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Hymn dedicated to all the Orthodox African Saints 


Tone 2

Ode I

Irmos: In the deep of old the infinite power overwhelmed pharohs whole army. But the incarnate word annihilated pernicious sin. Exceedingly glorious is the Lord, for gloriously hath He been glorified.

O saints of Africa, watch over us in thy loving kindness. O Paisius, Pachomius, Anthony, Macarius and Onuphrius, kindle in our hearts the love of Christ crucified.

O saints of Africa, prepare our hearts for the entrance of the Lord. O Thais, Theodora, Mary of Egypt, Catherine, Isidora and Perpetua, your souls magnify the Lord, the only lover of mankind.

O saints of Africa, show us the ravines of humility and the pinnacles of virtue. O Patapius, George, Moses, Isidore, Pambo, Menas, Cyprian, Athanasius, Sisoes and Maurice, help us to perceive God's will and have the courage to pursue it. O Consubstantial Trinity in God glorified, all saints of earth adore thee.

By the dread mystery of the incarnation of Christ, you gave birth O Virgin, to God the Word, whose voice is mightier than the noise of many waters.


Irmos: By establishing me on the rock of faith, Thou hast enlarged my mouth over my enemies, and my spirit rejoiceth when I sing, there is none holy as our God, and none righteous beside thee, O Lord.

When it was revealed that the Lord Jesus Christ would come to church one day, your disciples ran ahead, bypassing a sicklyappearing pilgrim. Emulating the Good Samaritan, O Paisius, you stopped to assist him to the church. Looking down, you saw His nail-pierced feet, realizing that the monks had missed Christ in trying to get to see Him.

As Saint Anthony is the father of monasticism, you, O Pachomius, are the father of coenobitic monasticism, where those who have dedicated their lives to Christ live in small communities.

The audacity of demons did not deter you, O Anthony, from your unceasing prayer to God. After receiving instruction from Saint Paul of Thebes, you became strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. O magnificent Holy Trinity, one in essence and undivided, cast out our fears by Your perfect love.
Most Holy Virgin Theotokos, True Mother of God, when you speak, the mountains skip like rams and the hills like flocks of lambs. Nurture us with the grace of the Son of God. Lead us to the pasture where we may feed on the grass of the holy mysteries of Christ.

Sedation, Tone 4

Grace flowing wider than the Nile, enriched your souls with heavenly gifts, saints of Africa, as you stand before the throne of Christ, do not for¬get us, pray to Christ God, that He may save our souls.

Ode IV

Irmos: From a Virgin didst Thou come, not as an ambassador nor as an angel, but the very Lord Himself incarnate, and didst save me the whole man; wherefore I cry to thee Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

Teaching virtue to a pilgrim, holy Macarius, you instructed him to both flatter and insult the dead in their graves. They responded neither to praise nor affront; thus from them did the pilgrim learn dispassion.

Buried by Saint Paphnutius, O Onuphrius, you were fed by angels while imitating the life of Saint John the Baptist. Emulating the obedience of the Apostle Matthew and being in¬structed in discourse by the holy Paphnutius, O Thais, you quickly climbed the ladder of divine ascent, through a deep repentance. To the Holy Trinity, you cried out, "Thou who created me, have mercy on me."

O Queen of heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ did not forget the humility of his handmaid. The Archangel Gabriel brought you tidings of great joy. Those who love Him in spirit and in truth shall be blessed.


Irmos: Thou who art the light of those lying in darkness, and the salvation of the despairing, O Christ my Saviour, I rise early to pray to Thee, O King of peace. Enlighten me with thy radiance, for I know no other God beside Thee.
Abandoning the world of passion, O Theodora, you entered paradise through the narrow door of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. You dis¬covered that fasting without works of repentance is like sewing with a needle that has no thread.

O tare turned to wheat by the blood of Christ, Saint Mary of Egypt, our righteous mother, bestow on us the willingness to apply the balm of confession. By the sign of the Cross, help us to trust only in God.

Not only did you astonish the scholars but you also brought them to the true faith, O Catherine. May we too be wedded to Christ by the ring of His eternal and ineffable love. O holy all-seeing Trinity, to You be glory and majesty, dominion and power.

O Harbor in the midst of the storm, rescue our drowning souls by the cross of your Son, O Mary, full of grace, lead us to the arms of Christ.

Ode VI

Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of thy compassion, from corruption raise me up, O God.

