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Ebony Angel's Arbor

Carolyn J. Hams

Past Commandress

Magdalene #5

Missouri Jurisdiction, PHA

The Order of Cyrenes



Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understanding all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.



From the 1948 Ritual

The object of the Orderof Cyrenes is for a more widely diffusion of the principles of Morality and Friendship by established and significant emblems, to encourage the influence of females toward the purposes of instituting and increasing social enjoyments by the aid of Commandry ties: to make better the condition of wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and destitute widows, and the helpless orphan, and for affording increased facilities in relieving distressed travelers throughout the world.



The theory of the Order of Cyrenes is founded upon the Holy Gospel of God, who ever looks down from His abode in Heaven upon us who dwell in this world, though we cannot see Him.



"They compell one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross"---Mark 15:21.

Cyrene was a city of Libya, in North Africa. In ancient times there was a large colony of Jew in Cyrene. There was also a synagogue in Jerusalem identified with Cyrenians and others. Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Savior, but he himself was not a disciple.

Why did they select Simon? The Scriptures do not offer any reason: but it has been supposed that he was the first person they spied. This may be the explanation, but perhaps there is another.

Simon was a dark man. He is referred to as Simon Niger, which suggest he was from Africa. It is know that Romans looked down on Africans as lowly, menial servants, fit for the ugliest tasks.

The Bible states that Simon "was the father of Alexander and Rufus", two sons who were doubtless known to the early believers who read the account written by Mark.

What happened to Simon? In Acts 13:1, we meet the same name with a slightly different spelling. It desgnates an outstanding Christian teacher, a Black Man, who is placed side by side with another teacher from Cyrene. In Acts 19:33, we meet an Alexander, a convert to the faith, who was with Paul in Ephesus and in Romans 16:13, the same Apostle sends his greetings to a Rufus in that city's congregation of believers. Putting all this together, we would like to believe that Simon's cross-bearing, led to his crown-wearing.

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