My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
THE THEOTOKOS, THE LIFE-GIVING FOUNTAIN (Zoodochos Pegi)
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Holy Feast Day (Tone 3)
As a Life-Giving Fount, thou didst conceive the Dew that is transcendent in essence, O Virgin Maid, and thou hast welled forth for our sakes the nectar of joy eternal, which doth pour forth from thy fount with the water that springeth up unto everlasting life in unending and mighty streams; wherein, taking delight, we all cry out: Rejoice, O thou Spring of Life for all men.
Kontakion Hymn. Plagal of Tone Four
O Lady graced by God, your reward me by letting gush forth, beyond reason, the ever-flowing waters of your grace from your perpetual Spring. I entreat you, who bore the Logos/Word, in a manner beyond comprehension, to refresh me in your grace that I may cry out, "Hail redemptive waters."
Outside of Constantinople towards the district of the Seven Towers, there was in ancient times a very large and most beautiful church named in honor of the Theotokos; it had been built about the middle of the 5th century by the Emperor Leo the Great (also called "Leo of Thrace," he is commemorated on January 20th). Before he became Emperor, he had encountered there a blind man, who being tormented with thirst asked him to help him find water. Leo felt compassion for him and went in search of a source of water but found none. As he became downcast, he heard a voice telling him there was water nearby. He looked again, and found none. Then he heard the voice again, this time calling him "Emperor" and telling him that he would find muddy water in the densely wooded place nearby; he was to take some water and anoint the blind man's eyes with it. When he had done this, the blind man received his sight. After Leo became Emperor as the Most Holy Theotokos had prophesied, he raised up a church over the spring, whose waters worked many healings and cured maladies by the grace of the Theotokos; from this, it came to be called the "Life-Giving Spring." The Church of Christ celebrates the consecration of this church on this day.
After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the imperial city, this church was razed to the ground by the Ottoman Turks and the materials from it were used for building the mosque of Sultan Bayezid. Nothing remained of that church's ancient beauty, except for a small and paltry chapel, almost completely buried in the ruins. This chapel had twenty-five steps going down into it, and a transom window on the roof, wherefrom it received a little light. Toward the western side of the chapel was the aforementioned holy Spring, fenced about with a railing, and with fish swimming in it. Such was the condition of the Spring until 1821. [Note: 1821 was the Greek revolution for independence from the Ottoman Turks after 400 years of enslavement.) Then even that little remnant was destroyed by them, occasioned by the uprising of the Greek nation against the Ottoman Empire; the Sacred Spring was buried with it and disappeared altogether.
But in the days of Sultan Mahmud, when those subject to him were rejoicing in their freedom to practice their faith, permission was sought by the Greek Orthodox Christian Community to rebuild at least part of the chapel. Thus the work was begun on July 26, 1833. When the excavation had been made, and the foundations of the ancient church were found, there was rebuilt--by a later writ of permission from the Sultan--not merely a chapel of the holy Spring, but another new church, constructed upon the foundations of the ancient one. The building of this spacious, beautiful, and most majestic temple began on September 14, 1833, and the work was completed on December 30, 1834. On February 2, 1835, the Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine II, serving the Divine Liturgy together with twelve hierarchs and a great company of clergy, as well as a boundless multitude of Orthodox Christians, performed the consecration of this sacred church and dedicated it to the glory of the Mother of God. On September 6, 1955, however, it was desecrated again by the Muslim Turks; it has been restored again, but not the former magnificence. (Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)
"In the hymns for this day the Life-bearing Spring is glorified as an ever flowing source of grace diversely manifested to the believer after powerful petition to All Holy Theotokos. Remembering in its hymns the wonderful signs of the grace of God revealed during the passage of time at the Life-bearing Spring, the Holy Church at the same time calls for its children to worthily magnify and glorify the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos."
A Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, by Saint John of Damascus From His Third Sermon on the Dormition
No one stands between Son and Mother...Accept, them, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation.
Heal our passions,
Cure our disease,
Help us out of our difficulties,
Make our lives peaceful,
Send us the illumination of the Spirit.
Inflame us with the desire of thy Son.
Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son's glory, rejoicing forever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him Who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God.
To Him be glory and majesty, with the Uncreated Father and the All-Holy and Life-Giving Spirit, now and forever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen.
(Source: Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church)
Orthros (Matins) at 9:00 a.m. and Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God