Τετάρτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Holy Martyr Epimachus of Alexandria & others holy Apostles & saints in October 31

 
Orthodox Church in America

Saint Apostle Epimachus of Alexandria
The Holy Martyr Epimachus of Alexandria was a native of Egypt. For a long time he lived in seclusion on Mount Peleusium. During a persecution against Christians at Alexandria (about the year 250), Saint Epimachus in his fervent zeal came into the city, destroyed pagan idols, and fearlessly confessed Christ. For this the saint was put to torture. Among the people watching the torture was a woman who was blind in one eye. A drop of blood from the martyr healed her infirmity.
After fierce tortures, the saint was beheaded by the sword.
Saint Epimachus is also commemorated on March 11. 

More (& icons) here!...

Troparion — Tone 4 
 
Your holy martyr Epimachus, O Lord, / through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. / For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through his intercessions, save our souls!

Hymns for st Epimachus in Greek (from here)

Ἀπολυτίκιον. Ἦχος α’. Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης.
 
Ὡς γενναῖος ὁπλίτης τοῦ Σωτῆρος Ἐπίμαχε, τῷ ἐχθρῷ στερρῶς συνεπλάκης, συμμαχίᾳ τῆς πίστεως, καὶ τοῦτον ἐτροπώσω Ἀθλητά, βασάνους πολυτρόπους ὑποστάς· διὰ τοῦτο ὡς τοῦ Λόγου σε κοινωνόν, τιμῶμεν ἀνακράζοντες· δόξα τῷ δεδωκότι σοι ἰσχύν, δόξα τῷ σὲ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διὰ σοῦ, πᾶσιν ἰάματα.

Κοντάκιον. Ἦχος γ’. Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον.
 
Αὐτοκλήτως ὥρμησας, πρὸς εὐσεβείας τοὺς ἄθλους, ἀκβοῶν Ἐπίμαχε, τοῖς παρανόμοις ἀνδρείως· Πάρειμι, ὑπεραθλῆσαι τῆς ἀληθείας, ξόανα, ἐκμυστηρίσαι τῆς ἀπωλείας· καὶ τμηθεὶς τὸν σὸν αὐχένα, δικαιοσύνης στέφανον εἰληφας.

Μεγαλυνάριον.
 
Μάχην συγκροτήσας περιφανῆ, Ἐπίμαχε μάκαρ, ἐναντίον τῶν δυσμενῶν, θείᾳ δυναστείᾳ λαμπρὸν τρόπαιον ἦρας· διὸ τῶν σῶν καμάτων, δρέπεις τὰ ἔπαθλα.

Others Holy Apostles & saints in October 31 (Orthodox Church)
 
Priestmartyr John Kochurov
Priestmartyr John Kochurov
 
The Life of Saint John Kochurov, Hieromartyr Missionary in America First Clergy Martyr of the Russian Revolution On October 31, 1917, in Tsarskoye Selo, a bright new chapter, full of earthly grief and heavenly joy, was opened in the history of sanctity in the Russian Church: the holiness of the…

Apostle Stachys of the Seventy
 
Saint Stachys, one of the Seventy Apostles, was made Bishop of Byzantium by Saint Andrew (November 30). He built a church at Argyropolis, and many people gathered there to hear him preach. He was a good shepherd to his flock, tirelessly laboring for their salvation. He died in peace.

Apostle Amplias of the Seventy
 
The Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles and Aristobulus: Saint Amplias was a bishop in the city of Diospolis.
 
Holy icon from here

Apostle Urban of the Seventy
 
Saint Urban, one of the Seventy Apostles, was made a bishop by Saint Andrew (November 30), and was active in Macedonia. They were killed by Jews and pagan Greeks because of their zeal in preaching the Gospel.

Apostle Narcissus of the Seventy

Apostle Apelles of the Seventy
Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy
Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy
 
Saint Aristobulus, one of the Seventy Apostles, was the brother of Saint Barnabus (June 11) and proclaimed the Gospel in Britain, where he died in peace. He is also commemorated on March 16.


