Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Excerpt from the Encomium to Sts. Cyrus and John by St. Sophronios Patriarch of Jerusalem

Sts. Cyrus and John the Holy Unmercenaries and Martyrs (http://pravicon.com/sv-1149, http://pravicon.com/sv-928)
Excerpt from the Encomium to Sts. Cyrus and John by St. Sophronios Patriarch of Jerusalem (amateur translation)
Others have praised other saints, triumphing in their gifts for many days, and in many ways preaching their works. They have raised exalted churches, they have adorned them with different forms of marble, while others have formed golden mosaics, and others have painted joyous icons, and others have gilded with gold and silver...and all have done so to honor and praise the martyrs in a thousand ways, as each is able and desires. They wish to offer to them their victories through them, and to show the care that they feel towards them, and they partook of unfading things instead of corruptible, instead of the things of this life, the things that have no end; the people praise these glorious ones whom they love, and offer them gifts out of habit. We, however, find that the word is more precious than natural materials, for it comes from the natural tongue, but proceeds from the spirit, which therefore flows as a stream unspoken; let us praise the saints in this way. He who therefore rejoices in the martyrs, takes refuge in the Word of God, Who made them martyrs. So it is worthy to celebrate their feast, we who have been greatly benefited from their grace, entreating them to open our mouth, that they might receive from us our gift offered to them...
Let us therefore praise the perfect among martyrs, and offer words of joy to those who listen. The faithful skip, seeing the ways of Cyrus being praised, and the mass of the pious ones praise John, learning of his encomium. From the Gospels and from the words of the Lord, which were first offered to the apostles, comes the praise of the martyrs Cyrus and John, and we say to them: You are the light of the world, and the salt of the earth, O thrice-blessed ones, and the light to those in darkness and the salt that does not loose its potency, and the light that is not extinguished and the salt that is not thrown out, the sleepless light and the salt that is not trampled upon, the light that is ever seen and the salt that is ever effective, the light of everything sweet and the salt beloved by all things...the light of godly-knowledge and salt fashioned from love of God, light that dissolves the darkness and salt that gives flavoring to food, light that illumines the dark things and salt that makes pleasant unpleasant things, light that reveals things that were lost and salt which seasons things. O holy band, through whom the Divine works wonders! For truly “God is wondrous among His saints”. O band of martyrs, through whom the world rejoices! O band of righteous ones, through whom life is renewed! O band of holy ones, through whom the faith is preserved! O band of praised ones, through whom the faithful are magnified! O band of zealous ones, through whom error is destroyed! O band of powerful ones, through whom we are delivered from the devil! O band of soldiers, through whom the demons are banished to perdition! O band of pious ones, through whom the idols are drowned! Hail, O band truly holy, and presence of God, who confirm the age to come to men. Hail, O precious band, you who were heavenly without leaving the earth. Hail O holy band, you who rejoice with the angels and give help to men. You are truly worthy to hear from the Savior, Who praises and cries out with a great voice: “You are the light of the world and the salt of the earth,” light illuminating from the true light, and salt from that true spring of salt, and light that illumines those who take refuge in you, and spring that continuously flows for those who praise you.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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