Monday, November 13, 2017

Elder Ephraim of Arizona: "Man’s life is a martyrdom..."

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world (source)
   
"Man’s life is a martyrdom. Ever since we fell from true happiness we gather the fruit of disobedience: “Thorns and thistles will the earth bring forth to you” (Gen. 3:18 ) –the earth of the heart will, too. How will we know that we are exiles, if not through afflictions and torments?
   
There is no person who does not have something that afflicts him. Pious Christians are afflicted, too, but in the depths of their souls they also have the hope that one day the many afflictions will result in blessed repose for them. Without afflictions and sufferings let no one expect repose in the life beyond the grave. That life is for those who have labored and were heavy-laden by the weight of this present life. 
   
Of course, the saints had much grace and spiritual strength, and they rejoiced in suffering. But we, and I first of all, suffer and sometimes our patience breaks. But glory be to God, Who enlightens us to repent and correct ourselves. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26:41 )."
-Elder Ephraim of Arizona
   
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Akathist to St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker

St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
 
Akathist to St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker

Kontakion 1

The entire world has found you to be a great champion when in grave perils; for many you have saved from losses: tracking the thieves driving away deprivations and fulfilling the requests of those that run to you in faith; for these we pray to you be merciful to us who sing to you: Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Eikos 1

The Word of God enlightened the world by His incarnation and through Him sprung forth the multitude of the martyrs which spilled their blood in great sufferings making themselves protectors of those in need; for this we sing to you:
Rejoice unwaning star.
Rejoice ray of immaterial fire.
Rejoice the light of those at loss.
Rejoice the revealer of the kidnappers.
Rejoice the mystery that exposes the wicked deeds.
Rejoice the dam that stops the drifting.
Rejoice the pillar that hinders the rudeness.
Rejoice the depth that loses the gluttony.
Rejoice the breath that strengthens the hearts of those in suffering.
Rejoice the hand that discovers the lootings.
Rejoice the chain that bonds the lawless.
Rejoice the fog that clouds the unclean thoughts.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 2

A swift victor you were shown forth against the persecutors who wish to loot the work of the unfortunate poor and extinguish his being with menacing trials; for this we cry out to you: Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Eikos 2

Let no lawless men deign to rule over us O Holy Martyr when they rise against us like the waves of the sea that come bubbling on the wings of the raging wind; but let them fall from your face like the wheat of the field  so we can bless you saying:
Rejoice our strong hope.
Rejoice the fall of the unlawful enemies.
Rejoice the tamer of the insatiable beasts.
Rejoice the moderation of the arrogant kidnappers.
Rejoice for those that disrespect your commandments tremble in fear.
Rejoice for those that do not seek your name as a helper are suffering.
Rejoice for those that do not glorify your wonders are lost.
Rejoice for those that distress you are troubled.
Rejoice for those that thank you boast of joy.
Rejoice for all creation rejoices of your mercy.
Rejoice for all that have trespassed repent in fear of you.
Rejoice the savior of those humiliated.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 3

Righteousness and peace having in your thoughts you have left the war camp of Phrygia being unable to watch the pagan worship; for this going up the mountain with fasting and prayers you cleansed your soul of sin and strengthened your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ singing: Alleluia!

Eikos 3

The pagans unable to bear your holy deeds that exposed their deceiving idol worship for you were preaching the faith in Christ to the people and you were proving that He is God That performs wonders not the stone and the brass of the idols they put you through tribulations that you have lovingly accepted.  
Rejoice the one that was whipped all over your body with leather thongs.
Rejoice the one that was burned with fire in the end.
Rejoice the one that endured the stinging of the iron thistles.
Rejoice for you were pierced all over with spears.
Rejoice for you have suffered iron mallets on your temple.
Rejoice for other works you have endured with patience.
Rejoice for you have not blamed God for your passions.
Rejoice especially for you have fought with joy against flesh and blood.
Rejoice for Alexandria was terrified by your strong faith.
Rejoice for the tyrants were reprimanded by your daring deeds.
Rejoice for not having anything else to scare you with they commanded that you be slain by sword.
Rejoice for many of the watchers were blessing you saying:
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 4

The blessed faith of the East finally raising the Cross among the pagan nationsafter the fall of the tyrant monarchs enemies of Christianity your church was built in Alexandria by a Christ loving citizen in the time of Constantine the Emperor; and there your holy remains were brought so we can bow to them and sing: Alleluia!