Venerable Spyridon the Prosphora-baker of the Kiev Caves
 
Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, the Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves fulfilled their obedience of baking prosphora for thirty years. Saint Spyridon came to the monastery in the time of Igumen Pimen (1132-1141), when he was no longer a young man. The ascetic combined his work with…

Venerable Nicodemus the Prosphora-Baker of the Kiev Caves
 
Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, the Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves fulfilled their obedience of baking prosphora for thirty years. Saint Spyridon came to the monastery in the time of Igumen Pimen (1132-1141), when he was no longer a young man. The ascetic combined his work with…

St. Maura of Constantinople
 
Saint Maura pursued asceticism at Constantinople, where she founded a monastery, where she died in the fifth century.
100,000 Martyrs of Tbilisi by the Mongols

100,000 Martyrs of Tbilisi by the Mongols
 
In 1227 Sultan Jalal al-Din of Khwarazm and his army of Turkmen attacked Georgia. On the first day of the battle the Georgian army valorously warded off the invaders as they were approaching Tbilisi. That night, however, a group of Persians who were living in Tbilisi secretly opened the gates and…

Saint Jose Munoz-Cortes the new martyr of Athens/ Greece, from Chile & Canada (+31 October 1997)

How “White” is the Orthodox Church? 

 

Σάββατο, 27 Οκτωβρίου 2018

October 28, 1940: the small Greece vs the Fascism & Nazism...

Feast of the Holy Protection of the Theotokos
OXI (No) Day

The Encyclical of the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios of America for "No" Day (October 28, 1940)


Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our commemoration of OXI Day each year leads us to reflect on a very challenging time in our world and for the people of Greece. As war was spreading throughout Europe, the Axis forces demanded the surrender of Greece on October 28, 1940. Bravely and honorably, the Greek people replied, “NO.” Today, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of our fathers and mothers who stood valiantly against the armies of the fascist powers. They proclaimed a resolute “NO” to occupation. The people of Greece affirmed their love of liberty and their right of self-determination. They saw the evil and unchecked power of fascist regimes, and in their response they committed their lives to protecting their country. In faith they knew that no matter the outcome they were willing to stand courageously in the face of this threat knowing that ultimately nothing could separate them from the nobility of their heritage and the love of God.

Today, we are inspired by our forbearers as we celebrate their courage and honor their memory. They said “NO” to those who advanced power and control at any cost. They stood firm against an ideology and its forces that would only separate them from their freedom, their rights, and their way of life. We find courage in their example and hope and strength in the promise that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
 
Icon from here

The experience of God’s love and the promise that His love is always with us helped the people of Greece in hope and faith to endure all things (I Corinthians 13:7). They knew that the power of God’s love was greater than the power of fascist regimes. They knew that the love of God was essential to their freedom, and to their love for their families and communities, and for their country.

With the assurance and truth of God’s love, we are able to stand firm against any evil use of power or false ideology. As the people of Greece in 1940 and as many witnesses of our faith have done, we can boldly proclaim “NO” in the face of those who seek to destroy life and liberty, those who use power to abuse and manipulate others, and those who try to separate us from our faith and the love of God.

As we commemorate the valiant people of Greece on OXI Day, and we laud their courage before the world, may we give thanks to God for the witness offered to us and to generations to come. May we also pray for the eternal memory and blessed repose of those who stood heroically for their faith and their nation. May we be inspired to stand firmly in the love of God, knowing that nothing can separate us from the great and saving love we have in Him through Christ Jesus.

With paternal love in Him,

† D E M E T R I O S
Archbishop of America

See also

Τρίτη, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2018

"I have with me the Taxiarch of God, who is dark-colored like you, come see him!"


