June 12 Venerable Onuphrius the Great and the Venerable Peter of Mt. Athos

Read the Life of St. Onuphrius here

St Paphnutius, who led an ascetical life in the Thebaid desert in Egypt, has left us an account of St Onuphrius the Great and the Lives of other fourth century hermits: Timothy the Desert Dweller, the abbas Andrew, Charalampus, Theophilus, and others.

St Onuphrius lived in complete isolation in the wilds of the wilderness for sixty years

Read the Life of St. Peter the Athonite here

Saint Peter of Athos, a Greek by birth, served as a soldier in the imperial armies and he lived at Constantinople. In the year 667, during a war with the Syrians, St Peter was taken captive and locked up in a fortress in the city of Samara on the Euphrates River.

St Peter died in the year 734. His holy relics were on Athos at the monastery of St Clement. During the Iconoclast period the relics were hidden away, and in the year 969 they were transferred to the Thracian village of Photokami.

Today, June 12, 2016 is also the Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Ss. Onuphrius and Peter 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 divinely wise father Onuphrius, the glorious Paphnutius found thee in the desert hidden like a treasure, and he clearly proclaimed to those in the world the corrections of thy struggles, enriching the faithful with his account of thy God-pleasing life, O all-lauded one. By thy supplications, O glorious one, show us to be imitators thereof.

We have recognized thee, O venerable one, as the namesake of the divine Peter, who truly followed him and hath piously shared in the zeal for the Faith; for thou didst love the good law, didst desire the divine precepts thereof, O father, and didst adorn thy soul with the virtues. Wherefore, we honor and bless thee.

Having rejected the world and cleaved unto Christ, thou didst make thy flesh subject to thy mind, and wast shown to be a receptacle of the Holy Spirit, O divinely wise father Onuphrius.

Today the Church setteth thee before us as another Peter, illumining our minds with thy divine memory, O father most rich.

Having shown forth from the desert like a most radiant star upon the world, thou didst enlighten the assemblies of the pious and faithful with the beams of thy struggles, O Onuphrius our venerable father.

Having fled the tumults of the world and the tempest of life as frightful and evil, thou didst attain unto the impassable places; and like a bird thou didst live alone for many years, hiding thyself in caves, defiles and ravines, looking unto the Lord and fulfilling His precepts. And having received grace from Him, O venerable father Peter, thou didst shine forth like the sun, praying unceasingly for us all.

Who can recount thy struggles, O most blessed one? Who among mortals can fittingly praise thy life, O father Onuphrius? For like one of the incorporeal ones thou didst subsist on herbs, and didst have as thy food Christ God, upon Whom thou didst set thy hope, going naked about the desert places, enduring burning heat and cold like a bodiless being. Wherefore, the great Bestower of gifts hath shown thee to be a luminary, O blessed one.