Sunday, July 29, 2012

St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain: "When you find yourself wounded by sin"

Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for the Sheep (http://thesobornost.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/6a00d8341c10c553ef00e54f827bf28834-800wi.jpg)
 
St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain: "When you find yourself wounded by sin" (amateur translation)
When you find yourself wounded because you fell into some sin because of your weakness, or sometime through your desire to your detriment: do not be afraid, nor should you be troubled because of this, but as you immediately return to God, speak thusly: "Look, my Lord, I did this deed as I am that kind of person. It is impossible for You to expect anything else from me, who am so ill-intentioned and weak, other than falls from me and being demolished."

And then, bring tears to your eyes for a while, and mourn with pain of heart for the sadness which you cause God, and without becoming confused, become indignant against your shameful passions, especially against that passion which became the cause of your fall. And say again: "I would not have been standing up till now, my Lord, I would have sinned worse, unless you had not kept me in Your great goodness."

And thank Him and love Him much more, being amazed at His great compassion, for despite all the things that you have done to sadden Him, He again extends His hand to help you, that you might not fall again into sin. Finally, say with great firmness to His compassion: "You, my Lord, do as You are, and forgive me and do not allow me from now on to be separated from You, nor to be distanced from You ever, nor to sadden You anymore."

And doing this, do not wonder if He forgave you, because this is nothing other than pride, disturbance of the nous, loss of the time, and deception of the devil, colored with different beautiful excuses. Because of this, leave yourself free in the merciful hands of God, continue your ascesis, as if you had not fallen. And if, due to your weakness, the same occurs and you sin many times in the day and you remain wounded, do that which I said each time, not with any less hope in God. And condemn yourself further and hate the sin further, and struggle to live with even greater care.

This struggle does not please the devil, because he sees how much it pleases God, and because the enemy remains shamed seeing that he had been defeated by him whom he had previously conquered. Because of this he uses different fraudulent ways to prevent what we are doing.

And many times he accomplishes his task due to our negligence and the little care that we have for ourselves.

Because of this, whenever you find yourself in this difficulty from the enemy, even more so should you struggle to do this many times, even if you only fell once. Of course, you should do this when, having sinned, you feel that you are troubled and confused; you should seize the thoughts of disbelief, and thus you bring about peace and tranquility in your heart, along with bravery. And having been armed with these weapons, you return to God.

Because, a confusion and being troubled by sin like this does not occur because we saddened God, but it occurs because of fear of His condemnation. And this signifies that it springs from our self-love, as we said many times before.

Our method, therefore, to bring about peace is the following: to totally forget your fall and your sin, and to deliver your thoughts to the great and ineffable goodness of God. And that, He waits with great diligence and desire to forgive every sin, even if it is grave, calling the sinner with various ways and through different paths, to come to his senses and to be united with Him in this life through His grace, and in the other life, to sanctify him with His glory and to make him blessed forever.

And with these and similar thoughts and reflections, you will bring peace to your nous, then you can return from your fall, doing as I said above. Straightaway, when the hour of your confession comes (which I advise you to do very frequently), bring to mind all of your sins, and with new pain and sadness for that with which you saddened God, and with diligence and resolve to not sadden Him further, reveal them all to your Spiritual Father, and fulfill with diligence the canon that he ordains.
(http://vatopaidi.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/τι-πρέπει-να-κάνουμε-όταν-είμαστε-πληγ/)
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Akathist to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, the Righteous Fool-for-Christ and Wonderworker (source)
   
Akathist to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

Kontakion I
O holy and blessed Mother Ksenia, chosen favorite and fool for the sake of Christ, who elected to undergo the struggle of patience and the suffering of affliction, we who honor your holy memory offer you hymns of praise. Help us against our enemies, visible and invisible, that we may cry unto you: Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Ikos I
After the death of your husband, O blessed Mother, you sought the life of the angels and rejected the beauty of this world and all that is in it—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; and you acquired the understanding of Christ. Wherefore, you hear these praises which we offer unto you:
Rejoice, for you were the peer of Andrei, the fool for the sake of Christ!
Rejoice, for you renounced your own name, referring to yourself as dead!
Rejoice, for you assumed foolishness and took the name of your husband, Andrei!
Rejoice, for you called yourself by a man’s name, renouncing woman’s weakness!
Rejoice, because for the sake of Christ you accepted voluntary poverty!
Rejoice, for you distributed all your substance to good people and to the poor!
Rejoice, for by your foolishness you have taught us to reject the vain wisdom of this age;
Rejoice, good comforter of all who have recourse to you in prayer!
Rejoice, for you were full of wisdom transcending the world!
Rejoice, for you preferred mockery and ridicule to earthly glory!
Rejoice, for you have been glorified by God;
Rejoice speedy helper in times of trouble and despair!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion II
Perceiving your manner of life as strange, for you spurned your home and all worldly riches, your kinsmen in the flesh thought you deranged; but the people of Saint Petersburg, seeing your humility, lack of acquisitiveness, and voluntary poverty, sang unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos II
O blessed Ksenia, you hid the understanding given to you by God under an apparent mindlessness; and amid the vanity of the great city you lived like a desert-dweller, unceasingly offering your prayers up to God. And, marveling at your manner of life, we cry out to you in praise:
Rejoice, for you took upon your shoulder the heavy cross of foolishness which God had given you!
Rejoice, O blessed one who bore it without hesitation!
Rejoice, for you hid the radiance of grace under an assumed insanity!
Rejoice, for your foolishness was most wise!
Rejoice, for through extreme humility and feats of prayer you acquired the gift of clairvoyance!
Rejoice, for you showed forth this gift for the benefit and salvation of the suffering!
Rejoice, for you beheld the sufferings of the people clairvoyantly, as from afar!
Rejoice, for your prayers brought relief to those in pain and distress!
Rejoice, for you prophesied to the good woman the birth of a son!
Rejoice, for you entreated God, that He grant that woman a child!
Rejoice, for you hurry to entreat the Lord on behalf of your neighbors!
Rejoice, for you have taught all to flee to God in prayer!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion III
By the power given to you by God from on high, you manfully endured burning heat and bitter cold, crucifying your flesh and the passions and lusts. Wherefore, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, you cried out unceasingly unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos III
With the sky as your roof and the earth as your bed, O blessed one, you spurned the comfort of the flesh for the sake of the Kingdom of God. And we, beholding your manner of life, cry out to you with compunction:
Rejoice, for you gave your earthly home to the people!
Rejoice, for you sought and received the shelter of heaven!
Rejoice, for you possessed nothing that was earthly, but enriched all spiritually!
Rejoice, O treasurehouse of the gifts of heaven!
Rejoice, for you accounted every material thing as nothing!
Rejoice, for you were thus freed from every loss!
Rejoice, for you endured hunger and cold in ragged clothing!
Rejoice, for by your life you teach us endurance!
Rejoice, for you showed forth the love of God for all!
Rejoice, for you have been adorned with the fruits of piety!
Rejoice, for you showed the world patience and guilelessness!
Rejoice, O our fervent intercessor before the throne of the Most High!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

  
Kontakion IV
The tempest of life which assailed Saint Petersburg you weathered by meekness and guilelessness, O blessed Mother, and you acquired dispassion toward this corrupt world; therefore, you sing unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos IV
Hearing of you, that, having endured a multitude of afflictions for Christ’s sake, you comfort the sorrowful, strengthen the weak and guide the lost to the straight path; the suffering hasten to your aid, singing unto you:
Rejoice, for you loved the path of Christ with all your heart!
Rejoice, for you joyfully bore the Cross of Christ!
Rejoice, for you endured every offense offered you by the world, the flesh, and the devil!
Rejoice, for you thus emulated the ascetics of the desert!
Rejoice, for you were full to overflowing with the gifts of God!
Rejoice, for you freely bestow spiritual gifts upon those in need!
Rejoice, for you showed love for your neighbors!
Rejoice, for you offered consolation to the suffering!
Rejoice, for you shed unceasing tears of repentance!
Rejoice, for you wipe away the tears of those who weep!
Rejoice, for you sought neither comfort nor warmth for yourself!
Rejoice, for you were wondrously warmed by the grace of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion V
Your holiness, O blessed Ksenia, was like a divinely guided star illumining the sky of Saint Petersburg; for unto all perishing in the madness of sin you showed the path of salvation, calling all to repentance, that they might cry out to God: Alleluia!
Ikos V
Seeing your feats of prayer and your endurance of heat and cold, pious folk sought to alleviate your sufferings, offering you clothing and food; but you distributed all these things to the poor, desiring to maintain your struggle. And we, marveling at your voluntary poverty, cry out to you thus:
Rejoice, for you willingly endured burning heat and freezing cold the sake of Christ!
Rejoice, for you were warmed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, for you remained continually in prayer!
Rejoice, for you never tire in interceding for mankind!
Rejoice, for by all-night vigils in prayer you preserved Saint Petersburg from misfortunes!
Rejoice, for many times you averted from it the wrath of God!
Rejoice, for every day of the year you prayed at night in a field!
Rejoice, for by your fervent tears you warmed the cold earth!
Rejoice, for you tasted the sweetness of paradise in poverty of spirit!
Rejoice, for in this sweetness you left behind all earthly things!
Rejoice, for you abide wholly in God!
Rejoice, for you delight in the bridal banquet of your Master!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion VI
All who have been delivered by you from different ailments, misfortunes and sorrows—the rich and the poor, the old and the young—proclaim the holiness of your life, O blessed one of God; therefore, and glorifying you, we cry out unto God: Alleluia!
Ikos VI
The glory of your struggles shone forth, O blessed Mother, when at night you secretly carried stones for those who were erecting the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, lightening the tasks of the builders; and mindful of this, we sinners cry out to you such things as these:
Rejoice, for you teach us to perform virtuous deeds in secret!
Rejoice, for you call all to feats of piety!
Rejoice, for you aided those who were building the churches of God!
Rejoice, for you loved the holiness of the Church!
Rejoice, for you labor for the Lord of the vineyard!
Rejoice, for you ease our labors on the path of salvation!
Rejoice, for you continually call upon the name of the Lord!
Rejoice, O speedy helper of those who have recourse unto you!
Rejoice, for you have found rest in Christ your Master!
Rejoice, O good comforter of all the sorrowful!
Rejoice, for you sanctified your city by your painful footsteps!
Rejoice, O heavenly aid of the city of Saint Petersburg!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg (http://www.mos-ikona.ru/database/38736060.jpg)
  
Kontakion VII
Desiring to deliver from sorrow the mourning physician who had buried his wife, you commanded a certain maiden to hasten to Okhta, there to take him as her husband and to console him. And they did as you said, singing unto God in joy: Alleluia!

Ikos VII
A new wonder you revealed in your prayer, O blessed Mother, when you said unto a pious woman: "Take a five-kopek piece, and it will go out!" thus prophesying that fire would strike her house; and at your supplication the flame of the fire was extinguished. Therefore, mindful of these things, we cry out praises unto you:
Rejoice, for you unceasingly grieved over your sins!
Rejoice, for you extinguish the sorrows of the people!
Rejoice, for you bore suffering in body and soul!
Rejoice, for before God you show forth boldness for the suffering!
Rejoice, O inextinguishable lamp burning brightly in prayer to God!
Rejoice, O our intercessor amid misfortunes and perils!
Rejoice, for you save from perdition those beset by the passions!
Rejoice, for you turn pious virgins away from marriage with unbelievers!
Rejoice, for you crucified your flesh with constant mortification!
Rejoice, for you deliver from despair those who have been wounded by a curse!
Rejoice, for your defender was the Most High!
Rejoice, O speedy defender at an unjust trial!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion VIII
As a homeless wanderer you trod the path of your life in the capital city of Russia, bearing afflictions and reproaches with great patience; and, abiding now in the heavenly Jerusalem, in joy you sing unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos VIII
You were all things to all, O blessed Ksenia—comfort for the sorrowful, protection and defense for the weak, joy for the grieving, clothing for the poor, healing for the sick; therefore, we cry out unto you:
Rejoice, for you dwell in the mansions on high!
Rejoice, for you pray there for us sinners!
Rejoice, O good one, who shows us a model of service to God!
Rejoice, O provider of our every need!
Rejoice, O protectress of the persecuted and oppressed!
Rejoice, for you by your supplications help the Orthodox people!
Rejoice, for you endured much affliction and grief!
Rejoice, for you defend the afflicted who pray to you!
Rejoice, for you rebuke those who abuse their fellows!
Rejoice, for you put to shame unbelievers and those who babble!
Rejoice, for you were clothed in rags and tatters!
Rejoice, for God has adorned you with the splendid raiment of righteousness!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!
Kontakion IX
O blessed Mother, you endured all illness, bodily poverty, hunger and thirst, and the reproach of iniquitous people who considered you to be insane; yet, praying to the Lord, you continually cried out to Him: Alleluia!
Ikos IX
Even the most eloquent of orators are unable to understand how by your foolishness you reproved the madness of this world, and by your weakness you put the mighty and wise to shame, for they do not know the power and wisdom of God which are in you; but we, receiving your aid, sing to you such things as these:
Rejoice, O bearer of the divine Spirit!
Rejoice, for with the Apostle Paul you boasted in your weakness!
Rejoice, for you reproved the world by your feigned foolishness!
Rejoice, for you spurned the glamour of this world for the sake of salvation!
Rejoice, for you disdained the beautiful things of this earth!
Rejoice, for you loved the good things of heaven with all your heart!
Rejoice, for you were attentive unto the inner voice of the Lord!
Rejoice, for you call us to the path of salvation!
Rejoice, O dread denouncer of drunkenness as a sin!
Rejoice, for you were renowned for your kindness and love!
Rejoice, O holy protectress of the Orthodox family!
Rejoice, for in Christ you found comfort for your sorrows!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg (source)
  
