Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1, 2011 - 16th Week After Pentecost (2nd Week of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Ananias, Apostle of the 70
Romanos the Melodist

Άγιος Ανανίας ο Απόστολος
Όσιος Ρωμανός ο Μελωδός
Όσιος Ιωάννης ο ψάλτης ο καλούμενος Κουκουζέλης
Σύναξη της Υπεραγίας Θεοτόκου της Γοργοεπηκόου
Άγιος Μιχαήλ ηγούμενος της Μονής Ζώβης και τριάντα έξι άλλοι Οσιομάρτυρες
Άγιος Δομνίνος
Όσιος Γρηγόριος ο Δομέστικος
Όσιος Σάββας ο εν Βησερία ο Θαυματουργός

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

The Reading is from Acts of the Apostles 9:10-19
IN THOSE DAYS, there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 9:10-19
Ἐν ταῖς ἡμεραῖς ἐκείναις, ἦν δέ τις μαθητὴς ἐν Δαμασκῷ ὀνόματι Ἀνανίας, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος ἐν ὁράματι, Ἀνανία. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, Ἰδοὺ ἐγώ, κύριε. Ὁ δὲ κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν, Ἀναστὰς πορεύθητι ἐπὶ τὴν ῥύμην τὴν καλουμένην Εὐθεῖαν, καὶ ζήτησον ἐν οἰκίᾳ Ἰούδα Σαῦλον ὀνόματι, Ταρσέα· ἰδοὺ γὰρ προσεύχεται, καὶ εἶδεν ἐν ὁράματι ἄνδρα ὀνόματι Ἀνανίαν εἰσελθόντα καὶ ἐπιθέντα αὐτῷ χεῖρα, ὅπως ἀναβλέψῃ. Ἀπεκρίθη δὲ Ἀνανίας, Κύριε, ἀκήκοα ἀπὸ πολλῶν περὶ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς τούτου, ὅσα κακὰ ἐποίησεν τοῖς ἁγίοις σου ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ· καὶ ὧδε ἔχει ἐξουσίαν παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων, δῆσαι πάντας τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους τὸ ὄνομά σου. Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος, Πορεύου, ὅτι σκεῦος ἐκλογῆς μοι ἐστὶν οὗτος, τοῦ βαστάσαι τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐνώπιον ἐθνῶν καὶ βασιλέων, υἱῶν τε Ἰσραήλ· ἐγὼ γὰρ ὑποδείξω αὐτῷ ὅσα δεῖ αὐτὸν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματός μου παθεῖν. Ἀπῆλθεν δὲ Ἀνανίας καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, καὶ ἐπιθεὶς ἐπʼ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας εἶπεν, Σαοὺλ ἀδελφέ, ὁ κύριος ἀπέσταλκέν με, ὁ ὀφθείς σοι ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ᾗ ἤρχου, ὅπως ἀναβλέψῃς καὶ πλησθῇς πνεύματος ἁγίου. Καὶ εὐθέως ἀπέπεσον ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ λεπίδες, ἀνέβλεψέν τε καὶ ἀναστὰς ἐβαπτίσθη, καὶ λαβὼν τροφὴν ἐνίσχυσεν. Ἐγένετο δὲ ὁ Σαῦλος μετὰ τῶν ἐν Δαμασκῷ μαθητῶν ἡμέρας τινάς.

