Originally come from Asia. After the death of their father, their Christ-loving mother Theodora reared them in piety and in all manner of virtue and had them instructed in every science, especially that of medicine. This became their vocation and they went about healing every illness and malady, bestowing healing freely on both men and beast alike; because of this, they are called “unmercenaries”. Thus, having completed the course of their life, they reposed in peace.
Having received the grace of healing,
you grant healing to those in need.
Glorious wonder-workers and healers, Cosmas and Damian,
visit us and put down the insolence of our enemies,
and bring healing to the world through your miracles!
Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, Cosmas and Damian, heal our Infirmities!
Freely you have received; freely you give to us.
On this day, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Supreme Commanders Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and of the other bodiless and heavenly orders: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities Archangels and Angels.
According to the Apostle Paul, all angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14). The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. When Satan fell away from God and drew a part of the angels with him to destruction, then Michael stood up and cried out before the faithful angels: “Let us stand aright! Let us stand with fear! Let us attend!” and all of the faithful angelic heavenly hosts cried out: “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Sabaoth! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!”
The Archangel Gabriel proclaimed the news of the conceptions of John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus Christ to their mothers, Elizabeth and the Ever-virgin Mary (Luke 1). The Archangel Raphael healed Tobit of his blindness (Tobit 11) and freed his daughter-in-law, Sarah, from a demon (Tobit 6). Every nation has its guardian angel, as does every Christian. We must always remember that whatever we do, in open or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel.
Commanders of God’s armies
and ministers of the divine glory,
princes of the bodiless Angels
and guides of mankind;
ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy,
Supreme Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.
Commanders of the heavenly hosts,
we who are unworthy beseech you:
by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,
and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you:
“Deliver us from all harm, for you are the Commanders of the Powers on high!”
Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has enlightened the
It has shown to the world the riches of poverty.
It has revealed to us the heights of humility.
Teaching us by your words O Father John Chrysostom,
intercede before the Word Christ our God, to save our souls!
Today is the prelude of God's goodwill and the prophecy of the salvation of men. The Virgin appears openly in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. So let us cry to her with loud voices:
“Rejoice, thou who art the fulfillment of the Creator's providence”.
Today is the prelude of the good will of God,
of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
The Virgin appears in the Temple of God,
in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
Let us rejoice and sing to her:
“Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation!”
On this day, we commemorate the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle Andrew the First-Called.
Andrew endureth an inverted crucifixion, appearing feet upward in truth and not in shadow. On the thirtieth Andrew braved a cross head downward.
He was the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman by trade. At first he was a disciple of John the Baptist, but when the Forerunner pointed to the Lord Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36), Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ.
Then, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord. Following the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell by lot to Andrew to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube and in Russia around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnesos, where he suffered.
In Kiev, he planted a Cross on a high place and prophesied a bright Christian future for the Russian people.
In the city of Patras, he performed many miracles in the name of Christ, and won many over to the Lord.
Among the new faithful were the brother and wife of the Proconsul Aegeates. Angered at this, Aegeates subjected Andrew to torture and then crucified him.
While the apostle of Christ was still alive on the cross, he gave beneficial instructions to the Christians who had gathered around. The people wanted to take him down from the cross but he refused to let them.
Then the apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him, which lasted for half an hour. When it disappeared, the apostle gave up his holy soul to God.
Thus, the First-called Apostle, the first of the Twelve Great Apostles to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62.
Let us praise Andrew, the herald of God,
the namesake of courage,
the first-called of the Savior’s disciples
and the brother of Peter!
As he once called to his brother,
he now cries out to us:
“Come, for we have found the One Whom the world desires!”
Andrew, first-called of the Apostles,
and brother of the foremost disciple,
entreat the Master of all
to grant peace to the world,
and to our souls great mercy!
She was the daughter of Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time, Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen to build a third window in addition to the two her Father had commanded. She also inscribed the sigh of the Cross with her finger upon the marble of the bath-house, leaving the saving sign cut as deeply into the marble as if it had been done with an iron too. When Dioscorus returned, he asked why the third window had been added; Barbara began to declare to him the mystery of the Trinity. Because she refused to renounce her faith, Dioscorus tortured Barbara inhumanely and after subjecting her to many sufferings he beheaded her with his own hands, in the year 290.
Singing the praises of the Trinity,
you followed God by enduring suffering;
you renounced the multitude of idols,
O holy martyr Barbara.
In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers, but cried out in a loud voice: “I worship the Trinity in one God-head.”
Let us honor the holy martyr Barbara,
for as a bird she escaped the snares of the enemy,
and destroyed them through the help and defense of the Cross.
He was born in 439 in Moutalaska, a small village of Cappadocia. He entered the arena of the monastic life from childhood and was under that master trainer of monastics, Euthymius, the Great, the teacher of the desert. He became the spiritual Father of many monks and an instructor for the monasteries in Palestine and was appointed leader of the desert-dwellers of Palestine by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In his old age he went to Constantinople, to the Emperors Anastasius and Saint Justinian the Great, in behalf of the Orthodox Faith and the dogmas of the Council of Chalcedon. Having lived ninety-four years, he reposed in 533. The Typicon for the ecclesiastical services had its beginning in the monastery established by this righteous one.
O blessed Savvas, thou wast offered from thine infancy through thy great
virtue as a pure and spotless sacrifice unto God, Who ere thy birth, verily
foreknew thee; wherefore thou wast an adornment of the righteous Saints, an
all-praised founder of cities in the wilderness.
Hence, I cry to thee: “Rejoice, O Father of great renow”.
With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundread-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Savvas, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.
He lived during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great and reposed in 330. As a young man, he desired to espouse the solitary life. He made a pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem, where he found a place to withdraw to devote himself to prayer.
It was made known to him, however, that this was not the will of God for him, but that he should return to his homeland to be a cause of salvation for many. He returned to Myra and was ordained bishop. He became known for his abundant mercy, providing for the poor and needy and delivering those who had been unjustly accused. No less was he known for his zeal for the truth.
He was present at the First Ecumenical Council of the 318 Fathers at Nicaea in 325; upon hearing the blasphemies that Arius brazenly uttered against the Son of God, Saint Nicholas struck him on the face. Since the canons of the Church forbid the clergy to strike any man at all. His fellow bishops were in perplexity what disciplinary action was to be taken against this hierarch whom all revered.
In the night our Lord Jesus Christ and our Lady Theotokos appeared to certain of the bishops, informing them that no action was to be taken against him, since he had acted not out of passion but extreme love and piety. The Dismissal Hymn for holy hierarchs, The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock.. was written originally for Saint Nicholas. He is the patron of all travellers and of sea-farers in particular; he is one of the best known and best loved Saints of all time.
Thou wast a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore thou wast sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God.
The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
Anna besought the Lord in fervent prayer for a child. The voice of the angel proclaimed to her: “God has granted you the desire of your prayer. Do not weep, for you shall be a fruitful vine, bearing the wondrous branch of the Virgin who will bring forth in the flesh the blossom Christ, Who grants great mercy to the world”.
Today the great mystery of all eternity, whose depths angels and men cannot perceive, appears in the barren womb of Anna. Mary, the Maiden of God, is prepared to be the dwelling place of the eternal King Who will renew human nature. Let us entreat her with a pure heart and say: Intercede for us with your Son and God that our souls may be saved.
Today the world rejoices in the conception of Anna, wrought by God. For she bore the One who beyond comprehension conceived the Logos.
Against all hope, the bonds of barrenness are loosed today. For, God has hearkened unto Joachim and Anna clearly promising that they would bear a godly maiden. He who commanded the angel to cry out to her, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you,” will be born of her, the infinite One Himself, becoming man.
Saint Eleuftherios had Rome as his homeland. Having been orphaned of his father from childhood, he was taken by his mother Anthia to Anicetus, the Bishop of Rome by whom he was instructed in the sacred letters (the divine Scriptures). Though still very young in years, he was made Bishop of Illyricum by reason of his surpassing virtue, and by his teachings he converted many unbelievers to Christ. However, during a most harsh persecution that was raised against the Christians under Hadrian (reigned 117-138), the Saint was arrested by the tyrants. Enduring many torments for Christ, he was finally put to death by two soldiers about the year 126. As for his Christ-loving mother Anthia, while embracing the remains of her son and kissing them with maternal affection, she was also beheaded.
O venerable One, we all praise and entreat you, Eleftherios, Priest-Martyr, comeliness of Priests and exaltation of champions. Deliver from diverse dangers those fervently honoring your memory, interceding unceasingly for us all.
Adorned with flowing priestly vesture and with dripping streams of blood you at once went to your Lord Christ, O blessed wise Eleftherios, annihilator of Satan. Wherefore, do not cease to intercede for those who honor your blessed struggles in faith.
On this day the Virgin cometh to a cave to give birth to God the Word ineffable, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God.
Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all. Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave from the Holy Virgin. Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found and as we eat thereof we shall all live and shall not die as did Adam. For Christ is born now to raise the image that had fallen aforetime.