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Commemoration of the Prophet Daniel and his Companions Saints Setrak, Misak and Apetnakov

June 18

The Prophet Daniel (meaning God is my Judge), is one of the four great prophets of the Old Testament. Nearly all that is known concerning the Prophet is derived from the book ascribed to him, which dates back to the VII-VI centuries B.C.

Daniel and his youthful companions Shadrach (Setrak), Meshach (Misak) and Abednego (Apetnakov) were captured during the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah. They were taken to Babylon and found favour with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Soon after, due to his intellect and talents, he is given a high ranking position in the king’s chancellery.

Daniel becomes famous when he rescues an innocent woman from the unfounded slander of two men. Having gained greater notoriety, Daniel interprets a dream had by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s successes create envy amongst the other servants in the royal court. They accuse him of worshipping false gods and demand that the King imprison the prophet. Daniel is thrown into a den of lions. The following day, the king approaches the pit to mourn the death of his devoted and wise servant. He is surprised to hear the Prophet Daniel responding to his cries of sorrow. Daniel tells the king that God sealed the mouths of the lions to protect him from harm. Daniel continues, saying that he is innocent, and has not wronged the king by his worship of God. The king is overjoyed, and orders that Daniel be released from the lions’ den.

Three young men and companions of Daniel; Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, were also taken to Babylon.  Upon their arrival they received new names, Setrak, Misak and Apetnakov. They were raised and educated in the royal court together with the prophet Daniel and were very protective of their faith. Once, during a solemn festival, as everyone worshipped King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, Setrak, Misak and Apetnakov refused to bow down before it. The king ordered the three men to be thrown into a blazing furnace for their disobedience. Instead of burning, however, they continued to render glory to God and were protected by an angel of heaven. Witnessing the miracle, the king released the three young men, blessed them and worshipped God.

Ref: Book of Daniel, chapters 1 to 3 


June 18
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