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The 5th Day of the Month OF April

Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs Theodulus & Agathopodes, & Those with Them

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera, in Tone I, Special Melody: “Joy of the ranks of the heaven…”

Let us assemble with faith, honoring the sufferings and toils of the two godly ones, furnishing our minds with wings to soar aloft with similar zeal, earnestly entreating Christ and saying: O Thou Who dost glorify the saints, in that Thou art good, make us steadfast in the fear of Thee!

Having received names in accordance with your character, O wise ones, and set out to accomplish divine works, ye labored in like manner for God in the straight paths, O athletes, and truly drained the saving cup of martyrdom.

Having parted ungodliness as though it were another sea, ye entered into the land of dispassion, the kingdom of heaven, as is meet, where a torrent of nourishment floweth forth and eternal and immutable light shineth, O martyrs of Christ.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

With the dew of the rain of thy divine will quench thou the fiery assaults of my most pernicious passions, O Virgin, that, like the youths I also may thank God Who was born of thee, glorifying and blessing thy goodness, O Mistress.

Stavrotheotokion

As she beheld the Lamb lifted up upon the Cross, the immaculate Virgin cried out, weeping: “O my sweet child, what is this new and most strange sight that I see? How art Thou Who holdest all things in the palm of Thy hand nailed to the Tree in the flesh?”

At Matins

Canon, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn the beauty of Thy martyrs, O Christ”, the composition of Joseph, in Tone IV

Ode I

Irmos: Having traversed the depths of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, Israel of old vanquished the might of Amalek in the wilderness by Moses’ arms stretched out in the form of the Cross.

Crowned with the divine wreath of martyrdom, ye stand before the Master, radiant with noetic beauty, praying for us, O all-comely great-martyrs.

Entering into beautiful union with God, O wise ones, ye piously withdrew from hateful malice and, rejoicing, joined the choirs of athletes.

Full of the waters of the life-creating Spirit, O saints, submitting to the commandments of God, with beneficence ye gave drink to those who from of old had been dying of thirst through the burning heat of ignorance.

Theotokion: In thy womb thou didst bear the Savior, Creator of all and Lord, the God and man Whom Agathopodes and the glorious Theodulus preached, O all-immaculate Virgin Mother.

Ode III

Irmos: Thy Church rejoiceth in Thee, O Christ, crying aloud: Thou art my strength, O Lord, my refuge and my consolation!

Tripped up by the bonds of thy words, the enemy fell and was manifestly put to shame, O Theodulus, martyr and athlete.

Having strengthened thy soul with love for God, O martyr Agathopodes, thou didst show all the power of the enemy to be impotent.

Pouring forth healings upon the faithful from ever-flowing torrents, O glorious ones, ye dry up the wellspring of the passions with divine power.

Theotokion: O pure one, thou didst give birth to the Deliverer Who, clad in our flesh, delivereth men from captivity to the enemy.

Sessional hymn, in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “Of the Wisdom…”

O saints of truly great renown, brethren by the grace of the Spirit, ye who in pious faith shared the same life: passing through life in prayer and fasting, ye drew the people to the knowledge of God. Wherefore, O valiant warriors, ye manfully made deception captive and, having suffered under the law, have received crowns. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who with love celebrate your holy memory.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

Having conceived the Wisdom and Word in thy womb without being consumed, O Mother of God, thou gavest birth for the world unto the Nourisher of all and Author of creation, Who sustaineth the world; and thou didst bear in thine arms Him Who holdeth all things. Wherefore, I beseech thee, O most holy Virgin, and I glorify thee with faith: May I be delivered from transgressions, and, on the day of judgment when I shall stand before the face of my Creator, O pure Virgin Mistress, grant me thine aid; for thou canst do all things soever thou desirest, O thou who art most hymned.

Stavrotheotokion

The ewe-lamb, beholding the Lamb, Shepherd and Deliverer upon the Cross, exclaimed, weeping, and, bitterly lamenting, cried out: “The world rejoiceth, receiving deliverance through Thee; but my womb doth burn, beholding Thy crucifixion, which Thou endurest in the loving-kindness of Thy mercy. O long-suffering Lord, Abyss and inexhaustible Wellspring of mercy, have pity and grant remission of offenses unto those who with faith hymn Thy divine sufferings!”

Ode IV

Irmos: Beholding Thee lifted up upon the Cross, O Sun of righteousness, the Church stood rooted in place, crying out as is meet: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Shining forth like all-radiant beacons with the splendors of martyrdom, O glorious martyrs, ye illumine the fullness of the whole world, casting the malevolence of deception into darkness.