Kontakion X
Desiring to save your soul, you crucified your flesh with its passions and lusts; and, utterly denying yourself, you set your cross upon your shoulder and followed after Christ with all your heart, singing unto Him: Alleluia!

Ikos X
You are a firm rampart and an unassailable refuge for those who pray to you, O Mother Ksenia; therefore, by your supplications help us against our enemies, visible and invisible, that we may cry to you:
Rejoice, for you worked diligently in the garden of Christ!
Rejoice, for you move us to spiritual labor!
Rejoice, for through steadfastness of faith you escaped the devil’s snares!
Rejoice, for you deliver us from the snares of the enemy!
Rejoice, for you offered yourself unto God like incense in a censer!
Rejoice, for you bring the peace of God into the hearts of the people!
Rejoice, for you shed rays of Christian love upon all!
Rejoice, for you extinguish the spirit of malice in the hearts of the oppressed!
Rejoice, for you impart blessing unto good children!
Rejoice, for by mystic supplication you heal their ailments!
Rejoice, for through foolishness you attained heavenly wisdom!
Rejoice, for you have shown forth the wisdom of God to the afflicted world!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion XI
Those who have been saved from misfortunes, sorrows and all dangers offer you hymns of praise, O blessed Ksenia, and with you joyously sing unto God: Alleluia!
Ikos XI
Your life, O holy Mother, has been shown to be a radiant light illumining the people amid the darkness of this life; for you have delivered those who have fallen into the mire of sin and directed their path to the light of Christ. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice, O favorite of Christ, who, while in the world, lived above the world!
Rejoice, for you enlighten the Orthodox with the light of God!
Rejoice, for you by your many labors acquired great grace!
Rejoice, for you shone forth with the grace of God in the darkness of sin!
Rejoice, for you set your hope upon the Almighty!
Rejoice, for on the path of salvation you give a helping hand to the desperate!
Rejoice, for you were clad in the brilliant robe of unwavering faith!
Rejoice, for you strengthen those who are weak in the Faith!
Rejoice, for you were renowned for your kindness and love!
Rejoice, for you put to shame the spirits of malice!
Rejoice, for your ways were those of an ascetic of the wilderness!
Rejoice, for by your manner of life you amazed the angels!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!
Kontakion XII
You pour forth grace in abundance upon those who honor your memory and flee to your protection, O blessed Ksenia; therefore, upon us who pray to you do also pour forth streams of healing from God, that we may cry out to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos XII
Hymning your many wonders, O blessed Mother, we praise you and entreat you with all our heart: Forsake not us sinners amid our grievous circumstances, but beseech the Lord of hosts, that we fall not away from our Orthodox Faith, but that, strengthened in it by your prayers, we may cry out to you:
Rejoice, for you teach us to have sympathy for the suffering!
Rejoice, for you bear our infirmities with all your heart!
Rejoice, for you instruct us to crucify the flesh, together with the passions and lusts!
Rejoice, for you come to our aid amid every spiritual battle!
Rejoice, for you hear our every supplication!
Rejoice, O intercessor and protectress of those who honor your memory!
Rejoice, for you traveled the path of tribulation!
Rejoice, for you thereby obtained everlasting salvation!
Rejoice, for you give joy to those who hasten to your tomb!
Rejoice, for you are a speedy helper in every misfortune!
Rejoice, for your light has shone forth before all!
Rejoice, for you ever mediate the salvation of your people!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion XIII
O holy and blessed Mother Ksenia, who bore a heavy cross during your lifetime: Accept from us sinners this entreaty offered unto you. By your supplications protect us from the assaults of the spirits of darkness and from all who plot evils against us. Beseech our most compassionate God, that He grant us power and might, that we may bear our own crosses and, following Christ, may go forth, singing with you to Him: Alleluia! (3)

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg and St. Matrona of Moscow (http://vladicon.ru/photos/icons/svyatie/34.jpg)
  
Ikos I
After the death of your husband, O blessed Mother, you sought the life of the angels and rejected the beauty of this world and all that is in it—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; and you acquired the understanding of Christ. Wherefore, you hear these praises which we offer unto you:
Rejoice, for you were the peer of Andrei, the fool for the sake of Christ!
Rejoice, for you renounced your own name, referring to yourself as dead!
Rejoice, for you assumed foolishness and took the name of your husband, Andrei!
Rejoice, for you called yourself by a man’s name, renouncing woman’s weakness!
Rejoice, because for the sake of Christ you accepted voluntary poverty!
Rejoice, for you distributed all your substance to good people and to the poor!
Rejoice, for by your foolishness you have taught us to reject the vain wisdom of this age;
Rejoice, good comforter of all who have recourse to you in prayer!
Rejoice, for you were full of wisdom transcending the world!
Rejoice, for you preferred mockery and ridicule to earthly glory!
Rejoice, for you have been glorified by God;
Rejoice speedy helper in times of trouble and despair!
Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

Kontakion I
O holy and blessed Mother Ksenia, chosen favorite and fool for the sake of Christ, who elected to undergo the struggle of patience and the suffering of affliction, we who honor your holy memory offer you hymns of praise. Help us against our enemies, visible and invisible, that we may cry unto you: Rejoice, O blessed Ksenia, who ever intercedes for our souls!

  
Prayer I
O blessed wanderer Ksenia, heir to the Kingdom of the Father, who was homeless on the earth and most simple in the manner of your life: Like those who in the past fell down before your tomb, so do we, who have recourse unto you, now ask: Pray that, as the Lord says, our steps may be guided rightly toward the doing of His commandments, and that the soul-corrupting iniquity sown by the godless may not prevail over our generation. O you who hid yourself from the wise of this age, yet were known to God, ask humility, meekness and the pledge of love for our hearts, faith in prayer, hope in repentance, strength in labors, the mercy of healing in sickness, and restoration of our whole life from this time forward, that, blessing you, we may with compunction confess the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the consubstantial and indivisible Trinity, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer II
O holy and most blessed Mother Ksenia, who lived under the protection of the Most High and was strengthened by the Mother of God, and who endured hunger and thirst, cold and burning heat, oppression and persecution: You have received from God the gift of clairvoyance and the power to work miracles, and you rest under the shelter of the Almighty. The Holy Church now glorifies you as a fragrant blossom. Praying before your holy icon, we ask you, as one who is alive and with us: Accept our petitions, and offer them up before the throne of the loving Father of heaven; and, since you have boldness before Him, for those who have recourse unto you, ask eternal salvation, compassionate blessing upon our good works and undertakings, and deliverance from all misfortunes and sorrows. In your holy supplications before our most merciful Savior, intercede for us, the unworthy and sinful. O holy and blessed Mother Ksenia, help our children to receive illumination by the light of holy baptism and the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit; raise our youths and maidens in faith, honesty, and the fear of God, and grant them success in their studies; heal the infirm; send down love and concord upon families; account monastics worthy to fight the good fight and protect them from oppression; make our pastors steadfast in the might of the Holy Spirit; preserve the Orthodox faithful in peace and tranquility; and pray for those who at the hour of their death are deprived of the communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. You are our trust and hope, speedily hearkening to us and delivering us, and unto you do we ascribe thanks, and with you do we glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

  
Troparion in Tone VIII
Christ the Lord has revealed you to be a new intercessor for the Orthodox; you willingly endured evil in your life and lovingly served both God and man. We zealously run to you in misfortune and sorrow. We hope in you and cry from our hearts: Put not our hope to shame, O blessed Ksenia.

Troparion in Tone V
Having lived as a stranger in the world, O Ksenia, you outwitted the deviser of evil by your feigned foolishness. You received from God grace to foresee and foretell things to come. Now you have been translated from earth and are numbered with the choirs of Angels.

Troparion in Tone IV
Having renounced the vanity of this world, you took up the cross of a homeless life of wandering. You did not fear grief, privation, and scorn, but knew the love of Christ. Now taking sweet delight in His love in heaven, O blessed and divinely wise Ksenia, pray for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion in Tone II
As we who honor you with love, O Ksenia, celebrate the memory of your strange way of life, we sing the praise of Christ, who in all ways grants you the strength of cures. Ever entreat him on behalf of us all.
Kontakion in Tone IV
You gave your wealth to the poor, O Ksenia, and accepted poverty out of love for Christ; and having lived in a manner rivaling the Angels you were counted worthy of glory on high.

Kontakion in Tone III
A wandering stranger on earth ever sighing for the heavenly homeland, you were considered a fool by the senseless and unbelieving, but were known to be wise and holy by the faithful. God crowned you with glory and honor, O Ksenia, strong minded and divinely wise. Therefore, we cry to you: Rejoice, for after earthly wandering you have come to dwell in the Father’s house.
(http://www.saintgregoryoutreach.org/2010/01/prayers-for-employment-family-and.html)
  
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

St. Markella of Chios, the Much-suffering and Glorious Virgin Martyr

St. Markella of Chios, the Much-suffering and Glorious Virgin Martyr - Commemorated on July 22 (source)
  
St. Markella lived in the village of Volissos, Chios in the middle of the fourteenth century. Her parents were Christians, and among the wealthiest citizens of Volissos. Her mother died when she was young, and so her father, the mayor of the village, saw to her education.
  
St. Markella had been trained by her mother to be respectful and devout, and to guard her purity. She avoided associations with other girls who were more outgoing than she was so that she would not come to spiritual harm through such company. Her goal was to attain the Kingdom of Heaven, and to become a bride of Christ.
  
St. Markella increased in virtue as she grew older, fasting, praying, and attending church services. She tried to keep the commandments and to lead others to God. She loved and respected her father, and comforted him in his grief over her mother’s death. She told him she would take care of him in his old age and would not abandon him.
  
  
As an adult, St. Markella was loved by everyone for her beauty and for her spiritual gifts. The devil tried to lure her into sin by placing evil thoughts in her mind. However, St. Markella resisted these temptations and so the devil turned away from a direct confrontation with her. Instead, he incited her father with an unnatural desire for his daughter.
  
Eventually, Markella’s father changed in his behavior toward his child. He became moody and depressed, forbidding her to go into the garden or to speak with the neighbors. Unable to understand the reason for this change, she went to her room and wept. She prayed before an icon of the Mother of God, asking Her to help him. Soon she fell asleep, only to be awakened by her father’s shouting.
  
  
The unfortunate man had spent a long time struggling against his lust, but finally gave into it. At times he would speak to his daughter roughly, then later he would appear to be gentle. He wanted to be near her, and to stroke her hair. Unaware of her father’s intentions, St Markella was happy to see him emerge from his melancholy state, thinking that her prayers had been answered.
  
One day, her father openly declared the nature of his feelings for her. Horrified, Markella tried to avoid him as much as she could. Even the neighbors realized that there was something wrong, so they stopped speaking to him.
  
One day, a shepherd was tending his sheep near the beach, and led them into the shade of a tree to avoid the hot July sun. Just as he was about to lie down, he heard a noise and looked up. He saw a young woman with a torn dress running down the hill. She hid in a nearby bush, ignoring its thorns.
The shepherd wondered who was chasing her, and how she had come to this spot. He then heard the sound of a horse approaching, and recognized the mayor of the village. He asked the shepherd if he had seen his daughter., Markella. The shepherd said that he had not seen her, but pointed to her hiding place with his finger.
  
The mayor ordered Markella to come out of the bush, but she refused. He then set fire to the bush in order to force her out. She emerged and ran toward the rocky shore, calling out to the Mother of God for help.
  
Markella continued to run, even though blood was flowing from her face and hands. Feeling a sharp pain in her leg, she saw that she had been shot with an arrow. She paused to pull it out, then began to run once more. She scrambled over the rocks, staining them with her blood. Hearing her father getting closer, she prayed that the earth would open up and swallow her.
  
Markella sank to her knees, her strength all gone. Then a miracle took place. The rock split open and received her body up to the waist. Her father drew near with wild-eyed joy shouting, “I have caught you. Now where will you go?”

St. Markella being beheaded by her twisted father (source)
  
Drawing his sword, he began to butcher his helpless daughter, cutting off pieces of her body. Finally, he seized her by the hair and cut off her head, throwing it into the sea. The calm sea suddenly became stormy, and large waves crashed to the shore near her father’s feet. Thinking that the sea was going to drown him because of his crime, he turned and fled. His ultimate fate has not been recorded.

The Cross placed where St. Markella was martyred (http://www.digital-camera.gr/index.php?option=photos&action=view&photo_id=3262)
  
Later, pious Christians built a church on the spot where St. Markella hid in the bush. The spot where she was killed became known as “The Martyrdom of St. Markella,” and the rock that opened to receive her is still there. The rock appears to be a large stone that broke off from a mountain and rolled into the sea. Soil from the mountain covers the spot on the side facing the land. On the side facing the ocean is a small hole, about the size of a finger. Healing water flows from the opening, which cures every illness of the faithful. The flow of water is not due to the movements of the tide, because when the tide is out, there would be no water. This, however, is not the case. The water is clear, but some of the nearby rocks have been stained with a reddish-yellow color. According to tradition, the lower extremities of St. Markella’s body are still concealed in the rock.
  
The most astonishing thing about the rock is not the warmth of the water, nor the discoloration of the other rocks, but what happens when a priest performs the Blessing of Water. Steam rises up from the water near the rock, and the entire area is covered with a mist. The sea returns to normal as soon as the service is over. Many miracles have occurred at the spot, and pilgrims flock there from all over the world.
(http://www.antiochian.org/node/19007)
   

Apolytikion in the First Tone.
Submitting to the laws of the Lord's divine teachings, you strove to keep them blamelessly, O Martyr Markella. And fearing the violence of your father, you fled from him and dwelt in the mountains. Pursuing you he found you and slew you, O undefiled bride of Christ. Glory to Him who strengthened you. Glory to Him who crowned you. Glory to Him who works healings for all through you.
(
http://goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=494)
  
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Prophet Elijah, the “Still Small Voice”, and Scripture

  
The meaning of Holy Scripture reveals itself gradually to the higher senses of the more discerning mind when the mind has put off the complex bodily form of the words which are formed in it.

This revelation is like a still small voice.

Through a supreme abandonment of its natural activities, such a mind has been able to perceive the meaning only in a simplicity which reveals the divine Word.

This is the way that the great Elijah was granted the vision in the cave at Horeb.

For ‘Horeb’ means ‘newness’, which is our virtuous condition in the new spirit of grace.

The cave is the hiddenness of spiritual wisdom in which the one who enters will mystically experience the knowledge which goes beyond the senses.

This is the knowledge in which God is found.

Therefore anyone who truly seeks God, as did the great Elijah, will come upon him not only on Horeb – that is, as an ascetic in the practice of the virtues.

He will also encounter him in the cave of Horeb – that is, as a contemplative in the hidden place of wisdom which can exist only in the habit of the virtues.

When the mind shakes off the many distractions about things which are pressing on it, then the clear meaning of truth appears and gives it pledges of genuine knowledge.

These are given after it has driven off its recent preoccupations which were like scales on the eyes, just as in the case of the great and holy Apostle Paul.

For thoughts about the mere letter of Scripture and the consideration of those visible things that hinder understanding are indeed scales which cling to the clear-sighted part of the soul and hinder the passage to the pure meaning of truth.
  
-St. Maximos the Confessor
  
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Holy, Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) the Thesbite

The Holy, Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) the Thesbite (Tishbite) - Commemorated on July 20 (http://www.cirota.ru/forum/images/94/94160.jpeg)
    
The Holy Prophet Elijah is one of the greatest of the prophets and the first dedicated to virginity in the Old Testament. He was born in Tishba of Gilead into the Levite tribe 900 years before the Incarnation of the Word of God.

St Epiphanius of Cyprus gives the following account about the birth of the Prophet Elijah: "When Elijah was born, his father Sobach saw in a vision angels of God around him. They swaddled him with fire and fed him with flames." The name Elijah (the Lord's strength) given to the infant defined his whole life. From the years of his youth he dedicated himself to the One God, settled in the wilderness and spent his whole life in strict fasting, meditation and prayer. Called to prophetic service, which put him in conflict with the Israelite king Ahab, the prophet became a fiery zealot of true faith and piety.

  
During this time the Israelite nation had fallen away from the faith of their Fathers, they abandoned the One God and worshipped pagan idols, the worship of which was introduced by the impious king Jereboam. Jezebel, the wife of king Ahab, was devoted to idol worship. She persuaded her husband to build a temple to the pagan god Baal, which led many Israelites away from the worship of the true God. Beholding the ruin of his nation, the Prophet Elijah began to denounce King Ahab for impiety, and exhorted him to repent and turn to the God of Israel. The king would not listen to him. The Prophet Elijah then declared to him, that as punishment there would be neither rain nor dew upon the ground, and the drought would cease only by his prayer. Indeed, the word of Elijah was a torch (Eccles. 48: 1) The heavens were closed for three and a half years, and there was drought and famine throughout all the land.

During this time of tribulation, the Lord sent him to a cave beyond the Jordan. There he was miraculously fed by ravens. When the stream Horath dried up, the Lord sent the Prophet Elijah to Sarephta to a poor widow, a Sidonian Gentile who suffered together with her children, awaiting death by starvation. At the request of the prophet, she prepared him a bread with the last measure of flour and the remainder of the oil. Through the prayer of the Prophet Elijah, flour and oil were not depleted in the home of the widow for the duration of the famine. By the power of his prayer the prophet also performed another miracle: he raised the dead son of the widow.

  
After the end of three years of drought the Merciful Lord sent the prophet to appear before King Ahab, and promised to send rain upon the earth. The Prophet Elijah told the king to order all of Israel to gather upon Mount Carmel, and also the priests of Baal. When the nation had gathered, the Prophet Elijah proposed that two sacrificial altars be built: one for the priests of Baal, and the other for the Prophet Elijah who served the True God.

The Prophet Elijah told them to call on their gods to consume the sacrificial animals with fire, and he would call on his. Whichever was first to send fire on the sacrifice would be acknowledged as the true God. The prophets of Baal called out to their idol from morning till evening, but the heavens were silent. Towards evening the holy Prophet Elijah built his sacrificial altar from twelve stones, the number of the tribes of Israel. He placed the sacrifice upon the wood, gave orders to dig a ditch around the altar and commanded that the sacrifice and the wood be soaked with water. When the ditch had filled with water, the prophet turned to God in prayer. Through the prayer of the prophet fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, and even the water. The people fell down to the ground, crying out: "Truly, the Lord is God!" Then the Prophet Elijah had all the pagan-priests of Baal put to death, and he began to pray for rain. Through his prayer the heavens opened and an abundant rain fell, soaking the parched earth.

  
King Ahab acknowledged his error and repented of his sins, but his wife Jezebel threatened to kill the prophet of God. The Prophet Elijah fled into the Kingdom of Judea and, grieving over his failure to eradicate idol worship, he asked God to let him die. An angel of the Lord came before him, strengthened him with food and commanded him to go upon a long journey. The Prophet Elijah traveled for forty days and nights and, having arrived at Mount Horeb, he settled in a cave.

The Lord told him that the next day Elijah would stand in His presence.There was a strong wind that crushed the rocks of the mountain, then an earthquake, and a fire, but the Lord was not in them. The Lord was in "a gentle breeze" (3 Kings 19: 12). He revealed to the prophet, that He would preserve seven thousand faithful servants who had not worshipped Baal.

Later, the Lord commanded Elijah to anoint Elisha into prophetic service. Because of his fiery zeal for the Glory of God the Prophet Elijah was taken up alive into Heaven in a fiery chariot. The Prophet Elisha received Elijah's mantle, and a double portion of his prophetic spirit.

According to the Tradition of Holy Church, the Prophet Elijah will be the Forerunner of the Dread Second Coming of Christ. He will proclaim the truth of Christ, urge all to repentance, and will be slain by the Antichrist. This will be a sign of the end of the world.

  
The life of the holy Prophet Elijah is recorded in the Old Testament books (3 Kings; 4 Kings; Sirach/Ecclesiastes 48: 1-15; 1 Maccabees 2: 58). At the time of the Transfiguration, the Prophet Elijah conversed with the Savior upon Mount Tabor (Mt. 17: 3; Mark 9: 4; Luke. 9: 30).

Orthodox Christians of all times, and in all places, have venerated the Prophet Elijah for centuries. The first church in Russia, built at Kiev under Prince Igor, was named for the Prophet Elijah. After her Baptism St Olga (July 14) built a temple of the holy Prophet Elijah in his native region, at the village of Vibuta.

In iconography the Prophet Elijah is depicted ascending to Heaven in a fiery chariot, surrounded with flames, and harnessed to four winged horses. We pray to him for deliverance from drought, and to ask for seasonable weather.
(http://oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=102060)
  
The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite (fresco by Manuel Panselinos, Church of the Protaton, Mount Athos) (http://vatopaidi.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/ilias1.jpg)
  

Troparion - Tone 4

An angel in the flesh and the cornerstone of the prophets,
the second forerunner of the coming of Christ,
Glorious Elijah sent grace from on high to Elisha,
to dispel diseases and to cleanse lepers.
Therefore, he pours forth healings on those who honor him.
  

Kontakion - Tone 2

Prophet Elijah of great renown,
seer of the mighty mighty works of God,
by your command you held back the rain!
Pray for us to the only Lover of mankind!
  
The Holy Prophet Elias (source)

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

St. Macrina the Righteous, the Sister of St. Basil the Great

St. Macrina the Righteous, the Sister of St. Basil the Great - Commemorated on July 19 (http://vatopaidi.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/0032_11.jpg)
  
Saint Macrina was the sister of the holy hierarchs Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, and was born in Cappadocia at the beginning of the fourth century. Her mother, Emilia, saw an angel in a dream, naming her unborn child Thekla, in honor of the holy Protomartyr Thekla. St Emilia (January 1) fulfilled the will of God and named her daughter Thekla. Another daughter was named Macrina, in honor of a grandmother, who suffered during the time of persecution under the emperor Maximian Galerius.

Besides Macrina, family there were nine other children. St Emila herself guided the upbringing and education of her elder daughter. She taught her reading and writing in the Scriptural books and Psalms of David, selecting examples from the sacred books which spoke of a pious and God-pleasing life. St Emilia taught her daughter to pray and to attend church services. Macrina was also taught the proper knowledge of domestic governance and various handicrafts. She was never left idle and did not participate in childish games or amusements.

The Holy Family of St. Basil: (left to right, first row) St. Peter of Sebaste, St. Basil the Great, St. Basil, St. Gregory, (second row) St. Theosevia, St. Naukratios, St. Emmelia, (top) St. Macrina (source) 
  
When Macrina grew up, her parents betrothed her to a certain pious youth, but the bridegroom soon died. Many young men sought marriage with her, but Macrina refused them all, having chosen the life of a virgin and not wanting to be unfaithful to the memory of her dead fiancé. St Macrina lived in the home of her parents, helping them fulfill the household tasks as an overseer together with the servants, and she helped with the upbringing of her younger brothers and sisters. After the death of her father she became the chief support for the family.

When all the children grew up and left the parental home, St Macrina convinced her mother, St Emilia, to leave the world, to set their slaves free, and to settle in a women's monastery. Several of their servants followed their example. Having taken monastic vows, they lived together as one family, they prayed together, they worked together, they possessed everything in common, and in this manner of life nothing distinguished one from another.

St. Gregory, St. Macrina, St. Emmelia, St. Peter of Sebaste, St. Basil the Great (http://pravicon.com/images/sv/s1335/s1335003.jpg)
  
After the death of her mother, St Macrina guided the sisters of the monastery. She enjoyed the deep respect of all who knew her. Strictness towards herself and temperance in everything were characteristic of the saint all her life. She slept on boards and had no possessions. St Macrina was granted the gift of wonderworking. There was an instance (told by the sisters of the monastery to St Gregory of Nyssa after the death of St Macrina), when she healed a girl of an eye-affliction. Through the prayers of the saint, there was no shortage of wheat at her monastery in times of famine.

St Macrina died in the year 380, after a final prayer of thanks to the Lord for having received His blessings over all the course of her life. She was buried in the same grave with her parents.
(http://oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=102055)
   
  
Troparion - Tone 8
The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Mother, For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away, But to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. Therefore your spirit, O Holy Mother Macrina, rejoices with the Angels!
(http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?SID=13&ID=102055)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Paraklesis to St. Markella of Chios, the Virgin Martyr

St. Markella of Chios, the Virgin Martyr - Commemorated July 22 (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ZJgXIcYQDu0/TEV5sJIeyaI/AAAAAAAACmM/OBvGxL-XoIs/s1600/img102a.jpg)
  
Paraklesis and Prayers to St. Markella of Chios, the Virgin Martyr

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.
  
The Priest says the “Blessed...”, and the Psalm “O Lord hear my prayer...”, followed by “God is the Lord...” as in the Paraklesis, then the following:
Tone Four
Come, those in dangers and temptations, let us take refuge in the wondrous help of Markella, crying out: O Champion, deliver those who hasten to your protection in faith, for you stand with boldness before Christ through the crimson and martyrical radiance of your garment, O Virgin Martyr.

Glory. Apolytikion of the Saint in the First Tone.
Submitting to the laws of the Lord's divine teachings, you strove to keep them blamelessly, O Martyr Markella. And fearing the violence of your father, you fled from him and dwelt in the mountains. Pursuing you he found you and slew you, O undefiled bride of Christ. Glory to Him who strengthened you. Glory to Him who crowned you. Glory to Him who works healings for all through you.
(http://goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=494)

Both now. Tone Four.
O Theotokos, we shall never be silent...

Then Psalm 50, followed by the Canon in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Ode I
O Saint of God, intercede for us!
Entreat the Savior and God of all ceaselessly, O Markella, and deliver from trials we who approach you with reverence, and shelter all under your protection, O all-glorious martyr of the Lord.
  
O Saint of God, intercede for us!
I am full of persistence, as I behold my life that passes by and mortality. Raise up my nous to behold the things on high, for you dwell upon the Holy mountain.

Glory.
Heal the many passions of all, granting health to the body and the soul, to those who cry to you in fervor, O Markella, the comely martyr by your presence.
Both Now. Theotokion.
Hail, the only hope of all. Deliver all those who in unflinching faith take refuge in the hope of your compassion, O Virgin Theotokos.
  
Ode III
Save, O martyr of the Lord, those who hymn you in truth and fervor, O all-chaste Markella, that being saved through your intercessions from the wiles of the evil one, we might glorify Christ.

Being fully illumined through noetic light, and beholding theoria, O victorious Markella, you reclined your head to your brutal father, and proceeded with joy towards heaven.

You were truly shown to be a divine haven on the Island of Chios by Christ the Lord. Therefore, we take refuge in your Church, O Markella, receiving endless peace therein.

Theotokion
Most-holy Virgin Theotokos, O unwedded one: visit my soul that is totally sick, O pure one, and purify it, granting tears of repentance, and thereby becoming glad through them.

Deliver from every kind of temptation, O Champion, those who hasten to your boldness in faith, and who call upon you, O victorious martyr Markella.

Look down on me, in your good favor, O all-hymned Theotokos...

And the Priest says the ektenis.

Kathisma in the Second Tone
The rock that received you, O chaste Markella, has become a wondrous spring of healings, healing all those who with faith partake of, or are sealed with, the water that springs forth, to the glory of Christ your Bridegroom.

Ode IV
Those on earth cry to you, O Markella: deliver from the evil dragon, and keep those you hymn you unharmed.

You became a beautiful bride of the Lord, O all-precious Markella, arrayed with the stole of your blood, and holding the lamp of Virginity.

Those who hasten to your holy Church from all places, awake from the sleep of ignorance to the working of the commandments of your Master.

Theotokion.
Grant me deliverance, All-spotless One, in soul and body, and make the skipping of evil to disappear, and dissipate the cloud.

Ode V
Your head, having been thrown into the sea, sanctifies the waters, for you were beheaded by your father's hand, on behalf of your Creator.

Deliver us now, O Markella glorified by God, that we might ever proclaim your wonders, having been delivered from every tribulation.

Having loved Christ, the Savior of the whole world, you hearkened to His calling to the next life, and took up the Cross of martyrdom, O Virgin Martyr Markella.

Theotokion
Having struggled, O Pure Mother of God and Bride of God, I call to you and say with fervor: O Theotokos, in my time of need, help me with your help.

Ode VI
You were pierced by the arrows fired at you by the enemy, O martyr, through the bow of your father's hand, therefore I entreat you, O godly-minded Markella, heal my wounds, and in the end, with your hand make the sicknesses of soul disappear.

The adornment and boast of Chios, and a divine sanctification, you were shown to be through your many unconquerable intercessions, and as a true refuge and firm protection from him who works scandals among us.

Your temple has appeared as a free hospital for the illnesses all, and dangers and multitudes of evils, for therein we receive deliverance, O champion bride of Christ the Lord, for those who hasten there with faith.

Theotokion.
I am amidst many temptations, O unwedded Mother Theotokos, save me, O Lady, in your sympathy, through the intercessions of Markella, for she has been made the true boast of Chios, and a divine treasure of Grace.

Deliver from every kind of temptation, O Champion, those who hasten to your boldness in faith, and who call upon you, O victorious martyr Markella.

 Spotless one, who by a word did bring to us the Word eternal...

The priest says the ektenis.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
The reliquary of your sacred rock has now become a hospital for illnesses, and a surrounding wall for those in storms, O Markella, but ever keep unharmed those who hasten to it and partake of the water, protecting them from dangers, and the wiles of the evil, as you look down from heaven on them with sympathy, O victorious martyr.

Prokeimenon
God is wondrous among His Saints. (2)
Verse: The Saints that are on the earth, the Lord has shown wondrous.
God is wondrous among His Saints.

Gospel according to St. Luke (21:12-19)
The Lord said to His Disciples, “Beware of men, for they will lay their hands upon you...

Glory.
Through the intercessions of the Champion, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of my offenses.

Both now.
Through the intercessions of the Theotokos...

Verse: Have mercy on me, O God...
Plagal of the Second Tone
O comely virgin and bride of the Bridal Chamber of glory above, O victorious Markella, being first pierced by the arrow, for your Creator, you then noetically beheld your Bridegroom within you, sanctifying the wound, O Chaste one, making your blood that ran from the wound to sparkle like the waters of the sea, and you left this life by the sword of your father. Not being unable to flee, the rock covered you, and your head was severed.

The Priest: Save, O God, Your people, and bless Your inheritance...

Ode VII
O Markella, deliver from all pains, and dangers of the enemy, and every trial, and the corruption of the demons, and the hate of men, those who ever hasten the rock that was rent.

O victorious martyr, deliver those who hasten to your water from various afflictions, and terrors and dangers, and preserve all those who honor you in faith, in every evil hour.
  
Your reliquary has become a harbinger of divine sanctification, and a spring of healings, O Markella, in which the island of Chios ever takes refuge, O much-suffering Martyr, where is the rock that covers your sacred body.

Theotokion.
You are honored more than all the Seraphim and Cherubim and the powers above, the martyrs and the righteous, and all the Saints, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Hierarchs, and the Patriarchs, O Mother of Christ God.

Ode VIII
Protect from heaven ceaselessly, in ever hour, those who hasten to your holy Church, where you struggled and the rock was rent.
  
Being enriched with your intercessions from heaven, O martyr, and the healings that you grant through your water, heal me at the end, I cry to you.
  
Heal my all-wretched soul, O Bride of the Lord, along with the body, making it a temple of Christ God, your Bridegroom.

Theotokion.
Drive away all evils and difficulties and corrupting trials, O Virgin, by the power of your divine intercessions.

Ode IX
Deliver, O martyr, from all dangers, enemies invisible and bodily, and from every evil, those who take refuge in you.
  
Kneel before the throne of the Trinity, and deliver me from all evils, as you were granted boldness, O Markella, at the Divine throne.
  
Angels above praise and join chorus, and join with the rejoicing of those here. Look down from heaven, O Markella, on those who honor you.

Theotokion.
Makarios of Corinth, with Nikodemos, came before the rock which covered you, and later the divine Nektarios came. Through the All-pure Theotokos, cover us, O Markella.

It is truly right to bless you the Theotokos...

Followed by the rest of the Megalynaria to the Theotokos. Then the Trisagion, followed by the Apolytikion of the Saint. The Priest then says the ektenis, and commemorates those on behalf of whom the Paraklesis is offered, followed by the Apolysis, and then the final hymns to the Theotokos in the Second Tone:

All those whom you protect, O Good One...
  
For those in great sorrow you are joy...
  
Lady, do you receive...
  
My numerous hopes are placed...
  
The Priest: Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers...
  
   
Prayer at the partaking of the Holy Water of St. Markella
O spotless bride of the Lord, Markella, as another spring of Siloam, your Bridegroom showed forth the rock that was rent and received your Holy Relic, which gladdened God, and those who approach this with faith are saved. Here it is not the first one who is healed, but all are. An angel does not come to trouble the waters, but it is your presence. Also heal, therefore, my soul and body, who have come last instead of first, through fear of offenses (thrice). You, therefore, O all-blessed Markella, who appear as an awesome sight to behold, in compassion grant us to drink of the water from your spring, we who are approaching death, and lift us out through your hand by this water. For you again said to the woman: "I sent you your healing", and the next day, through your water, she received deliverance of her affliction.

In this water have holy hands baptized. In this water, holy people, both known and unknown, have been confirmed in the faith. With this water, the holy Nikephoros of Chios was anointed in fear. Of this water, Makarios of Corinth partook with reverence. With this water, Nektarios of Aegina, who taught in Chios, protected himself with fervor. With this water, so many saints have been healed, and so many of the faithful have been delivered from sicknessess! Heal me also, therefore, O Champion, of the wounds of my soul and body, O wonderworker Markella, by the partaking of your water (thrice).

This water springs forth from your Precious Relic, and those who pray here with fervent faith are also warmed. This water has become like the Jordan on Chios. This water has been shown as the spring of Moses on Chios. This water is a divine gift from above, and a great treasure. This spring is not a mere spring of water, but a spring freely pouring forth wonders and grace, through your intercessions, O comely Markella, to Christ, to Whom belongs the dominion unto the ages.

Drowning in the abyss of ignorance, O martyr,
Deliver me who pray to you,
And speedily show me
The riches of your intercessions.
  
Prayer to St. Markella
O holy martyr of Christ Markella, hearken to my prayer, as I call upon your protection in reverence. Extend your hand, O bride of the Lord, O spotless one, amd entreat your sweetest Bridegroom Christ on behalf of us, seeking the fulfillment of our requests unto salvation. As a martyr, grant us progress in the faith and correction of our life. As one possessing the grace of healing, grant us healing from above. As one truly glorious in working wonders, wondrously save us from every dangerous circumstance, tribulation and want, that through you, we might hymn Christ God, He Who is, unto the ages of ages.
(http://www.analogion.com/psaltologion/George_Sepkas/akolouthia_agias_markelis.pdf)
  
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!