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The 9th Day of the Month of July

Commemoration of the Holy Hieromartyr Pancratius, Bishop of Taormina

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…,” these stichera, in Tone II, Special Melody: “When from the Tree…”

When the preëminent among the disciples, going about, confirmed the whole world, he found thee to be like a precious stone, and as a foundation of the Church, O blessed one, did he set thee, who cast down the pillars and temples of idolatry by the divine power of the Word Whose good pleasure it was to consort with men in the flesh.

Dispelling the evil spirits of malice by the Word, thou didst make men spiritual by the grace of the Spirit, O martyr Pancratius, working the field of their hearts, and casting the divine seed thereupon, the fruits of which thou hast offered to the heavenly Husbandman, praying for those who praise thee with faith.

With noetic splendors didst thou make the West like unto the East, bearing the sun of the knowledge of God Who shone forth upon us from the Virgin in manner past understanding; and having set in thy suffering, O father, thou didst shine forth to the never-setting Light, where, reflections having been abolished, thou beholdest the longed-for beauty of the Judge of thy contest, O Pancratius.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

In thy womb didst thou, without confining Him, bear God Who alone is infinite and Who became man in His goodness, O all-holy Bride of God. Therefore, I entreat thee: Rescue me from the passions which beset me, that, having trod the straight and narrow path, I may attain unto that which leadeth to life, O Virgin.

Stavrotheotokion

Beholding Thee nailed to the Tree of the Cross, O Jesus, she who tasted not of wedlock said, weeping: “O my sweet Child, wherefore hast Thou abandoned me who alone gave Thee birth? O unapproachable Light of the all-unoriginate Father, haste Thou and be glorified, that they that glorify Thy divine sufferings may receive divine glory!”

Troparion, in Tone IV

As thou didst share in the ways of the apostles and didst occupy their throne, thou didst find thine activity to be a passage to divine vision, O divinely inspired one. Wherefore, ordering the word of truth, thou didst suffer for the Faith even to the shedding of thy blood. O hieromartyr Pancratius, entreat Christ God that our souls be saved.

At Matins

Canon of the saint, in Tone I

Ode I

Irmos: Let us all chant a hymn of victory unto God, Who hath wrought marvelous wonders with His upraised arm and saved Israel, for He is glorious.

Made ever steadfast by the foundation of thy words, O Pancratius, the Church knoweth thee to be an all-precious stone. Wherefore, we honor thy memory today.

With the plough of thy divine words, O Pancratius, thou hast cultivated hearts hardened before by the darkness of false belief; and thou hast manifestly shown them to be fruitful because of their faith.

Proclaiming the threefold Unity united in a single nature, thou didst burn away the gloom of ungodliness and didst enlighten men with teachings of luminous splendor.

Theotokion: From thee, O pure Mistress, did Jesus the Lord, the Bestower of light, shine forth, illumining the ends of the earth; through Him have they that are in darkness and shadow seen the light.

Ode III

Irmos: Let my heart be made steadfast in Thy will, O Christ God, Who didst establish the second heaven above the waters and didst found the earth upon the waters, O Almighty One.

Made steadfast by the Spirit, thou didst drive away evil spirits; and by the labor of thy prayers thou didst demolish the temples of the idols, raising up churches in their stead, O right wondrous one.

With thy sword-like discourse thou didst cut down the thorns of impiety, O venerable one; and thou didst plant in men’s souls the saving teachings of the virtues which cause the fruits thereof to abound, O sacred one.

The preëminent Apostle Peter found thee to be a vessel receiving the pure radiance of the divine Spirit, O most honorable one, and sent thee to the West to drive away the darkness of ungodliness.

Theotokion: O thou who tasted not of wedlock, we, the faithful, call thee blessed who art the most luminous cloud, the golden ark and jar, the exceeding lofty ladder, more spacious than the heavens.

Sessional hymn, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Thou hast appeared today…”

Having shown thyself a champion of piety and a victor, O sacred Pancratius, thou standest now before the Lord with the incorporeal ones in the heavens. Pray thou that our souls be saved.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

O Theotokos, we, the faithful, bless thee, the fervent aid of those who are amid misfortunes, our helper and our reconciliation with God, through whom we have been delivered from corruption.

Stavrotheotokion

Seeing thy Son lifted up upon the Tree, O all-pure one, thy womb rent with pain, thou didst cry aloud in thy grief: “Woe is me! How is it that Thou hast set, O my timeless Light?”

Ode IV

Irmos: Foreseeing in the Spirit the incarnation of the Word, O Prophet Habbakuk, thou didst announce, crying out: When the years draw nigh, Thou shalt be acknowledged; when the season cometh, Thou shalt be shown forth! Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Shown to be a fiery spirit by the fire of the Comforter, thou didst utterly consume falsehood, O wise Pancratius, and, shining like a beacon upon those who are drowning in the sea of ignorance, thou bringest them to the havens of the divine will.

Peter, having drunk to satiety of the unquarried Rock, sent thee forth as another river, to give drink unto hardened souls, O divinely wise one, and to dry up rivers of ungodliness with the torrent of divine preaching.

Made luminous by the splendor of the understanding of Christ, O wise one, the sound of thy words poured forth. Thereby was the wisdom of the Greeks shown to be foolishness and the malice of the philosophers was utterly consumed, O hieromartyr Pancratius.

