Commemorated on December 16th
Holy Prophet Haggai. The Holy Empress Theophano the Wonderworker
The Prophet Haggai, whose name means "festive", was born in Babylon at the time of the captivity of the Jews. He began to prophesy in Jerusalem after their return thereto, and to admonish the people to rebuild the Temple, in the days of Zorobabel, the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, King of Persia, about the year 520 BC. His prophecy, divided into two chapters, is ranked tenth among the minor Prophets.
St Theophano, who was born in Constantinople, was of royal lineage. Instructed in letters, and adorned with many virtues, she was united in marriage to Emperor Leo the Wise (reigned 886 912 AD). However, counting the glory of the earthly kingdom as naught, she spent her nights and days in serving God with psalms and hymns and prayers, working various good deeds until she surrendered her spirit to God in peace, while still in her youth, being, according to some, about 20 years of age, according to others, 27. Her holy relics are still preserved in the patriarchal church in Constantinople as a source of healing for those that draw nigh with faith and longing.
Dismissal Hymn of the Prophet
As we celebrate the memory of Your Prophet Haggai, O Lord, through him we beseech You to save our souls.
Dismissal Hymn of the Saint
You Who was raised up
Referring heavenly things unto the earthly, you while on earth lived the life of the Angels, raised up on godly longing, O Theophano. Wherefore, you have been vouchsafed Heaven's graces and visions, standing with the Angels' hosts and the Saints' fair assemblies before the King of all, Whom you loved; pray Him to grant us His mercy and blessedness.
Kontakion of the Prophet
You sought the heights
Illumined in mind with streams of light from Heaven's heights, you brightly shined in prophecy throughout the world; and in manifesting types of Christ's dispensation, which was to come, you became illustrious, O Prophet Haggai, wise in things divine.
Kontakion of the Saint
On this day You have appeared
A we celebrate today your radiant feast-day, O divine Theophano, we cry with reverence unto you: Preserve you servants who sing you praise, from every manner of peril and suffering.