September 20 Greatmartyr Eustathius Placidas

Read the Life of St. Eustathius here

The Holy Great Martyr Eustathius was named Placidas before his Baptism. He was a military commander under the emperors Titus (79-81) and Trajan (98-117). 

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Eustathius from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Subduing the uprising of my passions by thine entreaties, O martyr of Christ, by thy discourse dispose me to praise well the sacred celebration of thy struggles, O most blessed one.

Thy name was not given thee by men, O most excellent one, but from the heavens, for Christ called thee as before He had called Paul, appearing like a hart and freeing thee from venomous serpents.

Full of heavenly wisdom, O martyr, crowned with all thy household thou didst most piously prefer the delight of heaven to corruptible riches and pleasures.

Deprived of, thy children and wife, thou didst mightily endure the threefold billows of perils, O glorious Eustathius, martyr of Christ.

Thy children, saved by God from the depredations of wild beasts, O Eustathius martyr of Christ, vanquished the noetic beasts. Passing over life as though it were a river, O glorious one, by thy trials thou didst preserve the divine aspect of thy soul unshaken.

Thou wast protected against the tyranny of the enemy by the hand of God, and thy spouse, preserving her chastity, cried out: glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Placed in peril and subjected to divers trials, O Eustathius, martyr of Christ, thou didst hasten to the arena to bear witness, crying out to thy Master: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Guided by the precepts of the Master, O ever-memorable and glorious Eustathius, thou and thy wife and children were shown to be adorned with the blood of martyrdom.

Thou didst show thyself to be like Job; for, blameless and pious, thou wast found to be sailing through life with long-suffering.

Who can hymn the pangs which thou didst endure, O blessed martyr, deprived of spouse and children?

Thou didst desire Christ Who had appeared to Thee, O glorious one, and didst unite thyself to Him with love; for thou wast shown to be adorned, clad in the purple robe of thy blood.

Thou didst make haste to follow the divine steps of Christ, and, crowned with all thy household, O martyr, wast most perfectly shown to share in His sufferings and kingdom.

Imprisoned within a brazen bull glowing red with heat, as in a furnace, O martyrs of Christ, ye cried out in thanksgiving: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

United by the law of love and nature, O right glorious martyrs, suffering ye showed forth a single endurance, chanting: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

The choir of true witnesses, united in splendor by the laws of nature and the word of the Faith, let us all now piously praise as lovers of piety; and with faith let us sing: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ye were beautifully united, O honored one, having been separated before by providence most great; and having dyed the purple robe of betrothal in your blood, ye hasten ardently to the heavenly bridal chamber, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

O blessed Eustathius, thou didst offer to God the fruit of thy loins and thy spouse who rejoiced; for thou didst receive them as partakers of suffering by nature, chanting to Christ: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

With gladness thou didst pass wholly over to the light of the Trinity and now rejoicest with the angelic army, O martyr Eustathius. With them pray thou unceasingly, that all who hymn thee be saved.

Thy struggles and divers tribulations on earth have now won for thee gladness in the heavens with the righteous. And enjoying it, O glorious one, vouchsafe it also unto those who hymn thee.

I offer myself wholly unto thee with fervor, O martyr Eustathius, that I may be enriched by thee, mine intercessor before the Master and mediator of divine salvation, who art able to help me out of every evil circumstance.

September 19 Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon

Read the Lives of Ss. Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon here

The Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon suffered for Christ during the reign of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). 

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Ss. Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

O martyrs of Christ of great renown, illumined with the all-radiant lightningflashes of the Spirit, dispel the clouds from my soul, enlighten my mind, and open my lips for hymnody, that I may praise you.

With steadfastness of mind did ye oppose the vain-minded one who sought to force you to render alien worship to his gods, O martyrs, and ye brought yourselves to the King of all as perfect sacrifices through divers torments.

Strength was given you by almighty God to cast down all the strength of the serpent, O honored great-martyrs, warriors of the Trinity, right wondrous Sabbatius and godly Dorymedon and Trophimus.

With most beautiful resolve and a firm conscience, ye proceeded to the trial of martyrdom; and, lacerated exceedingly and afflicted with wounds, ye remained immovable in your invincible resolve.

Having dyed most sacred purple robes in the outpourings of your blood, O valiant warriors, ye now stand before the immortal King and Lord, unceasingly making supplication for us.

Subjected to tortures, lacerated bodily in divers ways, cruelly bound, and cast to the wild beasts, ye did not deny Christ, O most glorious warriors, holy greatmartyrs.

Illumined by the endurance of tortures, ye were suspended upon a tree, O martyrs; and, your sides raked with iron claws, O glorious ones, in the nakedness of your bodies ye were invested with divine incorruption, and stand ever before the throne of the Trinity.

Wounded for Christ, O martyr Trophimus, thou didst take delight in intense pain, looking to the divine rewards of heaven and inexhaustible sweetness. And now, having completed thy race, thou hast been counted worthy thereof, as food for the Master.

Enduring torments in thy youth, O Sabbatius, rejoicing, thou didst surrender thy soul into the hands of God, and hast come to rest well in the mansions of heaven, having vanquished the accursed one who was expelled therefrom; and thou hast received the honors of victory.

Having withdrawn from bodily love, O most lauded ones, through all manner of pangs and wounds ye achieved union with the most compassionate God, Who loved you with mercy and hath slain the passions with your sufferings.

Thy steps were directed to the paths of martyrdom, O most wise martyr Trophimus; and made beautiful therein, shod with sandals pierced with nails, thou didst crush the head and sting of Belial.

Giving voice to divine speech, O much-suffering Trophimus, thou didst put the tyrant to shame; and, thy feet flowing with blood, thou didst sanctify the earth. And joyfully thou dost pass over to paradise, asking salvation for us.

Sailing peacefully over the abyss of torments with the piloting of the Spirit, O right glorious athletes, in sacred manner ye reached the tranquil harbor of salvation.

Seeing thy members falling to the ground, O Trophimus, and having vinegar poured into thy nostrils, thou didst greatly receive the sweet fragrance of the love of Christ.

As a counselor of the justifications of Christ, thou didst utterly reject the counsels of the ungodly foe, O martyr Dorymedon, and, wounded, didst give thyself over to tortures.

Made beauteous in every way by thy gestures to God, O blessedDorymedon, thou didst endure mightily, seared with heated goads, thy sides unjustly lacerated.

Desiring to behold the ineffable glory of God, O Trophimus, thou wast blinded in thine eyes by heated irons, and didst cry out to the Lord in thanksgiving: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Enflamed with love for the worshipful Trinity, the three completed the' greatest of struggles and now rejoice with the myriads of heaven. With them be thou mindful of us, ever asking that we be released from our transgressions.

Having struggled against wounds with your naked bodies, ye received the adornment of incorruption, having clad the eternal enemy in shame, O crowned ones; and having passed over to the places of God's rest, ye cry out: Ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Driven along on foot, the witnesses to Christ's sufferings were bound to trees and endured laceration with valiant resolve; and with the streams of   their blood they drowned legions’ of the evil demons, chanting in godly manner: Ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Let Trophimus be praised, let Sabbatius be glorified, and let Dorymedon be magnified today: the unshakeable pillars, the ramparts of the faithful, and the splendid beacons of the Church, which they honorably illumine with the rays of their magnificent struggles, for all ages.

With the might of the Creator of all ye restrained the raging of the wild beasts and remained unharmed by them, O martyrs, despite their constant assaults. Wherefore, ye have been enrolled in the flock of the martyrs and ever pray in our behalf.

Most gloriously beheaded with the sword ye offered yourselves as sacrifices for the mystical altar; and ye now dwell most joyously in the habitations of the firstborn, beholding the glory of God and receiving the fruits of your pangs and honors for your suffering.

Assembling together, come, ye faithful, and let us praise Dorymedon, Sabbatius and the glorious Trophimus, the mighty witnesses to the truth, the grapes of the noetic Vine, from whence the wine of gladness poureth forth upon us through the grace of God.

The most festive memorial of the wise athletes, shining forth today, doth truly illumine all more brightly than the rays of the sun, dispelling the darkness of the passions and the clouds of despondency. Through their supplications, O Christ, grant Thy mercies unto us all.

September 18 St. Eumenes, Bishop of Gortyna

Read the Life of St. Eumenes here

Saint Eumenius from the time of his youth was noted for his virtuous life. He strove to serve the One God and therefore he shunned worldly temptations. Concerned for the salvation of his soul, he distributed all his substance to the poor.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Eumenes from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

In that Christ hearkeneth to thy godly prayers, O divinely wise Eumenius, render Him kindly disposed toward those who praise thee with love, O blessed one.

Enamored from thy youth of humility, which accomplisheth lofty things, O venerable one, thou didst lay low the serpent and wast manifestly enriched with the gift of healing.

Thou wast the particular instrument of the Spirit, through much fasting causing the wisdom of the flesh to become subject to thy soul, enslaving that which is worse to that which is higher.

Like a bee thou didst diligently make the rounds of the noetic flowers, O hierarch, gathering sweet honey and laying it upon the honeycombs of thy heart.

Having made thy life and discourse pure by the salt of God, O glorious Eumenius, thou showest forth thy perfect grace and splendor.

Adorned with the virtues, thou didst ascend on high and didst mount to the throne of the Most High, anointed with the myrrh of the divine Spirit; and thou art known to be the sweet fragrance of Christ.

Thou wast a dwelling-place of the Spirit, O hierarch, sojourning in the temples of God and adorning thyself with precious doctrines.

As a hierarch pleasing to God and prelate of Gortyna, O wise father, thou didst emit beams of miracles.

The great gaping maw of the serpent who assailed thee didst thou set afire with the rays of thy prayers, O most sacred one.

Thou didst possess understanding, haying calmed thy mind and soul which were beset by the passions; wherefore, thou dost pacify the disputes of those who reigned piously and submitted well to thee.

Having gained the ear of kings, O faithful one, thou didst end their longstanding enmity, which engendereth destruction, and they came to love fraternal oneness of mind, O divinely wise Eumenius.

Arriving like a luminary, thou didst illumine Rome, working miracles and manifestly summoning those who were sunk in the abyss of the passions to the calm haven of healing, O blessed one.

Having Christ in thy heart as an active and inexhaustible treasure, O Eumenius, thou didst transform into gold the clay which the king gave to thee.

Thou hast sat upon a lofty seat, O father, sending down upon the Church words of peace from on high; and it now boasteth in thy summons.

Un-sodden by sin, thou didst sail through the greatly painful storm of life and didst attain unto the havens where the assembly of the venerable rejoiceth.

Besting deadly thoughts by zeal of soul, O venerable Eumenius, in profound old age thou didst make a journey to benefit those who with faith accepted thee as a sower of sacred and precious doctrines.

Having enjoyed thy goodly deeds, O father Eumenius, Rome sent thee to the Thebaid as a lovely gift which it did not want. There thou didst restrain the affliction of drought by the rain of thy precious prayers, O venerable one.

Feeding at the breasts of abstinence, thou didst suck forth the milk of purity and didst reach the measure of maturity, attaining the heights of the virtues and shining forth more brightly than the sun with divine signs, upon those held fast by the night of the passions.

Having vanquished the enemy and finished the good race, in the most profound old age thou didst pass on to thy fathers, like a ripe grain of wheat, receiving thine end in a strange land.

The children of the Thebaid, in nowise mindful of thy good works, generously dispatched thy sacred relics, which they held, to thy homeland and flock; and at their return they poured forth the grace of miracles.

Before, Raxus once held the precious and much-suffering body of Cyril, O wise one, and now it likewise hideth thine, thou having joined those who lived in the same wisdom, whom the heavenly homeland holdeth forever.

As a hierarch of Christ thou didst pass wondrously from power to power, O father, where the most sacred choirs, with all the heavenly hosts, minister unto the worshipful Trinity in fear, O most blessed Eumenius.

Quell thou the present tempest which assaileth thy homeland, moving the Godhead to mercy by thy supplications, O blessed one; stem the invasion of barbarians which oppresseth us, a trial brought by the devil, which impelleth us toward the abyss of destruction, O ever-memorable Eumenius.

Thy most sacred memory summoneth venerable pastors and pious people, bearing sanctification for all; and with the splendors of the grace with abideth in thee doth it richly illumine us who celebrate it, O most lauded Eumenius.

September 17 Holy Martyr Sophia and her three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love (Charity)

Read the Life of Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love here

The Holy Martyrs Saint Sophia and her Daughters Faith, Hope and Love were born in Italy. Their mother was a pious Christian widow who named her daughters for the three Christian virtues. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Love was nine. St Sophia raised them in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. St Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ, but openly confessed it before everyone.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Ss. Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

O Master Christ, grant me the effulgence of Thy transcendent and ineffable wisdom, that I may hymn Thy magnificent and right glorious martyrs, the offspring of Sophia.                                                                               

Thy name was manifestly adorned by thy manner of life, O divinely wise and glorious Sophia; for, illumined with the grace of wisdom, thou didst spend thy whole life in desiring wisdom.

Thy most blessed fruit, adorned with the number of the all-divine Trinity, struggled like athletes for Him, O most wise Sophia, thou namesake of the divine Wisdom.

The three virgin maidens, Faith, Hope and glorious Charity, having cleansed body and soul with the virtues, were brought in martyrdom to Thee, O Christ, the noetic Bridegroom.

Hearkening to the voice of Christ calling them to a life devoid of death and suffering, the crowned virgin martyrs followed Thee, crying out to Thee, O Holy One: O Thou Who lovest mankind, holy is the animate temple of Thy pure glory!

As He promised, Christ gave you strength as ye stood before the tribunal as martyrs; and He filled you with divinely inspired wisdom and showed you forth as radiant, O victorious martyrs, resplendent in the grace of virginity.

Ye dulled the greatly arrogant mind of the enemy and cast down his pride, contending with great wisdom; and with the streams of your blood ye drowned him who of old boasted that he would destroy the sea.

Filled to abundance with the exalted wisdom of Christ, with elect and sage wisdom the three daughters of Sophia put to shame the savagery of the torturers and their unbearable cruelty, giving utterance to divine teachings.

Strengthened by divine grace, the right victorious Faith, Charity and Hope manfully put to shame the threats of the tyrant; and burnt by the fire, the most wise ones were led to Christ the Bridegroom.

Protected by the armor of the Cross, the holy Faith, Charity and Hope were able to endure the wounds of their torturers with fortitude, opposing sin most mightily even to the shedding of their blood.

Faith, Charity and Hope, the three radiant lamps of the wisdom of the Trinity, illumined and manifestly shining, enlighten the Church most splendidly, for our salvation and defense.

The three God-bearing virgins, bound by faith and nature, endured tortures with patience of will, and they put to shame the audacious one, uttering mysteries of wisdom which are in God.

Our first mother rejoiceth, seeing the deceiver, who of old drove her from Eden, vanquished by Hope, Faith and Charity, the divinely wise women born of Sophia.

Wounded by Thy love and Thy divine ardor, O Christ, the honored maidens avoided the venomous flattery of the tyrant and willingly endured the wounds of tortures.

Rejoicing, O Master, the three honored and laudable maidens, equal in number to the Trinity, placed their hope in Thine all-pure hands.

Resplendent with the beauties of virginity, they adorned themselves with the wounds of martyrdom, and have received from on high a twofold crown from Christ, the most compassionate Bestower of life.

Into the temple of Thee, Who reignest over all, were the precious treasures of virginity brought, O Master, to share in Thy kingdom; for Thou art their light and gladness.

Manifestly illumined with the thrice radiant grace of unity, the virgins destroyed the utter darkness of the demons, theologizing concerning the Light in three Hypostases, and chanting: Praised and all-glorious is the God of our fathers!

Possessing mansions in the heavens, O light-bearing souls, with gladness ye now join chorus with the angels, gazing upon eternal glory and saying: Praised and all-glorious is the God of our fathers!

Showing steadfast opposition like the three youths, the maidens manfully trampled upon the fire; for, being equal in number with them, the God bearing virgins acquired the same understanding of the praised and all-glorious God of our fathers.

The divinely radiant virgins Faith, Hope and Charity, were more lustrous than gold in the beauty of their piety, saying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord; hymn and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

The virgins who are radiant and were manifestly splendid amid their torment let us hymn, O ye faithful, saying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord; hymn and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

The shrines of the athletes ever pour forth a stream of healing abundantly, copiously and richly upon them that with faith cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord; hymn and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Filled with thrice-radiant light, and delighting now in the divine radiance, O ye who are equal in number to the virtues and bear their names: love, hope and faith, make us steadfast by hope, love and faith.

Let the might of heaven now subdue the tempest of heresy which besetteth us, O invincible athletes. We entreat you, O good virgins: pray ye unceasingly, that God grant oneness of mind to the faithful.

Having passed through the night of this life, O most wise ones, ye have reached the unwaning day, making merry as martyrs and boasting in grace as virgins, being counted worthy of the divine and incorruptible kingdom.

September 15 Greatmartyr Nicetas

Read the Life of St. Nicetas here

The Holy Great Martyr Nicetas was a Goth (a Germanic tribe). He was born and lived on the banks of the Danube River, and suffered for Christ in the year 372.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Nicetas from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Having slain the arrogance of my flesh, illumine thou my mind with the radiance of enlightenment, that I may hymn thy victory, O Nicetas, who, as a most eminent victor, dost entreat Christ.

Putting aside the poison which cometh from the passions, thou didst mightily endure wounds and in suffering didst clothe thyself in a precious robe, dyed with thine own blood.

Having been nailed to the Tree for us, Thou didst show the path of suffering to be new and wondrous, for Thou, O Master, wast the Source of the strength and confession of the martyrs.

With steadfastness of soul didst thou endure the threats of the tormentors, O glorious martyr of Christ, aided by power divine.

O all-praised martyr of Christ, enduring the scattering of thy flesh and the dismemberment of thy limbs, thou didst obtain thy soul.

The assembly of Christ's martyrs rejoice in thee, beholding thy memory celebrated today.

Redeemed by the Blood of the Master, the sufferer Nicetas doth offer his blood to Christ, rejoicing. Wherefore, slaughtered, he cried out: Glory to Thee, O my God!

Aflame with love for the Master, O martyr, thou didst trample down the flame of idolatry and all the might of the demons, crying unto the Creator: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Delighting in the sight of the Lord and reveling in the radiance thereof, the martyr knew not suffering, but, rejoicing, cried out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

O all-praised Nicetas, who can recount the crowns of thine ordeals, which Christ gave thee who suffered for Him?

Having completed their struggles upon the earth, the martyrs have received from Thee, O Bestower of life, a heavenly reward in the highest.

Now dost thou shine forth like a beacon, O all-praised Nicetas. Thou art become a light of secondary radiance, standing gloriously before the great Light.

Desiring the beauties of the Creator, O glorious one, and receiving illumination therefrom, thou didst take wing, O martyr, and, scorning death, didst draw nigh unto Him.

O martyr Nicetas, preferring with chaste thought those things which are inexhaustible to receiving transitory things, with gladness thou didst submit thy body to tortures.

O martyr, who art now illumined with unapproachable radiance, with thy radiance enlighten them that now sing thy feast, crying: Blessed art Thou, O my Lord and God!

The angelic forces were astounded at thy courage, O blessed one, beholding thee patiently suffering and saying: Blessed art Thou, O Lord and God of all!

O invincible martyr, thou didst bring thyself as a sacrifice whole and acceptable, and wast a savory whole-burnt offering to thy Master, Who was crucified for our sake; and with gladness didst thou cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

As thou wast lawfully a divine contender, thou didst worthily receive an imperishable crown of victory from the life-bearing right hand of God, before which thou now dost stand, chanting: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Boundless was thy love of Christ, and pierced by many wounds and variously gored, thou didst mingle thy blood with His. And now, as an emulator of Him, thou dost reign with Him, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

My whole self do I offer thee, O divinely blessed Nicetas, that I may find thee to be an intercessor before the Master who can save me from every evil circumstance, and a mediator of divine salvation.

Thou wast truly a witness to the truth, O passion-bearer, and now dost stand, rejoicing, before precious Truth personified, boldly accepting the reward for thy struggles.

Arriving at the calm harbor, thou didst rest from thy pains, and, a crownbearer, thou dost rejoice in paradise with the martyrs of Christ. Wherefore, thee do we all now fittingly glorify as glorified by God.

September 13 Founding of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem

Read about the Church of the Resurrection here

The Dedication of the Temple of the Resurrection of Christ at Jerusalem celebrates the dedication of the Church of the Resurrection, built by St Constantine the Great and his mother, the empress Helen.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of the Church of the Resurrection from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

O Christ Who of old guided Israel the chosen by a pillar, Thou didst plant the Church in Sion through the laver of baptism; and it crieth aloud: Let us chant a hymn to our God!

Today the coming of Thine unapproachable glory hath fashioned a heaven, the temple planted for Thee on earth; and therein we chant together a hymn to our God.

The Church is not adorned with the law, O Lord, nor by the outstretched hands of servants, but, boasting in the grace of the Cross, it singeth to Thee: Let us chant a hymn to our God!

O Christ, by the Spirit Thou hast sanctified Thy Church on earth, anointing it today with the oil of Thy gladness.

O Good One, Thou hast revealed today the tabernacle, made of men's hands, of Thy glory, which passeth understanding, a well-built dwelling-place.

Having Thee as an immovable foundation, O Christ, the Church is crowned with Thy Cross as with a royal diadem.

The Church is sprinkled not with the sacrifices of dumb beasts, but with the precious and life-bearing blood which flowed from Thy side; and it crieth out in splendor: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

The beloved habitations of the Lord cry out together to those who desire plainly to see the glory of His countenance: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Portraying the anointing of Thy chosen people, the Church is anointed today with costly ointments, invisibly receiving the divine grace of the Spirit.

On Sinai of old Thou didst show to Moses the God-seer a tabernacle not made by men's hands, O Christ, prefiguring Thy Church.

O Lord, thou didst build a tabernacle on the earth, and by Thy power Thou dost join the ranks of heaven to the choirs of men.

O Lord, we know Thee to be the Source of life. And arriving, O holyChrist, Thou didst proclaim peace to Thy Church.

Christ the King desired the beauty of the Church He now hath chosen, and hath shown her to be the mother of the gentiles, who out of slaves have been made sons by the Spirit.

The hordes of the malicious demons tremble before the Church of Christ which is marked with the sign of the image of the Cross and covered with the overshadowing of the Spirit.

Having Christ, and not sand, as its foundation, the Church of the nations is crowned with unapproachable beauty and adorned with a royal diadem.

Of old the flame of the furnace was shown to be dew-bearing; and now spiritual anointing with oil doth sanctify those who cry out: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

In this new tabernacle, as in the God-receiving furnace, all of us who are of the spiritual Israel cry out, bedewed: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

O ye who are wounded with most sweet divine desire, come ye, let us join ourselves to Christ the Bridegroom in this bridal-chamber, crying: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O word!

Today Thy Church hath been adorned like a bride with a noetic robe woven on high of divine grace, O Lord, and she summoneth her people to chant in gladness: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Today Christ, the second Adam, hath shown forth a noetic garden of paradise, this new tabernacle which, instead of the tree of know ledge, offereth the life-bearing weapon of the Cross unto those who chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

O Come ye with a pure heart and, gazing with wakeful spiritual eyes upon the beauty of the Church, the daughter of the King, which outshineth gold in luster, let us magnify her.

Rejoice and be glad, O bride of the great King, radiantly beholding the beauty of thy Bridegroom, crying out with thy people: We magnify Thee, O Bestower of life!

O Savior, grant Thy Church excellence from on high, for it acknowledgeth none other than Thee who of old laid down thy life for her; and she is great in this knowledge.

September 11 Venerable Mother Theodora of Alexandria

Read the Life of St. Theodora here

Saint Theodora of Alexandria and her husband lived in Alexandria. 

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Theodora from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

With Thy praise, O Lord, fill thou my mouth which singeth of thy greatly hymned glory and honoreth the pangs of Theodora, who pleased thee with the splendor of her life.

Today hath thy sacred solemnity shone forth more brightly than the sun, illumining souls which are in darkness and ever dispelling the darkness of the demons, O right wondrous one.

Thy sin was manifestly recorded, as the Gospel hath said, O most honorable one; but, striving diligently, thou didst blot it out with the sweat of thine abstinence and the streams of thy tears.

Clad in men's garments, thou didst wisely hasten with diligence to join the assembly of monastics, O honored one, entering the fray against the princes of the wicked ruler of this world.

Thou didst manfully transform thy womanly weakness, O venerable one, truly showing thyself to be a precious gift, pleasing to God, by thy newname and guise, and by thy works.

In thy mortal body thou didst show forth a life like unto that of the incorporeal ones, O glorious Theodora, holding firmly to genuine abstinence, unceasing vigilance and constant prayer.

Thou didst boldly subject thyself to fasting for many days, like one of the incorporeal ones, O glorious one, but Christ strengthened thy weakness with His almighty power and nourished thee with divine grace.

"Behold my lowliness and tears; behold my sorrow! And lighten the heavy burden of my sin!" Theodora cried out to Him Who alone is able to save.

Drowning with the torrents of thy tears him who had deceitfully ensnared thee in his trap, protected by divine grace in thy safe haven thou didst vanquish him who hunteth men's souls with his net.

The ranks of the incorporeal ones were astonished, beholding thee in a body of clay, emulating their life and honorable ways, and vanquishing the enemy who before had seduced thee with falsehood, O Theodora.

God tamed the savagery of the wild beasts for thee, giving thee the grace of healing. And he who by thy hand was rescued from being devoured by a wild beast, and whose wounds thou didst heal, proclaimeth this, O glorious one.

With perfect mind thou didst nurture the babe, enduring cruel slander, giving thanks to the Benefactor Who gaveth thee strength and hath made thee wondrous, O most lauded Theodora.

Offering up an ever-flowing fountain of tears, afflicting thyself and groaning, with thanksgiving thou didst endure the monks' censure and shunning of thee, O divinely blessed one.

Taking thy sustenance from the sea, nurtured on wondrous plants, and dwelling with wild beasts in the wilderness, thou didst make thine abode in heaven, O right wondrous one.

Thou didst endure the burning of the day, and didst bear the frigid cold of night, warmed by the grace of the divine Spirit; wherefore, thou dost enjoy the blessedness of heaven.

The most crafty enemy afflicted thee with unbearable wounds, appearing to thee in illusions of thine imagination; but thou didst cast down his vain savagery, chanting: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Thou didst fill the dry cisterns with water through thy supplications, O glorious one, manifestly working miracles, and magnifying God Who glorifieth thee. To Him do we cry out: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

In thy great boldness be thou ever mindful of those who celebrate thy memory, entreating the most compassionate God, to Whom we cry: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

His mind illumined with purity, thine abbot was caught up and beheld the good things which the Lord prepared for thee, O Theodora: the radiant garden of paradise and the ineffable bridal-chamber, wherein thy Bridegroom, the Judge of the contest, hath made a dwelling for thee.

The choirs of the angels, martyrs and the venerable, preparing for thy soul, bore it up to the mansions of heaven, to the place where those who rejoice find rest there, wherein is the dwelling-place of those who cry out and exalt Christ supremely forever.

A multitude of monastics, having assembled, faithfully buried thy blessed body; for, beholding all-wondrous things, they acknowledged thine excellent qualities: for, though a woman, thou wast pleased to dwell bodily in themidst of men, protected by the hand of the Almighty, O divinely wise Theodora.

Achieving endurance through all-night vigils of supplication, thou didst extinguish the uprisings of the passions, didst sleep the sleep of the righteous,and hast passed over to the never-waning Light, crying out: Hymn the Lord, ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!

Thou didst depart from the world like a star, O all-praised one, and hast shone forth in the life of heaven, having left us the virtues of thy life and thy corrections, like rays of light, illumining the hearts of all who celebrate thy memory with faith.

The gates of heaven were opened with splendor, admitting thee, O ever- memorable Theodora; and the Church of the first-born now hath thy sacred soul, which danceth with the elect, where the sounds are the sounds of those who keep festival and the never-waning light.

Thou hast found the reward for thy pangs, for thou didst hope for heavenly honor; thou caused desire to cease, for thou didst find its Source, and dost delight in good things, manifestly and purely beholding thy Bridegroom, O Theodora, as the angels have been vouchsafed to see Him.

As thou hast boldness in prayer, O ever-memorable honorable and right glorious Theodora, beg thou that He send down release from vexations, deliverance from the passions and correction of life upon those who praise thee and celebrate thine honored memory.

September 10 Holy Martyrs Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora

Read the about Ss. Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora here

The Holy Virgins Menodora, Nymphodora, and Metrodora (305-311), were sisters from Bithynia (Asia Minor). Distinguished for their special piety, they wanted to preserve their virginity and avoid worldly associations. They chose a solitary place for themselves in the wilderness and spent their lives in deeds of fasting and prayer.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Ss. Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

O glorious martyrs, make supplication to the uncreated Trinity Whom ye preached, for us who now honor your divine sufferings and corrections divinely blessed ones.

Protected by the divine weaponry of faith, the maidens scorned the words of the tyrant, and for the sake of the Life of all they submitted to the threefold waves of torments and to an unjust death.

Strengthened by the omnipotent power of the Creator, the most honored ones assumed a manly character; with their feet they trampled upon the twisted and prideful serpent and cast him down to the ground.

Wounding thee cruelly, the all-iniquitous tormentor of our life, dead of mind, sought to force thee to renounce Christ, O martyr Menodora.

The tyrant took no pity on thee who lifted thine eyes to God, O martyr, but with an iron rod broke thy members without mercy, thus weaving for thee an everlasting crown which will not wither away.

By your torments ye acquired treasure in the heavens and everlasting glory, O thrice rich holy martyrs, and ye have clearly drawn nigh unto God.

Resplendent in the rays of the Cross, O ever-blessed Metrodora, bound to a tree thou didst endure torture by fire, quenching the burning coal of deception with the dew of the love of Christ.

Stretching forth thy thought towards the visions manifested to thee, and beholding thy Bridegroom of unimaginable comeliness, O ever-blessed Metrodora, beaten with iron rods thou didst valiantly endure the pangs of torture.

Ye have adorned yourselves and been radiantly glorified, O virgins, loving the all-glorious Word wholly: for, wounded by His love, ye steadfastly endured the assaults of suffering.

Showing forth a steadfast demeanor and insuperable intent before the tribunal, the martyrs plaited a crown of victory for themselves.

Suspended, Nymphodora, who loveth the immortal Bridegroom, now mightily endureth laceration with iron claws.

With hymns let the divinely wise virgins be praised, the thrice-radiant lamps, the house of three chambers, the habitations of the Trinity.

Desiring to behold Thine inconceivable beauty, O unoriginate Word, they who are wounded with Thy love most sweet valiantly endured the cruelty of tortures.

The all-glorious maidens bloomed like lilies in a garden, and by the grace of the Spirit have perfumed the Church with the fragrance of their divers torments.

Desiring the immortal Bridegroom alone, the virgin maidens manifestly vanquished visible death, strengthened by invisible power.

Ye spat upon the impious tyrant who commanded you to offer sacrifice to deaf idols, O maidens, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Illumined in mind with divine rays, O most laudable ones, ye darkened the gloom of the idols, chanting: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Neither the severing of their limbs, nor persecution, nor tribulation were in any wise able to separate Christ from the martyrs, who cried out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Sharpened by the love of the Creator, ye dulled the stings of the serpents, having taken up manly struggles in your female bodies; and ye have been crowned with heavenly wreaths.

Locked together in the midst of the contest, the divinely wise maidens vanquished invisible and incorporeal foes with their flesh, crying aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Strengthened by God the Savior, made powerful by Christ Jesus, ye destroyed the feeble might of the enemy, chanting: Bless the Lord, every work of the Lord!

Covered with the embroidery of the wounds of your torments and adorned with comeliness, O right wondrous maidens, ye have received the kingdom on high, reigning with Christ Jesus.

Desiring to see the beauty of the Bridegroom, O God-bearers, as the ultimate gesture to Him ye received immortality in your mortal bodies. Wherefore, ye are worthily called blessed.

O unblemished ewe-lambs, ye found yourselves among tormentors as among savage wolves; and overcoming their bestiality, ye offered yourselves to Christ as a right acceptable sacrifice.

A wreath of divine glory which fadeth not away have ye woven together, O virgins, and as martyrs ye have been vouchsafed to receive the truly unshakable kingdom with the martyrs.

O honored virgins, as ye have boldness before the Master, pray ye that they that keep your memory with love receive the glory of which ye have been counted worthy and the exultation ye have received. barren and childless mother; and Adam, restored, rejoiceth. souls.

September 9 Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna

Read the Life of St. Joachim here

Read the Life of St. Anna here

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Ss. Joachim and Anna from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Shining with the splendors of the virtues O divinely wise Anna and everblessed Joachim ye were vouchsafed to give birth to the lamp which emitted the noetic Sun Who shone forth from her in the flesh.

Praying tirelessly and looking to God in every way, the God-pleasing Joachim and the divine Anna truly gave birth to the all-pure Theotokos, who is far greater than all creation in holiness.

Possessed of a most exalted life and splendor of life, together ye surpassed all the parents of earth, giving birth to the incorrupt Virgin, and truly becoming ancestor of God because of her.

O God-pleasing Anna, who wast barren and bereft of children, and who besought the Creator with tears, thou wast vouchsafed to give birth to the only blessed one, crying aloud: There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord!

The godly and divinely eloquent Joachim having enriched his spouse with divine grace: was vouchsafed to beget the mediatress of men's salvation, to whom we cry aloud: There is none more immaculate than thee, O Mistress!

We hymn the most honored couple from whom the Virgin hath shone forth upon us, who is more exalted than all creatures, in that she gave birth to God, to Whom we cry aloud: There is none more holy than Thee, O Lord!

Rejoicing, the divinely wise and God-pleasing Joachim receiveth from the barren one the virginal Virgin for whose sake the barrenness of the world hath been abolished through birthgiving.

Joachim the most rich, the ancestor of God, now setteth before us a spiritual banquet, for he hath begotten the Mother of God, the all-incorrupt Maiden.

Grace setteth before us her who would become the Mother of God, who hath saved men from mortality and corruption and received the ineffably incarnate eternal Word.

A couple hath sprung forth from the root of Jesse, from whom hath sprung forth the staff bearing the Flower which perfumeth me, the whole man, with the myrrh of divinity.

Anna and the God-pleasing Joachim, the chaste couple, shining forth a ray of purity which hath adorned barren human nature with the divine radiance of virginity, have given birth unto her for us.

The most lauded Anna and Joachim, the two honored chaste ones, the divinely wise couple, have given birth to the divinely adorned throne of the Virgin, who hath been elevated above all by the hand of God.

The divine God-seers Joachim and Anna, who lived in a divinely wise manner, have been manifestly vouchsafed to give birth to the luminous portal who revealed the Orient from on high, for the guidance of the lost.

The Almighty hath with His hand now cut from the stone of the barren woman the divinely inscribed tablet of the new law, whereon the divine Word first formed the remission of the sins of the old law.

Anna, the barren woman of old, having received fertile seed, was vouchsafed to give birth to a Maiden of divine radiance who hath dominion over all creatures.

The barren woman, hath now given birth by God's will to the Virgin Who would with submission give birth untainted by carnal will, as God Himself manifestly desired.

Illumined by the Spirit, Isaiah beheld the offspring of Joachim and Anna as a new scroll, whereon the incarnate Word was written.

O holy couple who put forth from the root of the divinely wise David a most sacred staff, unto the world ye have given birth to the pure Virgin, the flower most sacred to us, who shone forth Christ without seed.

The godly Anna, bearing the most radiant lamp of the Theotokos like a lustrous lampstand, hath illumined the whole world with divine light and the radiant effulgence of virginity.

O glorious grandparents of Almighty God, Who in His ineffable mercy became incarnate of your divinely wise daughter, O ye who art most rich, ask remission of offenses for me who now flee unto you.

The honored Joachim and the chaste Anna, overflowing with riches, gave birth to the Virgin Queen, who is adorned with divine glory, and whom all creation doth hymn as the Theotokos.

By you, the friends of God, hath a staff of power been sent to us: the most immaculate Bride, through whom we prevail over the godless foe, trampling upon their devices.

Through you, O most sacred twain, hath a weapon been given us by the will of God, whereby we, the faithful, are now ever splendidly adorned: the pure Virgin Mother Who gave birth to God.

With fertility the power of God opened a barren womb, and the portal of virginity cometh forth in splendor, through whom the Word hath come to mortals, Who became incarnate at the ineffable words of the archangel.

O honored parents of the all-pure Virgin, most sacred ones who through virtue are united in wisdom and in soul, pray ye that those who ardently celebrate your all-praised and glorious memory may be saved.

Ye have destroyed the field of death, O glorious ones who radiantly gave birth to the Mother of Life who hath broken its assault and mediated the hope of immortal life for the sake of faith.

Joachim, entering into conjunction with Anna, like the sun with the luminous moon, gave rise to a ray of virginity, through whom the Ray of the divine Essence hath shone forth upon us united to the flesh hypostatically.

Having lived in chastity and piety, O blessed ones, ye have now been counted worthy of ineffable sweetness, having received the divine revelation of Him Who through you appeared to the world. Him do ye entreat, that our souls be saved.

September 7 Holy Martyr Sozon

Read the Life of St. Sozon here

The Martyr Sozon, a native of Lykaonia, was a shepherd. He read the Holy Scriptures attentively, and he loved to share his knowledge about the One God with the shepherds who gathered together with him. He brought many to the faith in Christ and to Baptism.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Sozon from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Christ hath truly shown thee forth as a most radiant star in the firmament of the Church, O all-praised martyr, illumining the whole world with the splendors of thy sufferings.

Having roiled the sea of impiety as a steed of the Lord, O martyr, in the abyss of thy precious and holy blood thou didst drown all the power of the adversary like Pharaoh.

The streams of thy blood, flowing forth like a river for Christ's sake, have quenched the fire of the impious, O ever-hymned martyr and athlete.

The infliction of wounds didst thou patiently bear, like an impregnable tower, O glorious one, bringing down the fortress of deception.

Like David thou didst bring low the noetic Goliath, the tyrant and his army, with the stone of faith, O most glorious one.

Set afire by the love of God, O most blessed one, with thy words thou didst utterly consume all the tinder-like fuel of the ungodly; and, rejoicing, thou didst cry out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

As a sanctified temple of the Lord, thou didst run into the temple of the ungodly and manfully break the objects of their worship, O all-lauded athlete and martyr.

Thy sacred temple hath been shown to be the healing of all manner of illness for those who have recourse to it in faith and who honor thy valiant deeds therein, O all-praised athlete Sozon.

Thou, O martyr, illumined by the light of the Trinity, didst destroy the gloom of the ungodliness of polytheism, as an ever-radiant beacon.

Shown to be a rose of comely blossom by the flow of thy blood, O blessed one, thou hast perfumed the world with the sweet fragrance of thy miracles.

As a noetic cluster of the vineyard of Christ, thou hast poured forth the right-compunctionate wine of martyrdom upon those who glorify thee with faith.

Desiring to be slain as an unblemished sacrifice, for the sake of God's love, thou didst offer thyself up on His altar. Wherefore, we piously honor thee, O all lauded one.

Having sailed over the deep of deception without foundering, thou didst attain unto the haven of the kingdom on high, O blessed martyr, enjoying everlasting calm.

The tormenter pitilessly raked thy sides with claws of iron; but thou didst gloriously commit thy spirit in the hands of God, O ever memorable and most blessed one.

Cast into the furnace of painful torments, O martyr, thou didst receive from God the dew of endurance, and didst cry out in thanksgiving: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Possessed of a soul more luminous than any gold, thou didst in no wise desire to sacrifice to the soulless god of beaten gold, and didst offer thyself to the Lord as a sacrifice of sweet savor.

The great Shepherd appointed thee, His unblemished lamb, as shepherd for the sheep of his true flock, O martyr, showing thee un-devoured by the noetic wolves, O most lauded one.

Removing the arm of the golden idol, O wise one, thou didst distribute it among the poor, securing for thyself the truly incalculable riches of martyrdom, O ever-memorable one who cried out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

When the incorporeal foe wrestled with thee, thou didst cast him down with the assistance of Christ. Wherefore, He Himself hath bestowed honors upon thee: the ability to work miracles. To Him didst thou cry out, rejoicing: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Opening thy mouth, thou didst fill it with the Spirit, O most lauded Sozon, and the mouths of those who blaspheme the Creator didst thou fill with all manner of shame; and, rejoicing, thou didst cry out to Christ: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Cast down to the ground, thou wast shown to be a chosen stone of Christ the Chief Cornerstone, O martyr, destroying the fortress of deception, and making firm the hearts of the faithful.

The Church of Christ, having now acquired thee as a stream of life, is ever adorned with the majesty of thy sufferings and miracles, O martyr, having quenched its thirst with thy blood as with water.

Thou didst find the kingdom of heaven to be the reward of thy struggles and labors, O divinely wise Sozon. Joining chorus therein, O most glorious one, be thou mindful of those who with faith keep thy sacred memory.