Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"Abandoning fishing the deep, you took up the rod of the Cross..."

St. John the Theologian (source)
Abandoning fishing the deep, you took up the [fishing] rod of the Cross wisely in all things, and caught up the nations like fish, O all-praised one, and as the Lord spoke of you, He made you to be a fisher of men, drawing up towards piety. Therefore, you sowed the knowledge of the Word of God in Patmos and Ephesus, who bore fruit through your words, O Theologian Apostle. Intercede with Christ God that remission of offenses be granted for those who celebrate your holy memory with fervor.
-Kathisma for the feast of St. John the Theologian
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, September 14, 2018

"In Paradise formerly, we were stripped naked..."

The Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of Christ (source)
In Paradise formerly, we were stripped naked through tasting of a tree, and death was brought about by the enemy. And now, by the tree of the Cross, the garment of life is brought to men upon the earth, and the whole world is filled with joy seeing it exalted, as the people all together cry out in faith to God: Your house is filled with glory.
-Kathisma from the feast of the Holy Cross
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Akathist to St. Amphilochios (Makris) of Patmos

St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
Note: In honor of the upcoming feast of the Translation of the Holy Relics of St. Amphilochios of Patmos on September 19th (notably his primary feast is April 16th which often falls in Great Lent), and in honor of this great and newly-canonized Saint of the Orthodox Church, the following is my translation of the Akathist to the Saint from the Greek text here, offered for the many who love the Saint and who benefit from his speedy help. Also note that the meter of this translation is not set to match the original music. May St. Amphilochios intercede for us before the Throne of our Lord, to help all who suffer throughout the world, to help heal the wounds of Orthodox Christians, to guide our leaders towards peace, reconciliation, love and truth in these difficult times, and to especially protect his Monasteries and spiritual children!
St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
Akathist to St. Amphilochios (Makris) of Patmos
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone. O Champion General.
To praise you as is right, O Amphilochios, we would need heavenly mouths and tongues, for similarly you appeared to the Bodiless Ones, but desiring to hymn your victorious struggles from defiled lips, therefore I cry out to you: Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

You appeared as an Angel, O Father Amphilochios, living righteously in the world (3), and having found the ancient beauty, you madly loved God, O venerable one, together with your neighbor, therefore you hear from us these things:
Rejoice, you through whom Christ is hymned,
Rejoice, you through whom the enemy is defeated.
Rejoice, the strengthening of the Orthodox fold,
Rejoice, the folly of heterodox rulers.
Rejoice, earthly angel of heavenly mind,
Rejoice, man translated to and ever dwelling in Eden.
Rejoice, for you stand before the throne of the King of all,
Rejoice, for you dissipate earthly pains.
Rejoice, river pouring forth healings,
Rejoice, spring watering forth wonders.
Rejoice, you through whom the Church now rejoices,
Rejoice, you through whom the island of Patmos rejoices together.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Beholding you greatly shining like a radiant star with the glory of the Lord, we who have been darkened in mind have received the gifts of your wonders, O all-radiant one, and we therefore in gratitude cry out to God Who enlightened you: Alleluia.

The land of Patmos which formerly received John [the Theologian] as a prisoner, also received him as a fruitful sower, from which the Gospel took root. You, O Amphilochios, blossomed from this, as being full of myrrh from the Divine Spirit, and we cry out these things:
Rejoice, gladness for those who honor you,
Rejoice, protection for those who call upon you.
Rejoice, namesake of eternal life beforehand,
rejoice, fellow namesake of the mystic of Iconium.
Rejoice, verdant shoot from the pious Emmanuel,
Rejoice, God-planted child of the chaste Irene.
Rejoice, for you are the glory of the Patmians,
Rejoice, for you encircle the faithful like a tower.
Rejoice, light enlightening the whole world,
Rejoice, new song of praise of Greece.
Rejoice, the boast of Leipso and Patmos,
Rejoice, the most-radiant brightness of your homeland.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Receiving the teachings, O Father, and written words, you learned knowledge and desired things divine, therefore your spiritual father and fellow namesake offered you guidance which you heard as a novice, becoming a descendent of the Fathers, who cry out: Alleluia.