Eikos 4

Lifting our voices to you we cry out: hasten O Holy Martyr and protect us; do not neglect our hopes in your great mercy; for where else can we can hope to be alleviated in our sinfulness if not in you after our Savior and His most pure Mother if not in you who have suffered with love for Christ and for our salvation; extend your hand to us O Holy Martyr so we can bless you singing:
Rejoice the founder of lost items.
Rejoice the one that brings them back in their original state.
Rejoice the boast of honest citizens.
Rejoice the happiness of the merchants with honest weights.
Rejoice the unsleeping watcher of villages and towns who suffer losses.
Rejoice the salvation of those threatened by flame or storm.
Rejoice the redeemer of the nations that trouble with terrible invasions and unrighteous oppressions.
Rejoice the advisor of the travelers that ask your help.
Rejoice the savior of men from sudden death.
Rejoice the escape of the ships tormented by storms and thievery.
Rejoice the alleviation of the oppressed and plaintive soul.
Rejoice our own fast protector in sufferings.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 5

Food for the salvation of our lives send us from God O Holy Martyr so we do not perish from the multitude of the passions that pile up on us for we are all sinners; but what sin or what multitude of trespasses can ever overcome the boundless mercy of God having as intercessors the hosts of the martyrs singing with us: Alleluia!

Eikos 5

A humble and contrite heart God will no despise says the Holy Emperor and Prophet David. For this humiliating ourselves until the end we fall down to you O Holy and Great Martyr Menas pray to God for us sinner so He would alleviate our pains by destroying our enemies that fight against His commandments.  Come near us then O holy Martyr come near us in our suffering so we can glorify your wonders singing:
Rejoice intercessor to God of those in pain.
Rejoice steadfast help in Him.
Rejoice powerful aid for those that keep His commandments.
Rejoice unashamed hope of Christians.
Rejoice incense well received in heavens through prayer.
Rejoice chosen vessel of the Holy Trinity.
Rejoice the one that do not wish the wickedness of people.
Rejoice the one that cry for their lack of skills.
Rejoice for you teach them to live in communion and love.
Rejoice for you always inspire them to good deeds.
Rejoice for you brought many to repentance.
Rejoice for you always pray for all.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 6

The Jew who was suffering because of the Christian who was hiding the money that he left in his care wanted to be baptized seeing the miracle as you uncovered the truth; and the Christian trembling in fear of his wicked deed against his soul for his love of silver repented crying to God: Alleluia!

Eikos 6

The oath breaker Christian and the shrewd friend of the Judean as he was exiting your church where he has given false witnessing that he does not know of that money was kidnapped by the horse; and loosing on the way a ring and a key you showed them to his wife at home asking her to send to her husband the gold of the Jew and as it happened immediately the trick was discovered.
Rejoice the revealer of the hidden trick.
Rejoice finder of the stolen gold.
Rejoice shaming of the wicked deeds.
Rejoice bitterness following their pursuit.
Rejoice fulfillment of the duties of faith.
Rejoice baptizer of the Judean.
Rejoice repentance of the lost Christian.
Rejoice glory of the Eastern Church.
Rejoice for through your miracle the power of the gift of grace was shown forth.
Rejoice for through the work of grace two souls were saved.
Rejoice worthy worshipper of Christ.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 7

How could we break the enchanted chains that the devil uses to bond the weak souls pulling them to him if we would not have our thoughts meditating upon salvation? Therefore strengthening our minds through the powers of the Holy Martyrs chosen by God clear the fog of deception and loose the ties of the deceiver trough repentance singing: Alleluia!

