MENAS OF AL-ASHMUNAYN, SAINT, or Menas the Ascetic, a "new martyr," who was killed after the Arab conquest (feast day: 17 Amshir). According to the SYNAXARION, he was born at Akhmim of Christian parents who were farmers. He received the call to the monastic life quite early and became a monk in a monastery at Akhmim. Later he went to a monastery near al- Ashmunayn. Having heard that the Arabs denied that God had a Son, he went off after obtaining the authorization of the superior of the monastery, outside the town of al-Ashmunayn, to find the leader of the Muslim army, and asked him if he truly denied that God had a Son. When the commander affirmed that he did, Menas quoted the Gospel of John: "He who believes in the Son shall have eternal life, and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God shall descend upon him." The commander flew into a violent rage, and ordered that Menas should be cut in pieces and thrown into the Nile. The faithful gathered him together, and celebrated his feast on the anniversary of his death.
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