WARNING

NOT EVERYTHING THAT

CALLS ITSELF ORTHODOX IS

TRULY ORTHODOX


The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."


blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham

joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007

DISCLAIMER



14 October 2011

St. Varus Akathist


Akathist Hymn
To the Holy Martyr Varus
& the Blessed Cleopatra & John
Whose Memory the Holy Church Doth Celebrate on the 19th of October

Kontakion I
Unto thee, the courageous champion of Christ, do we, the faithful, chant hymns of praise; for by thy mighty intercession thou deliverest us from evils, O glorious one.  As thou hast boldness before the throne of God on high, from all misfortunes free us, that we may cry aloud to thee:
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Ikos I
A soldier in the army of an earthly king wast thou, O Varus; yet was thy true allegiance to the almighty King of heaven Whose armies are the hosts of angels who, beholding thee suffering the pangs of divers tortures for the sake of Christ, stood in awe, crying out to thee such things as these:
Rejoice, thou who wast like a resplendent lamp in thy piety;
rejoice, thou who wast replete with the oil of mercy!
Rejoice, thou who didst shine forth with the radiance of the Christian virtues;
rejoice, thou who didst minister to those imprisoned for the sake of the Lord!
Rejoice, thou who freely gavest alms for the relief of the poor;
rejoice, thou who didst bind the wounds of those who bore witness to the Truth!
Rejoice, for thou guardest our souls against the enemies of the King;
rejoice, for thou defendest us against their malicious assaults!
Rejoice, for thou drivest the darkness of despondency far away from us;
rejoice, for thou repellest the demonic hordes that beset us!
Rejoice, thou who dost earnestly intercede for us in prayer;
rejoice, thou who prayest for our loved ones who have passed from this life!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion II
Beholding the purity of the witness of the holy confessors, the holy Varus besought them humbly, saying: “Pray for me, O venerable teachers, for I fear that I lack the fortitude to follow you in your path of suffering.  How, then, will I be found worthy to chant unto God: Alleluia?”

Ikos II
Seeing the goodly disposition of the young soldier's soul, the confessors of the Lord spake mercifully to him as he treated their wounds and stripes: “If thou wilt suffer with Him, thou shalt be glorified with Him; wherefore, be not afraid."  And since he took to heart their goodly counsel, we cry out to him thus:
Rejoice, thou who dost loose the bonds of the fettered;
rejoice, thou who appliest the balm of mercy to our bruises!
Rejoice, thou who dost cover our stripes with the salve of loving-kindness;
rejoice, thou who with the salt of divine wisdom dost rid us of corruption!
Rejoice, thou who with spiritual strength dost break the chains that bind us;
rejoice, thou who settest free those held in thrall by Satan!
Rejoice, thou who dost point the way for us to new life in our Deliverer and God;
rejoice, thou who dost enroll us in the choirs of the saints!
Rejoice, thou whose brave confession ever filleth us with awe;
rejoice, thou who wast imbued with the power of the Almighty!
Rejoice, thou who puttest the feeble reasonings of idolators to shame;
rejoice, thou who enlightenest the thoughts of all the faithful!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion III
The power of the Most High overshadowed the glorious Varus, when, one of the seven confessors of Christ dying of his wounds, he chose to join the others, to share their sufferings and martyric death, that with them he might cry out unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos III
Having conceived in his soul the steadfast resolve to confess the peerless Christian Faith before the heathen, the holy Varus put aside his fear and renounced all attachment to the things of this world; wherefore, praising his courage and dedication to our Savior, we cry out to him:
Rejoice, belov├Ęd son of our heavenly Father;
rejoice, true child of His Holy Church!
Rejoice, faithful laborer in the vineyard of Christ;
rejoice, thou who with thine own blood didst irrigate the field of the Lord!
Rejoice, thou who didst reap for thy Master an abundant harvest of grace;
rejoice, thou who by thy witness hast summoned the faithful to the Bridegroom's feast!
Rejoice, thou who sowest the seeds of piety in Christians;
rejoice, thou who plantest compunction in the furrows of men’s souls!
Rejoice, thou who cuttest down the tares that choke our goodly intentions;
rejoice, thou who  clearest away the stones that harden our hearts!
Rejoice, welcome token of God's goodwill toward us;
rejoice, for thou intercedest with boldness before the throne of God!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion IV
A tempest of doubts raging within him, Varus was troubled, knowing the weakness of his flesh; wherefore, he besought the holy teachers of the Faith to pray that he be granted the strength to prevail in his struggle, that, having triumphed, he might chant with the martyrs and the angels: Alleluia!

Ikos IV
The confessors hearkened to the plea of the pious Varus, and reminded him that the athlete who is unwilling to suffer can never obtain the wreath of victory; whereupon they enrolled him in the angelic hosts.  Wherefore, we praise his valor, crying:
Rejoice, warrior of the Lamb of God;
rejoice, guardian of the flock of Christ!
Rejoice, thou who drivest away the noetic wolves with the staff of prayer;
rejoice, thou who keepest the fold of the Church safe with the sling of thine intercession!
Rejoice, for thou regardest with pity those who honor thee on earth;
rejoice, for thou unitest the faithful with the angels in heaven!
Rejoice, undaunted witness to God in the face of the ungodly;
rejoice, invincible martyr, whom no tortures could break!
Rejoice, rampart of defense for those who believe in Christ;
rejoice, recipient and imparter of His radiant grace!
Rejoice, thou by whom hades is deprived of its prey;
rejoice, thou who by thy mediation dost clothe us in glory!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion V
Looking upon the seven holy confessors as a constellation of brilliant stars, the devout Varus was illumined with the brilliance of the grace that shone from them; and bearing the light thereof in his soul, he boldly confessed the name of Jesus before the ungodly tribunal, urging the impious governor to cry out to Christ the true God: Alleluia!

Ikos V
The rulers of the Romans worshiped false gods, graven images wrought by the hands of men; but the blessed Varus, understanding that there is but one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who in His love for mankind had taken on the form of a servant, bravely denounced their foolish belief; wherefore, we cry out to him:
Rejoice, dutiful servant of the merciful Master;
rejoice, thou who wast faithful in a little and hast been given much!
Rejoice, thou who didst expose the delusion of the heathen;
rejoice, thou who strengthenest those who worship the Trinity!
Rejoice, thou who didst rebuke the cruel tyrant;
rejoice, thou who didst preach Christ the God-man!
Rejoice, thou who deliverest souls from everlasting fire;
rejoice, thou who dost snatch the grieving from the jaws of despair!
Rejoice, thou who didst mock the worship of idols;
rejoice, thou who didst not surrender to the weakness of the flesh!
Rejoice, sure guide to heaven for the faithful;
rejoice, boast of Christians in every generation!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion VI
As God-bearing heralds, the holy confessors foretold the martyr's glorious end; and when their prophecy had been fulfilled, and Varus had proclaimed the true God until his soul departed, they were beheaded by the tyrant, chanting the while unto Christ: Alleluia!

Ikos VI
Shining with the light of the Truth, by his confession the martyr dispelled the darkness of falsehood, and unable to bear the might of his preaching, the ungodly cast his body out to be devoured by dogs; but the blessed Cleopatra, having beheld his sufferings, took it up by night and committed it to the earth, crying:
Rejoice, paragon of piety;
rejoice, thou who puttest our enemies to headlong flight!
Rejoice, thou who hast set at nought pagan falsehood;
rejoice, thou who hast exposed the folly of idolatry!
Rejoice, sea wherein our wicked foes are drowned;
rejoice, stream of piety moistening a parched and arid land!
Rejoice, beacon guiding those lost in the darkness of their souls;
rejoice, torch illumining us with heavenly light!
Rejoice, thou who by thy supplications dost give us spiritual bread;
rejoice, thou who fillest the sorrowful with delight!
Rejoice, thou who leadest the lost to the heavenly homeland;
rejoice, true lodestone for those astray!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion VII
When the pious Cleopatra pondered how to transfer the precious body of the martyr to her native land, she petitioned the governor of Egypt for permission to depart thence, the holy relics being disguised as the remains of her deceased husband.  Wherefore, marveling at her artful sagacity, we cry out to God: Alleluia!