Eikos 7

Glory to you Holy Emperor Almighty God That have chosen Your Holy Martyrs and Apostles from among us so they can free us from the snares of the enemy and share with us Your inexpressible good things  so thus Your All Holy name be glorified and we can sing:
Rejoice Menas loved by God.
Rejoice O blessed Martyr.
Rejoice tireless warrior.
Rejoice courageous brave.
Rejoice untainted mind.
Rejoice sleepless watcher.
Rejoice skilful physician.
Rejoice un-bribed judge.
Rejoice unbiased supporter.
Rejoice unending gift.
Rejoice giver of good gifts.
Rejoice worker of many wonders.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 8

Your name more than any of the saints is wished by the Christians O Menasfor they find in you the fast and full discovery of any loss they suffer. For this also suffering today they sit in front of your holy icon and with faith they pray to have mercy on them and fulfilling their need they can give glory to you singing: Allelluia! 

Eikos 8

Tired of the waves of trials that come against us we cannot fight and we are not worthy of mercy because we have no repentance deepening ourselves in wicked thoughts and deeds; for this we fall down to you  to save us from the temptations that burden us and to strengthen us in the love of God so escaping from our enemies we could sing to you:
Rejoice tower of strength.
Rejoice ray of joy.
Rejoice powerful protector.
Rejoice wall of salvation.
Rejoice reassuring thought.
Rejoice saving shore.
Rejoice holy light.
Rejoice undefeated weapon.
Rejoice heavenly Angel.
Rejoice godly gift.
Rejoice protector of Christians.
Rejoice who have mercy on the poor.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 9

Let the passions you endured be a help toward our own passions and let the wounds of your body be a protection for the pains that trouble our rest. Give us therefore in perils your patience O Holy Martyr so through it we May achieve the salvation of our souls and strengthen our shortcomings so we can sing: Alleluia!

Eikos 9

With your blood shed for the love of Christ wash the uncleanness of our sinsall blessed one and with the multitude of your wonders change the minds of those that oppress us so we are not wrongly condemned and they could not darken the truth of our causes according to their will for you are the one that exposes all wickedness and you are worthy for us to sing:  
Rejoice the embrace of those oppressed in judgments.
Rejoice victory of the soldiers that fight for the faith.
Rejoice fertile land of good deeds.
Rejoice beautiful flower from Syria.
Rejoice pearl chosen by God.
Rejoice rose with good fragrance among the thorns of idolatry.
Rejoice precious stone from the treasures of Egypt.
Rejoice gift through which the purpose of the Eastern Magi was fulfilled.
Rejoice cedar grown among the cedars of Lebanon.
Rejoice land irrigated by the Jordan waters.
Rejoice sleepless guardian of the monasteries of the Holy Mountain. 
Rejoice faithful teacher of those who travel to the Holy Sepulcher of our Savior.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 10

The remains of the traveler killed by the wicked host to take his gold he was going to take to your church cutting him in pieces and burying him in the garden you unearthed and next day making him again whole as he was you gave him life. Terrified by this miracle the murderer fell down to your feet and with tears implored mercy. And the travelers awaken as from a dream after death gave glory to God singing: Alleluia!

Eikos 10

In vain was the attempt of the guilty host to hide the killing of the foreignerwhom spending the night at his place he hosted. And you following him unseen for the love he had for you you showed yourself the next day as a royal soldier asking the host to give you the traveler and him lying about it you discovered his acts and reprimanded him greatly.
Rejoice miracle above all miracles.
Rejoice for you were given the gift to restore and to resurrect the body slain into pieces. 
Rejoice for the guilty one was terrified by your power.
Rejoice for the victim did not know why he was so terrified and hard on himself.
Rejoice for you did not want this miracle to be told immediately.
Rejoice for through your economy both were in great awe.
Rejoice the one that made the traveler fulfill his wish worshiping you.
Rejoice for following on his promise he brought great gifts into your church.
Rejoice helper of all that run to you.
Rejoice helper of all that glorify you.
Rejoice provider of dowry to the poor girls.
Rejoice the one that lifts the burden of those in great debt.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 11

The Mystery of the providence that was fulfilled through you Menas being able to restore the body slain into pieces of the murdered traveler and to bring him back to life is incomprehensible; for this wondering of the gift that was given to you from God in faith we sing: Alleluia! 

