Friday May 7/20
Third Week of Pascha
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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.
By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen
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But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
"I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
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COMMEMORATION OF THE SIGN OF THE CROSS THAT APPEARED IN THE SKY IN JERUSALEM DURING THE THIRD HOUR OF THE DAY DURING THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE
HOLY MARTYR ACACIOS THE CENTURION OF CAPPADOCIA
ST NIL OF SORA
THE RIGHTEOUS MARTYR PACHOMIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, ATHOS
Troparion of the Appearance of the Cross Tone l
The image of Thy Cross shone forth brighter than the sun,/ reaching from the Mount of Olives to the Place of the Skull;/ in this way Thou didst reveal Thy might, O Saviour/ thereby strengthening the faithful./ Ever keep us in Thy peace through the prayers of Thy holy Mother,/ O Christ our God and save us.
Troparion of St Acacios Tone 5
O Martyr Acacios,/ by thy steadfast contest thou didst trample on the ancient serpent/ and receive the victor's crown from God./ By thine aid deliver us from the malice of the evil one,/ O prize-winner,/ and entreat Christ our God to have mercy on our souls.
Troparion of St Nil of Sora Tone 4
Thou didst renounce the world and flee the tumult of life,/ O righteous and Godbearing Father Nil. /Thou didst not neglect to gather paradisal flowers from the writings of the Fathers,/ and didst pass from the wilderness to heavenly mansions,/ having blossomed as a lily of the field./ Teach us who venerate thee to tread the royal highway;/ and pray for our souls.
Troparion of St Pachomios the New Martyr Tone 3
Thy godly life was made radiant by the trials of holy martyrdom,/ O glorious, righteous Martyr Pachomios./ Thou didst shine forth on Athos by thine ascetical deeds/ and shed thy blood as an Athlete./ Intercede with the Lord Who has glorified thee/ that He may grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion of the Appearance of the Cross Tone 4
The holy Cross which opened the closed heavens has appeared from thence and shone upon the earth. / As we receive the glory of its power we are led to the unfading Light. / We have it in wars as an unfading trophy, Thy weapon of peace.
Another Kontakion of the Precious Cross Tone 8
O thrice-blessed and worshipful Cross of Christ,/ all we faithful venerate and magnify thee, and we rejoice at thy manifestation./ As the trophy and unconquered weapon that thou art,/ protect, cover and shelter by thy grace those who cry to thee:/ Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.
Kontakion of St Acacios Tone 2
Let us fittingly acclaim the godly witness and victor over the devil./ Let us call him blessed as we pray:/ Cease not to entreat the Saviour, O Acacios,/ that thy servants may be saved;/ for thou hast great boldness before the Lord.
Kontakion of St Nil of Sora Tone 1
Beholding the blessings of Paradise and delighting in her beauties,/ thou didst bring forth fragrant fruits of God-enlightened understanding./ O chalice of divine compunction, Father Nil, pray to Christ that we thy disciples/ may rejoice eternally with thee.
Kontakion of St Pachomios the New Martyr Tone 4
Thou didst become illustrious on Athos by thine ascetic life and didst later excel in martyrdom./ For thou wast given wings by thy love for God,/ O divinely-wise Martyr, glorious Pachomios.