The Reading is from Luke 5:17-26
At that time, as Jesus was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the man who was paralyzed -- "I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home." And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 5.17-26
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἦν διδάσκων ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι, οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ᾿Ιουδαίας καὶ ῾Ιερουσαλήμ· καὶ δύναμις Κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτούς.καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες φέροντες ἐπὶ κλίνης ἄνθρωπον ὃς ἦν παραλελυμένος, καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν εἰσενεγκεῖν καὶ θεῖναι ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ.καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸν ὄχλον, ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα διὰ τῶν κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ εἰς τὸ μέσον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ.καὶ ἰδὼν τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἄνθρωπε, ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου.καὶ ἤρξαντο διαλογίζεσθαι οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες· τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὃς λαλεῖ βλασφημίας· τίς δύναται ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας εἰ μὴ μόνος ὁ Θεός;ἐπιγνοὺς δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπε πρὸς αὐτούς· τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν;τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν, ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου, ἢ εἰπεῖν, ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει;ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας - εἶπε τῷ παραλελυμένῳ· σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε καὶ ἄρας τὸ κλινίδιόν σου πορεύου εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου.καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀναστὰς ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν, ἄρας ἐφ᾿ ὃ κατέκειτο ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν.καὶ ἔκστασις ἔλαβεν ἅπαντας καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν Θεόν, καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν φόβου λέγοντες ὅτι εἴδομεν παράδοξα σήμερον.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Τῇ Α' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀποστόλου Ἀνανίου.
Λίθοις νέμειν θέλοντα μηδαμῶς σέβας,
Ἀνανίαν βάλλουσι δυσσεβεῖς λίθοις.
Λεύσθη Ἀνανίας Ὀκτωβρίου ἥματι πρώτῳ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ῥωμανού, τοῦ Ποιητοῦ τῶν Κοντακίων.
Καὶ πρὶν μὲν ὕμνει Ῥωμανὸς Θεὸν Λόγον,
Ὑμνεῖ δὲ καὶ νῦν, ἀλλὰ σὺν τοῖς Ἀγγέλοις.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμῃ τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Μιχαὴλ ἐκ τῆς Μονῆς Ζώβης, καὶ τῶν σῦν αὐτῷ λς´ Ἁγίων Μοναχῶν τῶν μαρτυρησάντων ἐν τῇ ἐνορίᾳ Σεβαστουπόλεως.
Τμηθεὶς Μιχαὴλ σὺν μαθηταῖς τρισδέκα,
Χορῷ συνήφθη τῶν Μοναστομαρτύρων.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων ἓξ Ὀσιομαρτύρων ξίφει τελειωθέντων.
Ἓξ συμμονασταὶ τοὺς ἑαυτῶν μανδύας,
Ἄθλοις ἐρυθραίνουσι τοῖς διὰ ξίφους.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Δομνίνου.
Δεινὴν Δομνῖνος συντριβὴν σκελῶν φέρων,
Ὑποσκελισμοὺς τοῦ Σατᾶν καταισχύνει.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Κουκουζέλης ὁ ἡδύμολπος, ὁ ἐν τοῖς ὁρίοις τῆς ἐν τῷ Ἄθῳ μεγίστης Λαύρας ἀσκήσας, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειούται.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Γρηγόριος ὁ Δομέστικος, ὁ ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ μεγίστῃ Λαύρᾳ τοῦ Ἄθου ἀσκήσας, καὶ ἒν χρυσοῦν νόμισμα παρὰ τῆς Θεοτόκου λαβών, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Saint Ananias, whose name means "God is gracious," was from Damascus, where by divine revelation he was commanded to baptize the Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 10-17). He completed the course of martyrdom when he was stoned to death during the proconsulate of Lucian.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Ananias, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Our most fervent advocate in intercession who dost hearken most quickly to them that pray to thee, receive our supplication, O Ananias, and implore Christ, Who alone is glorified in the Saints, to have mercy on us.

Saint Romanos flourished during the reign of Anastasius (491-518). He was from Emesa of Syria, and apparently was born of Jewish parents, for a hymn written in his honour in Greek says he was "of Hebrew stock," and it has furthermore been noted that he uses many Semitic idioms in his writings. He was baptized an Orthodox Christian, and at some time became a deacon in the Church of Beirut. He was the first composer of the kontakia, the foremost of which is that of the feast of Christ's Nativity, On this day the Virgin .... In composing many of his kontakia. Saint Romanos was inspired by the hymns of Saint Ephraim of Syria.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Father; for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ, and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlook the flesh, for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O righteous Romanos, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As a harmonious harp of lofty wisdom from on high and an expounder of things seen in God-inspired ascents, we extol thee, Father Romanos, and we hymn thee. As a trumpet of the gifts that pass the mind of man, do thou rouse us to divine and saving watchfulness, as we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father elect of God.