Ikos VII
Departing from Egypt into Palestine with the body of the martyr, like as Joseph long before had borne the body of Jacob his father to bury it with his forebears, Cleopatra interred the incorrupt relics in her family tomb, among the bones of her ancestors; and with her we cry out to the saint:
Rejoice, blossom of incorruption;
rejoice, treasure that cannot decay!
Rejoice, surety of the resurrection of the body;
rejoice, thou whose soul now dwelleth with the angels!
Rejoice, source of divine food sustaining the faithful;
rejoice, tree of abundant foliage whose boughs cover many!
rejoice, thou whose prayers, like leaves, shelter us from the storms of life!
Rejoice, thou who art like a lofty cedar growing on the mountain of God;
Rejoice, thou whose greatness overshadoweth Mount Tabor;
rejoice, fountain washing away our many transgressions!
Rejoice, abyss of mercy, deeper than an ocean;
rejoice, thou who savest those who founder in the sea of life!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion VIII
Seeing the devout Cleopatra going daily to the tomb of the martyr to pray, the Christians of Edras and all the region around Tabor, likewise began to entreat the intercession of the martyr; and word of the boldness he doth possess before the Most High spread far and wide, so that for his sake all the faithful cried out to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos VIII
Filled with joy that the people of God were availing themselves of the prayers of the martyr whose precious body she had rescued, the blessed Cleopatra undertook to build a temple fit to entomb the sacred remains, wherein the martyr might be hymned with such praises as these:
Rejoice, receptacle of the grace of God;
rejoice, ewer pouring forth His loving-kindness!
Rejoice, phial holding the antidote to unbelief;
rejoice, potion curing the doubts of the faithful!
Rejoice, disciple of Him Who is enthroned on the glorious cherubim;
rejoice, minister of Him Who rideth upon the six-winged seraphim!
Rejoice, earthly warrior who now servest thy King on high;
rejoice, thou who didst lay down thy life out of love for Him!
Rejoice, thou whose transgressions were washed away in thy blood;
rejoice, thou to whom the gates of the Kingdom were opened by thy sacrifice!
Rejoice, thou who, dying on a tree, now dwellest in paradise by the Tree of Life;
rejoice, thou who delightest there in the good things prepared for the righteous!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion IX
When the temple of the saint was completed, the blessed Cleopatra summoned hierarchs, priests and monastics to consecrate it unto God, and to transfer with due solemnity the sacred relics of the Martyr Varus and entomb them beneath the altar, chanting praises and singing: Alleluia!

Ikos IX
When all had been accomplished, and a sumptuous feast was laid, John, the only child of Cleopatra, fell sick of a fever and suddenly died; then, overcome with grief, his mother berated the martyr for thus repaying her devotion.  But the saint appeared to her with her son, shining with the ineffable light and glory that the intercession of the martyr had secured for him; and in awe the pious woman cried out in praise:
Rejoice, ark of wisdom;
rejoice, embodiment of the divine will!
Rejoice, thou who showest forth the worldly-minded as fools;
rejoice, thou who revealest the workings of God's providence!
Rejoice, thou who treatest sinners with kindness of heart;
rejoice, thou who dost purge transgressors of their iniquities!
Rejoice, thou who dost escort the souls of the departed up to heaven;
rejoice, thou who fillest the halls of its mansions with new inhabitants!
Rejoice, thou who drawest men forth from the sea of ignorance;
rejoice, thou who bringest many into the light of  understanding!
Rejoice, vessel bearing to safe harbor those who desire to be saved;
rejoice, haven to which we steer amid the billows of life!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion X
Gently chiding the grieving Cleopatra for her rebuke, the holy Varus recounted how he had ever made entreaty in her behalf: and most especially how, having been interred among her ancestors, he had besought the Lord to forgive all their sins and pardon their iniquities, that with the righteous in heaven they might sing unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos X
O the wonder!  Christ our God, the Wellspring of the grace that resteth in His saints, is wont to hearken to the mediation of the holy Varus, His favored one, and to extend His mercy unto the departed loved ones of the righteous Cleopatra!  Wherefore, marveling at the power of his intercession, with her let us also cry out to him:
Rejoice, tower of strength for the pious;
rejoice, bulwark of salvation for the Orthodox!
Rejoice, fortress defending us against the demons that besiege us;
rejoice, thou who winnest for us the goodwill of our Redeemer!
Rejoice, thou who puttest malefactors to shame;
rejoice, thou who settest at nought the plots of malicious men!
Rejoice, thou who deliverest us from the snares of the wicked;
rejoice, thou who dost draw us forth from the pits they dig for us!
Rejoice, for like chicks we flee beneath the shelter of thy wings;
rejoice, for thou dost defend us from the wiles of the serpent!
Rejoice, for with prayers, as with stones from a sling, thou fendest off  spiritual predators;
rejoice, for thou didst lay down thy life for the Shepherd and His sheep!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion XI
Mindful of her many sacrifices for his sake, the holy martyr offered to restore the bereft mother's son to her; but seeing the divine splendor that suffused John's soul, and hearing him protest that he preferred to serve in the army of heaven rather than that of an earthly king, the blessed Cleopatra implored the saint to take her soul also, that with them she also might cry out to the Master of all: Alleluia!

