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The 18th Day of the Month of February

Commemoration of Our Father among the Saints Leo, Pope of Rome

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera, in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “What shall we call you…”

What shall we name thee, O divinely inspired one? Head of the Orthodox Church of Christ? Eye of piety, possessed of the spiritual understanding to see clearly the hearts of men, and pouring forth the word of life upon all the ends of the earth? Divinely inscribed scroll of the right Faith? Pray thou that our souls be saved.

What now shall we call thee, O wondrous one? Preacher of the Truth, firm foundation? Senior among the honored supreme council? Excellent rule of doctrines, possessing the measure of correction? The one who with divinely wrought revelations confounded the division of Nestorius and the confusion of Eutyches?

What now shall we call thee, O marvelous one? Prince and ruler, splendidly exercising spiritual mastery over the passions of the body? Vessel of divine mercy, habitation of perfect love? Loving pastor awaiting the repentance of sinners? Pray thou that our souls be saved.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone & melody

Whom hast thou emulated, O wretched soul, who in no wise rousest thyself to repentance nor fearest the fire which awaiteth the wicked? Arise, and cry out, calling upon her who alone is quick to help: O Virgin Mother, entreat thy Son and our God, to deliver me from the snare of the deceiver!

Stavrotheotokion, in the same tone & melody

The ewe-lamb, when she saw the Lamb outstretched of His own will upon the Tree of the Cross, cried out maternally, weeping in her pain: “O my Son, what is this strange sight that I see? How is it that Thou Who, as Lord, givest life unto all, dost die, O Long-suffering One, bestowing resurrection upon mortals? I glorify Thy great condescension, O my God!”

Troparion, in Tone VIII

O all-wise Leo, instructor in Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and purity, beacon for the whole world, divinely inspired adornment of hierarchs: by thy teachings thou hast illumined all. O harp of the Spirit, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

At Matins

Canon, the acrostic whereof is: “I weave hymns to Leo most wise”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII

Ode I

Irmos: Let us chant unto the Lord, Who led His people through the Red Sea, for He alone hath gloriously been glorified.

Anointed with the oil of the priesthood, O most blessed one, thou didst adorn it with divers virtues, O thou who art most rich.

Like a ripe cluster of grapes thou didst pour forth understanding, O father; and thou didst offer the joyous cup of thy wisdom unto all, O thrice-blessed one.

Thou wast heir to the throne of the preëminent Peter, possessing his character and zeal for the Faith, O divinely wise one.

Theotokion: In giving birth to the Savior, O pure Mother of God, thou didst free the first-created man, who had been condemned for transgressing the law of God.


Irmos: O Lord, Fashioner of the vault of heaven and Creator of the Church: establish me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, confirmation of the faithful, Who alone lovest mankind.

Thou didst carefully set up the pillar of the Orthodoxy of the Church of Christ, O Leo most wise; and wielding it, the Church destroyeth the ungodly hosts and assemblies of the heretics.

Replete with the divine grace of heaven, O father, thou didst set forth the dogmas of the Church, contending against all the blasphemies of the heretics, O Leo, champion of piety, who art most rich.

Illumined with most splendid light, thou didst utter discourse on the ineffable and divine incarnation, setting forth the twofold Essence and twofold activity of the incarnate God.

Theotokion: Like a bride wast thou adorned with the beauties of virginity, O joyous Virgin Mother who knewest not wedlock; for thou hast far surpassed every creature, in that thou gavest birth to the Word, the Cause of all.

Sessional hymn, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Of the divine Faith…”

Like a lion of righteousness thou didst cause audacity to cease, and didst confirm Orthodoxy by thy deeds, as thou didst hope. And thou preachest the doctrines of Truth and dost denounce the hidden works of deception. O venerable father, entreat Christ God, that He grant us great mercy.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

Without separating Himself from the divine Essence, the one Lord remained God when He became man, taking on flesh in thy womb; and even after thou gavest birth, He preserved thee, His Mother, a Virgin, immaculate as thou wast before giving birth. Entreat Him earnestly, that He grant us great mercy.


The unblemished ewe-lamb of the Word, the undefiled Virgin Mother, beholding Him Who sprung forth from her without pain suspended upon the Cross, cried out, lamenting maternally: “Woe is me, O my Child! How is it that Thou sufferest willingly, desiring to deliver man from the indignity of the passions?”

Ode IV

Irmos: O Word, with divine vision the prophet perceived Thee Who wast to become incarnate of the Theotokos alone, the mountain overshadowed; and with fear he glorified Thy power.

O all-blessed one, thou didst truly show thyself to be a lion, driving off the vexatious foxes and terrifying the thoughts of the impious with thy kingly roaring.

Seeking the hidden Truth, with the exposition of thy dogmas thou didst lay bare the traces of heresies abominable to God, O most honorable initiate of the sacred mysteries.

Rising like dawn in the West, O thrice-blessed and divinely wise one, thou didst send forth a scroll of pious dogmas like rays of the Church, illumining and enlightening our souls.

