-Habib the martyr, or Azariah?
Difficult for me is the image: how I am to look upon it, I know not.
Michael was not burned by the flame;
Habib was burned: which, then, the more beautiful to him that
looketh upon him?
shall dare say that this is repulsive, or that;
Or not so comely this as that, to
him that beholdeth him?
there are in the fire, and the flame cometh not near them;
one was burned: and how shall I suffice to tell
the Fourth form is that of Him who went down into the midst
He might fashion an image for Habib there along with those of
giveth a place in the fire to him who was burned,
That he may be, instead of Him
the Fourth, by the side of the conquerors.
of the three the beauties be glorious, though they were not burned,
shall not this one, who was burned, be mingled with the
man have the power either to be burned or not to be burned,
this man, who was burned, more exalted was the beauty than that
inasmuch as the Lord is the control of all things,
is to be praised, both where He rescues and where He delivers
Moreover, too, the will of the three who were not burned,
him who was burned, is one and the same, in this case and in that;
had its Lord commanded the fire to burn them,
Even those three on their
part, burned they would have been;
He had signified to it that it should not burn that one man also,
would not have been burned; nor had it been of himself that he
To go into the fire was of
their own will, when they went in;
that they were not burned-because the Lord of the fire willed
Therefore one equal beauty is that of him who was burned,
And that of him who was not
burned, because the will also was equal.
martyr! exalted is thy beauty; exalted is thy rank:
Graceful too thy crown, and mingled thy story with that of
gold art thou, and the fire hath tried thee, and resplendent is thy
lo! into the King's crown art thou wrought, along with the
workman! who, in the doctrine of the Son of God,
Pursueth his course like a
valiant man, because of the beauty of his faith.
the martyr was a teacher of that which is true;
preacher also, whose mouth was full of faith.
Watchful was he, and prompt for service; and he encouraged
with his teaching
household of the house of God, through his faith.
light was he full, and he wrestled with the darkness
overspread the country from the paganism which had darkened it.
the Gospel of the Son was his mouth filled in the congregations;
And as it were a leader of the
way did he become to the villages when he arrived in them.
he was, because he was concerned for the doctrine
Divine, that he might establish the adherents of the faith.
time when the winds of the pagans blew, a lamp was he,
flamed forth whilst they blew upon him, and went not out.
fire was he, and filled with the love of his Lord, and was concerned
For this-that he might speak of
Him without hindrance.
thorns of errour sprang up in the land from paganism;
as much as in him lay, he rooted them out by his diligence.
taught, admonished, and confirmed in the faith,
friends of Christ, who were harassed by persecutors.
sword and against fire did he wrestle,
love hot as the flame, and was not afraid.
two-edged brand, keen was
faith, and against error did he contend.
did he prove to be in this land which had become exhausted
Through fondness for the idols of vanity which error had brought in.
like salt by reason of his savoury doctrine
To this region, which had become
insipid through unbelief.
deacon was he, and filled the place of a high-priest
preaching and teaching of that which is true.
to the flock a good shepherd whilst he was its overseer;
his life laid he down for the flock while he tended it.
chased away the wolf, and drove off from it the beast of prey.
repaired the breaches, and gathered the lambs into their folds.
out secretly and encouraged the congregations:
strengthened them, and exhorted them, and held them up.
forged armour of faith, and put it on them,
That they might not be
ignominiously overthrown by the paganism which abounded.
flocks of the fold of the Son of God were being laid waste
persecutors: and he encouraged the lambs and the ewes.
was an advocate to the household of faith;
taught them not to be daunted by persecutors.
taught them to run to meet death,
Without being afraid either of sword or of fire.
teaching of the Son of God he prospered,
So that his faith pursued its
course without dread.
errour grew envious, became furious, and was maddened, because of
And she pursued after him, that she
might shed upon the earth
Defamer, who hates the race of men,
snares for him, that he might rid the place of his presence.