Mother Stavritsa the Missionary and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael the Taxiarch
 
Orthodox Christian Faith & Life

The wondrous icon of the Holy Archangel Michael, Mantamados, Mytilene (Lesvos). “Where your grace casts its shade, Archangel, there the devil’s power is chased away; for the fallen Morning Star cannot endure in your light.” May he intercede for us all and protect us! The Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers is one of the major feasts of the Holy Archangel Michael the Taxiarch, Mantamados, Mytilene (Lesvos). This is because that church was consecrated on this day. Thousands of pilgrims flock to celebrate this feast, seek the intercessions of the great Taxiarch, and thank him for his prayer and his protection.

Days of travelling, days of mourning (+ my father-in-law, Pericles), days of new beginnings, new home and new job, arduous, exhausting days, yet such hope and inspiration in Mama Stavritsa’s faith and courage!

 Mama Stavritsa with the 1st Orthodox Bishop of Uganda, Theodoros
 
Miracles of the Archangel Michael the Taxiarch to Mother Stavritsa the Missionary (+2000) (1)
 
My name is Stavritsa Zachariou, and I am a Greek American. In 1969 I went to Africa as a missionary. I am 75 years old, and 15 years I spent in Africa, near our suffering brothers, sowing the seed of the Gospel. I stay by myself in Nairobi, Kenya, and from there I go to Kampala, Cameroon, and other places, where the seed of the Gospel of Christ needs to be sowed.
I am a missionary of the Archdiocese of America. With the help of God and of benefactors, we built 12 holy Churches in [Africa]. We built the 10th holy church in honor of the Archangel Michael, and I wanted to paint his icon from the prototype from the north gate of the Patriarchate. As I was finishing the icon, when I went to the post office, I received a letter from Fr. Soterios Trampa. I know Archimandrite Fr. Soterios, who was a missionary for many years in Korea, and who also served as a preacher of your Metropolis, along with Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Athens from 1968-1973. In his letter was a small booklet on the Taxiarch of Mantamados. Then I learned about Mantamados, and the bas-relief icon of the Archangel Michael. Fr. Soterios wrote: “I am sending you the information on the Taxiarch of Mantamados, that you might come to know his wondrous icon. Within this you will see one of his many miracles, which occur daily to the glory of God. I served there in the past, and I especially honor him…”
 
I began to read the booklet on the Taxiarch, including the miracle of the sword. As I continued reading, I reached the place regarding the passing of the sword from some unknown person to Mr. Diamante, when there was as if some marked commotion in the icon [that she had painted]. I turned around to see what was happening then and, O my God!!!! The Archangel of the icon began to come to life, to take on flesh and bones! I was astonished! I knelt before it and began to pray with tears and to ask for his help and his protection. After a short while, slowly the icon began to return to its natural state.
I was supposed to go for a trip to Kampala. I always thought that when I would go on some trip, that I should take with me the icon of some Saint from my icon corner. That time, I took with me the little icon of the Taxiarch of Mantamados.
We reached the border of Kampala and Kenya, and Kampala at that time (1988) had a military regime. When we speak about a military regime in the center of Africa, it means that human life is cheaper than the life of a blackbird!
As we were passing through, my driver (a Kenyan and my Koumbaro) did not notice that at one place there was a stop sign and he kept going. Five wild motorcyclists surrounded us. They got off their motorcycles, drew their weapons, and knelt, preparing to fire at us and to take our car and our possessions as spoil. That is what usually occurred there…
 
Then, I don’t know what strength was within me, but I opened the door of the car..I exited with the icon of the Taxiarch in my hands, and approached them, crying out:
“For God’s sake, stop! I have with me the Taxiarch of God, who is dark-colored (2) like you, come see him!!!”
Automatically, it was as if someone grabbed them by the hands. They calmed down, left their weapons in the grass, and ran up to me, took the icon, like something holy and venerable, and began to examine it carefully and to shout. They bowed their faces to the ground and holding my hands, they asked for forgiveness. Then I saw that one of them was injured badly in the hand by a knife. I took my first aid kit from the car, nursed the wound and dressed it. We became friends! The most impressive thing is that, there was sown the word of God, and the five of them received Christ, and became Christians!
After all of this, I promised to the Archangel to come to Greece, to Mantamados, to thank him. And today, I feel very blessed that the Lord made me worthy to fulfill my promise. I thank Him from all my heart!”
 
(1) Ed.’s Note: Excerpt not included in the Amazon book; part of her own autobiography, yet available in a limited edition only in Greek.
 
(2) Ed.’s Note: Dark-colored, because of dirt, mud and dried blood: 
“There are two accounts surrounding the date of this icon, one having to do with the Ottoman Turkish occupation and destruction of 1462, and the other with Saracen pirates during the 9th and 10th centuries during which the entire island was invaded.In either case, the story of the creation of the icon shares the theme that the target of the raids was the monastery of the Taxiarchis. The pirates threatened the monks with death if they would not reveal the whereabouts of the hidden villagers. The monks refused and the invaders slaughtered all of the monks except for one novice-monk [1]
As the pirates where leaving, the novice climbed to the roof of the monastery to be sure that the pirates had left. However, the pirates noticed him from afar and returned to kill him as well. It is at this point in the story that the Archangel Michael makes his appearance in front of the Saracens with his own sword drawn forcing them to retreat in terror[2]. Thanks to this miracle from the Archangel the monk survived and descending to the courtyard buried the bodies of his fellow brotherhood.
The monk still in deep respect and reverence for having witnessed the Archangel Michael in all his fury, gathered up the earth that was red by the blood of the martyred monks and shaped it into the icon-sculpture of the Archangel as it is today; while it was still vivid in his memory. According to legend, the monk did not have enough of this dirt-blood mix and so the head of the Archangel has turned out disproportionately larger to the rest of his body.
This icon, is now kept within the interior of the church. Many islanders claim to have had personal experiences of miracles being granted for them by Mantamados. This is evident by the numerous cabinets full of tagmata (gifts) to the Archangel housed inside the church. To this day, pilgrims to this church have mixed emotions regarding this icon. At times, the expression on the icon can appear severe, sad, or happy, according to the message that the Archangel wants to convey to that pilgrim or the faithful. This is the tradition of the much-celebrated icon of Mantamados.”

The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith

How “White” is the Orthodox Church?
 

St Hilarion the Great, from the Egyptian Desert to Palestine!...

 
 
Saint Hilarion the Great was born in the year 291 in the Palestinian village of Tabatha. He was sent to Alexandria to study. There he became acquainted with Christianity and was baptized. After hearing an account of the angelic life of Saint Anthony the Great (January 17), Hilarion went to meet him, desiring to study with him and learn what is pleasing to God. Hilarion soon returned to his native land to find that his parents had died. After distributing his family’s inheritance to the poor, Hilarion set out into the desert surrounding the city of Maium.
In the desert the monk struggled intensely with impure thoughts, vexations of the mind and the burning passions of the flesh, but he defeated them with heavy labor, fasting and fervent prayer. The devil sought to frighten the saint with phantoms and apparitions. During prayer Saint Hilarion heard children crying, women wailing, the roaring of lions and other wild beasts. The monk perceived that it was the demons causing these terrors in order to drive him away from the wilderness. He overcame his fear with the help of fervent prayer. Once, robbers fell upon Saint Hilarion, and he persuaded them to forsake their life of crime through the power of his words.
Soon all of Palestine learned about the holy ascetic. The Lord granted to Saint Hilarion the power to cast out unclean spirits. With this gift of grace he loosed the bonds of many of the afflicted. The sick came for healing, and the monk cured them free of charge, saying that the grace of God is not for sale (MT 10:8).
Such was the grace that he received from God that he could tell by the smell of someone’s body or clothing which passion afflicted his soul. They came to Saint Hilarion wanting to save their soul under his guidance. With the blessing of Saint Hilarion, monasteries began to spring up throughout Palestine. Going from one monastery to another, he instituted a strict ascetic manner of life.
About seven years before his death (+ 371-372) Saint Hilarion moved back to Cyprus, where the ascetic lived in a solitary place until the Lord summoned him to Himself. 