You were filled with divine fervor from childhood, and you loved Christ your Bridegroom from your soul, and taking up His Cross on your shoulder, you traveled the narrow path of the monastery, through which you entered into Paradise, where you hear:
Rejoice, siren of the righteous life,
Rejoice, active educator.
Rejoice, confirmation of the life to come,
Rejoice, justification of Orthodox dogmas.
Rejoice, tree watered by the streams of the waters,
Rejoice, tree adorned with the fruits of virtues.
Rejoice, for through fasting you became like the Angels,
Rejoice, for through ascesis you became like the venerable Saints.
Rejoice, equal in honor to all the Saints,
Rejoice, fellow-dweller with the Bodiless ones.
Rejoice, for you diminished the might of the enemy,
Rejoice for you were filled with many wonders.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Having godly zeal, you venerated the Holy Lands, where the feet of the Lord walked, and went to the holy city of Sion, as a deer thirsting for the spring of water, and as a bee gathering pollen, crying out to God: Alleluia.
St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
You came secretly to the city of the Great King, fleeing the grace of the priesthood, but perceiving this great calling upon the earth, you later received this, O conscientious priest, and were made worthy to serve the liturgy, hearing:
Rejoice, boast of sacred priests,
Rejoice, praise of chaste monastics.
Rejoice, representation of the sacred Scriptures,
Rejoice, imprint of the Fathers of old.
Rejoice, sacred mystic who blesses the faithful,
Rejoice, for you join rank with the liturgists on high.
Rejoice, for you were crowned with a God-plaited crown,
Rejoice, for you partook of astonishing gifts.
Rejoice, for you pillaged the land of the demons,
Rejoice, for you lifted up the ethos of the world.
Rejoice, the boast of righteous and sacrificing Saints,
Rejoice, you who dissolve the dread of the passions.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

The Monastery of the Son of Thunder [St. John the Evangelist], which was founded by St. Christodoulos, became the theater of your struggles and the stadium of your feats, for you did not shy away from struggles, and now together you cry out in Eden: Alleluia.

You followed the ways of St. Christodoulos, and with unapproachable fervor you struggled in asceticism, imitating him and honoring his precepts perfectly, therefore, O godly-minded one, you hear from your fellow monastics things such as these:
Rejoice, boast of the Monastery of the Theologian,
Rejoice, light of the choir of monastics.
Rejoice, affection of the ancient Fathers,
Rejoice, ready helper of the faithful who call upon you.
Rejoice, victory and foundation of the sacred one from Latrinou [St. Christodoulos],
Rejoice, boast and adornment of your fellow venerable Saints.
Rejoice, for you protect the monastery of your repentance,
Rejoice, for you dissipate the cloud of ignorance.
Rejoice, icon of godly monasticism,
Rejoice, for you ever partake in theosis.
Rejoice, innocent type of Christ,
Rejoice, dwelling-place of the Holy Trinity.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Not knowing your labors, all the faithful people of the Dodecanese out of love came and were granted rest from their labors, for you liturgized in the Cave [of the Apocalypse], and you received them as your children, teaching them to cry out with you: Alleluia.

You were placed as a lamp upon a lamp stand, shining forth as the Abbot of the Monastery of the Theologian, which boasts in you, O Saint, the new one among the Fathers, crying out to you such things as these:
Rejoice, boast of wise abbots,
Rejoice, benefactor of the faithful who entreat you.
Rejoice, adornment of the ancient Monastery,
Rejoice, pride of the Kathisma of Kouvariou.
Rejoice, protector and deliverer against evil foes,
Rejoice, foundation of the faith against dangerous heresies.
Rejoice, for you trample upon the wiles of belial,
Rejoice, for you grant healing to those ailing.
Rejoice, divine protecting wall for the faithful,
Rejoice, protector of your monastery.
Rejoice, famed guide of women Eldresses,
Rejoice, the song of the Bodiless Angels.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

You protected your homeland like a great cloud during a time of slavery, which darkened the souls of the Orthodox, and you did not at all bend to the wiles of the tyrant, and in your soul you bore the marks of exile, crying out to Christ: Alleluia.
St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
Through divine command, you fled to famed Crete, which you became spiritually linked with, and through your prayers, the first church of St. Nektarios, the greatly-wondrous one, was built, and a philanthropic foundation was built by your children, who cry out:
Rejoice, divine vessel of grace,
Rejoice, container of every virtue.
Rejoice, most-tender father of your children,
Rejoice, winged eagle of virtue.
Rejoice, most-fervent defender of orphans and widows,
Rejoice, calm harbor for those troubled by the passions.
Rejoice, for you protect Crete through your prayers,
Rejoice for you protect the city of Chania through your intercessions.
rejoice, most-gladsome feeder of the poor,
Rejoice, for you had nothing of your own, O estranged one.
Rejoice, award of the honor granted you,
Rejoice, treasury of many wonders.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Your philosophical life was strange to the world, as you founded many schools [of virtue] on Patmos, Rhodes, Ikaria and Aegina along with Kalymnos, and practically served as a most-tender Father, while the choirs of monastics cry out: Alleluia.

