Saint Symeon the New Theologian
Saint Symeon became a monk of the Studite Monastery as a young man, under the guidance of the elder Symeon the Pious. Afterwards he struggled at the Monastery of Saint Mamas in Constantinople, of which he became abbot. After enduring many trials and afflictions in his life of piety, he reposed in 1022. Marvelling at the heights of prayer and holiness to which he attained, and the loftiness of the teachings of his life and writings, the church calls him “the New Theologian.” Only to two others, John the Evangelist and Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople, has the church given the name “Theologian.” Saint Symeon reposed on March 12, but since this always falls in the Great Fast, his feast is kept today.
Apolytikion (Third Tone)
Since thou hadst received within thy pure soul God’s enlightenment, O righteous Father, thou wast shown to the world as a blazing light which drave away its thick darkness and moved all men to seek the grace of the Spirit which they had lost. O all-holy Father Symeon, intercede with Him to grant great mercy unto us who honour thee.
Kontakion (Third Tone)
Shining with the Three-Sun Light, thou wast a true theologian of the Holy Trinity, the Lord divinely-transcendent; from on high, thou wast made rich with wisdom of discourse and didst pour forth the divine streams of godly wisdom; whereof having drunk, we cry out: Rejoice, thrice-blessed Symeon, taught from above
Gregory Dialogos, Bishop of Rome
St Gregory was born in Rome to noble and wealthy parents about the year 540 AD. While the Saint was still young, his father died. However, his mother, Sylvia, saw to it that her child received a good education in both secular and spiritual learning. He became Prefect of Rome and sought to please God even while in the world; later, he took up the monastic life; afterwards he was appointed Archdeacon of Rome, then, in 579 AD, Apocrisiarios (representative or Papal legate) to Constantinople, where he lived for nearly seven years. He returned to Rome in 585 AD and was elected Pope in 590 AD. He is renowned especially for his writings and great almsgiving, and because, on his initiative, missionary work began among the Anglo-Saxon people. It is also from him that Gregorian chant takes its name; the chanting he had heard at Constantinople had deeply impressed him, and he imported many elements of it into the ecclesiastical chant of Rome. He served as Bishop of that city from 590 to 604 AD.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Gregory, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
To you, who are the Church’s tuneful harp inspired of God, you are a tongue of wisdom who was verily possessed of God, to you, as it is meet, we now offer praises; for you truly had the zeal of the Apostles’ choir and followed in their footsteps as their worthy heir; and to you we say, “Rejoiced, divine Father Gregory”.
Saint Theophanes the Confessor
Saint Theophanes, who was born in 760, was the son of illustrious parents. Assenting to their demand, he married and became a member of the Emperor’s ceremonial bodyguard. Later, with the consent of his wife, he forsook the world. Indeed, both of them embraced the monastic life, struggling in the monastic houses they themselves had established. He died on March 12, 815, on the island of Samothrace, whereto, because of his confession of the Orthodox Faith, he had been exiled by Leo the Armenian, the Iconoclast Emperor.
Apolytikion of Theophanes the Confessor in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Theophanes, your soul rejoices with the angels.
Kontakion of Theophanes the Confessor in the Second Tone
Receiving from God a revelation from the heights, thou swiftly didst leave the turmoil of the world, O Saint; and thou as a monk didst receive the power to perform miracles and the grace of true prophecy, depriving thyself of riches and thy spouse.