Click


An Egyptian Professor of Medicine ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church in Port Said



Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & all Africa
 
In feelings of joy and emotion, the faithful Orthodox Christians of the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of Savior Port Said, participated in the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist and in the ordination of the New Deacon of the Holy Metropolis of Pelusion, Mr. Hani Bayook, who was renamed to father Parthenios.
Fr. Parthenios, a native of Mansoura, Egypt, is a Professor Doctor of Otorhinolaryngology. He worked for more than thirty years in Canada and returned to his homeland in order to offer his services to the Church.
The new Deacon received the name Parthenios, in memory of the late Patriarch of Alexandria Parthenios, the elder of the now Patriarch Theodoros II, as well as the late Metropolitan of Pelusion, Parthenni Daniilidis (1931-1967).


In the Orthodox Vineyard of Africa

See also

The Orthodox Church of Alexandria & the Patriarchate of Alexandria
"Out of Egypt Have I Called My Son"
REJOICE, FAITHFUL EGYPT; REJOICE, BLESSED LIBYA
Nitria: one of the earliest orthodox christian monastic sites in ancient Egypt

The holy anarchists... in the Egyptian Desert
Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa



DIEU DONNE LA PRIERE A CELUI QUI PRIE

Par STARETS SILOUANE - Moine du Mont Athos (1866-1936)
Source: "Starets Silouane, Vie-Doctrine-Ecrits", par l'Archimandrite Sophrony, Ed. Présence P : 274, 344, 288, 298
Orientation Orthodoxe Dogmatique Elaborée
 
Celui qui aime le Seigneur se souvient toujours de Lui, et le souvenir de Dieu fait naître la prière. Si tu ne te souviens pas du Seigneur, tu ne prieras pas non plus. Sans prière, l'âme ne demeurera pas dans l'amour de Dieu, car c'est par la prière que vient la grâce du Saint-Esprit. Par la prière, l'homme se garde du péché, car l'esprit en état de prière est absorbé par Dieu. Avec humilité, il se tient devant la Face du Seigneur que son âme connaît.
Mais, bien entendu, un débutant a besoin d'un guide spirituel, parce qu'avant la venue de la grâce du Saint-Esprit, l'âme doit soutenir un grand combat avec les ennemis et ne peut pas encore reconnaître quand c'est l'Ennemi qui lui apporte sa douceur. Seul peut le discerner celui qui a personnellement goûté à la grâce du Saint-Esprit. Qui a goûté au Saint-Esprit distingue la grâce à son goût.
O homme apprends l'humilité du Christ, et le Seigneur te donnera de goûter la douceur de la prière. Si tu cherches la prière pure, sois humble, sois sobre, confesse-toi sincèrement, et la prière t'aimera. Sois obéissant, soumets-toi de bon cœur aux autorités, sois content de tout, et alors ton esprit se purifiera des vaines pensées. Souviens-toi que le Seigneur te voit et sois dans la crainte de blesser ton frère ; ne le juge pas, ne le peine pas, même par l'expression de ton visage, - et alors le Saint-Esprit t'aimera et t'aidera en tout.
Le Saint-Esprit ressemble à une mère pleine de tendresse. Comme une mère aime son enfant et le protège, ainsi le Saint-Esprit nous protège, nous pardonne, nous guérit, nous instruit, nous réjouit ; l'Esprit-Saint est connu dans la prière accomplie avec humilité ( ... )
Celui qui prie par habitude n'éprouve pas de changement dans sa prière, mais celui qui prie de tout son cœur connaît bien des épreuves dans la prière ; il se trouve en lutte avec l'Ennemi, en lutte avec lui-même, avec ses passions, en lutte avec les hommes ; et en tout cela, il s'agit d'être vaillant. La prière incessante procède de l'amour, mais on la perd par les jugements, les vaines paroles et l'intempérance. Celui qui aime Dieu peut penser à Lui jour et nuit, car aucune occupation ne peut empêcher d'aimer Dieu. Les Apôtres aimaient le Seigneur sans que le monde ne les dérange, et cependant ils se souvenaient du monde, ils priaient pour lui et ils s'adonnaient à la prédication ( ... )
A moins de prier pour les ennemis, l'âme ne peut pas avoir de paix. L'âme à laquelle la grâce de Dieu a enseigné à prier aime avec compassion toute créature, et tout particulièrement l'homme. Sur la Croix, le Seigneur a souffert pour les hommes et son âme a été dans l'agonie pour chacun d'entre nous.
Le Seigneur m'a appris l'amour des ennemis. Privés de la grâce divine, nous ne pouvons pas aimer les ennemis, mais l'Esprit-Saint apprend à aimer ; et alors on aura de la compassion même pour les démons, car ils se sont détachés du bien, ils ont perdu l'humilité et l'amour de Dieu. je vous en supplie, faites un essai. Si quelqu'un vous offense, ou vous méprise, ou vous arrache ce qui vous appartient, ou persécute l'Eglise, priez le Seigneur en disant : « Seigneur, nous sommes tous tes créatures ; aie pitié de tes serviteurs et tourne-les vers le repentir. » Alors, tu porteras perceptiblement la grâce dans ton âme. Au commencement, force ton cœur à aimer tes ennemis ; le Seigneur, voyant ta bonne intention, t'aidera en tout, et l'expérience elle-même t'instruira. Mais celui qui pense du mal de ses ennemis, l'amour de Dieu n'est pas en lui, et il n'a pas connu Dieu ( ... )
Oh ! comme il faut demander au Seigneur de donner à l'âme humble l'Esprit-Saint! L'âme humble jouit d'une grande paix, mais l'âme orgueilleuse se tourmente elle-même. L'homme orgueilleux ne connaît pas l'amour divin, il est loin de Dieu. Il est fier d'être riche, ou instruit, ou dans la gloire, mais il ignore, le malheureux, sa pauvreté et sa ruine en ne connaissant pas Dieu. Mais le Seigneur aide celui qui lutte contre son orgueil à triompher de cette passion ( ... )
Avant d'être touché par la grâce, l'homme vit en pensant que tout est bien et en ordre dans son âme : mais lorsque la grâce le visite et demeure avec lui, il se découvre tout autre ; et ce n'est qu'ensuite, lorsque la grâce l'abandonne de nouveau, qu'il se rend compte que vivre sans la grâce est un grand malheur ( ... )
J'écris la vérité parce que j'aime les hommes. En effet, mon cœur souffre pour eux. Si je peux aider une seule personne à trouver le chemin qui sauve, je remercierai toujours Dieu. 0 peuples de la terre ! J'ai soixante-douze ans. je vais bientôt mourir. J'écris pour vous sur la tendresse de Dieu. Par le Saint-Esprit, le Seigneur m'a fait connaître cette tendresse. Et le Saint-Esprit m'a appris à aimer tous les hommes. je vous dis la vérité : je ne trouve rien de bon en moi. J'ai fait beaucoup de péchés, mais le Saint-Esprit les a effacés. C'est l'amour de Dieu qui m'a poussé à écrire.


Σάββατο, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Saint Cosmas the Melodist, the Poet & Hymnographer (October 14)!