Eikos 11

The self loving Eutropious promising a vessel of silver for your church and making two in the same time thought that the one that had your name on it was more beautiful than his; so he decided to keep it for himself. But you disliking this wrongdoing took the vessel from his servant that was bathing in the ship and kept them both in the sea until Eutropious understood his greed and repented.
Rejoice for immediately you took out the servant with the vessel from the sea.
Rejoice for the servant unharmed shown forth to his master.
Rejoice for giving thanks to God he took the vessel in the church.
Rejoice for you have reprimanded Eutropious for his daring act.
Rejoice the restorer of his greedy attitude.
Rejoice for you have saved the innocent servant from death.
Rejoice for in this way you wanted to show the power of true faith.
Rejoice for you changed the wrong will not for the object but for the wrong endeavor
Rejoice for you brought glory to God through your miracle.
Rejoice for His name was glorified through your wonders.
Rejoice for in His name you suffered so you can partake in His victory.
Rejoice O Great Martyr ready to help.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 12

Sophia a women from the land of Fecozalia that was coming to your church to pray seeing her self in danger of being abused by a soldier asked you for help with voice and immediately you saved her exposing him with shame to the others; for this the women gave glory to God singing: Alleluia!  

Eikos 12

The paralytic and a dumb women that were sitting near your church with other sick people waiting for their healing saw you in the middle of the nightsaying: “You the paralytic wake that lady and flee from here”; at what wordsthe paralytic for he thought he was being sent away from you was not moving; but you asking him again he had to listen and immediately they realized they were cured.
Rejoice for the paralytic ran away terrified.
Rejoice for the frightened dumb women spoke. 
Rejoice for you have cured other sick also.
Rejoice for you humiliated the unfaithful.
Rejoice for you gave joy to the lovers of Christ. 
Rejoice for you sheltered the foreigners.
Rejoice for you fed the hungry.
Rejoice for you had mercy on the widows.
Rejoice the protector from perils.
Rejoice the savior of Sophia.
Rejoice the comforter of the oppressed.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 13

(said three times)
O all blessed Martyr Menas listen to the voice of our prayer that we bring to you with all our heart save us from all diseases and dangers so we can praise your commemoration and become witnesses of the miracles that with the power of the gift of the Holy Spirit you work for those who sing in faith to you: Alleluia! 
And again we sing the Eikos 1 

Eikos 1

The Word of God enlightened the world by His incarnation and through Him sprung forth the multitude of the martyrs which spilled their blood in great sufferings making themselves protectors of those in need; for this we sing to you:
Rejoice unwaning star.
Rejoice ray of immaterial fire.
Rejoice the light of those at loss.
Rejoice the revealer of the kidnappers.
Rejoice the mystery that exposes the wicked deeds.
Rejoice the dam that stops the drifting.
Rejoice the pillar that hinders the rudeness.
Rejoice the depth that loses the gluttony.
Rejoice the breath that strengthens the hearts of those in suffering.
Rejoice the hand that discovers the lootings.
Rejoice the chain that bonds the lawless.
Rejoice the fog that clouds the unclean thoughts.
Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.

Kontakion 1

The entire world has found you to be a great champion when in grave perils; for many you have saved from losses: tracking the thieves driving away deprivations and fulfilling the requests of those that run to you in faith; for these we pray to you be merciful to us who sing to you: Rejoice O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.
After this we say this prayer :

Prayer to the Holy Great Martyr and Wonderworker Menas of Egypt.

O Most Holy and all-lauded Great Martyr and wonder-worker Menas; receive this prayer from me your unworthy servant because to you as a true fountain of healings ready to help and miraculous helper I come with tears of repentance to your holy icon and pray: See my loss O Holy Martyr my insufficiency and my wickedness see the wounds and the plague of my soul. Therefore I pray to you blessed and Holy Menas hasten to help me with your holy prayers and sustain me your servant. Take heed to my sorrows and do not overlook me the sinner for I know O Holy Martyr of God that you endured dreadful and terrifying tortures from the lawless ones for the love of Christ but through these sufferings you live enlightened today and you found the gift from God. We are certain that even after your divine passing from this ephemeral life all the ones that asked your help with faith in your church were not deceived and continued to receive your help. For who called you for help and you did not hear? Or who called you O wonder-worker and you overlooked? Or who being at loss and running to your help you did not recovered his deficit?
Your miracles and your help compelled me also the wicked and the sinner to run to your help. I heard of the merchant from the land of Isauria that was coming to your church to pray and not only had you revealed his murderer but you also recovered his loss giving him back the purse with gold; but O great wonder even the dead man cut into pieces you healed and made healthy.
In the same manner you took out of the water the servant of Eutropious with the golden vessel he was holding in his hands because he had promised it to your church. Also the women Sophia that was coming to worship in your temple not only you saved her from the soldier that was forcing her into sinbut you also reprimanded him according to his deeds. In the same manner the paralytic who was coming to your church you healed immediately. And the dumb woman started speaking and she spoke clearly. So the Judean that gave his Christian friend a sum of money and the Christian denied to have received it taking an oath into your very church you not only saved the Christian from his lying oath but even the Jew seeing the miracle believed in you and became a Christian.  These miracles of yours O Holy Martyr make me believe that you are ready for every good deed and you are ready as a quick and miraculous helper.
Therefore I am convinced that everyone that runs to you asking your help with faith you do not overlook. I also believe that you are the same O Holy Martyryesterday and today and that all that run to you do not return without help. For this I also today being at loss and in distress I run to you in faith and with tears kneeling down I pray to you O Holy and Great Martyr Menas intercede for me the one at loss and in distress to Christ the Son of God that have not overlooked your martyr prayer but listened to you gave you strength and received you in the holy abodes. Pray to Him so I May receive help and mercy through your prayers and I can be saved from my losses and my tribulationsso I can glorify and bless the all holy name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
     
St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"You received trials of pain surpassing nature, O Champion..."

St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
 
You received trials of pain surpassing nature, O Champion, for your divine eros was not held by nature,  and forgetting your own nature, you were stirred up to increase your trials, rejoicing as you proceeded towards further beatings.
-from the Matins Canon of St. Menas
 
(source)
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

St. Nektarios healing a child with osteomyelitis

St. Nektarios the Wonderworker (source)
 
"In 1996, at the age of 7, my twin brother was hit with a rare illness and we went to the Children's Hospital "Agia Sophia" for a whole month. The doctors, after a few days, believed that my brother had osteomyelitis. They told me that it could even be worse than they thought! They told us that he must go to surgery.

In the evening, before the day of his surgery, my brother saw in his sleep St. Nektarios. He showed him a red geranium, and told him to pick it from the bones of the Saint [i.e. the flowers on top of the Holy Relics]. In the morning, he told the dream to our grandmother, who slept that night in the hospital with him, and he asked her if there was a Saint named Nektarios, and he tried to describe the flower (he didn't know the name, because he was only seven years old), saying it was the flower that we have in the house!

The surgery occurred and it was a success!

The next day, he saw in his sleep the grave of St. Nektarios on Aegina, and he told us that he was sitting underneath the pine tree which is above his tomb. I should tell you that we had never gone to Aegina before. We later went as a family to venerate the Grave of the Saint in thanksgiving, and we were struck to see red geraniums that St. Nektarios gave him on top of his tomb! From then on, the Saint is the protector of our family, and most likely always was, even though we didn't know it..."
(source)
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"The Lord, wishing to make known upon the earth..."

St. Nektarios the Wonderworker, Bishop of Pentapolis (source)
  
"The Lord, wishing to make known upon the earth the glory that has been given to you in the heavens, O wise one, showed forth your divine relics to be a spring of healings and many wonders, O all-blessed one."
-from the Matins Canon to St. Nektarios
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!