Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Akathist to St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker

St. John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco, the Wonderworker (source)

AKATHIST  HYMN to Our Father among the Saints
JOHN Archbishop of Shanghai & San Francisco, the Wonderworker

Kontakion 1
Chosen wonderworker and pleaser of Christ, who pourest forth inexhaustible streams of inspiration and a multitude, of miracles upon the whole world, we praise thee with love and call out to thee:
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Ikos 1
An angel in the flesh wast thou manifested in these latter times by the grace of God Who ever careth for men. Seeing the beauty of thy virtues, we cry out to thee:
Rejoice, thou who from earliest childhood wast adorned in piety.
Rejoice, thou who didst ever live in fear of God and do His holy will.
Rejoice, thou who didst manifest the grace of God through good deeds done secretly.
Rejoice, thou who dost hearken to the prayers of those in distress.
Rejoice, thou who didst hasten, full of love, to save thy neighbors.
Rejoice, joy to all who fall down before thee with faith.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 2
Beholding the abundance and variety of thy virtues, O holy Hierarch, we see in thee a living source of God's wonders in our time. Thou dost refresh with thy love and miracles all who cry in faith to God: Alleluia!
Ikos 2
Being filled with love and replete with theology, O divinely wise John, made wise by the knowledge of God and adorned with love for the suffering, teach us also to know the true God in love as we call out to thee in admiration:
Rejoice, unshakeable stronghold of Orthodox truth.
Rejoice, precious vessel of the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice, righteous denouncer of impiety and false doctrine.
Rejoice, zealous fulfiller of the commandments of God.
Rejoice, ascetic who didst not allow thyself to rest upon a bed.
Rejoice, beloved shepherd of the flock of Christ.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 3
By the power of the grace of God wast thou manifest as a father to orphans and instructor of the young, raising them in the fear of God and preparing them for the service of God. Wherefore all thy children look to thee with love in gratitude cry out to God: Alleluia!
Ikos 3
Thou shouldst truly be praised from the heavens, and not from earth, O father John, for our words are feeble beside thy deeds. Yet offering to God what we have, we cry out to thee thus:
Rejoice, thou who didst protect thy children by thine unceasing prayer!
Rejoice, thou who didst ever guard thy flock with the sign of the Cross.
Rejoice, thou whose love knew no bounds of country or race.
Rejoice, bright luminary beloved of all.
Rejoice, model of unceasing prayer and loving kindness.
Rejoice, bestower of spiritual consolation upon those in need.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 4
Overwhelmed by the tempest of perils, we know not how to praise thee worthily, O Hierarch John. Thou didst travel to the ends of the earth to save thy flock and proclaim the glad tidings of the Gospel to those in darkness. Giving thanks to God for thine apostolic labors we cry out to Him: Alleluia!
St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker (source)
Ikos 4
Those near and far have heard of the greatness of thy miracles, which are made manifest by the mercy of God even to our days. And so we also, marveling, cry out in awe:
Rejoice, enlightener of those in the darkness of unbelief.
Rejoice, thou who didst lead thy people from the Far East to the West.
Rejoice, fountain of miracles poured forth by God.
Rejoice, loving chastiser of those who have gone astray.
Rejoice, swift consoler of those who repent of their sins.
Rejoice, guide of those who walk the straight path.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 5
Thou wast manifest to be a divinely bestowed light to stop the destructive forces of fallen nature, O holy Hierarch, preserving thy flock on the island of Tubabao from the deadly wind and storm, by thy prayer and the sign of the Cross. Teach us who call upon thee for help, O holy woderworker, to cry out in wonder unto God: Alleluia!
Ikos 5
All who have trusted in thy help in desperate circumstances and adversities have found deliverance, O bold intercessor, before the Throne of God. Wherefore, we trust in thine intercession before God, and cry out to thee:
Rejoice, thou who dost avert the dangers of the elements.
Rejoice, thou who by thy prayer deliverest from need.
Rejoice, inexhaustible giver of bread to the hungry.
Rejoice, abundant wealth for those who live in poverty.
Rejoice, consolation for those in sorrow.
Rejoice, quick uplifting for those who have fallen.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 6
Preaching salvation though slow of speech, thou wast shown to be like a new Moses, leading thy people out of the captivity of the godless, O all-blessed John. Deliver us also from bondage to sin and the invisible foe, that, rejoicing, we may cry out to God: Alleluia!
Ikos 6
Shining forth in thy righteousness, thou didst do the impossible and persuade the authorities of this world to have pity on thy flock, O good shepherd. Wherefore, with them we also cry out to thee in thanksgiving:
Rejoice, good shepherd who didst prepare for thy wandering flock a peaceful haven.
Rejoice, thou who didst show the greatest care for children and the sick.
Rejoice, helper of all who call thee with faith.
Rejoice, for in thy weak body wast the power of God made manifest with abundance.
Rejoice, thou who foilest the attacks of the unrighteous.
Rejoice, destroyer of lies and exalter of truth.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 7
Desiring to glorify as is meet the ancient saints of the West, of lands which had fallen away from the truth, thou didst revive their veneration in the Orthodox Church, O lover of the saints of the East and the West. With them pray thou today in heaven on behalf of us who chant on earth: Alleluia!
St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker (source)
Ikos 7
We see thee as a new chosen one of God, who wast manifest in the latter times as one of the holy Hierarchs of Gaul, exhorting thy flock to preserve the same Orthodox faith that they confessed, and astonishing the peoples of the West by thy holy life. Preserve us, that we too may abide in this Faith, who cry out to thee:
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Martin by thy miracles and ascetic feats.
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Germanus by thy confession of the Orthodox faith.
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Hilary by thy divine theology.
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Gregory by thy love and glorification of God's saints.
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Faustus by thy monastic fervor.
Rejoice, thou who wast a new Caesarius by thy steadfast love for the canons of the Church of God.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 8
A strange sight didst thou behold: in the New World thou didst encounter thy former flock in tribulation. Here wast thee called to suffer persecution and by thine patience, righteousness and instruction to guide the flock, and didst erect the church of the Mother of God, the Joy of All Who Sorrow. Now marveling at thy patience and longsuffering, we all cry out to God: Alleluia!
Ikos 8
Giving thyself wholly unto Christ, O laborer of Christ's vineyard, thou knewest no rest even at the end of thy much-suffering life; help us, the unworthy, in our labors as we strive to be faithful to Christ, crying out in praise to thee:
Rejoice, thou who didst endure unto the end and so didst attain salvation.
Rejoice, thou who wast deemed worthy to die before the Icon of the Mother of God.
Rejoice, thou who didst keep thy faith and courage in the midst of unjust persecution.
Rejoice, thou who didst labor to the end for thy flock and didst repose, seated, as a hierarch.
Rejoice, thou who didst comfort the flock by being buried among it.
Rejoice, thou who workest wonders for those who come to thy relics with faith and love.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 9
All the angelic hosts rejoiced at thy soul's ascent to • the mansions of heaven, marveling at the wonders thou didst perform on earth through the action of the Holy Spirit, to Whom we sing: Alleluia!
Ikos 9
Orators find it impossible to describe thy life of sanctity with their many and eloquent words, O righteous father John, for thou didst become a living dwelling-place for the grace of the ineffable God. Yet, unable to be silent at the wonder revealed to our age of feeble faith, we glorify thee:
Rejoice, divine palace from whence the counsel of the Good King is given.
Rejoice, for in thy humble activity thou hadst angels serving with thee.
Rejoice, thou who didst gain a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Rejoice, infirmary wherein every ailment is divinely healed.
Rejoice, depository wherein thy holy labor of prayer was hidden.
Rejoice, blessed temple of the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 10
Desiring to save the world, the Savior of all hath sent unto us a new saint and through him hath called us forth from the dark abyss of sin. Hearing this call to repentance, we, the unworthy ones, in turn cry out to God: Alleluia!
St. John Maximovitch (source)
Ikos 10
THou art a wall sheltering us from adversity, O father John, for through thy heavenly intercessions are we delivered from the attacks of demonic passions and from afflictions which beset us on earth. Before thy firm support of prayer, we cry with faith:
Rejoice, sight to those who are blind.
Rejoice, thou who by the power of prayer givest life to those on their bed of death.
Rejoice, thou who with divine wisdom dost enlighten those in confusion and doubt.
Rejoice, refreshing water to those perishing in the heat of sorrow.
Rejoice, loving father to the orphaned and abandoned.
Rejoice, holy teacher of those who seek the Truth.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 11
In thought, word and deed thy life was a hymn to the Most Holy Trinity, O most blessed John. For with much wisdom didst thou explain the precepts of the true Faith, teaching us to sing with faith, hope and love to the one God in Trinity: Alleluia!
Ikos 11
We see thee as a radiant lamp of Orthodoxy for those in the darkness of ignorance, O good shepherd of the flock of Christ. Thus, even after thy repose, thou dost reveal the Truth to those ignorant thereof, illumining the souls of the faithful, who cry out to thee such things as these:
Rejoice, thou who with divine wisdom dost enlighten those who languish in unbelief.
Rejoice, rainbow of quiet joys for the meek. Rejoice, thunder to those obstinate in sin.
Rejoice, lightning burning up heresies. Rejoice, downpour of the dogmas of Orthodoxy.
Rejoice, dew of the thought of God.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 12
With reverence and thanksgiving do we receive the grace that hath been poured out upon thee by God, O most lauded father John. Glorifying the wonders of a holy hierarch who once walked among us, we cry out to God: Alleluia!
Ikos 12
Singing praise unto God, the heavenly choir of saints rejoiceth that He hath not forsaken the fallen and faithless world, but hath manifested His almighty power in thee, his meek and humble servant. O blessed John, with all the saints we greet thee and give honor to thee:
Rejoice, new star of righteousness which hath shone forth in heaven.
Rejoice, new prophet who wast sent before the final reign of evil.
Rejoice, thou who like Jonah dost warn all of the wages of sin.
Rejoice, thou who like the Baptist John calleth all to prayer and repentance.
Rejoice, thou who like Paul endured much for the sake of the Gospel and the preaching of the Faith.
Rejoice, new apostle whose miracles instill in us faith and awe.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 13
0 all-radiant and most wondrous God-pleaser, holy hierarch John, consolation for all who sorrow, accept this, our offering of prayer, that through thy prayers to our Lord we may be delivered from fiery Gehenna and by thy God-pleasing intercession we may chant forever unto God: Alleluia!
Sts. John the Forerunner and John Maximovitch entreating Christ (source)
   
This Kontakion is recited thrice, whereupon Ikos 1 and Kontakion 1 are repeated.
Ikos 1
An angel in the flesh wast thou manifested in these latter times by the grace of God Who ever careth for men. Seeing the beauty of thy virtues, we cry out to thee:
Rejoice, thou who from earliest childhood wast adorned in piety.
Rejoice, thou who didst ever live in fear of God and do His holy will.
Rejoice, thou who didst manifest the grace of God through good deeds done secretly.
Rejoice, thou who dost hearken to the prayers of those in distress.
Rejoice, thou who didst hasten, full of love, to save thy neighbors.
Rejoice, joy to all who fall down before thee with faith.
Rejoice, O holy hierarch, father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
Kontakion 1
Chosen wonderworker and pleaser of Christ, who pourest forth inexhaustible streams of inspiration and a multitude of miracles upon the whole world, we praise thee with love and call out to thee: Rejoice, O holy hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes!
The holy and wonderworking Relic of St. John Maximovitch in the Cathedral of the Joy of All Who Sorrow, San Francisco (source)

Prayers to the Holy Hierarch John Wonderworker of Shanghai & San Francisco

Prayer 1

O wondrous hierarch John, thou didst stretch thy heart to encompass within it a multitude of people from among diverse nations and peoples who honor thee. Look down at the humility of our words, which we offer out of love" for thee, and help us, O saint of God, to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, so that we may labor for the Lord with fear and rejoice in Him with trembling. What shall we render unto thee for that joy which we have felt, beholding thy sacred relics in the holy church and glorifying thy memory? Truly, we have nothing to offer thee, except if we begin to correct our lives, becoming new men instead of old. Be an intercessor for us of this grace of renewal, O holy John; help us in our weaknesses; heal our sicknesses; cure our passions by thy prayers. O thou who didst depart this temporal life unto life eternal, to which the all-pure Mistress, the Directress of the Russian diaspora, guided thee by her wonder-working Kursk-Root Icon, whose companion thou wast on the day of thy repose, thou dost now rejoice in the choir of the saints who glorify the one God, Who is worshipped in Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Icon of St. John Maximovitch from the newly-built Sretensky Monastery (Source)

Prayer 2

O beloved Hierarch John, good shepherd and beholder of the hearts and minds of men! Thou prayest for us now at the throne of God, as thou thyself didst say after thy death: "Even though I have died, yet am I alive." Beseech the most compassionate God, that He grant us forgiveness of sins, that we may come wakefully to our senses, and cry out to God, asking that we be given the spirit of humility, the fear of God and piety in all the ways of our life. As thou wast a merciful nurturer of orphans and a skilled instructor on earth, be thou now a guide and Christian understanding for us amid the turmoil of the Church; hearken to the groaning of the troubled youth of our corrupt times, who are tempest-tossed by most wicked demonic possession, and mercifully regard the despondency of our weak pastors, caused by the inroads of the corrupting spirit of this world, and who languish in idle indifference. Hasten thou to make supplication, we cry to thee with tears, O fervent advocate; visit us, who are orphaned, scattered over the face of all the world and in our homeland, astray in the darkness of the passions, yet who by our feeble love are drawn to the light of Christ and await thy fatherly instruction; that, having acquired piety, we may be shown to be heirs of the kingdom of heaven, where thou abidest with all the saints, glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be honor and dominion, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
   
St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker (source)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, June 14, 2019

"The post-festal and final feast, let us celebrate with joy..."