Ikos XI
Hearing the blessed Cleopatra's plea to depart this life, the holy Varus, knowing the mind of God, gently denied her request, bidding her wait upon the good pleasure of the Savior until it was time for her to join them on high; and, reconciled to the will of God, she cried out to the martyr such things as these:
Rejoice, ray of the Sun of righteousness;
rejoice, beam of His never-waning light!
Rejoice, lightning-flash illumining our benighted minds;
rejoice, thou who like a thunder-clap strikest fear in our enemies' hearts!
Rejoice, for thou art arrayed in surpassing splendor;
rejoice, for like a river of God thou pourest forth great torrents of mercy!
Rejoice, ever-flowing fountain of the love of God;
rejoice, water of pity washing away the stain of our offenses!
Rejoice, laver wherein we cleanse our conscience of sin;
rejoice, chalice brimming over with the wine of gladness!
Rejoice, cup full of spiritual delight;
rejoice, joy of angels and of men!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion XII
No hymn devised by man can rightly glorify the great compassion of the martyr Varus; no human mouth is able to utter words fit for his praise; yet, as recipients of his manifold benefactions, we are constrained to cry to Christ, Who hath given him to us as a mediator: Alleluia!

Ikos XII
Possessing her soul in patience, the blessed Cleopatra disposed of all her property and gave the proceeds to the poor; and making her abode by the church of the holy Varus, she lived a life of constant prayer and fasting, until the martyr came with her son and the angels of God to accompany her to a celestial dwelling-place.  Wherefore, we cry aloud to him:
Rejoice, thou who standest in glory at the right hand of the Lord;
rejoice, wellspring pouring forth entreaties for our sake!
Rejoice, fount of mediation, ever-flowing;
rejoice, mighty cataract gushing forth supplications!
Rejoice, athlete who didst receive the wreath of victory for thy fortitude;
rejoice, thou who didst wondrously prevail in thy trials!
Rejoice, pillar of strength for all the faithful;
rejoice, mighty wall fending off the savagery of barbarians!
Rejoice, thou through whose entreaties our prayers are answered;
rejoice, thou who freest our kin to dwell in paradise!
Rejoice, thou who curest us by the power of Him by Whose stripes we are healed;
rejoice, thou who dost rescue our souls from perdition!
Rejoice, O martyr Varus, thou fearless warrior of the Lord!

Kontakion XIII
O most lauded Martyr Varus, loyal servant of the Word Who is more holy than all the saints!  Accepting this, our meager offering of hymnody, deliver from every peril, and rescue from the torment which is to come, all of us who for thy sake cry out to God: Alleluia!
This Kontakion is recited thrice, whereupon Ikos I & Kontakion I are repeated.

Prayer to the Holy Martyr Varus
O glorious and all-praised Varus, valiant martyr of Christ, speedy helper, zealous intercessor and fervent advocate for all who have recourse to thee with faith!  Standing forth with boldness before the throne of the Most High, entreat Him to grant us remission of all our iniquities, and that we may be delivered from deadly pestilence, earthquake, flood, fire, the sword, civil strife and everlasting damnation.  Entreat Him to take pity on this city, this temple and every land where Orthodox Christians dwell.  Intercede with the Almighty, that He grant us triumph and victory over all enemies, visible and invisible, and to our nation peace, tranquility, and an increase in faith and piety.  And for us who honor thy precious memory ask that we be strengthened in the doing of every good and virtuous work.  Hearken unto our earnest pleadings, and as thou didst free the souls of the ancestors of the blessed Cleopatra and secure for them a place in paradise, so by the boldness thou hast with the Master of all, win likewise a place in paradise for our own kinfolk who have passed from this life; that thus having found mercy through thy supplications, they and we may all be accounted worthy to inherit His kingdom on high, and may therein eternally glorify Him—the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit—now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

Composed by the Reader Isaac E. Lambertsen.  Copyright © 2009.  All rights reserved.

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