When the Lord chastened Saint Pitirim for 'traveling in the cities' mentally while living as a solitary, he was instructed to seek you, O Isidora, fool for Christ. The nuns, seeing only foolishness, did not discern your unceasing prayer to Christ God whom you loved with your heart, soul, mind and strength. Focusing on the rags upon your head, they missed your resplendent crown of love.

By purity of heart, you received the crown of martyrdom, O Perpetua. With equanimity under duress, you showed how to suffer persecution for righteousness' sake. By forcing yourself to endure affliction for a little while, you gained the eternal heavenly kingdom.

Though finding solitude as a hermit, O Patapius, you followed God's command to journey to the city. Yet even as a city upon a hill cannot be hid, so your prayerful life inspired many to follow after Christ. As Fashioner of mankind, You, O Lord, can cleanse us by our partaking of Your precious body and life-giving blood.

O Lady, the Holy Spirit descended upon your womb which then became more spacious than the heavens, containing the Uncontainable One.


Irmos: When the golden image was worshipped in the plain of Dura, thy three children despised the godless order, thrown into the fire they were bedewed and sang: blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers.

Like Paul the Simple, O new martyr George of Damascus, you discerned the deception of heresy. O Lord, lift up Your countenance also upon us, so that we too may wear a simple garment of light, woven with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. O marvel of saints, Abba Moses of Ethiopia, you could swim across the Nile with a sword in your mouth, but you could not terrify Christ's humble servant, who feared only God. Pierced by the hopelessness of of lawless life, and frightened by the vision of the lake of fire, you came to Christ, taking the kingdom of God by force. Cease not to feed us on the sweet honeycomb of God's word.

In showing gratitude toward God for all things, O Isidore, you became a wellspring of wisdom. In obedience, you were like Saint John the Dwarf. In poverty of spirit, you were like Saint Poemen. In showing mercy, you were like Saint John the Almsgiver. In looking beyond faults and seeing needs, you were like Saint Serapion. O Trinity triumphant, before Whom all things visible and invisible bow down, save us.

Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded, for the Holy One has done great things to you. His mercy never fails and His compassion never fal¬ters. Holy Mother of God, lead us to the gates of repentance, helping us to forgive everyone for everything.


Irmos: O ye works, praise the Lord God, who descended into the fiery furnace with the Hebrew children and changed the flame into dew, and supremely exalted Him unto all ages.

As a disciple of St. Anthony, O Pambo, you learned to mortify the appetite, repent unceasingly, never to trust yourself, keep sober watch over thoughts, and avoid the pitfalls of idleness through work.

Like the Archangel Michael, you bravely fought the good fight, O Menas. You gladly exchanged the corruptible armor of the emper¬or for the breastplate of righteousness By obediently suffering for Christ's sake, you obtained the Lord's peace and favor. Proclaiming that one does not have God as his Father, if he does not have the church as his mother, O Cyprian of Carthage, you edified the Church. Holy, holy, holy are You, O God. May the precious ointment of your word invigorate our souls.

O Joy of All Who Sorrow, sanctify us by your intercession before your Son and our Saviour. For He who sat upon your arm is strong and mighty, True God of True God.

Ode IX

Irmos: God the Logos, who came forth from God, and who by ineffable wisdom came to renew Adam after his grievous fall to corruption through eating, and who ineffably took flesh from the Holy Virgin for our sake, Him do we the faithful with one accord magnify with hymns.

O Athanasius, you brought many to the church, though banished many times by godless rulers. As the Apostle Mark brought the Gospel to Egypt, so you evangelized through writing. As a deacon, you helped formulate the Nicene Creed, understanding Christ to be fully human and fully divine. You defended Orthodoxy, against the heresies of Arius, who did not know Jesus, the Only-begotten Son of God.

Instructed by Saint Anthony, O Sisoes, your life shows that it is better to conquer the passions than to conquer the world.

Neither daunted by death in battle in the Alpine mountains, nor swayed from the faith by flattery, O Maurice, you led the Egyptian legion to Christ with joy. The Trinity in Unity, with love for mankind, causes all souls to rise to the blessed kingdom.

True Theotokos, in you the heavens bowed to touch the earth. O Virgin Undefiled, O bush unburned, your meekness allowed the condescension of the Son of God, through incarnation by the Holy Spirit. Thus have we been allowed to reach the Unreachable One.