Υπακούατε «ἐκ καρδίας εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε τύπον διδαχῆς» (Προς Ρωμαίους, ΣΤ' 17). Κάνετε υπακοή με όλη την καρδιά σας στον ακριβή κανόνα της χριστιανικής διδασκαλίας. Τέτοιος άνθρωπος υπακοής στο Θεό ήταν και ο απόστολος Ανανίας. Διότι, όταν ο Θεός του είπε με όραμα να συναντήσει το Σαύλο, που ήταν ο φόβος και ο τρόμος των χριστιανών, έκανε υπακοή στα λόγια του Κυρίου. Αμέσως πήγε στην Ευθεία οδό και αναζήτησε το σπίτι του Ιούδα, όπου ήταν ο Σαύλος. Τον θεράπευσε, τον βάπτισε χριστιανό, και έπειτα αυτός, με το όνομα Παύλος, έγινε ο μέγας Απόστολος των Εθνών (βλέπε 29 Ιουνίου). Κατόπιν ο Ανανίας πήγε στην Ελευθερούπολη, όπου με τη διδασκαλία του είλκυσε στο Χριστό πολυάριθμες ψυχές.
Ο θόρυβος όμως που δημιούργησε η αποστολική του δράση, έκανε τον ηγεμόνα Λουκιανό να τον συλλάβει. Χρησιμοποίησε πολλούς και ποικίλους τρόπους προκειμένου να αλλαξοπιστήσει ο Ανανίας. Αλλά ο Ανανίας έμεινε αμετακίνητος στα χριστιανικά του φρονήματα. Τότε ο Λουκιανός τον μαστίγωσε με νεύρα βοδιών. Έπειτα, με σιδερένια νύχια του ξέσχισε τα πλευρά και έκαψε τις πληγές του με αναμμένες λαμπάδες. Τέλος, αφού τον έβγαλε έξω από την πόλη, τον λιθοβόλησε. Έτσι, ο Ανανίας πήρε το αμαράντινο στεφάνι της υπακοής στο θέλημα του Θεού.


Ἀπολυτίκιον
Ἦχος γ’.
Ἀπόστολε Ἅγιε Ἀνανία, πρέσβευε τῷ ἐλεήμονι Θεῷ, ἵνα πταισμάτων ἄφεσιν, παράσχῃ ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἡμῶν.

Ἕτερον Ἀπολυτίκιον
Ἦχος δ’. Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε.
Ὡς ἔμπλεως χάριτος, τοῦ Τρισηλίου φωτός, τὸ σκεῦος ἐφώτισας, τῆς ἐκλογῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ, Ἀνανία Ἀπόστολε, ὅθεν ἀνακηρύξας, εὐσέβειας τὸν λόγον, ἄθλοις ἐβεβαιώσω, τὴν σωτήριον χάριν δι' ἧς τοὶς σὲ εὐφημούσι, δίδου τὰ πρόσφορα.

Κοντάκιον
Ἦχος β’. Τὴν ἐν πρεσβείαις.
Ὁ ἐν πρεσβείαις θερμότατος ἀντιλήπτωρ, καὶ τῶν αἰτούντων ταχύτατα εἰσακούων, δέξαι τὴν δέησιν Ἀνανάα ἡμῶν, καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν δυσώπει, τοῦ σῶσαι τοὺς ὑμνούντάς σε, τὸν μόνον ὑπάρχοντα φιλάνθρωπον.

Οι πληροφορίες για τον βίο του οσίου Ρωμανού δυστυχώς είναι λίγες. Έζησε ή τον 6ο αιώνα μ.Χ. επί του βασιλέως Αναστασίου του Α' ή κατά μία άλλη εκδοχή, τον 8ο αιώνα μ.Χ. επί τού βασιλέως Αναστασίου του Β'. Γεννήθηκε στην Έμεσα της Συρίας και σύμφωνα με ανώνυμο ύμνο ήταν εβραϊκής καταγωγής.
Αρχικά είχε χρηματίσει διάκονος στην εκκλησία της Βηρυτού. Κατόπιν μετέβηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη και έμεινε στα κελιά τού Ναού της Θεοτόκου.
Ο Ρωμανός είχε μέτρια παιδεία και το ποιητικό ταλέντο του ήταν ακόμα άγνωστο. Διεκατέχετο όμως από μία βαθιά πίστη στην σεπτή μνήμη της Παναγίας της Παρθένου και τακτικά παρακολουθούσε στον Ναό της Παναγίας των Βλαχερνών τις κατανυκτικές ολονυκτίες. Σε μία τέτοια, στην γιορτή των Χριστουγέννων, που παραβρέθηκε η ψυχή του γέμισε με κατάνυξη, όταν γύρισε στο κελί του είδε όνειρο την Παναγία να του προσφέρει ένα βιβλίο και να του λέει να τον καταφάει. Ο Ρωμανός από την επίδραση τού ονείρου συνέθεσε για την γέννηση τού Χριστού το τροπάριο «Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον τὸν ὑπερούσιον τίκτει καὶ ἡ γῆ τὸ σπήλαιον τῷ ἀπροσίτω προσάγει..». Από την στιγμή αυτή η ποιητική επιφοίτηση του οσίου Ρωμανού έμεινε άσβεστη και αναδείχτηκε ο εξωχότερος και μεγαλύτερος μελωδός της Εκκλησίας μας.
Ο Ρωμανός έγραψε χίλιες περίπου συνθέσεις από τις όποιες διασώθηκε μόνο το ένα δέκατο. Πολυποίκιλα τα θέματά του. Ύμνησε όλους σχεδόν τους Αγίους και τις εορτές της Χριστιανικής Εκκλησίας. Ανεξάντλητος στις συλλήψεις και στον πλούτο ιδεών, γνωρίζοντας τον τρόπο να προσδίνει πρωτοτυπία ακόμη και στα πιο κοινά θα μπορούσε να χαρακτηρίσει κανείς θέματα. Το άχαρο αλλά και αχάριστο πολλές φορές υλικό του (γεγονότα και βίος Αγίων) μπορούσε να το μετατρέψει σε ζωντανό δραματικό πίνακα. Τα πρόσωπα των Αγίων αλλά και της Παναγίας και του Χριστού παρουσιάζονται απόλυτα ζωντανά χωρίς τίποτα το νεκρικό ή απόκοσμο.
Η ποίηση του Ρωμανού του Μελωδού εκφράζει την ίδια την εποχή του, τους πόθους και τις ελπίδες εκείνων των ανθρώπων. Γι΄ αυτό και το έργο του δεν εξετάζεται μόνο από Θρησκευτικής άποψης ή λογοτεχνικής αλλά και ιστορικής και λαογραφικής. Η γλώσσα του απλή, χωρίς στόμφους και όπου παρουσιάζεται ρητορική μακρολογία επειδή έτσι επιβαλλόταν από την ανάγκη των τότε λειτουργικών πλαισίων, αυτή γίνεται χωρίς να κουράζει. Γενικά οι φράσεις του περιέχουν μια πλαστικότητα, μεστή νοημάτων κατά μια άψογη τεχνική όπως παραδέχονται ειδικοί.
Ο διάσημος Γερμάνος βυζαντινολόγος καθηγητής Κρουμβάχερ, πλέκει άξιο το εγκώμιο του Ρωμανού. Η κριτική, λέει, ανακήρυξε τον Ρωμανό σαν τον μεγαλύτερο ποιητή του Βυζαντινού αιώνα, αληθινό Πίνδαρο αυτού. Κατείχε ανεξάντλητο πλούτο ιδεών, ανυπέρβλητη πλαστικότητα φράσεως, μεστή και δυνατή γλώσσα, θησαυρό αρμονίας ποικίλων και καλλιτεχνικών ρυθμών.
Ο Ρωμανός χρησιμοποίησε το ποιητικό εκείνο είδος πού λέγεται εκκλησιαστικός Ύμνος και του χάρισε την τελειότερη μορφή. Ο Ύμνος αποτελείται από το Κοντάκιον (προσόμοιον ή κουκούλιον), τους Οίκους και το Εφύμνιον και στηρίζεται πάνω στο νόμο της Ισοσυλλαβίας και ομοτονίας. Μαζί με το ποιητικό κείμενο συνέθετε ο ίδιος και τη μουσική ή έδενε το νέο ποίημα πάνω σε παλιότερη μουσική σύνθεση. Θεματικά τα έργα του αναφέρονται περισσότερο σε γεγονότα της ζωής του Χριστού και σε ιερά πρόσωπα της Γραφής, όπως και σε βίους άγιων. Το είδος αυτό της ποίησης κυριαρχεί και σήμερα στην εκκλησιαστική ποίηση.


Ἀπολυτίκιον
Ἦχος δ’.
Ἐν σοὶ Πάτερ ἀκριβῶς διεσώθη τὸ κατ᾽ εἰκόνα· λαβὼν γὰρ τὸν σταυρόν, ἠκολούθησας τῷ Χριστῷ, καὶ πράττων ἐδίδασκες, ὑπερορᾷν μὲν σαρκός, παρέρχεται γάρ· ἐπιμελεῖσθαι δὲ ψυχῆς, πράγματος ἀθανάτoυ· διὸ καὶ μετὰ Ἀγγέλων συναγάλλεται, Ὅσιε Ῥωμανὲ τὸ πνεῦμά σου.

