Thursday, October 25, 2012

Excerpts from two encomiums to St. Demetrios the Great Martyr

St. Demetrios the Great Martyr and Myrrhstreamer (source)
Excerpts from two encomiums on St. Demetrios the Great Martyr (amateur translations)
"Hail, O fellow-struggling soldier of Christ, O thrice-blessed Demetrios, because you, together with Paul, fought the good fight, you have run the race to its end, you have kept the faith, and you have been crowned worthily by God with the crown of righteousness.
Hail, O martyr Demetrios, for though you received wounds on your body which Christ received, you ascended to Him with joy and rejoicing.
Hail, O martyr Demetrios, for you became a true imitator of Christ. For us all He accepted the spear from the impious soldier in His spotless side, while you, His pious solider, for His love, accepted the spear in prison from impious soldiers.
Sts. George and Demetrios the Great Martyrs and Wonderworkers of Christ, painted by the Fathers of Vatopedi Monastery (source)
Hail, O martyr Demetrios, for you have been enriched with angelic grace, and are shown forth as an angel on earth, and a heavenly man, full of glory.
Hail, O martyr Demetrios, for you are an initiate of grace and a deliverer of prisoners, and a very speedy physician of various infirmities.
Hail, O martyr Demetrios, together with George and Theodore, your fellow strugglers and partakers, the thrice-blessed weapon of our pious rulers, the three-bladed sword against the godless barbarians, the tripartite wall of the royal garden, the three-pronged spear in the heart of the harsh enemies, the thrice-adorned crown of our rulers, the triple light of their path by day and night, the triple weapon of their intimidation and the greatly-beloved, and equal-in-number to the Trinity.

Hail, for you have been made worthy of endless joy, and are a fellow-traveler of pious rulers..."
-St. Neophytos the Priest and Monk and Enclosed
St. Demetrios the Great Martyr, and St. Nestor (source)
"Therefore in accordance with poetry, even if I had ten tongues, and ten mouths, and if I further had ten hands, I would not even in this manner be able to properly record the wonderworking deeds of the wonderworker Demetrios.
It is better, however, to give this word, for the Lord will bring to reality the desire of those who honor Him. And to His Saints that are on the earth, He made them wondrous through all His will in them. How good was he in life and deed, what struggle and what prudence! With a little blood, in return he receives the heavenly kingdom. With temporary pains, he receives endless joy. And with his short life, he receives the blessed and endless life.
Let us imitate the fervor of Demetrios, therefore, in the same manner, all of us who have gathered to honor his struggles, and let us celebrate for them in a radiant manner. Let us hasten to theoria and praxis, even if we will not achieve the same glory as he has. It is certainly an exaggeration to say this, but at least it is less. And if we do not even achieve this, because of our great sluggishness, at least, because we sense that we celebrate unworthily for all that God has granted us together with the martyr, and that we celebrate in a godly way, let us not desire further pleasures without understanding that, through them, we will give much more joy to the demons, and we will suffer the same thing as those who are in danger in the port, or who incur incurable illnesses in the hospital.
We have God as our fellow-worker in good deeds, through the intercessions of the Theotokos, the heavenly powers, the apostles, and the prophets, and the martyrs, and the ages of saints, along with him whose memory we entreat continuously for our benefit. The world of the Saints rejoices in every manner and in every era and in every age and rank, for they see their multitude is made stronger and continues to increase, as if they understand that the greatly-enlarged portion to the left of God is further dismal.

But, O Demetrios, the adornment and beauty of athletes, I return again to you, and turn my word towards the things above, because I buckle more from my love for you than the others, and I desire much more to breath of you than fragrant ointments, O pious and good-sprung vine from a pious and good-sprung root, which is heavy-laden with the fruits of virtues and struggles, radiant from both, and most-glorious in all, and all-bright lamp of Christians, destruction of the impiety of Maximian, teacher and fellow-soldier of Nestor, and harbinger of struggle and most-strong conqueror of Lyaios, you who depicted the passion of the Master, and were wounded with spears in the side as He was, and for the blood that you shed then pour forth now as a river the most-fragrant and healing myrrh, you who dwell with your spirit in the heavens together with the angels, and are found together with them before the immovable throne of God, and grant to us and to your city your most-martyrical body as an unemptying treasure, the uncountable abyss of uncomparable deeds, and much moreso of wonders, you who rightly broke apart your body on earth, and in heaven are not absent at all, but from above look down and care for your city below, O lover of the city, and lover of man, who speedily brings about the compassion of God, when we are burdened sometimes by the multitude of our sins, may you receive these words and praises that we offer to the radiant memory of your struggles, as Christ, Who sets the contests, received the praises of the children, and though they do not reach your proper honor, however, they are not hindered by our good intentions. Therefore, cast a gaze from heaven, descend for a short time here with us, and behold the love of your city for you. Follow the melodies of those gathered, of your most-holy flock, to partake of the spiritual gathering, together with the hierarch, in your memory. Enlighten all those gathered throughout your church by your unsoiled light-source, and fill the air with the fragrance of your incense, and let every age and rank clap their hands in great joy for your struggles. Earth today imitates heaven, and the radiance laid out in the temple of your all-victorious body reveals fully the radiance of light which was granted to you by God..."
-Symeon the Monk and Philosopher
St. Demetrios the Great Martyr (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen! 

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