Commemoration of our Father among the Saints Patrick
The Enlightener of the Irish Land
At “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera, in Tone I-
Rejoice, ye hills and groves of the Irish land! Leap up, ye lakes and rivers! For, lo! through the grace of God blessing and strengthening have come upon you from on high, for your Enlightener and spiritual father cometh unto you: Patrick, glorious among hierarchs, zealot of the Orthodox Faith, chosen by God for the apostolate.
To the newly-enlightened Christians the holy Patrick crieth out: Attend, 0 my spiritual children: I have begotten you, as saith the Gospel; I have betrothed you as a bride to Christ God. Stand fast, therefore, in the Faith, and confess it fearlessly; be not afraid
of the opposition of the pagans, that God may manifest Himself unto you as a great Helper and Protector!
Great is thy faith, 0 holy hierarch Patrick; for, lo! having left thy homeland and lands enlightened by Christ, thou didst journey to a land languishing in heathen darkness, bearing the Gospel of Christ unto the lost; and thou didst not depart therefrom until thou didst convert the whole land to the Orthodox Faith. Wherefore, we praise thee as is meet.
Glory…. in Tone VIII-
Who can describe the pangs and struggles which thou didst endure, O Patrick, in preaching the Word of God unto them that sat in pagan darkness? Who can give account of the tears which thou didst shed at night, praying in the solitude of the wilderness, fending off the fear of wild beasts and the assaults of the demons by the power of the Cross of Christ. which thou didst plant triumphantly over all the Irish land?
Now & ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion, in the same tone-
“What is this sight which mine eyes behold, 0 Master: Thou Who sustainest all creation, lifted up upon the Tree, dost die, granting life unto all,” the Mother of God said, weeping, when she beheld the God and man Who had shone forth from her ineffably raised upon the Cross.
At the Aposticha, Glory…., in Tone II
Loving the heavenly homeland and desiring to attain thereunto, thou didst forsake thy native land on earth; and in a foreign land thou didst beget new people in the Spirit, showing thyself to be a true father to them, and crying aloud unto the Lord: Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given me!
Now & ever… : Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion, in the same tone –
When the unblemished Ewe-lamb beheld her Lamb led to the slaughter as a man of His own will, weeping, she said: “O Christ, wilt Thou now leave me childless who gaveth Thee birth? What Is this Thou hast done, 0 Deliverer of all? Yet I hymn and glorify Thine extreme goodness which transcendeth comprehension and recounting, 0 Lover of mankind!’
Troparion, in Tone III-
- Holy hierarch Patrick wonderworker equal to the apostles, Enlightener of the Irish land: entreat the merciful God, that He grant our souls remission of transgressions!
Canon of the holy hierarch, the acrostic whereof is: “The seal of thine apostolate is the Irish people,” in Tone IV-
Irmos: To Thee do I raise a hymn, 0 Lord my God; for Thou didst lead Thy people out of the bondage of Egypt, and didst cover the chariots and might of Pharaoh in the Red Sea.
O preacher equal to the apostles, with divinely inspired discourse and a life which confirmed thy words thou didst lead the people of Ireland out of the darkness of paganism into the light or the Christian Faith, as Moses led the children or Israel out of Egypt.
Manfully opposing the heresy of Pelagius, thou didst manifest the power of the grace of Christ to the people, enlightening kings and princes and men of every age and station, leading them into the fold of the Church.
What, therefore, shall we that commemorate the holy Patrick say? Shall we praise his apostolic zeal? Shall we marvel at the tribulations and threats which he endured? Shall we hymn his labours and struggles and the depths of his humility? Let us then glorify God Who gaveth His power to His chosen one to accomplish all of these things.
Theotokion: The rod of Aaron, which put forth leaves, and the unburnt bush prefigured thee. 0 unwedded Bride, Virgin Mother of God, who served for the incarnation of the pre-eternal Word.
Irmos: O Christ God, Thou confirmation of them that hope in Thee: confirm us in the Orthodox Faith, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.
With much patience thou didst acquire the virtues, confirming the word of thy preaching by thy deeds, unto the glory of God.
Enduring bodily affliction, all manner of temptations and abasement, O Patrick, thou didst unceasingly labour in the field of Christ, neither departing nor becoming troubled, but being made steadfast in the Faith and in trust in the aid of God.
Thou gavest neither slumber to thine eye-lids nor rest to thy body, 0 holy hierarch, tirelessly traversing the mountains and vales of the Irish land, planting the true Faith and instructing the newly-converted people.
Theotokion: O Mistress, thou art the joy and consolation of the struggling and the ever-sounding voice of the apostles. Grant that we, the poor and wretched, may instead of gifts worthy of thee offer thee heartfelt hymnody.
Sedalen, in Tone VII–
O lover of the sacred Scriptures, eagerly didst thou learn the Word or God, giving drink unto thy soul from that divine well-spring and nurturing thine understanding with heavenly wisdom. Wherefore, thou midst transmit to thy disciples the divinely-revealed Truth which thou didst seal in thy writings.
Glory…, Now & ever: Theotokion–
O Mother of God and Mother of Christians, take pity on thy children; for even though we sin, in repentance do we cry out: Leave us not orphans, but stretch forth thy hands to us, guiding us to the path of salvation.
Preserved ever by the Cross of thy Son, 0 Virgin, we escape the assaults of the demons. Wherefore. hymning thee as is meet, we glorify thee, 0 most hymned Mother of God.
Irmos: Proclaiming the advent of Thine appearance on earth, 0 Christ God, with gladness the prophet cried out: Glory to Thy power, 0 Lord!
Likening thyself to a hart upon the mountains of spices, thou didst go round the mountains and hills, erecting churches and instructing Christians in the Orthodox Faith; and retiring to desolate places thou didst make unceasing supplications, that thy new flock be saved.
Having forsaken the sin-loving world from thy youth and been nurtured in the monasteries of the glorious Martin and his disciples, and tarried many years in study, thou didst humbly accept the pastoral staff, exclaiming: Glory to Thy power, 0 Lord!
Thou didst summon the sheep of thy pasture with the voice of the Gospel. and didst lead them to the courts of the Church, showing thyself to be a true shepherd who layeth down his life for his sheep.
Theotokion: O blessed Mother of God, we offer thee the angel’s salutation: Rejoice. 0 thou that art full of grace, the Lord Is with thee!
Irmos: Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, 0 Jesus Son of God, Who hast shone forth the light, hast illumined the morn, and shown forth the day!
With the light of the teaching of Christ didst thou illumine the Irish land, 0 Patrick. rejoicing in thy newly chosen flock and rendering glory unto God.
Thou didst open the noetic eyes of them that before were blinded with unbelief and languished in the darkness of ignorance; and thou didst move them to glorify Christ the Saviour with all the faithful.
Insatiably didst thou preach the Orthodox Faith. standing and teaching in season and out of season, weeping copiously and crying out to Christ God Who rendered thee aid: Glory to Thy power. 0 Son of God!
Theotokion: O Mary Mother of God, who shone forth the Sun of righteousness upon the world and dispelled the darkness: drive away the night of wicked belief from the world!
Irmos: Prefiguring the three-day burial, the Prophet Jonah, praying in the midst of the whale, cried out: Deliver me from corruption, O Jesus. King of the heavenly hosts!
When offended, thou didst not protest; and when abased, thou didst humble thyself, showing thyself to be a model for thy disciples. Wherefore, the Lord hath exalted thee, O Patrick.
Battling against the deceptive wiles of the devil, thou didst not fear the threats of the impious sorcerers, fearlessly preaching and crying aloud: Deliver me from their snares, O Jesus. King of the heavenly hosts!
