Monday, May 18, 2015

Selected hymns to Blessed Father John Karastamatis (+1985) of Santa Cruz

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Icon of Blessed Father John Karastamatis (+1985) of Santa Cruz (source)
Fr. John Karastamatis was a Greek Orthodox priest, originally from the island of Andros in Greece. He later served in many places in the United States, and was known for his virtue and love to spread the Orthodox faith. He was killed on May 19th, 1985 in the church were he was serving in Santa Cruz. From the radiant life that he led, from his brutal sacrifice for Christ at the hands of satanists, and for the miracles that bear witness to his holiness, many throughout the world hold him to be a Saint and a new Hieromartyr of the Church, though he has yet to be officially acknowledged so by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Out of reverence for him, a service has been written in his honor (likely by Nun Isidora the Hymnographer, from source), and I provide my amateur translation of some selections below for any whom they would benefit. May the Lord continue to grant help and consolation to his family and his flock, and may we imitate his life, his faith, and his willingness to give his life for Christ!
Doxastikon of the Litia in the Plagal of the First Tone
Let us rejoice and exult in you, in the joy of the Resurrection, O Hieromartyr John of Santa Cruz. For your rejoicing has become joy for all the Orthodox. What mystagogy occurred on that night? You offered your fervor to the incorruptible Bridegroom, Who says: “Those who love me, I will love.” The Beloved therefore revealed His mystery to him whom He loved. Therefore, you were made worthy to resemble the Master’s passion, and were made worthy to resemble His glory. Therefore, as you now are at the Master’s bosom at His banquet, you have found all mercy.
Apolytikion in the First Tone
The radiance of the New World, and from the root of Andros, the glory of Hieromartyrs, let us honor John, for he was slaughtered in the Church on behalf of Christ, and shown forth perfectly in Santa Cruz, and he calls all the Orthodox everywhere to cry out: glory to Christ Who glorified you, glory to Him Who crowned you, glory to Him Who showed you to be a wondrous protector of the nations.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
O John, you served your sacrifice in imitation of Christ, and were shown to be the adornment of Andros, and a God-inspired Apostle to Alaska, but as you laid down your life for your sheep, you now grant the gifts of wonders to those who cry out: Rejoice, O all-joyous Martyr.
The Bodiless [Angels] join chorus to hymn with fervor, John, the mystic from Andros, and as you were slaughtered for Christ, you enlighten the Church with wonders, and granting graces to those who cry out to you:
Rejoice, revealing of divine co-mingling,
Rejoice, drop of mystical renewal.
Rejoice, you who hasten to your friends in haste,
Rejoice, you who strengthen those who entreat you with fervor.
Rejoice, fragrant cluster of lilies,
Rejoice, new ladder leading to the skies.
Rejoice, vessel of golden thanksgiving,
Rejoice, newly-woven crown of martyrdom.
Rejoice, you who received all kinds of wounds for God,
Rejoice, sprinkling of love.
Rejoice, good heart resembling a temple,
Rejoice, icon of divine sacrifice.
Rejoice, O newly-sacrificed Martyr.
On the 19th of this month (May), the Holy New Hieromartyr John the Priest, who was killed in the city of Santa Cruz in America in the year 1985, by satanists.
You appeared as one offering the bloodless sacrifice,
O John, and you also became a sacrifice of blood.
On the nineteenth, John was violently flayed.
Doxastikon of the Praises in the Plagal of the First Tone
Pour forth, pour forth from your myrrh, O all-pure Lady of Andros, for the resurrectional joy of spring has called us together to hymn your mystic. For he himself became the fragrance of Christ, like pure nard offered to the Church. What could be higher that to be born again for Him Whom you love, and to be received by Him Whom you desire? For he says, “I am wounded by Your love!” Therefore, this wound became your boast, as you offered yourself as a martyrical sacrifice, prepared for the Master. Your soul, as a purified bride, was received by the Bridegroom into incorrupt eternity, O Hieromartyr John of Santa Cruz. And ever intercede, that our souls be shown mercy.
Rejoice, the light of the New World, rejoice, root from Andros, rejoice, the fragrance of the Theotokos, rejoice the joyous consolation of the Orthodox, and protector of Santa Cruz, O universal Father.
Synaxis of All Saints of North America (source)
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

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