Akathist to St. Sophrony of Essex
Translated from the original Greek text, written by an anonymous Athonite Monk, "To the newly-revealed Venerable Elder Sophrony, descended from Russia, who lived in asceticism on Athos, and shown in all things as a spiritual guide in Europe as well, and in Great Britain, showed the ways of godly knowledge in the Holy Spirit, and founded there the Holy Monastery of the Precious Forerunner and Baptist John."
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
You were fortified by the Spirit from childhood, O Sophrony, and were zealous for the ways of Christ. You fled the delusion of Asia, and were made beautiful among the sacred monks of Athos, and the light of your philosophy, divine words and books has shown forth from the East to the West.
You were shown to all to be a light-bearing guide, O Sophrony, beloved of Christ, (3) and now in the Heavens, you dwell with all the Saints entreating Christ. Do not cease to seek salvation for all who cry out:
Rejoice, you who shown forth in the last years,
Rejoice, you who lived a perfect life.
Rejoice, you who left the land of Russia, O Sophrony,
Rejoice, speaker to Orthodox flocks.
Rejoice, you who beheld the Uncreated Light greatly from childhood,
Rejoice, you who experienced the abyss of darkness and terrible alienation.
Rejoice, you who fled New Age religion as a sparrow,
Rejoice, vessel teaching to all Orthodox teachings.
Rejoice, you who are governed by the Light of Christ,
Rejoice, you who drive far away the darkness of Satan.
Rejoice, O Blessed Sophrony.
Having fled Orthodoxy and seeking salvation, you then returned to Christ in truth, and wholly offered your soul to the way of repentance and struggles everywhere, having left Russia and France, you hastened speedily to Athos, crying out: Alleluia.
Desiring divine knowledge philosophically, you sought [Truth] in drawing and art, but you later found the divine Giver of Wisdom [Christ] in the monastic life, as you rejoiced in the cenobium as a holy witness of His. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice, you who hastened to the flock of Christ,
Rejoice, you who fled vain deeds.
Rejoice, you who were zealous for the mindset of obedience,
Rejoice, you who joined the city of Christ.
Rejoice, for you went to the Monastery of St. Panteleimon on Athos,
Rejoice, for you followed the path of this Saint and Martyr.
Rejoice, for you looked upon St. Silouan as your Elder,
Rejoice, for you who beheld monasticism as rising above the passions.
Rejoice, you who had tears of mourning,
Rejoice, you who were set aflame with prayers and nepsis.
Rejoice, you who were not swayed by the bitterness of the demons,
Rejoice, you who were proved a soldier of Christ.
Rejoice, O Sophrony, bearer of pain.
To you was given the greatly-multiplied Grace of Monasticism, and later the Priesthood, O Sophrony, and you became a father, and guide and shepherd of monks on Athos, offering the remission of offenses through the power of Christ, to Whom you cried out: Alleluia.
Monks readily hastened to gather guidance from you on Athos, O Sophrony, while you desired a deserted place, which you found on the cliffs of Athos, where you dwelt in asceticism, bearing tears, and therefore we say to you:
Rejoice, friend of the wise and of the Saints,
Rejoice, utter enemy of the demons.
Rejoice, minister of the people bearing the name of Christ,
Rejoice, utterly perfect physician of monastics.
Rejoice, you who lived philosophically with nepsis and ceaseless prayers,
Rejoice, you whose nous was enriched with Christ and sacred theology.
Rejoice, you who bore afflictions and pains,
Rejoice, you who endured many illnesses and evils for Christ.
Rejoice, for you were meek and filled with grace,
Rejoice, you who struck the ungraceful demons.
Rejoice, you who lived amidst wars,
Rejoice, you who consumed all the twisted ways of the demons.
Rejoice, O mighty Sophrony.
With the zeal of the Divine Spirit, and with grateful obedience of your Monastery, O Sophrony, you left for the land of France, serving the flock of Christ as a spirit-bearer, and you wisely saved souls, singing to the Holy Spirit: Alleluia.
You traveled to Britain, O Sophrony, preparing a house for the Orthodox by founding the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, giving to drink of strange [good] wine to those of another place and amidst other faiths, and therefore we say to you:
Rejoice, you who lived the Orthodox faith,
Rejoice, you who were shown perfect in deeds.
Rejoice, you who lived as an Equal-to-the-Apostles in Britain,
Rejoice, you who sowed the Light of the Divine Spirit.
Rejoice, you who mystically filled the mountain with monastics,
Rejoice, example for traveling among those of other faiths.
Rejoice, you who abided in the traditions of the Church,
Rejoice, you who fled heresies of other faiths.
Rejoice, spring of water of the Spirit,
Rejoice, unsleeping flame and lamp.
Rejoice, you whose words and deeds shown before all,
Rejoice, you who joined together deeds and words.
Rejoice, O philosopher Sophrony.
I honor how Christ bestows equal grace upon the humble mourners of these last days as those of the first, and He lifts us up above all dangerous offenses, O Sophrony, as you said to all, and we say again to you:
Rejoice, imitator of Christ in all things,
Rejoice, you who lived the faith of the Saints.
Rejoice, you who received the Spirit of theologians,
Rejoice, you who lived holy humility.
Rejoice, divine liturgist bearing purity of soul,
Rejoice, struggler cutting off a multitude of temptations.
Rejoice, discerning ascetic and slayer of the passions,
Rejoice, you who wisely governed the nature of the body.
Rejoice, you who kept the light yoke of Christ,
Rejoice, enemy mocking the demons.
Rejoice, you who kept your nous in the tortures of Hades,
Rejoice, you who were lifted up through prayer and hope.
Rejoice, O most-steadfast Sophrony.
You obtained a nous of the Venerable Saints, a nous of Christ, as the Apostle Paul, moved by the Spirit, bore pains in his life in the Christ, and through the grace of the Resurrection of Christ, you thusly taught all your children to ever do this, chanting together: Alleluia.
You distinguished the worldly sadness of death from the joy-making sorrow of pure mourning, clearly showing the causes of both, the former from love of self, a bitter and atheistic death, while the second, one instead of hope and joy. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice, O comforting Sophrony,
Rejoice, disciple and rhetor of Christ.
Rejoice, scribe of Christ through the Divine Spirit,
Rejoice, author of wise books for the nations.
Rejoice, you who mystically passed on the life of St. Silouan,
Rejoice, for you showed the way of strict asceticism in secret.
Rejoice, you who passed on the way of the Venerable Athonite Fathers,
Rejoice, you who widened the array of all the Saints.
Rejoice, lifter up from the abyss of offenses,
Rejoice, speedy deliverer of souls.
Rejoice, you who granted freedom to souls,
Rejoice, you who showed the compassion of Christ.
Rejoice, O Sophrony, taught by God.
Beholding the rage of the legion of demons at the repentance of your former child, as a good Briton and a faithful servant of Athos, as a priest but afflicted in spirit, you approached St. Silouan for the wounded one, seeking salvation, crying out: Alleluia.
Showing forth victory of the Spirit, you counselled your prodigal son to return to Christ, and even though he was far from you, and crying out in many ways, you wrote to him extensively of the Orthodox Faith to cast out delusion, as one bearing Christ. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice, book of repentance,
Rejoice, school of salvation.
Rejoice, you who cast off the coverings of delusion,
Rejoice, you who proclaim divine purity.
Rejoice, enlightener of the young Britain living amidst darkness,
Rejoice, light for the people living in the darkness of the world.
Rejoice, you who were adorned with hesychasm and asceticism,
Rejoice, you who lived hesychastically in the community of the nations.
Rejoice, lifter up from the abyss of heresies,
Rejoice, deliverer for those fallen into schism.
Rejoice, who in secret were mystically lifted up,
Rejoice, you who shine forth with divine Light.
Rejoice, O ever-memorable Sophrony.
The whole world has come to know your God-inspired books, which are easily read, but filled with words of wisdom of the ancient Scriptures, along with struggles of the ancient Saints, which we have come to know, as you put deeds together with words, as we chant together: Alleluia.
You appeared before everyone in the world, O blessed one, being gladsome with the Uncreated Light, and you interacted with others spiritually as true members of Christ, revealing the Church, from which you are honored, as you hear:
Rejoice, worker of noetic prayer,
Rejoice, mystic of Christ and the Saints.
Rejoice, deposer of atheistic civilization,
Rejoice, you who stand before the Saints with perfect deeds.
Rejoice, you who bestowed godly and continual vigilance,
Rejoice, you who kept an appearance of humility and joy of Christ.
Rejoice, you who mightily cast away laziness,
Rejoice, you who drove out all depression.
Rejoice, our perfect teacher,
Rejoice, defender of the poor and afflicted.
Rejoice, speedy helper towards salvation,
Rejoice, fellow traveler on the light path [of Christ].
Rejoice, O most-famed Sophrony.
You cast out fear, and vainglorious and false shame in the face of your mighty humility, and those who were lost in the labyrinth of delusion, having heard your wise sermons taught by God, were led to hymn Christ, singing: Alleluia.
You were zealous for the words of the illiterate Apostles, Prophets, and Venerable Saints, O Sophrony, whose former struggles you entered into, as the Savior said, being continually inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we say to you:
Rejoice, you who traveled the narrow path,
Rejoice, you who led to the spacious way of Christ.
Rejoice, you who bore witness with the Martyrs,
Rejoice, you who mystically endured as a Saint.
Rejoice, you who were zealous for the life of the Venerable Savas,
Rejoice, you who kept the strength of Pachomios in many ways.
Rejoice, you who traveled the middle path of Euthymios,
Rejoice, you who were obedient like the most-radiant Theodosios.
Rejoice, follower of the Venerable Saints of Athos,
Rejoice, you who joined the lights of Sinai.
Rejoice, light-bearer for Monastics,
Rejoice, pilot for storm-tossed Ascetics.
Rejoice, O most-venerable Sophrony.
You filled the choirs of Monastics and Laity with seed, as they desired to imitate your life that imitates Christ, and all generations have reaped the harvest of Christ, as the pious Orthodox everywhere hasten to chant along with you: Alleluia.
You ever hasten to multiply steadfastness in soul a hundred-fold, as one of the God-bearing Fathers of the Savior, and an offspring of the Russian Land of St. Sergios, as the founder of Monasteries in the West which have multiplied, as we say to you:
Rejoice, cycle of Monastics,
Rejoice, intercessor for those repenting.
Rejoice, follower of Ascetics of Britain,
Rejoice, fellow traveler with Orthodox Europe.
Rejoice, you who joined the hundred monasteries of the Venerable Columba,
Rejoice, for you possessed many virtues like the Venerable Cuthbert.
Rejoice, fellow mystic with St. Neot of Cornwall,
Rejoice, sharer of the virtues of St. Aidan.
Rejoice, follower of the Venerable Nectan,
Rejoice, equal in way of the Wise Bede.
Rejoice, sharer of the all-joyous Ninian,
Rejoice, you who also joined St. Daniel of Wales.
Rejoice, O most-reverent Sophrony.
You did not fall from divine heights, as one bearing the Grace of humility, as you lived with unfailing love, and you lived as a guide and shepherd, driving away all enemies and demons from us, through the help of the Spirit, O Sophrony, as we hasten to chant together to Christ: Alleluia.
Shining with the light of Christ before all, you proceeded to the ranks of all the Saints, with whom your soul has come to dwell, O chaste Sophrony, shining with the Spirit. As you are filled with Him, intercede for those who praise you with these things:
Rejoice, discerning forms of Light,
Rejoice, shower of perfect illumination.
Rejoice, you who dispersed shadows of falsehood,
Rejoice, you who showed the ways of life.
Rejoice, you who continually covered from the darkness of delusion,
Rejoice, you who opened for many the light-bearing way of Christ.
Rejoice, you who burned up the delusion of East Asia,
Rejoice, you who sanctified the lands of Western Europe.
Rejoice, you who honored St. Athanasios the Athonite,
Rejoice, you who kept nepsis like St. Peter [the Athonite].
Rejoice, fellow mystic with St. Martin of Tours,
Rejoice, pointer towards the famed St. Benedict.
Rejoice, O teacher Sophrony.
Rejoicing in the Heavens above, you have not abandoned us, O Sophrony, but you pray that we, the poor and afflicted ones who hymn you, might be saved, have become proclaimers of your God-pleasing life, and read your books, bearing the Divine Scriptures, chanting: Alleluia.
Into a world frozen by mania against Christ, you have been granted to us as warmth, O Sophrony, as you help us, along with the Saints who everywhere, in all things and always, have taught the ways and words of the One Church, teaching us to say:
Rejoice, founder of the Monastery of the Baptist,
Rejoice, intercessor for our souls,
Rejoice, golden-winged eagle of the Spirit,
Rejoice, you who appear as a lion of Divine Grace.
Rejoice, ox plowing the souls of many Christians,
Rejoice, divine Shepherd, delivering us from evils.
Rejoice, friend of the milk-bearing Saints of the West,
Rejoice, divine nourisher of the Venerable Saints of Britain.
Rejoice, perfect son of St. Silouan,
Rejoice, our Father and all-perfect one.
Rejoice, proclaimer and shower of the light of Christ,
Rejoice, deliverer from darkness and sadness.
Rejoice, God-inspired Sophrony.
O Father Sophrony, who lived philosophically, joining together words and reverent deeds, (3), O theologian of the Divine Light, and worker of joy-making sorrow, pray ceaselessly for nepsis for us, O perfect teacher, as you chant together with the Angels: Alleluia.
And the Kontakion again.
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