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A Tale Of El Khadr

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 06.09.2006:

The feast of Mar Elias (El Khadr) came and the young men stood together making their vows. One said: “I will give a goat,” another “I will give a sheep.” Then Jirjis, the son of a widow, desired to offer something. They had but one cow. “Then, he said, “I will sacrifice a cow,” and he went and killed the cow.

At evening time his mother called to him and said, “where is the cow?”. He said, “I gave it to El Khadr.” His mother said, “ You have cut our lives ( i.e., you slay us). Let me not see your face again.” That night, the young man had a vision. A white haired man appeared to him and said. “Fear not, I am El khadr: thou shalt go to Constantinople and to the king’s palace. Only each day thou shalt call a blessing upon me”.

So the young man went far away to Constantinople and he went to the king’s Palace. But he was dressed as a fellah and they sent him away from the door of the palace. Again the vision appeared, saying as before, “fear not ; I am with you. Only do not forget to ask a blessing on me every day,” and this he continued to do. After nights El Khadr came and showed him where seven storehouses of gold were hidden. Then the young man went again to the palace, offering to reveal his knowledge, and this time he was allowed to enter in and was made welcome there and he gave all the gold to queen Helena. Try the saying came true,

“He who gives gold

May marry the Sultan’s daughter.”

For Jirjies was dressed as a Prince and married to the king’s daughter.

That night, his wedding night, he forgot to ask a blessing on El Khadr. In the morning he woke to find himself back in Jerusalem, standing at the Bab el Khalil, dressed as a fellah and only the ring on his finger to remind him of his bride, the king’s daughter! Months passed and he lived miserably in Jerusalem, ever imploring forgiveness of El Khadr.

Now when time was accomplished Queen Helena decided to travel and to build churches. At every place where she stopped on her journey she built a pillar and a sign was placed on the pillar- some say a light, some say a bell- so that news could be sent back to Constantinople. At last , the Queen arrived in Jerusalem and with her acme the king’s daughter and her babe. Now the baby was not content, but cried forever for his father, day and night, and there was is father, a poor fellah out of work, hanging round the Bab el Khalil.

One day, those who stood near the young man said to him, “why do you not go and work for the Queen who is trying to find the Cross? She needs many workmen to dig for her.” So he went and was accepted and worked with the workmen, and that same night El Khadr appeared to him and showed him where the true Cross lay. Next morning, he first revealed the secret to the Queen and them showed the ring to the King’s daughter, and as soon as ever he came near her, the babe, his son, stopped crying!

After the cross was found, Queen Helena sent the news to Constantinople by means of he pillars.

So by the wisdom of El Khadr the True Cross was found and through the gold of El Khadr all the churches of Queen Helena were built

Source: From Cedar to Hyssop by Crowfoot and Baldensperger

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