Theotokion: Mortify the uprisings of my passions, O good Virgin Theotokos, and quell thou the tumult of my transgressions, destroying the tempest of sin by thy serenity.

Ode V

Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me, O Light never-waning? And why hath a strange darkness covered me, wretch that I am? But turn me, and guide my steps to the light of Thy commandments, I pray.

Thou wast a preacher of the twofold activity of Christ the Savior; for thou, O divinely wise and blessed hierarch, didst say that He operated in each of the Natures He had, in a single unified participation. Twice

Thou didst acknowledge that the Word is equal in might to Him Who begat Him, O thrice-blessed one, and didst believe that He became incarnate; and thou didst say in excellent manner that the traits of His flesh operate both without confusion and immutably.

Theotokion: The mystery known to God alone before time began, that the Master and Lord of all would become man and unite Himself to the flesh without change, was made manifest through thee, O Virgin, in whom it took place.

Ode VI

Irmos: I pour forth my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him do I declare my grief; for my soul is full of evil and my life hath drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I pray: Lead me up from corruption, O God!

Thou wast the successor to the honorable Peter, enriched by his authority and having acquired his fervent zeal; and thou didst write a divinely inspired scroll, rejecting the vexatious heretical command, and bringing together, without confusion, the union of Christ’s Natures.

O God-pleasing servant of the ineffable mysteries, in manner past nature thou didst preach Christ the Lord, the only Son, begotten of the Father before time, Who for our sake was born of the Virgin and revealed Himself as consubstantial with us.

Theotokion: We, the faithful, confessing thee to be the mediatress of our salvation, O most pure one, cry out: Rejoice, O pure one! Rejoice, O Virgin Bride! Rejoice, mountain of God, overshadowed: for thou hast poured forth everlasting joy upon the world!

Kontakion, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Today the Virgin…”

Seated upon the throne of the priesthood, O glorious one, and having shut the mouths of the noetic lions, with the divinely inspired dogmas of the worshipful Trinity thou didst shed upon thy flock the light of the knowledge of God. Wherefore, thou hast been glorified as a divine initiate of the mysteries of the grace of God.


Irmos: In the furnace the Hebrew children boldly trod the flame underfoot and transformed the fire into dew, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Thou gavest no sleep to thine eyelids until thou didst uproot the falsehood of the mindless Eutyches, crying: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Confessing Christ to be one Hypostasis in two Natures, with a twofold activity and will, thou dost now chant: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Theotokion: Entangled in the bonds of my transgressions, I have recourse unto thee now, O Mother of God. In the loving-kindness of thy mercy, deliver me, who cry out: Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, O all-pure one!


Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for the pious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Bright as the sun, O divinely eloquent one, thou didst manifestly shine forth from the West the all-glorious wonder, teaching all to worship the one Christ in two Essencesindivisible, immutable, unconfused; thereby causing the confusion and commingling of Eutyches to wither away, and cutting down the division of Nestorius.

Moved by God, thou didst show thyself to be like a second Moses to the people of God, and didst set forth the doctrines of piety as upon divinely inscribed tablets, crying out to the Council of the honored teachers: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Christ supremely for all ages!

Thou didst acknowledge the only-begotten and equally unoriginate Word of the Father, Who, incorporeal from before the beginning, became incarnate, though timeless entered time, and though infinite Creator, became circumscribed by the flesh; and thou teachest, crying out: Ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely forever!

Theotokion: God, Who illumined the sky with the beauties of the stars, the sun and the moon, wrapped Himself in the robe of the flesh He fashioned of thy blood, O all-pure one, showing thee to be another, animate, heaven. Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Ode IX

Irmos: Every ear trembleth to hear of the ineffable condescension of God, for the Most High willingly came down even to the flesh, becoming man through the Virgin’s womb. Wherefore we, the faithful, magnify the all-pure Theotokos.

Thou shinest forth now, adorned with a crown of majesty, O initiate of the mysteries of Christ, and as a faithful hierarch thou hast truly clad thyself in righteousness. As thou joinest chorus in the sweetness of paradise, O wondrous one, pray thou earnestly to the Master in behalf of thy flock.

As a true patriarch, shining with faith and grace, thou hast now made thine abode, as is meet, where the chief seats and thrones and ranks of the patriarchs are, O most blessed father Leo. Wherefore, we all call thee blessed forever.

Having departed the storm of life, thou didst pass on to Christ, O most excellent Leo, finding rest in the place of verdure, where are the torrent of sweetness, light never-waning, ineffable gladness and abiding joy.

Theotokion: Full life do I reap, untainted by the tree of knowledge; for thou, O all-immaculate one, revealing the paths of life, hast blossomed forth Christ, the Tree of life. Wherefore, we, the faithful, magnify thee as Theotokos, O most pure one.

Exapostilarion, Special Melody: “The heaven with stars…”

The glory of hierarchs, defender of the faithful and pillar of the virtues hast thou been shown to be, O divinely wise father. Wherefore, be thou ever mindful of those who hymn thee with love.


All the sinful have thee as intercessor, O all-holy Virgin. By thy maternal supplications render thy Son easily reconciled with us.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen