Monday, August 3, 2009

The miraculous icon of Panagia Soumela, and Sts. Barnabas, Sophronios and Christopher the Righteous

A reproduction of the icon of Panagia Soumela (Soumeliotissa), originally by the hand of St. Luke the Evangelist (taken from: http://www.pigizois.net/sinaxaristis/08/15_soumela.jpg)
  
Account of the icon of Panagia Soumela, from St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Ohio
"A pilgrim to the monastery church of St. Gregory Palamas will find, on the left end of our iconostasion, a beautiful carved wooden shrine with a striking hand-painted icon set into a large, heavy silver riza.

This is a copy of the wonderworking icon of the Panagia Soumela (Panagia is the Greek word for “all-holy,” a title of the Theotokos), sometimes also called “Our Lady of Pontos.” Soumela is in Ponto of western Asia Minor, in the region of the Black Sea. The icon is of the odighitria (Directress) type and, according to tradition, was painted by St. Luke.

The Greeks of Pontos, the “Pondee”, have a great devotion to the Panagia Soumela, and wherever they have emigrated they have taken copies of this icon with them. Some years ago, a group of pious Pondee here in Ohio gifted our monastery with this beautiful copy.

Pilgrims to our monastery notice that our icon and shrine are bedecked with chains, rings, gold coins and jewels–gifts of the faithful for favors granted by the Theotokos through this icon, for, just as the original Panagia Soumela is “wonderworking,” so too is the Panagia Soumela at our monastery.

A very recent miracle here concerned a young man who has been unfairly charged with a serious crime - the penalty for which, if he is convicted, is a mandatory prison sentence. His mother came to us first, asking for spiritual help, and, after some counseling, she was advised to go to the Panagia Soumela, make an offering, and beg her help, speaking to Panagia “mother to mother.”

She did this, and on the way home her cell phone rang with completely unexpected news that a very important piece of information/evidence in her son’s case had just been volunteered (at the very time she was entreating the Panagia!) - significant evidence which may positively affect the outcome of this tragedy. Subsequently, the mother and her son have made repeated visits to Soumela icon, bringing flowers; a service of intercession has also been served for them before the icon.

Icon depicting St. Luke the Evangelist painting an icon of Panagia under divine guidance and the grace of the Theotokos (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

The history of the original Panagia Soumela is both fascinating and dramatic. Painted by the holy Evangelist and physician, Luke, this is one of three miraculous images painted by him whose authenticity has been authenticated from historical records, imperial bulls, and patriarchal documents. Panagia Soumela, however, is the only icon that St. Luke always carried with him in his travels.
  
A photograph of the original icon of Panagia Soumela, currently in the monastery of the same name in Vermion, Veria, Greece (taken from: http://www.imverias.gr/content/view/16/10/)

After St. Luke’s death at 84 (by crucifixion on an olive tree), a trustworthy Christian in Thebes, Greece, became the guardian of the icon and, according to the chronicles, “when the faithful beheld her sweet countenance, it was a balsam of consolation and encouragement.” Because of the numerous miracles worked by the icon, a church in Thebes, near Athens, was built for it.
  
In the fourth century, a young priest, Basil, had a vision of the Panagia while he was serving Divine Liturgy. She directed him, and his nephew, Sotirichos, to go to Thebes and prepare to enter monastic life, promising that she would remain with them to the end of their lives.
  
Stopping by the church which housed the miraculous icon, “they advanced towards the icon, and then prostrated themselves before her sublime image. Reverently, they kissed the icon, kneeled and bowed their heads, offering prayers of compunction” and asking the Panagia Soumela to guide them.

Suddenly the church was filled with the singing of angels, and a sweet voice came from the icon, telling Basil and Sotirichos that she would both accompany and lead them. Just then, the icon detached itself from its shrine and, elevated by two angels, left the church by an open window. Through a series of adventures, Panagia led them to a monastery where they were tonsured (with the names Barnabas and Sophronios), and then led them, ultimately, to the cave in Asia Minor where the icon had miraculously transported itself.
  
Sts. Barnabas and Sophronios, the founders of the Monastery of Soumela in Pontos, holding the icon of the Theotokos (taken from: http://christopherklitou.com/icon_18_aug_barnabas_sophronius.htm)

Here they built small cells for themselves, the beginning of a large monastery dedicated to the Theotokos, and turned the cave into a chapel. Many began to come on pilgrimage to Panagia Soumeliotissa and the “monastery enjoyed fame, prosperity, and imperial favor.” But later, when barbarians began to invade, the monastery dwindled and was eventually deserted. The monastery was sacked and there were failed attempts by the invaders to destroy the icon, but the monks returned and the monastery again flourished - until the 7th century, when Moslems slaughtered the monks.

Meanwhile, the Panagia appeared to a nearby illiterate farmer, Christopher (which means “Christ-bearer”), and sent him to the ruined monastery to renew and revive it. The Theotokos continued to guide him as he moved to the monastery, where he found that the cave-church and icon were miraculously safe. She herself taught him to read, and at length other men came to join him. Pilgrims again returned and great wonders were accomplished through the icon - even demoniacs were healed. Byzantine emperors became patrons of the monastery. One of them, Alexios Comnenos II (+1330), personally journeyed to the monastery to give thanks for deliverance from death.
  
Picture of the ruins of the Monastery of Soumela in Pontos, as it appears today (taken from: http://www.greekorthodoxmonastery.org/Photo%20galerie/Soumela%20Monastery/page_4.html)

In the 16th century the Moslem Sultan, Selim I, visited the monastery and ordered its demolition. As he gave the order to his soldiers, however, he was struck with a seizure and fell to the ground. One of his vizier’s knelt beside him and said, “Great Master, take back thy blasphemous words. The Mother of Christ is punishing thee. Take back thy blasphemy and be saved!” Begging forgiveness of the Panagia, the Sultan immediately recovered and left the monastery in peace, arranging for five huge candles to burn perpetually before the icon.
  
Amazingly, there were other Moslem overlords who then also protected the monastery, and it was even reconstructed and rebuilt. All was well until August of 1923, when the Turks expelled the abbot and his monks, who first concealed the icon. In 1929 a fire brought all of the buildings to ruins.

Picture of the icon of Panagia Soumela on a stand as it appears today, in the monastery of the same name, Vermion Mountain, Veria, Greece (taken from: http://www.greekstockphotos.com/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=74)

In 1931 one of the exiled monks returned and rescued the icon and other treasures from their hiding place. They were all kept, temporarily, in a museum in Athens, and it wasn’t until 1950 that a new site for a church to house the Panagia Soumela was found, in a terrain similar to Soumela, in the Macedonian mountains [part of the Metropolis of Veria: http://www.imverias.gr/]. It was enthroned in the new church on Dormition, 1952, and pilgrims once again began, and continue to flow to the Panagia.
  
Today, and for many years, those who visit our monastery find great comfort and consolation by spending time in prayer before the shrine of the Panagia Soumela."

“Rejoice, for thou art the throne of the King!” - Akathistos Hymn
(All quotations are taken from “The Lives of the Monastery Builders of Soumela, Saints Barnabas and Sophronios of Athens and Christopher of Rebizond, Builders of the Mt. Mela Monastery (Panaghia Soumela),” Holy Apostles Convent, 1991, translated from the Greek of “The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church.”; taken from the website of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Ohio: http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/index.php?p=56)

Picture of the Monastery of Panagia Soumela, Vermion Mountain, Veria, Greece (taken from: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/4385136)
  
Another Account of Panagia Soumela by Fr. George Dragas
"Prolegomena. September is a month embroidered with many particularly important feasts, as indeed is the case with all the months of the ecclesiastical year. If we cast a glance at the Calendar of the Metropolis of Boston we shall see that these particularly important feasts are notified by a proceeding cross and bold letters. Among these feasts the one that appears to be most important is written in capitals, “The Elevation of the Holy Cross” (Sept. 14). This is due to the fact that this feast, like the similar feasts that relate to the “Holy Cross” in the ecclesiastical calendar of our Church (i.e. March 6, the 3rd Sunday in Lent, May 7 and August 1) is considered to be a royal feast because it is directly related to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the second place, so to speak, we find in the calendar two feasts that relate to the Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Birth of the Theotokos” (Sept. 8) and “The feast of the Panagia Myrtidiotissa. The first celebrates the miraculous birth of the Panagia and the second the discovery of Panagia’s holy icon in a forest of myrtles in the island of Kythera (hence the title “Myrtidiotissa,” that is, “of the Myrtles” (Sept. 24) and is today kept in a Monastery in Chios (in the area of Brodathes) that bears its name. In our tradition the Panagia has numberless names because she is associated with many local and miraculous icons that have transmitted the grace of Christ to the believers. Such an icon is that of Panagia Soumela, an exact copy of which (one of three) is kept in our parish. Since, then, Panagia has an eminent place in this month’s feasts and because there is in our church the sacred jewel of her icon of Soumela this years September article will be dedicated to this miraculous icon. The original icon is kept in a monastery in Macedonia that bears its name, but it came from the famous Monastery of Soumela in Pontos of Asia Minor. The fact that there is an exact copy of it at St. John’s, where there is also a sizeable Greek Pontian community, provides the opportunity to remind all of certain basic facts regarding the icon of Panagia Soumela and of Pontos and the Greek Pontians. The Greek Pontians as a heroic group of Hellenism have achieved great things in history and continue with the rest of the Hellenes to preserve their heritage not only in Greece but also here in America and in every other corner of the earth where they have been dispersed and survive by divine providence.


Another copy of the icon of Panagia Soumela (taken from: http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/soumela-t181.jpg)
  
Panagia Soumela. According to church tradition the icon of Panagia Soumela took its name from the Monastery of Soumela in Pontos of Asia Minor. The name “Soumela” comes from “Stou Mela”, i.e. “at the mount Melas” and consequently signifies a particular locality in Pontos. The icon of Panagia that bears the name of this historic Monastery had been kept there for centuries. Yet, according to ancient tradition, it was more ancient than the Monastery. It was painted by St Luke the Evangelist and was originally kept in Athens being called “Atheniotissa.” It was brought to Pontos for the sake of safe keeping by two monks who are also said to be the founders of the Monastery of Soumela, St. Barnabas and St. Sophronios and hence its new name...The heyday of the Monastery was in the era of the Byzantine empire of Trepizond, when it became the spiritual center of Orthodox Hellenism (see the historical section below) acquiring special privileges from the Komnenoi emperors. These privileges were preserved during the Turkish occupation by means of firmans granted by the Sultans and thus at that time also it stood as a notable center of Hellenic paideia for the enslaved Christian nation.

During the First World War the Monastery was destroyed, but the holy icon of Panagia remained intact.When in 1922 the Greek Pontians were violently expelled from Pontos the monks hifd the icon with other valuable vessels in the rocks of mount Mela. Later on the Turks allowed, following conversations of the governments of Greece and Turkey (Benizelos and Inonou), the monk Ambrosios to visit the ruined monastery of Soumela and retrieve the holy icon and the rest of church valuables and bring them to Athens. In 1951, the holy icon of Panagia Soumela, that had been kept in the Byzantine Museum of Athens, was transferred to the new Monastery of Soumela that was constructed on one of the slops of mount Bermion of Macedonia where it is kept today.

As we noted above, one of the three equally historical exact copies of the original icon of Panagia Soumela is kept in our parish which bears the name of St. John the Baptist. This alone is an amazing fact, if one bears in mind that the original Monastery of Soumela in Pontos had been constructed in the 4th century with the assistance of an older neighboring Monastery that ore the name of John the Forerunner and Baptist."
(taken from: http://www.saintjohnthebaptist.org/articles/PANAGIA%20SOUMELA.htm; see the link for a brief history of Pontos and Pontians)

Fresco depicting the Theotokos holding Christ in her arms, surrounded by angels, from the Monastery of Soumela, Pontos, Asia Minor (Taken from: http://www.greekorthodoxmonastery.org/Photo%20galerie/Soumela%20Monastery/page_22.html)

A short excerpt on the Monastery of Soumela in an interview with a Pontian Greek Orthodox Christian by Road to Emmaus Journal

"RTE: In your account of the Black Sea crypto-Christians, you frequently mention the Monastery of Panagia Soumela, between Trabzon and Kromni. According to the Greek tradition of the founder-monks, Sts. Barnabas and Sophronius, Soumela is even older than St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai.