hateth the truth pursued after him to put him to death,
he might make his voice to cease from the teaching of the house
errour raised an outcry demanding that Habib should die,
because she hated
Vexation goaded her on, and she
sought to take away his life.
story was talked about before the pagan judge of the country,
the dear fame of him reached the king: who in great rage,
because the diadem was interwoven with paganism, decreed death
Against Habib, because he was full of faith.
when the command reached the judge, he armed himself
rage and fury; and, with a mind thirsting for blood,
like hunters who lay nets for the young stag,
After Habib did they go out to
this man was a preacher of the faith,
the highway of the crucifixion was prospering;
that he might benefit by his teaching the children of his people,
work embraced the countries round about him.
when error went out after him, she found him not:
that he was fled, but that he had gone out to preach the Gospel.
because of the fury of the pagans, which was great beyond all that
His kindred and his mother did
they seize for his sake.
art thou, O woman! mother since thou art of the martyr.
wherefore was it that they seized thee and bound thee,
they require of thee, O thou full of beauty? What, I ask,
required of thee?
they require of thee that thou bring the martyr, that he may be a
oh bring thy sweet fruit to the place of the oblation-
fruit whose smell is
fragrant, that it may be incense to the Godhead.
shoot, thy cluster bring from where it is,
That its wine may be for a
libation whose taste is sweet.
lamb heard that they were seeking him, that he might be a sacrifice;
set out and came to the sacrificers rejoicing.
heard that others also were being afflicted for his sake,
came that he might bear the suffering which was his, in the
The lot fell on him, to be
himself alone a sacrifice;
the fire that was to offer him up was looking out for him
until he came.
many who were bound for his sake
one single person was seized to die, but only he.
was that was worthy, and for him was martyrdom reserved;
snatch the martyr's place no man was able.
therefore of his own will did he present himself
judge, that he might be seized, and die for Jesus' sake.
heard that they sought him, and he came that he might be seized,
even as they
went in of himself before the judge, and dauntless was his look.
not himself, nor did he wish to flee from the judge:
For with light was he imbued, and
from the darkness he would not flee.
robber was he, no murderer, no thief,
child of night: but all his course was run in open day.
Wherefore from his flock should the good shepherd flee,
leave his fold to be devoured by robbers?
Wherefore should the physician flee, who goeth forth to heal
cure souls by the blood of the Son of God?
fearless countenance did the brave man carry with him, and a
meet death he ran, rejoicing, for Jesus' sake.
in, he stood before the judge, saying to him:
Habib, whom ye sought: lo! here I stand.
pagan trembled, and amazement seized him, and he marveled at him-
man who was not afraid, either of sword or of fire.
he thought that he was fleeing apace, he entered in and mocked him;
And the judge shook, for he saw
him courageous in the very face of death.
disciple he of that Son of God who said:
come, let us go: for he that betrayeth me lo! is here."
the crucifiers, again, He said: "Whom seek ye? "
say: "Jesus." And He said to them: "I am He."
of God of His own will came to the cross;
And on Him the martyr looked, and
presented himself uncompelled before the judge.
pagan beheld him, and was smitten with fear, and was exasperated
rage was excited, and he began in his fury to put to him questions.
if he had been one who had shed on the ground the blood of the
proceeded to question the saintly man, but he was not ashamed
Menacing him, and trying to terrify him, and to frighten him,
And recounting the sufferings
which were being prepared by him on his account.
Habib, when questioned, was not afraid,
not ashamed, and was not frightened by the menaces he heard.
up his voice, he confessed Jesus, the Son of God-
he was His servant, and was His priest, and His minister.
fury of the pagans, roaring at him like lions,
trembled not, nor ceased from the confession of the Son of God.
scourged, and the scourgings were very dear to him,
that he bore a little of the stripes of the Son of God.
put into bonds, and he looked on his Lord, whom also they had bound;
his heart rejoiced that in the path of His sufferings he had begun
ascended the block, and they tore him with combs, but his soul was
Because he was deemed
worthy that on him should come the agony of the sufferings of crucifixion.
pathway of death had he set his face to walk,
what could he desire to find in it but sufferings?
fire of sacrifice was betrothed to him, and for her did he look;
she on her part sent him combs, and stripes, and pains, to
while that she was coming, she sent him sufferings, that by means of
might be prepared, so that when she met him she might not dismay
Sufferings purged him, so that, when the blazing fire should put him
there might not be any dross found in his choice gold.
endured the whole of the pains that came upon him,
That he might have experience
of suffering, and in the burning stand like a brave man.
accepted rejoicing the sufferings which he had to bear:
knew that at their termination he should find death.
was not afraid, either of death or of sufferings:
with that wine of the crucifixion his heart was drunk.
despised his body, while it was being dragged along by the
his limbs, while they were being torn asunder in bitter agony.
Scourges on his back, combs on his sides, stocks on his feet,
And fire in front of him: still
was he brave and full of faith.
taunted him: Lo! thou worshippest a man;
said: A man I worship not,
God, who took a body and became man:
I worship, because He is God with Him that begat Him.
faith of Habib, the martyr, was full of light
it was enlightened Edessa, the faithful city.
daughter of Abgar, whom Addaeus betrothed to the crucifixion-
Through it is her light, through it her truth and her faith.
king is from it, her martyrs from it, her truth from it;
teachers also of her faith are from it.
believed that Thou an God, the Son of God;
received a blessing because of the beauty of his faith.
the martyr, son of the Edessaeans, more-ever said:
heart is led captive by God, who became man.
Habib the martyr, who also was crowned at Edessa,
Confessed these things: that He took a body and became man;
is the Son of God, and also is God, and became man.
learned from teachers the things that are true:
king taught her, her martyrs taught her, the faith;
others, who were fraudulent teachers, she would not hearken.
the martyr, in the ear of Edessa, thus cried aloud
the midst of the fire: A man I worship not,
God, who took a body and became man
I worship. Thus confessed the martyr with uplifted voice.
confessors torn with combs, burnt, raised up on the block,
from a righteous king, did Edessa learn the faith,
knows our Lord-that He is even God, the Son of God;
also learned and firmly believed that He took a body and became man.
from common scribes did she learn the faith:
king taught her, her martyrs taught her; and she firmly believed
she be calumniated as having ever worshipped a man,
points to her martyrs, who died for Him as being God.
A man I
worship not, said Habib,
Because it is written: "Cursed is he that putteth his trust in a
Forasmuch as He is God, I worship Him, yea submit to be burned
His sake, nor will I renounce His faith.
truth has Edessa held fast from her youth,
her old age she will not barter it away as a daughter of the poor.
righteous king became to her a scribe, and from him she learned
Concerning our Lord-that He is the Son of God, yea God.
who brought the bridegroom's ring and put it on her hand,
Betrothed her thus to the Son of God, who is the Only-begotten.
the priest, who made trial and proof of all gods,
even as he said, "for God who became man."
and Guria, for the sake of the Only-begotten,
Stretched out their necks to receive the stroke, and for Him
forasmuch as He is God.
Habib the martyr, who was teacher of congregations,
Preached of Him, that He took a body and became man.
man the martyr would not have submitted to be burned in the
was burned "for the sake of God who became man."
Edessa is witness that thus he confessed while he was being burned:
from the confession of a martyr that has been burned who is he
minds does faith reduce to silence and despise-
that is full of light and stoopeth not to shadows.
despiseth him that maligns the Son by denying that He is God;
too that saith "He took not a body and became man."
faith which was full of truth he stood upon the fire;
became incense, and propitiated with his fragrance the Son of God.
his afflictions, and in all his tortures, and in all
did he confess, and thus did he teach the blessed city.
this truth did Edessa hold fast touching our Lord-
that He is God, and of Mary became a man.
bride hates him that denies His God-head,
despises and contemns him that maligns His corporeal nature.
