ܕܡܪܥܝܬܐ ܕܐܘܚܕ̈ܢܐ ܡܥܪ̈ܒܝܐ ܕܐܡܝܪܟܐ
|Mor Malke, September 01|
When the boy was five years old his father took him to a teacher called Shmuel (Samuel) to learn the precepts of the faith. Malke was an excellent student and very religious. he became very learned. After eleven years he desired to become a monk. But his parents wanted him to take a wife. In obedience he followed their will. They chose a wife for him but he secretly told his friend Elisho' that he did not want to marry. They promised each other to enter monastic life.
Malke left his grieving family together with his friend and traveled to Mt. Izlo around 245. There the uncle of St. Malke resided, the famous St. Augin (Eugene). Malke and his friend entered the monastery of St. Augin. After four years they went to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. They returned to Egypt for three years then returned to Nisibis where they were ordained priests by Jacob of Nisibis.
After a few years, St. Malke went out of the monastery to seek a place to live in solitude. He settled near the village of Arkah (Harabale, in Turkey). One day he saw a group of children playing near a flock of animals they were tending. The children became frightened because one of the children, Shlemun, climbed a fig tree, saw something dark below the tree. A terrible odor filled the air and the boy fell into the pit.
St. Malke told the children they would soon witness the power of God. He lifted his hands in prayer and the chief of the devils appeared with the boy. It was Astrasis. He mocked the Holy One saying, “We wanted to make the boy the head of our family. Now you have taken him away from us.” The devil turned and fled from the power of St. Malke. The boy was not harmed and returned safely home to his friends.
St. Malke built a monastery on the location where God exiled the devil. Then he heard a voice from the heaven saying, “Malke, servant of God, force out Astrasis and his demons. Put down the sign of the Cross and it will protect you from evil.” The Holy One went down to the place where the devil abode and cast them out as the Lord commanded. The demons left complaining bitterly. St. Malke measured the place for an altar and carved a sign of the Cross on the stone. The villagers of Arkah came in great numbers to help build the monastery.
The devil had a crafty nature. He went to Constantinople and took possession of Asanasis the daughter of King Constantine. The King was greatly sorrowful. He sent for St. Malke to come and heal his daughter because she said he was the only one who could heal her. The girl was brought before the saint and fell convulsing on the ground. She turned black and writhed in agony biting her arms. St. Malke lifted his hands in prayer and asked for God to intervene and help. He told her to rise. When she stood up it was as if she had been sleeping a long time. The devil poured out of her in the form of a black smoke. St. Malke told him to go to the dung pile and sit on it. St. Malke then remained in the court of the King and healed many people. The King offered him half the Kingdom if he would stay. But St. Malke refused and instead asked for a well and the stone collar that fit over the top of it. The king watched in stunned disbelief as St. Malke called out from hiding the devil, Astrasis, and commanded him to put on the stone collar around his neck and the well on top of his head like a hat. They went off together with the saint pushing the devil in front of him like a donkey. When the arrived at the monastery the saint said to the devil to put down the well and he drove him away like a filthy dog.
The community then finished the building of the monastery. Many monks came and lived in it. St. Malke was full of love and mercy for all human beings. For the remainder of his life he fought against evil. When death approached he gave a final benediction, “My beloved, always be merciful, dedicate yourselves to fasting and prayer. Let truth, love, and peace be your merits for all of your lives. Fight against evil with good!....”
After he said these things and blessed the gathering he passed away on Thursday April 14, 315 at the age of 93.