Having wholly spent your life in asceticism, you worshipped your Creator only, perceiving His finger working in creation, O all-wise one, as you worked and protected and taught those who now cry out:
Rejoice, shepherd of the rational sheep,
Rejoice, river of living waters.
Rejoice, the complete deliverance from afflictions,
Rejoice the granter of various wonders.
Rejoice, heavy-laded cluster of grapes granting joy,
Rejoice, root full of fruit which nourishes the faithful.
Rejoice, for you respected nature in practice,
Rejoice for you taught to protect creation.
Rejoice, spring rising from the earth,
Rejoice, deliverance from bitter circumstances.
rejoice, pinnacle of wise teachers,
Rejoice, you who worshipped with the Prayer of Jesus.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

Through your labor pains, you founded the virginal choir of nuns on Patmos named "The Mother of the Beloved", and you led them towards Paradise that is desired, where you join ranks together with the Angelic Armies, crying out to the Lord: Alleluia.

Through your godly-wise words as a staff, you strengthened everyone on the path, and you wrote epistles to your children near and far as an act of perfection, rousing them to cry out these things:
Rejoice, radiant adornment of monastics,
Rejoice, rhetor of the heavenly life.
Rejoice, sweet-voiced swallow of good things,
Rejoice, strong-voiced nightingale of gifts.
Rejoice, you who related the beauties of Paradise like Moses,
Rejoice, you who healed incurable pains with your prayer.
Rejoice, for you were a student on Halki,
Rejoice, for the nations have come to see your light.
Rejoice, tuneful harp of the Spirit,
Rejoice, songful ode of the venerable Saints.
Rejoice, steady staff of your children,
Rejoice, eternal intercession for your monastery.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

All of the world has been enlightened by the rays of light of your godly knowledge, therefore, God-loving souls dwelling in shadow you enlightened, guiding them to walk with the teachings of Orthodoxy, crying out: Alleluia.
St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
You became a dwelling-place of the Comforter, founded by the Word [of God], and you worked with pain of soul to receive and walk with God, as we who behold this are astonished, and cry out:
Rejoice, trumpet of dispassion,
Rejoice, cymbal of purity.
Rejoice, lightning dissolving clouds [of sin],
Rejoice, awesome thunder of theosis.
Rejoice, heavenly-breathed breeze that refreshes the faithful,
Rejoice, wine offered up to gladden the people.
Rejoice, flower adorning the heavenly house,
Rejoice, fragrant lily bearing the fragrance of graces.
Rejoice, mixing bowl of many wondrous things,
Rejoice, voice of bold sounds.
Rejoice, for you remove utter sadness,
Rejoice, for you grant gladness to the faithful.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

While awake, Mary, the Theotokos appeared to you, together with the Beloved Disciple John, informing you before your last Pascha of your coming repose, not fulfilling your fervent request [of delaying your repose]. This showed the love of your soul for your children even in death, crying out: Alleluia.

Being a friend and fellow-dweller with the Saints and all the prepared righteous ones on the earth, from above you look down on us and hasten to deliver from every danger through your divine intercessions, delivering those who cry out these things:
Rejoice, joyous dweller in Eden,
Rejoice, founder of your famed monastery.
Rejoice, imitator of the life of the Bodiless [Angels],
Rejoice, deposer of the boldness of the ancient enemy.
Rejoice, book inscribed by the finger of God,
Rejoice, most-true friend of the wondrous Nektarios.
Rejoice, for beforehand on earth you looked towards things above,
Rejoice, for your prayers sprinkle dew on those below.
Rejoice, canon of the perfect life,
Rejoice, quencher of the flames of passions.
Rejoice, the unsleeping protector of your monastery,
Rejoice, ever-flowing spring of wonders.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

As the Psalm says, grace pours forth from your relics, curing the weakening by illnesses and filling our senses with the fragrance of the Holy Spirit, O all--joyous one, inciting us to cry out to God: Alleluia.

Chanting these verses to you out of longing, and wishing to honor you with all fervor, protect from all kinds of dangers of the enemy through your speedy intercessions, O Amphilochios, you who ever hear from all:
Rejoice, faithful Levite of Christ,
Rejoice, fearsome fighter of the enemy.
Rejoice, the perfect interpretation of the Scriptures,
Rejoice, depiction beforehand of the life to come.
Rejoice, steady might and protection of the faithful,
Rejoice, protection of your monastery and of the choir of nuns.
Rejoice, for you enrich your monastery with your Relic,
Rejoice, for you gladden the Church with your light.
Rejoice, the boast of those who hymn you,
Rejoice the divine adornment of Patmos.
Rejoice, you who relieve pains of the flesh,
Rejoice, you who lead souls towards heaven.
Rejoice, O blessed Amphilochios.

O boast and pride of Patmos, Amphilochios, faithful healer of the Church (3), do not cease to entreat Christ that we might be granted to dwell together with Him in Eden, and that we might together join chorus to ceaselessly cry to God: Alleluia.

Then the Kontakion again straightaway.
St. Amphilochios of Patmos (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!