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The 21st Day of the Month of April

Commemoration of the Holy Hieromartyr Januarius & His Companions

Commemoration of the Holy Hieromartyr Theodore, Bishop of Perge

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 6 stichera: 3 of St. Januarius, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “As one valiant among the martyrs…”

Thou wast a most sacred priest and a lawful athlete, O Januarius, and thou hast entered not with another’s blood, but with thine own, into heaven itself, where Jesus is, the precursor of all; and ever looking and gazing upon Him, thou beholdest Him, Whom the angels see, O father.

Beheaded by the sword, cast into the fire, thrown to the wild beasts, imprisoned for many days, O right wondrous one, by divine power thou didst remain unshaken in mind, and didst finish thy race, suffering lawfully, O sacred wonder-worker, conversor with the incorporeal ones.

Together let us honor Desiderius and Proclus, Sosius, Faustus and Eutychius, the glorious Januarius and the wise Acutius, as wise sacred ministers, crowned martyrs, citizens of the holy city and true advocates for those who bless them.

And 3 stichera of St. Theodore, in the same tone, Special Melody: “Thou hast given a sign…”

Standing before the unjust tribunal, O great-martyr Theodore, thou didst denounce the ungodliness of idolatry, and wast beaten unjustly, stretched out upon a heated grill, O all-blessed one, and cruelly seared; yet wast thou covered with the dew of the Spirit Who imparted steadfast strength to thee, that thou mightest destroy the savagery of the cruel foe.

Thou wast manifestly the chariot of our God, O blessed one, bearing Him in thy pure heart, and as thou wast bound to a chariot, thou didst loose from bonds those who bound thee, binding them to the love of Christ; and cast with them into the furnace, thou wast not consumed, magnifying the Lord with them, O right wondrous Theodore.

Emulating Him Who stretched forth His arms upon the Cross, thou wast crucified, O blessed Theodore, and didst remain, hanging, for three days, until thou didst commit thy soul into the hands of God and didst finish the race of thy suffering, O summit of martyrs, great tower of the Church, adornment of the faithful, conversor with the angels.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

Rain down upon me the depths of thy mercy, O Mistress, and as thou art merciful, O Maiden, water my heart, which is consumed with the burning heat of the passions, and unceasingly cause drops of compunction to pour forth, I pray thee, O pure one, whereby I may be vouchsafed the consolation which they who sincerely weep shall receive.

Stavrotheotokion

Beholding Christ, Who loveth mankind, crucified, O all-pure one, His side pierced by a spear, thou didst cry out, weeping: “What is this, O my Son? How have the ungrateful people rewarded Thee for the good things Thou didst do for them? And dost Thou hasten to leave me childless, O most Beloved? I marvel at Thy voluntary crucifixion, O Compassionate One!”

At Matins

Two canons of the saints, with 8 Troparia.

Ode I

Canon of Saint Januarius, in Tone IV

Irmos: O Thou Who wast born of the Virgin, drown Thou, I pray Thee, the three parts of my soul in the depths of dispassion, as of old Thou didst drown the mounted captains of Pharaoh; that, in the mortality of my body, as on a timbrel, I may chant a hymn of victory.

Dwelling with the armies of the immaterial angels, and illumining thy soul by partaking of never-waning light, O blessed one, illumine the heart of me who praise thy radiant feast today.

A splendid army, a sacred assembly, suffered patiently with thee, O wise sacred minister, and with them thou didst destroy every machination of the serpent, enduring most complex tortures with firm resolve.

Following the steps of Christ, the great Chief Shepherd, O wise one, thou didst make the vesture of thy priesthood bright with the dye of thy martyrdom; wherefore, we honor thee with uprightness of mind.

Theotokion: Blessed are the people who glorify thee, the true Mother of God, O pure Theotokos, and ever bless thee, as thou didst foretell, prophesying in sacred manner, when thou didst bear Christ within thyself.

Canon of Saint Theodore, in Tone IV

Irmos: I will open my mouth, and with the Spirit will it be filled; and I shall utter discourse unto the Queen and Mother, and shall appear, keeping splendid festival; and, rejoicing, I will hymn her wonders.

O Theodore, thou wast the adornment of the martyrs, a gift right acceptable to God and beloved of Him; wherefore, I offer thee hymnody as a gift. Grant me thine aid.

As one comely of body and beautiful of spirit, thou didst go forth to do battle with the deceiver; and having destroyed him, thou hast received the crown of victory.

Thou didst set at nought the words of the wicked one, O Theodore, and didst manifestly show thyself to be a true favorite of the Lord, and a warrior and perfect martyr of Christ the King.

Theotokion: He Who is unapproachable in His essence made His abode within thy womb, O all-immaculate one, and in His ineffable loving-kindness hath shown us to be inhabitants of paradise, from whence we were driven by the malice of the serpent.

Ode III

Canon of Saint Januarius

Irmos: The bow of the mighty is become weak, and the strengthless have girded themselves with power; wherefore, my heart is established in the Lord.

Preserved by the effulgence of the Holy Spirit, thou didst dance within the furnace, O all-blessed one, emulating the venerable children of old.

The ranks of sacred hosts danced with thee in the midst of the furnace, O divinely wise one; and with them thou didst hymn the Benefactor, remaining unconsumed.

Thy tongue was truly a honeyed river of mellifluous teachings, O all-wise Januarius, delighting the thoughts of those who beheld thee.

Theotokion: Break asunder the bonds of my sins, O Bride of God, in that through thy birthgiving thou didst break the bonds of hades and hast filled all with joy.

Canon of Saint Theodore

Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and abundant fountain: in thy divine commemoration establish those who hymn thee and spiritually form themselves into a choir; and vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.

As the temple of the divine Spirit, O wise Theodore, thou didst demolish the pernicious temples of the graven images, and with thy words didst denounce the abominable offerings of the iniquitous.

With rage and wrathful intent the iniquitous judge beat thee who maintained the laws of our God, O Theodore. And beholding Him before thee, thou didst remain unshaken.

Thou didst willingly lie down upon the heated grill, O athlete Theodore, burning with zeal for God Almighty, and afire with divine love for Him.

Theotokion: He Who is timeless by nature became visible and subject to time through thee; and He was born in the likeness of the flesh, overlooking mine continual transgressions in His ineffable ­loving-kindness, O most immaculate one.

Sessional hymn of Hieromartyr Januarius, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Having been lifted up…”

Having empurpled thy priestly vesture in the dye of thy blood, thou didst manifestly show it forth as most splendid, O favorite of Christ. Wherefore, thou hast entered into the eternal mansions, pouring forth an abyss of healings upon those who honor thee, and ever entreating God, that He grant forgiveness of transgressions unto all.

Glory…: Sessional hymn of Hieromartyr Theodore, in the same tone & melody

Come, let us praise the namesake of the gifts of the Savior, the heir to His blessedness, as an emulator and martyr of Christ God, celebrating now his honored memory and crying out to him: O great martyr, pray thou, that He grant us remission of offenses.

Now and ever…: Theotokion

After God it is to thy divine protection that I, the lowly, flee; and, falling down, I pray: have mercy, O all-pure Mistress, for my sins have passed over my head, and I fear the torments and tremble. Make supplication to thy Son, O pure one, that He deliver me therefrom.

Stavrotheotokion

She who gave Thee birth in the flesh, O Christ, Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, beholding Thee hanging upon the Cross, cried out: “Woe is me, O most beloved Jesus! How is it that Thou, O my Son, Who art glorified as God by the angels, art now crucified of Thine own will by iniquitous men? I hymn Thee, O Long-suffering One!”

Ode IV

Canon of Saint Januarius

Irmos: Out of love for Thine image Thou didst stand affixed to the Cross, O Compassionate One, and the nations melted away; for Thou art my strength and boast, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Together let us all honor the deacon and athlete Socius, the sacred Faustus, the great Proclus and Desiderius.

Thou didst in nowise fall into the slumber of impiety, O martyr Proclus, but with thy divine vigilance didst lull to sleep all the evil thoughts of the ungodly.

O Januarius, Christ our God preserved thee unharmed with thy fellow athletes, when, like a new Daniel, thou wast set in the midst of wild beasts.

Theotokion: Let us magnify the only blessed one, for whose sake the All-good One, becoming incarnate of her, hath truly and greatly blessed all men.

Canon of Saint Theodore

Irmos: Seated in glory upon the throne of the Godhead, Jesus most divine hath come on a light cloud, and with His incorrupt arm hath saved those who cry: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

An angel of heaven stood by thee as thou didst lie, unburned, upon the grill, bedewing thee, and revealing fearsome portents in the flooding of the river’s waters, in earthquake and thunder.

Cleaving unto thee who didst work miracles by faith, O martyr, Dioscorus suddenly left falsehood for the Faith, rolling away from it like a stone; and he is enrolled in the choir of the martyrs, having met his end in fire.

Laying up, at the command of God, the Faith which thou didst have from childhood in safekeeping, as a guardian thereof thou didst preserve it for God, O all-glorious one, and with perfect understanding thou didst revile as mindless those who cherished it not.

Thou didst endure the trials of greatly painful tortures and manifold pangs, O martyr, and hast been vouchsafed the ability to heal, as an heir to the habitations devoid of pain, and life and delight truly devoid of grief.

Theotokion: O Maiden, thou gavest birth without pain to the incorporeal God Who hath done away with the pain of our first mother and delivereth from the pangs of hades the pain-filled life of those who have sinned.

Ode V

Canon of Saint Januarius

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 make thy vesture most splendid with thy sacred blood, O thou who art most rich, and as a priest hast arrived in the temple on high.

Thou wast a river of healings, pouring forth thy most precious blood upon the earth and drying up the torrents of the passions.

The unjust judge who was blinded didst thou illumine by thy supplication, emulating the loving-kindness of the Master of all, O thou who art most rich.

Theotokion: We hymn thee, because of whom the Master of all, the never-waning Light, hath shone forth upon those in darkness, and we bless thee with love.

Canon of Saint Theodore

Irmos: All things are filled with awe at thy divine glory; for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, didst contain within thy womb Him Who is God over all, and gavest birth to the timeless Son, granting peace unto all who hymn thee.

Thou didst thoroughly denounce ungodly falsehood; wherefore, though thou wast bound to a chariot, thou didst remain whole when the fiery steeds of the chariot of flame bore thee aloft, like the glorious Elijah, O Theodore.

Raging, the iniquitous one cast thee, and the godly Dionysius and Socrates, into the burning furnace; and with them thou didst chant the sacred hymns of the prophet, O Theodore of valiant mind.

Let the godly Dionysius be praised in hymns, together with the valiant Socrates, for in the midst of the furnace they were pierced by a spear; for, having submitted to the divine instructions of Theodore, they became mighty martyrs.

Theotokion: As thou alone art truly and surely all-immaculate, O Theotokos, strengthen me, that I may gain control over the passions which enslave me, that, rejoicing, I may bless thee, the salvation of the faithful, with a free mind.

Ode VI

Canon of Saint Januarius

Irmos: I have come unto the depths of the sea, and the tempest of my many sins hath engulfed me; but, as God, lead up my life from the abyss, O greatly Merciful One.

The assembly of the iniquitous, seeing thee working signs by thy words, O initiate of the sacred mysteries, came to the Creator with all their soul, being all-gloriously enlightened.

Both before thine end and after thy divine repose, O holy hierarch, thou wast shown to work a multitude of miracles, having received the gift of the Holy Spirit from childhood.

In sacred convocation we all now hymn Faustus and Sosius, Desiderius and Eutychius, the wise Acutius and the God-bearing Proclus.

Theotokion: God the Word was incarnate of thy pure blood for the good of men, O Mother of God. Him do thou earnestly beseech, that our souls be saved.

Canon of Saint Theodore

Irmos: Celebrating this divine and most honored festival of the Mother of God, come, ye divinely wise, let us clap our hands and glorify God Who was born of her.

The fire of the furnace was quenched by the divine arrival of the angel, O all-blessed one, and thy heart, cooled by thy yearning for the Creator, was filled with boldness.

When the tyrant heard the holy words of her who gave thee birth, O martyr Theodore, he had her put to the sword, and she finished the race of martyrdom in godly manner.

Like a heifer, Philippa desired to die with her son, and she came in haste, unsummoned, to the tribunal, receiving the glory of the martyrs.

Theotokion: Behold the holy mountain! Behold the phial of the Spirit, the bridge leading to the God of all, the Virgin Theotokos, whom we bless!

Kontakion of the holy hieromartyrs, in Tone III

Ye were adorned with the anointing of the priesthood and the blood of martyrdom, O glorious Januarius and Theodore, and ye shine forth everywhere, dancing in the highest, and look down upon us, who have come to your temple and unceasingly cry out therein: Preserve us all, entreating God Who loveth mankind!

Ode VII

Canon of St. Januarius

Irmos: The three youths in Babylon, having put to mockery the tyrant’s command, cried out amid the flames: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

By the descent of the angel in the midst of the flame thou didst emulate the godly children, O Januarius, dancing about and hymning the Savior with mystic songs, chanting: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Preserving thy mind free from pain by divine grace, even before thy suffering thou didst heal all manner of ailments, being known as a pastor, a martyr and a great wonder-worker.

Thou didst stand in the midst of the tribunal of the tyrants, O martyr, suffering patiently, putting the wicked to shame and showing the truth to all the deceived.

Theotokion: Mortify the movements of my flesh, O all-pure one who gavest birth to Life, and enliven my soul, which hath been slain by the passions and many sins, O pure one.

Canon of St. Theodore

Irmos: The divinely wise youths worshipped not a creation rather than the Creator, but, manfully trampling the threat of the fire underfoot, they rejoice, chanting: Blessed art Thou, the all-hymned God of our fathers!

Preserved by the dew of the Spirit like the three children, unconsumed in the midst of the fire, O divinely wise Theodore, with them thou didst chant: Blessed art Thou, the all-hymned God of our fathers!

With discourse of grace which richly flowed from thy lips thou didst denounce the falsehood of the heathen, O martyr Theodore, and thou didst cry: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

She who gave thee birth was given knowledge of thy name and thy suffering even before thou wast conceived, O much-suffering great martyr Theodore, crying out: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Theotokion: Be thou my cleansing, O most immaculate one, mediating before Him Who was born of thee, that He terminate my grievous debts, grant me divine entry into the kingdom of God, and delight in the sustenance and a share of the light of heaven.

Ode VIII

Canon of Saint Januarius

Irmos: O Almighty Deliverer of all, descending into the midst of the flame Thou didst bedew the pious youths and didst teach them to chant: Bless and hymn the Lord, all ye works!

Let the great Proclus be hymned with Acutius and Eutychius, the godly Desiderius, Faustus and Sosius: the valiant minded and glorious martyrs of the Savior.

The blessed choir of athletes acquired thee as its chief, O glorious initiate of the sacred mysteries, and they trampled the chief among the demons underfoot and destroyed the vaunted pride of ungodliness.

Like the children thou didst trample the fire underfoot, like Daniel thou didst restrain the raging of the wild beasts, O most excellent one, and like Paul thou wast beheaded, finishing thy race in piety.

Theotokion: He Who made His abode within thy womb showed thee to be a dwelling-place for Himself, O all-pure Bride of God. To Him do we unceasingly cry: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Canon of Saint Theodore

Irmos: The birthgiving of the Theotokos saved the pious children in the furnace then in figure, but now in deed and it moveth all the world to chant to Thee: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Uplifted upon thy cross, thou didst hang suspended thereon for three days, O Theodore, manifestly portraying the ever-memorable three-hour suffering of thy Master. Hymn the Lord, ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!

Thou wast affixed to a tree, receiving painful wounds, and thou didst wound the serpent foe who had caused Adam and his descendants a painful death through eating of the tree, O Theodore. Wherefore, we honor thee for all ages.

Perge proclaimeth thy struggles, pangs, contest, wounds, blessed suffering and honored death, for the sake whereof thou hast passed over to immortal life, O Theodore, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!

Theotokion: O the depth of thine ineffable mystery! He Who of old formed man with His hands Himself taketh form, incarnate, entering the womb of the Ever-virgin; and He saveth me who cry out with fear: Hymn the Lord, ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!

Ode IX

Canon of Saint Januarius

Irmos: Eve, through weakness, abode under the curse of disobedience; but thou, O Virgin Theotokos, hast put forth blessing for the world through the Offspring of thy child-bearing. Wherefore, we all magnify thee.

With gladness let us magnify the honored contest, struggles and battles of Januarius, his courage even to the shedding of his blood, his pangs and violent death, and the unfathomable abyss of his miracles.

Thou hast been seen on the summit of honored martyrdom, O glorious one, like a never-setting sun; and thou leadest forth a multitude of martyrs like divine stars, who now enlighten the ends of the earth with the splendor of their great sufferings.

Thy radiant memory hath shone forth, illumining the whole world with the rays of the divine Spirit, driving away the darkness of evils; and thereon we beseech thee, O divinely inspired one, to enlighten all who hymn thee.

Theotokion: With the effulgence of the Light within thee, O Maiden, illumine my blinded soul, and with thy hand teach me to walk in the paths of salvation and to avoid stumbling into falsehood, that I may bless thee with faith.

Canon of St. Theodore

Irmos: Let every mortal leap for joy, enlightened by the Spirit; and let the nature of the incorporeal intelligences keep festival, honoring the sacred feast of the Mother of God, and let them cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Following the steps of Christ and the first martyr, O all-wise one, thou didst endure crucifixion, accepting stripes and the wounds of nails; and thou hast hastened from earth to the heavens, receiving the honor of those who are crowned: the immutable kingdom of God.

Standing in the midst of the fire, thou wast shown to be like lustrous gold through the descent of the honored angel, O Theodore, and, afire with desire for the Master, thou didst remain unconsumed. And with him thou didst chant a hymn of salvation, rejoicing in sanctity.

We stand piously in the house of our God, blessing with faith His athlete who contended with manly mind, cast down the arrogance of the enemy, and hath received the crown of victory from the hand of Christ on high.

Rejoicing, O martyr Theodore, thou wast taken up to the mansions on high, and hast attained unto the ranks of the incorporeal ones, having with thy body mightily vanquished the incorporeal demons; and thou prayest with faith for those who honor thee, that we may receive release from our debts.

Theotokion: Enlighten the eyes of my soul, O pure Theotokos, that the grievous darkness of sin not overtake me, and the abyss of despair not cover me. Do thou thyself save and guide me, O intercessor for the faithful who cannot be put to shame.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen