August 4 Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

http://oca.org/saints/lives/2016/08/04/102195-7-holy-youths-seven-sleepers-of-ephesus

The Seven Youths of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus, lived in the third century.

There is a prayer of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in the GREAT BOOK OF NEEDS (Trebnik) for those who are ill and cannot sleep. The Seven Sleepers are also mentioned in the service for the Church New Year, September 1.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of the Seven Holy Youths 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.

Come ye, and with faith let us honor the youths who have shone forth seven in number; for they shed greater light upon the Church of Christ than the seven lamps did upon the temple of the law.

While alive of old, the seven youths were clothed in Christ's mortality of flesh, and, most gloriously receiving death as a dream, they confirm the doctrine of the resurrection.

Jericho fell at the seventh sounding of the trumpets, and the uprising of falsehood hath now fallen down to Hades and been destroyed through the sevenfold proclamation of the athletes' faith.

Ye were shown to be seven fixed stars shining with faith, O athletes; and ye have guided to the haven of salvation those who are sinking in the abyss of falsehood.

Standing undaunted before the tribunal, O holy ones, as the Maccabees once did, having enrolled in the army of Christ, ye resigned from the army of corruptible life.

As is meet, O holy youths, ye showed yourselves to be a sacrifice of prayer pleasing unto God, firmly dispelling the foul stench of falsehood with a savor of sweet fragrance.

The youths of Ephesus showed the ungodly emperor to be foolish, whose mind was filled with the vainglory of falsehood.

O holy youths, through your faith ye were truly shown to be all-immaculate offerings and sacrifices for the Lord.

Dying first a common death on earth without feeling it, O youths of Ephesus, ye straightway arose in manner transcending nature, manifestly assuring all of the resurrection of the dead.

Consecrating yourselves to God through the confession of the true Faith, as lawful athletes of the Lord ye were delivered from prison and wounds, O wise ones, and have received crowns.

Having firmly vanquished the falsehood of idolatry and the teachings of impious heresies, O glorious martyrs, ever preserve those who confess the resurrection of the dead.

Let the seven holy youths, equal in number to the pillars of the wisdom of God, be praised, for with their words they crushed the ungodly command of the tyrants as with stones.

Preserved by the law of divine providence, ye received ready burial in the cave, O saints, wherein ye were revealed as both dead and incorrupt.

Ye arose as witnesses to incorruption, driving away a corrupt and moribund religion, and pray to God in behalf of those who set their hope on the resurrection.

The youths have been shown to be pure and chosen receptacles of God. Through them the doctrines of heresy are driven from the Church and Orthodoxy shineth forth, for He is the resurrection of every soul and all flesh, in that He hath been born.

Truly the holy youths were shown to be steadfast in their suffering immediately before death; and after death they were shown to be alive through divine glory, in themselves piously assuring the true resurrection.

"The resurrection will be for both souls and material bodies; for as it is not possible to come into the world without a body, so can the body not exist without a soul!" the all-praised ones said; "The soul is either glorified or put to shame."

O divine youths, having severed the root of ungodly bitterness and the falsehood of heresy which grew malignantly, ye bring forth the fruit of faith; and, buried alive for your faith, ye rose from the dead.

O ye seven holy youths and athletes, foremost among the Ephesians, ye have been shown to be the divine confirmation of the Church of Christ and the kingdom of the faithful, which we exalt supremely for all ages.

Showing themselves to be steadfast on the earth and equal in number to the stars making an unwavering transit of the divine faith, the youths cried out: We exalt Thee supremely, O Christ, forever!

The resurrection of the saints hath now been revealed as a wealth of wonders and a revelation of the mysteries of God; for though they once died a natural death, they have now risen devoid of corruption, arrayed as though they had never died.

A treasury of strength and a firm bulwark of faith hath the cave of the children been shown to be, proclaiming the coming resurrection of all; for it hath resurrected not Lazarus four days dead, but those dead for centuries.

O ye seven youths, pillars of the wisdom of God, having suffered lawfully, ye have been invested with the crown of martyrdom; and by your Orthodox teaching ye have revealed the resurrection, as champions of the Church who pray for those who hymn you.