The Great Feast of Pentecost (source)
  
The post-festal and final feast, let us celebrate with joy, this is Pentecost, the fulfillment and consummation of the promise, on which the fire of the Paraclete straightaway descended upon the earth in the form of tongues, and enlightened the Disciples, and showed them to be mystics of Heaven. The light of the Paraclete has come, and has enlightened the world.
-Kathisma of the Orthros for Pentecost

(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra: "How can we have the Holy Spirit?"

Jesus Christ the Son of God the Savior of the world (source)
  
How can we have the Holy Spirit?

The answer is, for each of us to love his wife: you who are married your wife, and I who am a monk, my monastic life.

I must love my solitude, and not get depressed, not get tired, I must stand vigil, and not think that God sent me here in order to save the whole world, not to think that it is my duty to joke with this or that person, but to look after my job: I must have my eye on Christ.

When you leave your house and get married, you leave behind your father, mother, brothers, relatives, and, instead of your parents, your brothers and relatives, you find a new family. And having left, don't look behind you, as the Psalm of the Theotokos* says, do not think of anything from your former family**. For now you have a whole new world before you, which you must rejoice in, to partake of, to taste, to give life to. Therefore, all of us must give life to our family, to our love, to the divinity that we have wedded, as St. Hesychios says. Then our flesh we will be filled with divinity and we become Christ.
-Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra
(source)
  
*Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father's house;
11 and the king will desire your beauty. (Psalm 45:10-11)
  
*Note: The Elder is not implying that we should not try to help our families as we are able to, but that our spouses after marriage must always take the first place after God.
  
Christ, the Holy Wisdom of God (source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

"And I will put my Spirit in you..."

The Great Feast of Pentecost (source)
  
"And I will take you out from the nations, and will gather you out of all the lands, and will bring you into your own land:  and I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be purged from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, and I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and will put a new spirit in you: and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you, and will cause you to walk in mine ordinances, and to keep my judgments, and do them.  And ye shall dwell upon the land which I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be to me a people, and I will be to you a God."
-Ezekiel 36:24-28, Read at the Great Vespers for the Feast of Pentecost
(source)
  
The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"I will take of the spirit that is upon thee, and will put it upon them..."

The Holy Prophet Moses receiving the Law on Mount Sinai, which became the inspiration for the first feast of Pentecost in the Old Testament (source)
  
And the Lord said to Moses, Gather me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom thou thyself knowest that they are the elders of the people, and their scribes; and thou shalt bring them to the tabernacle of witness, and they shall stand there with thee.  And I will go down, and speak there with thee; and I will take of the spirit that is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear together with thee the burden of the people, and thou shalt not bear them alone...And Moses went out, and spoke the words of the Lord to the people; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and he set them round about the tabernacle.  And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy men that were elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied and ceased. And there were two men left in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Modad; and the spirit rested upon them, and these were of the number of them that were enrolled, but they did not come to the tabernacle; and they prophesied in the camp.  And a young man ran and told Moses, and spoke, saying, Eldad and Modad prophesy in the camp.  And Joshua the son of Naue, who attended on Moses, the chosen one, said, My lord Moses, forbid them.  And Moses said to him, Art thou jealous on my account? and would that all the Lord's people were prophets; whenever the Lord shall put his spirit upon them.
-Numbers 11:16-17, 24-49, Read at the Great Vespers for the Feast of Pentecost
  
The Holy Spirit and the Preparation of the Throne of the Lord (source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

St. Luke's Smile

St. Luke of Simferopol (source)
  
Maya Prozorofskaya, the granddaughter of St. Luke the Surgeon, writes:
"Grandfather had an amazing smile. A sweet smile not only with his lips, but one that shown on his whole face. Many times his laughter was contagious. He told funny stories about children and animals. Judging from photographs of him, many perceive that the Saint was serious and austere. But he was not like this. He was sweet, accessible, good, sensitive, compassionate."
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Luke of Simferopol: "We must resist their evil works..."

St. Luke of Simferopol (source)
  
"The enemy of men, the devil and his angels, the demons, know very well how to whisper into our ear and to pass on to us evil under the guise of the good and to hypnotize our conscience. If that which passes into our mind corresponds to our hidden desires and our passions, then very easily they will be understood by our heart. We must resist their evil works. We can do this more easily if we manage to think of how much these things that we hear correspond with the Will of God and if we shut our ears to the devil."
(source)

"Holy people hate sin and do not accept the sin that tortures them. They are righteous and do not commit sin because they hate sin, not because they fear a God Who is a punisher."
(source)
-St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol the Blessed Surgeon
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!