recognises Him as One in Godhead and in manhood-
Only-begotten, whose body is inseparable from Him.
thus did the daughter of the Parthians learn to believe,
And thus did she firmly hold, and
thus does she teach him that listens to her.
judge, therefore, full of zeal for paganism, commanded
the martyr should be led forth and burned in the fire which was
reserved for him.
forthwith a strap was thrust into his mouth, as though he had
confession being kept within his heart towards God.
they hurried him away, and he went out from the judgment-hall,
That the hour was come when the
crown should be given to his faith.
there went out with him crowds of people, that they might bear him
Looking upon him, not as a dead man accompanied to his burial,
a man who was going away that by means of fire he might become a
that there might be bestowed the crown which was by
righteousness reserved for him.
looked upon him as upon a man entering into battle,
around him were spears, and lances, and swords, but he
beheld him going up like a champion from the contest,
his triumph chaplets were brought to him by those who beheld.
looked upon him as he vanquished principalities and powers,
all made war with him, and he put them to shame.
whole congregation of the followers of Christ exulted over him,
Because he raised up the friends of the faith by the sufferings
went forth with him the Church, a bride full of light;
And her face was beaming on the
beloved martyr who was united to her.
did his mother, because it was the marriage-feast for her son,
herself in garments nobler than her wont.
sordid raiment suited not the banquet-hall,
magnificent attire all white she clad herself fight
to the battle came down love to fight
mother's soul-the love of nature, and the love of God.
looked upon her son as he went forth to be put into the flame;
forasmuch as there was in her the love of the Lord, she suffered
yearnings of her mother's womb cried out on behalf of its fruit;
faith silenced them, so that their tumult ceased.
shrieked over the limb which was severed from her;
the love of the Lord intoxicated the soul, that she should not
loved, but the love of the Lord did conquer in the strife
the soul of the mother, that she should not grieve for
instead of suffering, her heart was filled with all emotions of joy;
instead of mourning, she went forth in splendid apparel.
accompanied him as he went out to be burned, and was
Because the love of the Lord vanquished that of nature.
clad in white, as for a bridegroom, she made a marriage-feast-
the mother of the martyr, and was blithe because of him.
the Second" may we call this blessed one:
had seven been burned instead of one, she had been well content.
had, and she gave him to be food for the fire;
even as that one, if she had had seven, she had given them all.
cast into the fire, and the blaze kindled around him;
his mother looked on, and grieved not at his burning.
eye, which gazeth upon the things unseen,
her soul, and by reason of this she exulted when he was being
gems of light which are in martyrs' crowns she looked,
the glory which is laid up for them after their sufferings;
on the promised blessings which they inherit yonder through
on the Son of God who clothes their limbs with light;
on the manifold beauties of that kingdom which shall not be
on the ample door which is opened for them to enter in to God.
these did the martyr's mother look when he was being burned,
she rejoiced, she exalted, and in white did she go forth with him.
looked upon him while the fire consumed his frame,
And, forasmuch as his crown was
very noble, she grieved not.
sweet root was thrown into the fire, upon the coals;
turned to incense, and cleansed the air from pollution.
the fumes of sacrifice had the air been polluted,
the burning of this martyr was it cleansed.
firmament was fetid with the exhalations from the altars;
there rose up the sweet perfume of the martyr, and it grew sweet
sacrifices ceased, and there was peace in the assemblies;
And the sword was blunted, that
it should no more lay waste the friends of Christ.
Sharbil it began, with Habib it ended, in our land;
from that time even until now not one has it shin, since he was
Constantine, chief of conquerors, took the empire,
the cross has trampled on the diadem of the emperor, and is set
is the lofty horn of idolatry,
from the burning of the martyr even until now not one has it
smoke arose, and it became incense to the Godhead;
it was the air purged which was tainted by paganism,
his burning was the whole land cleansed:
Blessed be he that gave him a
crown, and glory, and a good name!