Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple
Agatha the Martyr
Saint Agatha, who was from Panormus (Palermo) or Catania of Sicily, was a attractive and chaste virgin. After many exceedingly harsh torments, she gave up her spirit in prison at Catania in 251 AD, because she did not consent to the seductions of Quintian, the Governor of Sicily. At her burial, an Angel placed a stone tablet on her grave inscribed with the words, “A righteous mind, self-determining, honour from God, the deliverance of her fatherland”. The following year this was fulfilled when Mount Etna erupted, spewing forth violent fire from which Catania was manifestly saved by Saint Agatha’s prayers. The holy Martyr Agatha, the protectress and chief patron of Sicily, is, with perhaps the exception of St Agnes of Rome, the most highly venerated Virgin Martyr of the West. Saint Damasus, Pope of Rome, and St Ambrose of Milan both wrote in praise of her.
Dismissal Hymn of the Feast
Rejoice, you who are full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, you also, O righteous Elder, as you received in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also grants to us the Resurrection.
Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr
Joseph was amazed
O Lord Jesus, to You Your lamb cries with a great voice:
O my Bridegroom, You I love; and seeking You, I now contest, and with Your baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Your sake, that I may reign with You; for Your sake I die, that I may live in You. Accept me offered out of longing to You as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since You are great in mercy.
Kontakion of the Feast
You Who sanctified the Virgin’s womb by Your birth, and blessed Symeon’s hands as was proper. Having now come and saved us, O Christ God, grant us peace in the midst of wars on Your commonwealth and strengthen the Hierarchs whom You love, O only friend of man.
Kontakion of the Martyr
On this day You have appeared
Let the Church be clad today with royal purple in a splendid covering dyed in the chaste and hallowed blood of Martyr Agatha, and let it now cry, “Rejoice, O you boast of Catania.”
Also Celebrating Today:
- Polyeuktos, Partriarch Of Constantinople
- Antonios the New Martyr of Athens
- Theodosios, Archbishop of Chernigov
- Theodosios of Antioch