The angels marvelled at the blessed and right-wise twain who received the crown of martyrdom, and men praised the courage of their endurance.

“Rejoice!” Theodulus cried out: “I run now to the path of Thy testimonies, O Lord, and I delight richly in Thine effulgence, together with the steadfast Agathopodes!”

Theotokion: The glorious martyrs, speaking eloquently of the incarnation of the Master Who shone forth from thy womb, O Theotokos, drained the saving drink of martyrdom, rejoicing.

Ode V

Irmos: Thou hast come, O my Lord, as a light into the world: a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance those who hymn Thee with faith.

Thou didst set thy feet firmly upon the righteousness of honored martyrdom, O all-lauded Agathopodes, causing the foe to trip.

Having acquired the water of life flowing into your hearts, O athletes, ye received a glorious end through water.

Cast into the depths of the sea and willingly slain, O athletes, ye dried up the outpouring of the peril of idolatry.

Theotokion: O Mother of God, who gavest birth unto the all-good Word Who bringeth blessing upon all: heal thou the afflictions of my soul.

Ode VI

Irmos: Thou hast come, O my Lord, as a light into the world: a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance those who hymn Thee with faith.

Full of living waters, ye met your right-laudable end by drowning in water, and there ye drowned the emissary of evil.

Preserved by the grace and power of God, ye could not be prevailed upon to offer sacrifice to abominable idols, but offered yourselves to the Master as a pure immolation.

The weaponry of the enemy was useless against you, O athletes, but the sharp arrows of your courage bravely pierced his heart.

Theotokion: Heal thou the passions of my soul, O pure and most immaculate one who gavest birth to the Wellspring of dispassion, and put an end to the tyranny of those who unceasingly trouble my heart.

Ode VII

Irmos: The children of Abraham in the Persian furnace, afire with love of piety more than with the flame, cried out: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Thou wast arrayed in the Levites’ vestments by the knowledge of God, in a sacred manner rendering it most radiant by the splendor of martyrdom; and, rejoicing now, O Agathopodes, thou standest before the Word.

Adorned with the ministry of the first martyr, O blessed Agathopodes, thou wast counted worthy to serve the slaughtered Word, crying: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Thinking as one with a single mind, O right glorious ones, ye endured the taste of death for Christ, crying: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Theotokion: The Word Who covered the heavens with virtue found thee, O pure and all-immaculate one, to be all-adorned with the splendor of the virtues; He made His abode within thee and made human nature heavenly.

Ode VIII

Irmos: Stretching forth his hands, Daniel shut the lions’ mouths in the pit; and the young lovers of piety, girded about with virtue, quenched the power of the fire, crying out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Casting deception into darkness by thy words, O wise Theodulus, thou didst shine forth, illumined by the wisdom of grace, proclaiming piety before the tribunal and shutting the mouths of the impious, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

The deep of the sea was in nowise able to conceal your bodies, O holy ones; for, at the bidding of God, it cast them up on land incorrupt, pouring forth wondrous miracles upon us who cry: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Having enslaved thyself wholly unto Him Who, for thy sake, appeared in the guise of a servant, O glorious one, even after death thou didst appear, showing thy care for orphans and widows, fulfilling the commandment of the Master, as a wise servant of the Lord, O all-blessed Theodulus.

Thessalonica honoreth your bonds, wounds and struggles; for ye were natives thereof, as athletes received your truly blessed end therein, and now illumine the Church of the firstborn with honor.

Theotokion: Without altering His nature, through thee Christ arrayed Himself in all of man, O divinely joyous Mistress; and mightily emulating His sufferings, Theodulus and Agathopodes cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX

Irmos: Christ, the Chief Cornerstone uncut by human hands, Who united the two disparate natures, was cut from thee, the unquarried mountain, O Virgin. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

“Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in the city of the living God?” ye cried out, having preserved the bond of piety unbroken, even unto death, O athletes.

As ye finished the race of martyrdom, O athletes, the regiments of the ranks of the Most High received you, O glorious ones, arrayed in imperishable crowns.

Today glorious Thessalonica celebrateth with splendor, calling every city and land to your commemoration with exalted proclamation, O Agathopodes and Theodulus.

As athletes ye were caught up to ineffable glory by manifest light; and as ye have boldness, O all-honored ones, ever pray that those who celebrate your memory be counted worthy thereof through faith.

Theotokion: With the light of thy compassion illumine me who lie in the darkness of ignorance, O thou who alone gavest birth to the Bestower of light, the Deliverer and Lord, Who crowneth the saints.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen