Saturday, May 26, 2012

Akathist to St. John the Russian


St. John the Russian - Commemorated May 27 (source)
   
Akathist to St. John the Russian, the New Confessor and Wonderworker, whose incorrupt Holy Relic is treasured in Neo Prokopion, Evia
Written by Nun Isidora Agierotheitissa

Note: The following is an amateur translation from the Greek, and as such, I request reviewing the translation before any public / liturgical use. Also note that the meter of this translation is not set to match the original music.
   
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The perfect pinnacle of confession, and the divine example of humility, you willingly were steadfast amidst the bitterness, and your flesh shone forth with incorruption, let us honor John whose name is great, singing to him: hail, O boast of the Russians.

You lived the life of the bodiless on earth in your physical flesh, O John, (3) and imitating the ranks of the Bodiless Angels, God Who fashioned you glorified you in wondrous and divine works. Therefore, you hear from those who are amazed by you such words as these:
Hail, the precious icon of piety,
Hail, rich support of the holy faith.
Hail, perfect one in godly struggles,
Hail, privileged one serving uplifted things.
Hail, the fair pinnacle of all the Righteous ones,
Hail, the sacred radiance of the confessors.
Hail, the most-precious joy of the Church,
Hail, the most-prided offspring of noble Russia.
Hail, lamp of the radiance of the saints,
Hail, treasury of incorrupt and sacred gifts.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Barbarians faced your nation in battle, and took you hostage, O all-blessed one, thus bringing you to Asia Minor, where you were sold to a terrible boss, while you totally submitted to him in slavery in your incomparable steadfastness, O Father. And being obedient to him as a humble slave, O John, to God, the guide of all things, you offered the hymn, chanting endlessly: Alleluia.

You willed to imitate Christ, and to suffer the divine Passion, therefore, you endured every insult, O John, in your gladsome and undoubting heart. And you drank their every ridicule and bitterness as a pleasant drink. Therefore, you ever gladden those you cry out to you words like these:
Hail, true steward of the God of all,
Hail, deferential servant of a vicious boss.
Hail, you who endured unspeakable evils,
Hail, you who were enriched with heavenly rewards.
Hail, you who endured the bitter yoke of slavery,
Hail, you who bore the Lord's yoke with joy.
Hail, divine mirror of mystical rays,
Hail, sacred treasury of God-given gifts.
Hail, anointer of the unspeakable mystagogy,
Hail, shining pearl of the Church.
Hail, lamp that shines upon the hearts of the faithful,
Hail, sun that speaks of the unwaning Christ.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

In the rich home in which you served, a dinner was served, and through the grace of your Lord, you worked a great miracle through your piercing prayer, O Father. And from afar, O John, you sent food to your slave master in his own dish, thus granting him joy. While to God, Who dwells in the highest, you granted joy, as your burning heart chanted the hymn: Alleluia.

Having the most-pure fear of the Lord in your holy heart, O Father, as David the Prophet, you were enriched with perfect love. And through the spring of love, you approached God perfectly, and you meditated upon the law mindfully, O all-precious John, and called upon His name ceaselessly from the mouth of your heart. Therefore with incomparable care, you hearken upon us who call upon you ceaselessly:
Hail, the most-faithful worshipper of the God of all,
Hail, the bloodless Martyr of the Master of all.
Hail, you who were enriched with the great forbearance of Job,
Hail, you who unflinchingly gave a good witness.
Hail, you who traveled the straight path of turmoils,
Hail, you who bent the neck of your soul to Christ.
Hail, treasury of graces, full of divine fragrance,
Hail, river of wonders, and inheritance of fragrance.
Hail, the wealth of the Greeks, the incorruptible treasure,
Hail, perfect sharer of the mystical Table.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

With the immense warmth of your fervor, O John, you followed Christ willingly, and you did not at all deny His holy and all-powerful name, O blessed one. You suffered many pains, but you were as a diamond amidst turmoils, that beautifies the Church of Christ. With the fiery rays of the confession which you gave before the godless rulers with a piercing voice, O Father, you ceaselessly spoke of God, and chanted the thrice-holy hymn, chanting in thanksgiving: Alleluia.

From Russia, O Father, you were transported to the holy land of Asia Minor as a slave. And by your righteous pains you cultivated the land, and harvested the fruit of the faith, offering it to God Who cultivated you. Through freedom in soul, you served Him, O Righteous John, and kept your mind free, giving glory to Him instead as is right. Therefore, for those who bless you, grant a godly mind and a pure heart, as we cry out to you with loud voices like this:
Hail, you who worked the mystical vineyard,
Hail, you who fed upon the grapes of your athletic pains.
Hail, for with precious tears you watered your pillow,
Hail, for with divine rejoicing you bestow harmony.
Hail, you who received a great talent from the hand of God,
Hail, you who greatly increased the portion given to you.
Hail, you who received the holy seed within the field of your heart,
Hail, you who bore fruit through the good word of your confession.
Hail, the good servant of every virtue,
Hail, the prudent disciple of the Master of all.
Hail, the boast of the Church and root of beautiful fruit,
Gail, the glory of the Righteous, and wonder of the Angels.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Willingly doing the will of the Lord, you eagerly served, O sacred John, and with your humble mindset you followed the commandments. Therefore, you rejoiced as you accepted the yoke of slavery for the love which He offered to us, as He took on the form of a servant in His great goodness. With utter desire in heart, and a joyous voice, you offered to Him the hymn and ode as is proper: Alleluia.

In your endurance, you dwelt within a dark stable with the horses, while in your heart you mystically beheld the light of Christ, and you hymned the Giver-of-light in truth, keeping the lamp of your soul lit through the illuminating rays of your all-holy prayers. I entreat you to drive away the darkness from my irrational soul, that I may rationally offer you this light-bearing ode, saying fervently these words in thanksgiving:
Hail, healer adorned with the beauty of confession,
Hail, steadfast and divine pinnacle of good struggles.
Hail, the most-joyous treasury of the spotless faith,
Hail, spotless treasury of joyous graces.
Hail, you who freely give from the treasury of the Saints,
Hail, you who strengthen the souls with precious wealth.
Hail, spring which brings the fragrant message of dispassion,
Hail, well that waters with the refreshment of the spirit.
Hail, for you wore the tattered garment of the flesh in humility, O Father,
Hail, for you gladden the soul with songs from above.
Hail, the perfect companion of servants,
Hail, the faithful servant of the divine will.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Though you lived under the dominion of deceived ones, you who trample upon the enemy, you preserved your heart, O wondrous John, and you founded a great tower of the strength of God in the house of your soul that was unassailable to all, in which you loudly spoke of God's greatness. Loudly speak to my mouth, through the boldness of your prayers, that I might totally resist the strength of the deceiver, and offer to the all-powerful God, along with the Angels, the hymn: Alleluia.

Shining with the beauty of your soul more than corruptible gold, you beautify the Church of Christ, O John, and with the golden rays of your holy deeds, you shine upon all of us with the beauty of the Master. Illumine the garment of my soul, which is soiled by the passions, through your bold intercessions, I entreat you, that I might hymn your fervent help, as is needful, and with all joy, ceaselessly saying to you words such as these:
Hail, container of healings, and river of wonders,
Hail, the most-speedy physician of incurable diseases.
Hail, you who exalted God through your wondrous works,
Hail, you who trampled upon the enemy through your unspeakable groans.
Hail, you who imitated well the endurance of Job,
Hail, for as another Lazarus, you persevered in poverty.
Hail, you who inherited well the wealth of Eden,
Hail, you who wisely found the great treasure.
Hail, for your flesh did not taste of corruption in death,
Hail, you who partake of the grace of incorruption upon the earth.
Hail, you who offer to God prayers of intercession,
Hail, protector of all the faithful, full of sympathy.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

The precious members of your flesh, O Champion, bore the sacred marks of your confession, as you withstood many evils with your unswayable mind, and suffered hunger, and the bitterness of insults, which you drank as a river, and joyous food, from the eternal city of Eden, O John, in which dwell the choirs of the Righteous, and the sacred ranks of the Martyrs, and the cities of the divine confessors, as you chant ceaselessly unto God in Trinity the gladsome hymn in joy: Alleluia.

Dwelling in the divine house of the radiant and glorious trophy-bearer George in Asia Minor, you supplicated all day, and prayed all night, thus pleasing the Master of all, O John. Therefore, may you ever look graciously upon us who hymn you, granting remission of sins to our souls, and deep peace and transformation of the passions, that out of gratefulness we might cry to you in truth:
Hail, fund of prayer, and rule of continence,
Hail, river of love, and icon of gladsomeness.
Hail, for you imitated the heavenly ranks of the Cherubim,
Hail, for you illuminated the sacred ranks of the Righteous.
Hail, house of purity, and robe of cleanliness,
Hail, the highest imitator of the divine life.
Hail, you who took refuge in the divine church of Saint George,
Hail, for you pray with him to God, O Father.
Hail, you who accepted the passion of the Martyrs in the flesh,
Hail, you who joined with all those who confess God.
Hail, Christ's teacher of humility for us,
Hail, for you properly reached the height of dispassion.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

You lived your life on earth as a stranger, but grew closer to Christ, Who estranged Himself for us on earth, that we might become friends and close to God, delivering us from our former disobedience, and making us sharers in the eternal joy, and that we be found in light. May your light-bearing prayers, O servant of the light, grant us every grace, O sacred John, that we be delivered from the darkness, and chant unto the Worker-of-light and Master of all, the great ode and never-silent hymn: Alleluia.

With your whole mind, O Father, you unwaveringly followed the Lord of all, Whom you desired from childhood, and Whose army you were numbered in out of obedience, inscribing His laws upon the tablets of your heart, and keeping them with exactness as a good servant, and from Whom you received divine grace as the reward for your efforts, and your face shone as did the Law-giver Moses. Therefore, do not cease to intercede for us, O good John, and make us worthy to keep the holy commandments, that we might be found in the radiant bridal chamber, and ever chant to you these good words:
Hail, perfect mystagogue of divine visions,
Hail, precious diner from the radiant Table.
Hail, friend of the Master and beloved son,
Hail, protector of the faithful, and sacred guide of brides.
Hail, you who glorified the immortal God below,
Hail, you who trampled upon the powerless enemy.
Hail, you who wondrously were true to your Christian name,
Hail, stream of wonders, and river of healings.
Hail, the joyfulness of the Russians and the sweetness of the Greeks,
Hail, the lamp of Evia and the adornment of the Church.
Hail, the holy shield of confessors,
Hail, the purity and gladness of the Athletes of the Lord.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Every painful notion you endured with joy, as you were shown to be a tower of strength against every enemy, O John, utterly revealing their machinations, and receiving the crown from the hand of Him Who works all things. Through your prayers, O Father, make us worthy to be victorious over [the enemy's] machinations, and to raise up the trophies of godly victory in strength, and strength of life, that we might all cry out the victorious ode: Alleluia.

The Russian people take refuge in your holy memory, and skip and magnify God, O John, for He gave you to them as an all-holy root. Asia Minor also dances in glory, for you blessed her through your pains and holy struggles. And Evia also sings, and the noble island rejoices, being joyously enriched with your wondrous body, which transforms corruption, and turns beyond, calling the Greeks, and every city and people that bears the name of Christ to cry out to you these words graciously:
Hail, you who drank insults as sweet water,
Hail, you who took reproach as joyous food.
Hail, you who bore the marks of the Lord in your flesh,
Hail, you who bear the seal of incorruption in it.
Hail, for you offered yourself to the King of all,
Hail, for you ever stand before His throne in heaven.
Hail, you who in slavery were proven as gold,
Hail, you who are full of gold, and shine upon the earth.
Hail, you who quenched the fire of the furnace through your pains,
Hail, you who saved your flesh from corruption in the flames.
Hail, you who saved the disciple from terrible danger,
Hail you who fill every heart with wonder.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

We venerate your incorrupt body in piety, O John, and we bless the immortal God, Who delivered every race of man from death, and through His Third-day Resurrection, resurrected us. We sing to Him in joyous voices faithfully, praising the strength of His wonders, the multitude of His miracles, and we cry from our hearts, with the Angelic choirs, the joyous hymn and cherubic ode: Alleluia.

Foreseeing your blessed repose, O John, you sought to partake of the Spotless Mysteries, that you might be born into the life of eternal communion. These were brought to you by a priest in an apple, hidden as a treasure from the faithless enemies. Having received the Mysteries within your soul, O Father, you gave your soul to God. We ever glorify Him, as the Author of our life, and we all say these to you from our heart, ceaselessly:
Hail, the most-precious temple of divine gifts,
Hail, the most-radiant container of precious virtues.
Hail, you who bear the good news of your calling from above,
Hail, you who enrich with the fragrance of the Holy Spirit.
Hail, you who founded within the zeal and steadfastness of the Martyrs,
Hail, for having them in mind, you imitated their life.
Hail, you who who copied the lives of all the Righteous Ones.
Hail, you who reached the hymnody of the Angelic ranks.
Hail, you who remained for many years in the dark stable,
Hail, you who ever dwell in the pastures of light.
Hail, you who adorn the Church of Christ,
Hail, you who beautify the holy island of Evia.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Having burned up every evil material within yourself, you were offered to the Church as an all-fragrant harbor, gladdening the faithful with the grandeur of virtues. Therefore, at your holy memory, O John, we weave godly crowns with flowers, out of debt, and rightly engrave a hymn, honoring you from our soul, for the Lord also, in great joy, placed a crown upon your head, O Father, and we chant together: Alleluia.

Beholding light from your grave as a pillar of fire, you told to those there clearly, O John, of your life full of light which you struggled in on earth, and the boldness which you were eternally enriched with by the Father of Lights. As you never leave His hand, we entreat you to extend your hand, that we be delivered from the darkness, and walk in the light of the commandments, as your servants ceaselessly hymn the Giver-of-light and Savior, the Redeemer Jesus, and ceaselessly say to you with one voice:
Hail, lamp of the Light that drives away the darkness of passions,
Hail, for you lit within your soul a lamp with the light of the virtues.
Hail, you who gladden the hearts of the faithful with your light,
Hail, you who make joyous the holy Church with your beauty.
Hail, man of godly and holy desires,
Hail, divine lover of sacred commandments.
Hail, you who adorn the firmament above,
Hail, you who strengthen the souls of all through the wood of the Cross.
Hail, spring of divine things, and life-giving waters,
Hail, infinite stream of unspeakable wonders.
Hail, tree that bears the fruit of Paradise,
Hail, flower that carries the fragrance of the Comforter.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

Rejoicing that your time of bitter slavery had come to an end, your holy soul passed to the hand of God, and inherited joy in truth, O John, as you ever rejoice together with the choirs of the Angels. Let us all hail you, speaking to the Athlete of the Lord, celebrating his radiant memory with fervor, and embracing his sacred body with faith. And the choir claps on earth in harmony, while those in the heavens cry out the ode, to God in the highest, ever chanting to Him: Alleluia.

Truly surpassing the sands of the sea, O Father, are the multitude of your wonders, which you pour upon the faithful, who out of debt approach your sacred church, and entreat your intercessions, O sacred John, that we be delivered from sicknesses and from the assaults of the passions, as we cry out willingly with a glad heart:
Hail, healer of sicknesses, and driver-out of demons,
Hail, fountain of wonders, and mixing-bowel of blessing.
Hail, you who shine as a star with the Three-rays of light,
Hail, you who dissipate the soul-corrupting mist of the passions.
Hail, you grant to all the true wealth of the Master,
Hail, you who pour forth incorruptible treasure for the faithful.
Hail, divine harbor which grants salvation to souls,
Hail, you who befriend us with the Prince of peace.
Hail, you who truly bring forth strange wonders,
Hail, for your flesh was wondrously estranged from corruption.
Hail, pillar of Russia and treasure of Greece,
Hail, unsleeping protector of the whole world.
Hail, O boast of the Russians.

O All-holy Father, the height of divine confessors, and newly-illumined star, O John, (3) you who received the experience of the Martyrs in your precious body, and the sweat of the Righteous, and willingly endured toils, and received a crown upon your head from your beloved Master, and were honored by incorruption of your holy flesh: grant us the honor of incorruption in the heavens, through your prayers and uplifted hands, that we find the glory of eternal life, with all those who have been saved. To the Lord, Whom you stand before, we offer the ode, crying out with the Bodiless ones ceaselessly: Alleluia.  
   
For the life of St. John the Russian, see: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/05/st-john-russian-new-confessor.html.
   
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

2 comments:

Steve_Barrie said...

I thought St. John was born in Ukraine.

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

I believe that you are correct. I was just translating this Akathist from the Greek, and it's my observation that occationally in Greek texts (for better or worse), no distinction is made among specific slavic regions/countries. Thus many Saints are said to be from "Russia", but they might be from the Ukraine, Belarus, etc.