Having endured sorrow, imprisonment and bitter enslavement in thy youth, when thou wast made captive, 0 Patrick, thou didst receive freedom when the Lord spake unto thee, and didst cry out: Glory to Thee, O Jesus, King of the heavenly hosts!
Theotokion: Thou art the helper of the oppressed; thou art the liberation of captives; for thy Son and our God doth ever accept thine entreaties, 0 Ever~virgin Mistress.
Kontakion, in Tone IV–
Thou wast shown to be a true fisher of men, for, spreading out the nets of the good news of the Gospel, thou didst draw the heathen into the kingdom of Christ, enlightening with baptism them that languished in the darkness of idolatry, and making them children of the living God. Wherefore, we beseech thee, 0 holy hierarch Patrick our Father: Intercede in behalf of us who honour thy holy memory.
Irmos: Once in Babylon the children of Abraham trampled down the flame of the furnace, crying out in hymns: 0 God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!
0 holy hierarch Patrick, beholder of divinely revealed visions, thou didst follow the voice of God which summoned thee and sent thee to convert a new people to the true Faith.
Receiving the angelic habit in thy youth, thou wast zealous in planting the monastic life in the newly-enlightened land, founding many monastic communities, in every place, and chanting unto the Lord: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!
In thee doth the Irish land boast, 0 Patrick, and it honours thy memory; and we also, [who are from the East,] do earnestly call upon thee in our prayers, thanking the Lord for thee and crying out: Blessed art Thou, 0 God!
Theotokion: Accept now the entreaties of thy servants, O all-immaculate Lady, as of old thou didst hearken unto the supplications of them that had recourse unto thee; for yesterday, today and in the age to come, thou art shown to be our only merciful helper.
Irmos: Christ the King did the captive children confess in the furnace, saying with a loud voice: O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord!
Thou wast shown to be a good sower, having grown a fertile meadow for Christ, O holy hierarch Patrick, teaching the newly-illumined people of Ireland to cry out: O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord!
Having laid the firm foundation of the Faith of Christ. thou didst erect churches and monastic habitations without number, and didst exhort them that struggled there to cry: O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord!
Thou didst ordain priests of God and didst dispatch them over all the land to exercise their ministry that they might confirm in the Faith which thou didst preach the newly-enlightened people, who cried out in thanksgiving: O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord!
Theotokion: Render vain the errors of other religions and the arrogance of heresy, and establish the faithful in the Truth, O Mistress, mystically teaching them to hymn God in the Orthodox manner.
Irmos: O pure Mother of God, our boast, who wast born of mortals and gavest birth unto the Creator: we magnify thee as her who is Mistress of all created beings.
Celebrating thine annual commemoration, and praising thine apostolic labours, assembling from the East and from the West we magnify thee with one soul.
Thou didst offer Christ thy youth as a sacrifice, and didst serve Him until thou hadst grown old, O holy hierarch, emulating the apostles and imitating the venerable Saints. Wherefore, we magnify thee with loud voice.
Thou didst hallow the groves and hills of the Irish land with thy prayer, and didst bedew the newly-planted meadow of Christ with copious tears, that it might grow and bring forth fruit an hundredfold. Wherefore, after God, we magnify thy labours and zeal.
Theotokion: Withdraw not thy care from Ireland or any Christian land, O Mother of God, entreating thy divine Son, with the holy Patrick, that He have mercy and save them that unceasingly magnify thee.
Having illumined the heathen night with the light of Christ, O holy Father Patrick, thou now abidest in never-waning light, gazing upon the Sun of righteousness, and praying unceasingly, that the noetic light of Orthodoxy shine forth in all the world.
Theotokion– O all-immaculate Mother of God, thou ray of the Sun of righteousness which everlastingly dost cast the Light of the threefold Sun into the darkness: illumine thou our souls!
Composed in Slavonic by Valeria Hoecke, New York, in the 1970s. Blessed for use in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad by the Synod of Bishops. Texts courtesy of Fr. Ambrose.