Having made thy life splendid with beauty, thou didst cast all of the assaults of the demons into darkness, and, dispelling the darkness of ungodliness, thou didst show forth as children of the day those who submitted to thy teachings with love.

Theotokion: Thou gavest birth, O pure Maiden, unto the incarnate Word Who is in two natures and volitions, Who most gloriously told those who were enslaved to falsehood the way up to salvation.

Ode V

Irmos: Grant us Thy peace, O Son of God, for we know none other than Thee. We call upon Thy name, for Thou art the God of the living and the dead.

By showing forth wonders thou didst draw the people into thy net; by thy word thou didst bring down the temples of the pagans, and didst erect churches of beauty, for the restoration of men.

With thy blood didst thou dye thy sacred vesture, and thou didst dry up the blood offered to demons; and as one triumphant thou didst ascend to heaven, receiving a crown of victory.

In thy presence a temple of the idolators collapsed; and a door to salvation was opened to the heathen, and divine grace was given to the hearts of the faithful, O father, thou keeper of the sacred mysteries of God.

Theotokion: Like rain did Christ descend upon thy womb, O pure one; and He dried up the torrents of polytheism, and brought forth the water of divine knowledge for those who are amid the flame of deception.

Ode VI

Irmos: Emulating the Prophet Jonah, I cry out: O Good One, free me from corruption! O Savior of the world, save me who cry out: Glory to Thee!

Jesus, the enlightenment and God of all, having filled thy mind with grace and richly illumined it, gave deliverance to the people through thy words of foolishness.

Having preached the Gospel of God as an hierarch, thou didst splendidly seal thy divine teachings with thy blood, O martyred mystagogue Pancratius.

Thou didst deliver men from idolatrous sprinklings of vile blood, and, slaughtered like a lamb, O Pancratius, thou didst offer thyself unto God as a living sacrifice.

Theotokion: O all-immaculate one who gavest birth unto Christ the Savior, lead me up to the light of salvation and life who am oppressed by the assaults of fruitless thoughts.

Kontakion, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Thou didst appear…”

Thou wast shown to be a brilliant star for the people of Taormina, O Pancratius, and wast also shown to be a sufferer for Christ. Standing now before Him, pray thou for those who honor thee, O blessed one.

Ode VII

Irmos: The fire neither touched nor vexed Thy children in the furnace, O Savior; for then, as with one mouth, the three hymned and blessed Thee, saying: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

With thine own blood wast thou baptized, having before baptized men in water; and thou didst pass on to Christ rejoicing. Making thine abode with Him, thou art ever splendidly enriched by sharing in the blessings of heaven, O all-blessed one.

Those who were engulfed in the brine of evils didst thou draw forth with the hook of thy words, O sacred one; and with the pure rain of prayers thou didst dry up the turgid depths of false belief, O initiate of the mysteries of Christ.

The unbroken rock, the teacher of sacred truths, set thee as the foundation and ground of the sacred Church; and thereon is all the malice of the infantile foe destroyed.

Theotokion: The Word of God found thee alone to be most pure, O most immaculate and all-pure one; and being born of thy womb, O Bride of God, He cleanseth the faithful of the defilement which hath come upon us by our failure to abstain from evil.

Ode VIII

Irmos: Him of Whom the angels and all the hosts of heaven stand in awe as their Creator and Lord, hymn, ye priests; glorify, ye children; bless, ye people, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Consumed by the fire of divers trials, thou didst remain unharmed; and thy mind sharpened by splendid visions, thou wast shown to be a sword which cutteth down the brushwood of polytheism, O wise one.

Thou didst manifestly work signs and wonders, bringing people to the knowledge of Christ, setting forth those things which were to come to pass, like a prophet of God, through the inspiration of the Comforter, O divinely wise one.

Showing to the people the image of the Creator, which He bore of His own will, uniting Himself to us, thou dost thereby work signs and wonders, driving away the audacity of polytheism.

Theotokion: Like rain did Christ, Who alone is our Benefactor, descend into thy womb, and He hath truly given drink to all creation, having dried up the turgid rivers of idolatry, O Virgin.

Ode IX

Irmos: O ye faithful, let us magnify the Theotokos, the ever-flowing, life-receiving wellspring, the light-bearing lamp of grace, the animate temple, the all-pure tabernacle which is more spacious than heaven and earth.

Enlightened mind and soul by the radiant splendors of Peter, thou didst pass into the West like a star of great brilliance, illumining with thy teachings those who were sunk in the abyss of ignorance, O Pancratius.

Knowing that the honor accorded an icon passeth over to its Prototype, O glorious one, thou didst everywhere set up the precious icon of Jesus our God, unto the destruction of the temples of the demons.

Rejoicing, thy city and the assembly of the faithful keep this thy splendid festival, honoring thee faithfully, O wondrous Pancratius. Cease thou never to bless them as pastor, offering up prayer for all.

Theotokion: Have pity on us that hymn Thee, O Lord Who wast ineffably born of the Virgin, delivering Thy servants from temptations, the passions and tribulations by her prayers, in that Thou alone art our Benefactor Who lovest mankind.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen