Sts. Behnam, Sarah, and the 40 Martyrs

Feast Day: December 10

Sts. Behnam, Sarah, and the 40 MartyrsOne day Behnam was out with 40 of his slaves hunting in the wilderness. He saw a huge wild beast, so he went after it for a long distance, and he was separated from his slaves. Night fell upon him and he had to sleep in that place. During his sleep he saw someone who told him to go to St. Matthew who dwelt in that mountain and he would pray for his sister so that the Lord would heal her. His sister was afflicted with an incurable disease, she was leprous.

When St. Behnam woke up and was joined by his slaves, they searched for St. Matthew until they found him in a cave. He knelt between his hands, told him about the vision and they asked him to accompany them to the city. Behnam went before him to the city and told his mother about the vision and the presence of St. Matthew out of the city. Because of her love and trust in Behnam she allowed his sister to go with him in secret. When they arrived to where the saint was, he prayed for her and the Lord healed her. St. Matthew preached and taught them the way of life. He prayed also and a spring of water rushed forth and he baptized them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the one God, then he returned to his cave.

When King Sennacherib knew that his daughter was cured, he called her and asked her how she was cured. She told him, "The Lord Jesus Christ granted me the healing at the hands of St. Matthew and not through the stars that you worship." The king became angry and threatened to punish them if they did not change their noble opinion.

During the night, St. Behnam and his sister decided to go together to St. Matthew before their deaths. While on their way secretly to the saint, surrounded by some of their friends, their father became aware of what they were about to do, and he sent his men after them. They found them on their way to the saint and they slew them. St. Behnam, his sister and their companions received the crown of life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

When the men that killed St. Behnam and his sister went back, they found the king possessed by an evil spirit, which tormented him painfully. The queen sent for St. Matthew, begging him to come. When he arrived, he prayed for the king and the Lord healed him immediately. The saint preached to them, and the king and his wife, along with all those in the city, believed. The king built a monastery for St. Matthew and placed the bodies of St. Behnam, and his sister, his children, in it. St. Matthew dwelt in it for a long while. The Lord worked many signs of healing and wonders through the bodies of Sts. Behnam and Sarah, his sister.