En.wikipedia (icon from here)

Saint Cosmas of Maiuma, also called Cosmas Hagiopolites ("of the Holy City"), Cosmas of Jerusalem, or Cosmas the Melodist, or Cosmas the Poet (d. 773 or 794),[1] was a bishop and an important hymnographer (writer of hymns) of the Eastern Orthodox Church

Life

Saint Cosmas (Greek: Κοσμάς) was probably born in Damascus, but he was orphaned at a young age. He was adopted by Sergius, the father of St. John of Damascus (ca.676 - 749), and became John's foster-brother. The teacher of the two boys was an elderly Calabrian monk, also named Cosmas (known as "Cosmas the Monk" to distinguish him), who had been freed from slavery to the Saracens by St. John's father.[2] John and Cosmas went from Damascus to Jerusalem, where both became monks in the Lavra (monastery) of St. Sabbas the Sanctified near that city.[3] Together they helped defend the Church against the heresy of iconoclasm.

Cosmas left the monastery in 743 when he was appointed Bishop of Maiuma, the port of ancient Gaza.[3] He outlived St. John by many years and died in great old age.

Works


As a learned prose-author, Cosmas wrote commentaries, or scholia, on the poems of St. Gregory of Nazianzus. He is regarded with great admiration as a poet. St. Cosmas and St. John of Damascus are considered to be the best representatives of the later Greek classical hymnography, the most characteristic examples of which are the artistic liturgical chants known as "canons". They worked together on developing the Octoechos.[2]

Saint Cosmas has been called "a vessel of divine grace" and "the glory of the Church."[4] He composed the solemn canons for Matins of Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday, the Triodes (canons with only three Canticles) which are chanted during Holy Week, the first canon of the Nativity (based on a Nativity sermon by St. Gregory the Theologian), and is known for his finest work, "Canon for Christmas Day".[3]
[see the video]. Altogether, fourteen canons are attributed to him in the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church.[5] His most well-known composition is "More honourable than the cherubim…" (which is included in the Axion Estin), sung regularly at Matins, the Divine Liturgy and other services.

The hymns of St. Cosmas were originally intended for the Divine Services of the Church of Jerusalem, but through the influence of Constantinople their use became universal in the Orthodox Church. It is not certain, however, that all the hymns ascribed to Cosmas in the liturgical books were really his compositions, especially as his teacher of the same name was also a hymn writer.[2]

The Eastern Orthodox Church observes his feast on October 14 (for those Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian Calendar, October 14 falls on October 27 of the Gregorian Calendar).
 

See also 

Sts. Cosmas and Damian, 3rd-century martyrs

Notes

  • Other sources give the dates of his life as ca. 675 - ca. 751. Kathryn Tsai, A Timeline of Eastern Church History (Divine Ascent Press, Point Reyes Station, CA, 2004), p. 144.
  • Baumstark, Anton. "Cosmas". The Catholic Encyclopedia. New Advent. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  • Byzantine Music and Liturgy, E. Wellesz, The Cambridge Medieval History: The Byzantine Empire, Part II, Vol. IV, ed. J.M. Hussey, D.M. Nicol and G. Cowan, (Cambridge University Press, 1967), 149.
  • Alexander A. Bogolepov, The hymns of the Orthodox Church Archived 2005-06-22 at Archive.is, Orthodox Hymns of Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. Accessed 2007-04-02.
    1. Tsai, op. cit.

Bibliography

    • Collections of hymns, varying in number, are attributed to Cosmas, and may be found in Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologia Graecae (P.G.), XCVIII, 459-524, and in Christ-Paranikas, Anthologia graeca carminum christianorum (Leipzig, 1871), 161-204.
    • For the above-mentioned scholia on the poems of Gregory of Nazianzus, see Cardinal Angelo Mai, Spicilegium Romanum, II, Pt. II, 1-375, and Migne, P.G., XXXVIII, 339-679.
    • In general, see Krumbacher, Gesch. der byzantinischen Literatur (2d ed., Munich, 1896), 674 sqq.
    • Alexander P. Kazhdan - Stephen Gero, “Kosmas of Jerusalem: a more critical approach to his biography,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 82 (1989), pp. 122–132. 
 
External links