Another photo of the ruins of Panagia Soumela, Pontos (taken from: http://www.greekorthodoxmonastery.org/Photo%20galerie/Soumela%20Monastery/page_21.html)
  
GEORGE: Yes, we had three of the oldest monasteries in the world near Trebizond. The Pontian tradition describes them as: “Vazelon, the most ancient,” dedicated to St. John the Forerunner and built in this remote spot in 270, at the height of Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians; “Panagia Soumela, the most famous,” founded in 383; and “St. George Peristereota, the most beautiful,” established in the early sixth century. They were living monasteries throughout the Byzantine and Ottoman periods until they were evacuated in 1923 during the European-engineered Exchange of Populations, when the monks were forced to leave. The monasteries were left to be ruined by weather and vandals. Archbishop Chrysanthos Filippides of Athens and All-Greece, the Metropolitan of Trebizond who fed the Turkish women and children during the Russian occupation of 1916, later remarked, “Through the guilty complicity of the western Christian powers, a glorious Christian civilization in the East has been destroyed. The Church of Trebizond has been banished, and our inheritance has been transferred to strangers.”
  
The Turkish government is now restoring Soumela, about 40 kilometers south of Trebizond, not as an Orthodox monastery, but as an historical tourist site, with more Turkish feeling than the original architecture.

In 1950, Filon Ktenidis, a Pontian poet and doctor, who wrote the song that would have been the national anthem if the Independent Republic of Pontus had come into being, began a campaign in Greece: “I have seen a dream. The Mother of God of Soumela appeared and said, ‘You refugees, my children, you have made your homes in this new country. When are you going to make my home?’” With this, he began a campaign to build the new Soumela in Kastania, 80 kilometers from Thessalonica on Mount Vermion,
where the original miracle-working icon of Panagia Soumela is enshrined."

Copy of the icon of Panagia Soumela, in the chapel of the same name, Paracletos Monastery, Abbeville, South Carolina (taken from: http://www.greekorthodoxmonastery.org/MainPages/Chapel.html)

Ἵσον ἀπαράλλακτον τῆς Καθολικῆς Διαθήκης, τῶν Ὁσίων καὶ Θεοφόρων Πατέρων ἡμῶν Βαρνάβα καὶ Σωφρονίου.
Ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Πατρός, καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ, καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος. Ἀμήν.
Ὅστις ἀποκαρεῖ, καὶ ὑπομείνει ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τούτῳ τῷ ἐρημικῷ καὶ στενῷ καὶ βιαίῳ καὶ ψυχρῷ ἕως τῆς τελευταίας αὐτοῦ ἀναπνοῆς συντηρῶν καὶ τὰ τῆς μοναδικῆς ἄξια. Εἴτι καὶ ἄν ἄνθρωπος ἁμάρτοι, ἀσφάλειαν τίθημι τὴν μόνην Θεοτόκον, ἐν ἡμέρα κρίσεως συγχώρησιν εὕροι παρὰ τοῦ δικαίως κρίνοντος τὰ πάντα, καὶ μηδεὶς ἀπιστείτω. Οὐ γὰρ ἄδικος ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ἐπιλαθέσθαι τοῦ κόπου, καὶ τοῦ τρόπου ἐπιμετρῆσαί τε ἑκάστω τὴν σωτηρίαν τὸ κατὰ δύναμιν, τὸν κανόνα τὸν παρ’ ἐμοὶ τῷ ἀθλίῳ παραδεδομένον, φυλάττειν ἀσφαλῶς τε καὶ ἀόκνως, καὶ ἀνοθεύτως, οἷον, τοῦ μεσονυκτίου τε, καὶ ὀθρινῆς δοξολογίας, πρώτης τε ὥρας, καὶ τριτέκτης, ἱεροτελέσιά τε ἀκριβῶς προσέχειν, ἐννάτῃ τε καὶ ἑσπερινῷ σὺν τῷ Ἀποδείπνῳ. Ἐξαιρέτως δὲ τὸ ἱερὸν ψαλτήριον πάντα μοναχὸν τὸν ἐπιστάμενον γράμματα, ἐκστηθιζειν, γινώσκοντας, ὅτι ὁ μοναχὸς Ψαλτήριον ἐστι. Νεκρώσας γὰρ τὰ πάθη, κιθάρα καὶ τύμπανον τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος γίνεται. Τὸ τριμερὲς τῆς ψυχῆς καθελὼν τῇ μαχαίρᾳ τοῦ Πνεύματος, ἅτινά εἰσι θυμός, ἐπιθυμία κακή, καὶ φιλοκτημοσύνη. Καὶ ἐὰν ταῦτα ἀπροσκόπτως φυλάξητε, οὐ μακρὰν ἐστὲ τῆς Βασιλείς τῶν Οὐρανῶν. Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἔγνων ὅτι μετὰ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀποδημίαν, χρόνου τινὸς παρελθόντος, πάλιν ὁ τόπος οὗτος (οἴμοι) ἄπορος γεννήσετε, συνοχῆς ἐθνῶν γενομένης. Ἀλλ’ οὖν ὕστερον δοξάσει πάλιν ἡ πανάχραντος τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν Μήτηρ τὸ ἑαυτῆς οἴκημα, καὶ Ἀνάκτορον. Πλὴν οὐχ’ οὕτως, ὥς νῦν τιμᾶται παρ’ ἡμῖν ἡ ταπεινοφροσύνη, ἡ ἀκτημοσύνη, καὶ τὸ φιλήσυχον, ἀλλὰ φίλαυτοι καὶ φιλοκτήμονες, πλὴν ὅτι σώφρονες. Ἐπισφραγίζων οὖν ταύτην μου τὴν Διαθήκην λέγω ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμὴν.
Βαρνάβας ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν.

The testement of our Righteous and God-bearing Fathers Barnabas and Sophronios (amateur translation)

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
All those who are tonsured, and who persevere until his last breath in this desert and narrow and rough and dry place, also keeping this special worth. If they are sinners, take refuge in the only Theotokos, that they find forgivenessby the righteous judge at the day of judgment, rendering to each salvation according to his strength, the canon that you received from me the wretched one, preserve safely and unchanged, serving the midnight office, morning doxology, first hour, third and sixth hour, performed in holiness and prayed with precision, along with the ninth hour and vespers along with Compline. Especially, the holy psalter should be the readings of the monk, knowing that the monk is a Psalter. Therefore, put to death the passions, and become guitars and drums of the Holy Spirit. The three parts of the soul that are anger, cares for evil, and love of craving, depose with the sword of the Spirit. And if you keep these without hindrance, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven. For I know that after my exile, in the time to come, again this place (O woe!) will become destitute, being taken over by the nations. But later, the All-Pure Mother of our God will again make it her dwelling place and palace. For in the time to come, humility and poverty and silence will not be honored, but love of self and love of money more than the chaste. I seal this my Testament with Christ Jesus, to Whom belong glory to the ages of ages. Amen.
Barnabas from Athens

Τοῦ Ὁσίου Σωφρονίου.
Ἀειπάρθενε Θεοτόκε, τοὺς ἐν τῷ θείῳ σου τούτῳ βαῷ μετὰ πίστεως προσερχομένους ἀδελφοὺς ἡμῶν ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ ὁμονοίᾳ διαφύλαξον, διδοῦσα αὐτοῖς πάντα τὰ πρὸς σωτηρίαν αἰτήματα καὶ ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ σου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Βαρνάβα. Ὑμεῖς δε, ἀδελφοὶ καὶ πατέρες καὶ τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά, τὰ διατετυπωμένα ἐνταῦθα παρὰ τοῦ κοινοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Βαρνάβα σπουδαίως φυλάξατε, κατ’ ἴχνος αὐτῷ τὸν ἐνόντα τρόπον ἑπόμενοι, καὶ μὴ λυπήσθε. Ἡ γὰρ Ὑπέραγνος Θεοτόκος, οὐ διαλείπει ταῖς πρεσβείαις τοῦ πιστοῦ αὐτῆς θεράποντος καὶ καθηγητοῦ ἡμῶν διαφυλάττουσα καὶ σκέπουσα ὑμᾶς, ὥστε ἀξίους παραστῆναι ἐν τῇ μελλούσῃ ἡμέρα τῆς κρίσεως, ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ Θεοῦ καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Οὗ ἡ Χάρις, καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον Ἔλεος εἴη μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν. Ἀμήν.
Καὶ Σωφρόνιος ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν.

From the Righteous Sophronios (amateur translation)
Ever-Virgin Theotokos, preserve our brothers in this, your divine place and who pray with faith, in peace and oneness of mind, granting unto them all their requests unto salvation and eternal life through our Father Barnabas, beloved of yours. We therefore, brothers and fathers and beloved children in the Lord, let us properly protect those things by imprinted upon us by our common father Barnabas, continuing his way of life, and not despair. For the Most-pure Theotokos does not neglect the intercessions of her faithful healer and our teacher, sheltering and protecting us, making us worthy to withstand the comming day of judgment, on the right hand of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, Whose Grace and unspeakable Mercy will be with all of us. Amen.
And Sophronios from Athens.
  
Icon of Sts. Barnabas and Sophronios, founders of the Monastery of Panagia Soumela, Pontos (taken from: http://vatopaidi.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/oi-osioi-barnabas-kai-sofronios/)
  
Εὐχὴ περὶ τῶν ἀκρίδων τοῦ Ὀσίου Βαρνάβα, καὶ Σωφρονίου.
Δέσποτα Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ὁ τῷ ῥήματί σου τὸ πᾶν ἐκ μὴ ὄντων εἰς τὸ εἶναι παραγαγών, ὁ χοῦν λαβὼν ἐκ τῆς γῆς, καὶ πλάσας τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ψυχῇ, καὶ εἰκόνι σοῦ τιμήσαντες αὐτόν. Ὁ εἰπών· αὐξάνεσθε, καὶ πληθύνεσθε, καὶ πληρώσατε τὴν γῆν. Ὁ διδοὺς τοῖς κτήνεσι τροφήν, καὶ τοῖς νεοσσοῖς τῶν κοράκων. Ὁ καὶ ἐν τη μεγάλῃ καὶ σωτηρίῳ σου διὰ σαρκὸς ἐπιδημίᾳ χιλιάδας ἄρτῳ χορτάσας πολλάς. Σὺ ὁ πανάγαθος Δεσπότης, καὶ τούτους αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἐπικεκλημένους τὸ πανάγιόν σου ὄνομα, τῇ παντουργῷ, καὶ μεγαλυδώρῳ σου Δεξιᾷ διάθρεψον, καὶ οἴκτειρον πάντας αὐτούς τε καὶ ἡμᾶς συμπαθῶς. Ναὶ Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, σὸς λόγος ἐστί, τὸ αἰτεῖτε καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν, ζητεῖτε, καὶ εὑρήσετε. Δὸς οὖν καὶ ἡμῖν ἁμαρτωλοῖς καὶ ἀναξίοις δούλοις σου τοῖς μετὰ πίστεως αἰτοῦσι, Δέσποτα, τὸ παρὰ σοῦ μέγα ἔλεος. Καὶ λύτρωσαι αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῆς πανολέθρου ταύτης ἀκρίδος, ὅπως μὴ κατεσθίωσι τοὺς στάχυας, καὶ τὴν τροφὴν τῶν δούλων σου χάριτι σοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἀνάρχου σου Πατρός, καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, διὰ πρεσβειῶν τῆς Παναχράντου σου Μητρός. Ἀμήν.
Prayer against locusts by Sts. Barnabas and Sophronios; when they brought the icon of Panagia Soumela to the Monastery clouds of locusts were dispersed (amateur translation)
O Master Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who brought all things into being from nothing, Who took soil from the earth, and made man, and honored him with a soul in your image, Who said: increase, and multiply, and fill the earth, Who gives to every being food, and for the young ravens, Who in Your great and saving exile in the flesh fed thousands with bread, You, O all-good Master, to those who call upon Your all-holy, and all-powerful name, and your greatly-gifting Right hand multiply their resources and be gracious to all of them with sympathy. Yes, Lord Jesus Christ, Your word said to ask and it would be granted to us, to seek and we would find it. Grant therefore to us sinners and your unworthy servants, who with faith entreat Your great mercy, O Master. And deliver them from these all-perilous locusts, that the vines not be withered, and grant food to your servants, through Your grace, and that of Your Beginningless Father, and of the Holy Spirit, through the intercessions of Your All-pure Mother. Amen.
  
Ἀπολυτίκιον. Ἦχος πλ. δ΄. Ταῖς τῶν δακρύων σου ῥοαῖς.
Τῶ τῆς Θεόπαιδος χρησμῷ, τοῖς τοῦ βίου ἀποταξάμενοι, καὶ τοῖς ἑκάστοτε αὐτῆς, φωτοφανίαις ξένως μυσταγωγούμενοι, ὡς φοίνιξ ἐν αὐλαῖς ταῖς τοῦ Κυρίου ὄντως ἠνθήσατε, Βαρνάβα, Σωφρόνιε καὶ Χριστοφόρε, πρεσβεύσατε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, Πατέρες ἡμῶν τρισόλβιοι, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

Apolytikia for Sts. Barnabas, Sophronios and Christopher, founders of the Monastery of Soumela in Pontos - Celebrated on August 18th (amateur translation)By the annointing of the Divine Child, you abandoned the cares of life, and each were radiantly initiated into strange mysteries, as a phoenix in the courts of the Lord, you truly prospered, Barnabas, Sophronios and Christopher, intercede with Christ God, O thrice-praised Fathers, that our souls be saved.
  
Δόξα. Ἕτερον. Ἦχος α΄. Τους τρεις μέγιστους.
Τοὺς φαεινοὺς τρεῖς φωστήρας τῆς τρισηλίου θεότητος, τοὺς τῶν μοναστῶν τὰς χορείας, ἀκτίσι βίου πυρσεύσαντας, τῆς Θεοτόκου τοὺς καὶ μύστας καὶ λάτρας, τοὺς καὶ θεοφόρους τῷ τῆς Ἁγνῆς κελεύσματι χρηματίσαντας, Βαρνάβαν τὸν ὑψίνουν, καὶ τὸν θεοφόρον Σωφρόνιον, σὺν τῷ κλεινῷ Χριστοφόρῳ τῶ νῦν σχόντι θεοδίδακτον, πάντες οἱ τοῦ βίου αὐτῶν ὀπαδοί, συνελθόντες ὕμνοις τιμήσωμεν. Αὐτοὶ γὰρ τῇ Τριάδι, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀεὶ πρεσβεύουσι.

Additional Apolytikion in the First Tone. (amateur translation)
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
The three radiant lights of the three-sunned godhead, who shone forth radiantly from the choir of monastics, as mystics and venerators of the Theotokos, and god-bearers annointed by the command of the Pure One, Barnabas the most-exalted, and the god-bearer Sophronios, with the noble Christopher, taught by God from nothing, all of those who honor their life, let us gather and honor them with hymns, for they ever intercede with the Trinity for us.
  
Καὶ νῦν. Θεοτοκίον. Ήχος α’.
Εν τη γεννήσει την παρθενίαν εφύλαξας, εν τη κοιμήσει τον κόσμον ου κατέλιπες Θεοτόκε, μετέστης προς την ζωήν, Μήτηρ υπάρχουσα της ζωής, και ταις πρεσβείαις ταις σαις λυτρουμένη, εκ θανάτου τας ψυχάς ημών.
  
Apolytikion of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the First Tone
In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.

  
Most-Holy Theotokos, save us!
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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