Most Holy Theotokos Save Us

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My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

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MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS (MOTHER OF GOD) SAVE US

[Holy Dormition (Koimisis) of the Theotokos - August 1-15)

THE SERVICE OF THE SMALL PARAKLESIS (SUPPLICATION) TO THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS
(The service of the Small Paraklesis is chanted in times of distress and sorrow of soul and during the first fourteen days of August.)

Priest: Blessed is our God always, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Psalm 142

O Lord, hear my prayer, give ear to my supplications in Your truth...

Tone 4

God is the Lord; and has revealed Himself to us, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Vs. 1. Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Holy Name.

God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us; blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.

Vs.2. All the nations have surrounded me, but in the Name of the Lord, I have overcome them.

God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us; blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.

Vs.3. This has been done by the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes.

God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us; blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.

Tone 4

To the Theotokos, let us run now most fervently, As sinners and lowly ones, Let us fall down in repentance, Crying from the depths of our soul: Lady, come and help us; Have compassion upon us; Hasten now for we are lost In the host of our errors; Do not turn your servants away, For you alone are a hope to us. Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

(Repeat the above or the Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the church.)

Now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen

O Theotokos, we shall never be silent, Of your mighty acts, all we the unworthy; Had you not stood to intercede for us Who would have delivered us, From the numerous perils? Who would have preserved us all Until now with our freedom? O Lady, we shall not depart from you;

For you always save your servants, From all tribulation.

Then we read: Psalm 50[51]

Have mercy on me, O God, according Your great mercy...

Most Holy Theotokos save us.

With many temptations surrounding me, Searching for salvation, I have hastened unto you; O Mother of the Logos/Word, and Ever-Virgin, From all distresses and dangers deliver me. Most Holy Theotokos save us.

Assaults of the passions have shaken me, My soul to its limits Has been filled with much despair; Bring peace, O Maiden, in the calmness, Of your own Son and your God, All-blameless One. Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

To God and the Savior you've given birth; I ask you, O Virgin, From the dangers deliver me; For now, I run to you for refuge, With both my soul and my reasoning.

Now and forever, and to the ages of ages, Amen.

Diseased is the body and the soul; Deem me truly worthy Of divine guidance and your care; For you alone are God's Mother, As the good and the birthgiver of the Good.

(To be continued)

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Orthodox Christians begin and end the liturgical year with celebrations dedicated to the Ever-Virgin Mary, who we venerate as the Theotokos. On September 8th, the end of the first week of the new year, we commemorate her Nativity or birth; on August 15th, we close the year with the feast of her Koimisis (Dormition), her "falling asleep" and Metastasis (Translation) to heaven.

When Orthodox Christians are in need of immediate and sure help, they turn to the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, who has saved our fellow Orthodox Christians in various counties numerous times over the centuries who faced attacks and hostility from non-Christians.

Orthodox Christians pray to the Mother of God with tears for our brothers and sisters in Christ who in danger and persecution. The Theotokos has performed many miracles. For many centuries, Syrian Christians have been graced with the Saidnaya holy icon of the Mother of God, kept in the Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God in the village of Saidnaya. Countless miracles have been wrought through prayer before this holy icon, but we recount here one that happened as recently as the year 2004. It is a story that, if it had not been broadcast on the major TV channels in the Middle East, would certainly be hard to believe, even after reading about her intercessions throughout the Christian East. Here is an account of that miracle compiled by Archmandrite Nectarios Serfes:

In December 2004 a Saudi Arabian Arabian man, a Moslem, appeared before several news agencies to relate the following incredible event he experienced and which changed his life (this story appeared on TV, the Internet, radio, and was circulated in newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets throughout Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, and evidently in all neighboring countries.

Some years ago, this man married a Moslem woman who was very rich, but sterile. As the years passed, and despite all their efforts and significant medical expenses with many doctors, they remained childless. The man's parents suggested to him that he marry a second woman while upholding his initial marriage (as the local laws permit up to four concurrent marriages).

Being exhausted, worried, and downhearted, he did not accept his parents' advice but rather chose to vacation with his wife in Syria. There they hired a limousine with a driver who would serve as a tour guide for all their site-seeing excursions throughout Syria. As the vacation progressed, the driver noticed that the Saudi Arabian couple was experiencing bitterness, pain, and grief. Having gained familiarity with the couple, the driver cautiously asked them why they appeared to be so unhappy--was it perhaps because he was not conducting the tour to their satisfaction?

The couple confided to the driver that the source of their unhappiness was their inability to have children. The driver who was also a Moslem then told them that in Syria the Christians, specifically the Orthodox Christians, have a monastery named Panagia Saidnaya (Arabic word meaning Our Lady) and that many people who can't have children take refuge in Her Miracle-Working Icon. They go to the monastery, and there they are given to eat the wick from the lamp which burns before the miraculous icon.  And then the "Mary" of the Christians grants them, according to their faith, what they wish.

 Becoming excited, the Saudi Arabian and his wife asked the driver to take them to the "Saidnaya" monastery of "The Lady of the Christians" and said that if we have a child, then I will come back and I will give you 20,000 U.S. dollars, and I will give the monastery 80.000. So they went to the monastery and did as they were instructed. Later they returned to their homeland and after some time, his wife was found pregnant. In nine months she gave birth to a charming baby boy. It was truly a miracle of Our Lady Theotokos.

Now, as soon as his wife gave birth, the Saudi Arabian man wanted to return to Syria to uphold the promises he had made. Upon his return, he called the same driver and asked to be picked up at the Damascus airport. But the driver was cunning and wicked and he persuaded two of his friends to go to the airport with him to pick up the rich Saudi Arabian man, to take his money and kill him. So they picked up the rich man at the airport and he, as they drove, without realizing that they had planned to kill him, told the friends of the driver that he would give them also 10,000 US dollars each.

These men, still not satisfied, deviated from the route to the monastery and went to a deserted place, proceeded to slay the Saudi Arabian man, and to cut off his head and other parts (hands and legs) of his body into pieces. Blinded by passion and overcome by the horrific act that they just committed, they put the man's remains in the trunk of the car rather than just leaving him there. After taking his money, watch, and all that he had, they proceeded to find another deserted place to discard the remains.

Then, on the National highway, their car broke down and stopped in the middle of that road. The three men got out to determine why the engine had stalled. Then a passerby stopped to help them but they, afraid that their terrible act would be discovered, pretended that they did not need any help. But as the passerby motorist was leaving, he noticed blood dripping from the rear of the vehicle and he called the police to investigate, because the scene and the three men looked suspicious. The police came and saw the blood under the care and on the pavement, so they ordered that the trunk be opened.

Well, when they opened the trunk, lo and behold, the Saudi Arabian man lifted himself out, obviously and amazingly alive and in good health, saying to them "Just now this Panagia finished stitching my neck, right here (showing them the area of his Adam's apple), after first stitching up the rest of my entire body". Seeing this, the three criminals immediately lost their minds, becoming as if mad. The police handcuffed them, and as they were being taken away to an asylum for the insane, the criminals started raving that it could not be possible that the Saudi Arabian man whom they killed, beheaded, and dissected could yet be alive.

The Saudi Arabian went to a medical facility to undergo examination by doctors and medical examiners who confirmed and attested that the stitching was done very recently, thereby validating the miraculous event. The stitches were, and still are, obvious. When the Saudi Arabian came out of the car's trunk, he had the appearance, literally, of just having been refabricated (put back together) to which he continuously confessed that the Panagia had rejoined his body and resurrected him with the help of her Son.

Immediately after this, the Saudi Arabian called his relatives to come to Syria. They all went together to the monastery of Panagia Saidnaya and offered up prayers, praises, and glorification, and instead of the initially promised gift of $80.00 he gave $800.00 to the monastery of the Theotokos.

Today, as this man relates the details of that overwhelming miracle, he starts his narration with, "When I was a Moslem this happened to me", thus indicating he is no longer a Moslem, nor is his family. The miracle stunned with awesome surprise the entire Arabic/Moslem nation and all of the Middle East.

Let us Orthodox Christians never neglect to pray to the Mother of God for protection against all evil. And let us witness to those Christians who are not Orthodox, who do not revere and pray to God's Most Holy and Ever pure Mother, that she is indeed our Protectress in times of need.

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George