Ἕτερον Ἀπολυτίκιον
Ἦχος δ’. Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε.
Ὡς σάλπιγξ θεόληπτος, τῶν οὐρανίων ᾠδῶν, ἐνθέως ἐφαίδρυνας, τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν Χριστοῦ, τοὶς θείοις σου ἄσμασι, σὺ γὰρ τῆς Θεοτόκου, ἐμπνευσθεῖς τὴ ἑλλάμψει, ἔνθεος ὑμνηπόλος, ἐγνωρίσθης ἐν κόσμῳ, διὸ σὲ πόθω τιμῶμεν, Ρωμανὲ Ὅσιε.


Ανάμεσα στους υμνογράφους και μελωδούς της Εκκλησίας, την πρώτη θέση κατέχει ο Ρωμανός ο Μελωδός, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Ο Ρωμανός, που ωνομάσθηκε Πίνδαρος της Εκκλησίας, είναι ο ποιητής των εκκλησιαστικών εκείνων ύμνων, που στη γλώσσα των Βυζαντινών ονομάζονται Κοντάκια. Χίλια τέτοια κοντάκια αναφέρει η παράδοση ότι εποίησεν ο Ρωμανός, αφιερωμένα στις δεσποτικές και θεομητορικές γιορτές και στις γιορτές των Αγίων, που επισημότερα γιορτάζονται από την Εκκλησία. Μέσα στην ποίηση του Ρωμανού ξαναζή το ελληνικό πνεύμα, ποτισμένο με την χριστιανική πίστη. Σήμερα μεγάλοι φιλόλογοι και σοφοί κριτικοί και στην Ευρώπη και στην Ελλάδα, ασχολούνται με την έκδοση των έργων του Ρωμανού, που αποτελούν ένα μεγάλο και εκλεκτό κεφάλαιο στην ιστορία της ελληνικής και βυζαντινής φιλολογίας. Ο ελληνισμός κι ο χριστιανισμός στο πέρασμα των αιώνων αποτελούν την καύχηση της ιστορίας.

St Romanos the Melodist of Constantinople (556)
He was born in Emessa in Syria, probably of Jewish parents. He served as a deacon in Beirut, then in Constantinople at the time of Patriarch Euphemius (490-496). He was illiterate, had no musical training, and was a poor singer; thus he was despised by many of the more cultivated clergy. One night, after Romanos had prayed to the Mother of God, she appeared to him in a dream, held out a piece of paper and told him to swallow it. On the following day, the Nativity of Christ, Romanos went to the ambon and, with an angelic voice, sang 'Today the Virgin...', which is still sung as the Kontakion of the Feast. All present were amazed at the completely unexpected beauty of the hymn and of Romanos' singing. St Romanos went on to compose more than a thousand Kontakia (which were once long hymns, not the short verses used in church today). He is almost certainly the author of the sublime Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God, which has served as the model for all other Akathists. He reposed in peace, while still a deacon of the Great Church in Constantinople. Many of his hymns were inspired by the hymns of St Ephraim of Syria.
The influence of Middle Eastern music on the hymnography of the Church is incalculable. Many of those who established the form of the Church's music were Syrians: two noted examples are St Romanos and St John of Damascus, who composed the Octoechos, the Pascha service, and the Funeral Service. Their music was in turn modeled on the music of the Hebrew temple. The Byzantine musical tradition has descended without break from the music sung in Christ's time, and presumably by Christ Himself.

Our Holy Father Gregory the Choirmaster (Domestikos) of the Great Lavra (1355)
He was a cantor at the Great Lavra on Mt Athos. Once, on the eve of Theophany, he was inspired to sing the hymn O full of grace, thou who art the joy of all creation instead of the usual It is truly meet to bless thee during the Divine Liturgy. When he did this, the most holy Theotokos appeared to him, thanked him and gave him a gold coin as a sign of her favor. The coin is still kept at the Lavra. He reposed in peace. St Gregory's hymn has been sung since that time as part of the Divine Liturgy of St Basil.

Saint Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle to the Franks (533)
He was born in 438 in northern Gaul. After devoting himself for awhile to secular and sacred learning, he withdrew to a small house near Laon, to live in reclusion and prayer. But when a bishop was needed in Rheims, the clergy and people carried him off from his hermitage and made him their bishop. He was only twenty-two years old at the time.
The holy bishop soon became renowned throughout norther Gaul. He converted heretics, brought Arian heretics back to the Orthodox Faith, cared for the many who suffered at the hands of barbarian marauders. Wherever he went, miracles attended him. He healed the sick and demonized and once, when a town was on fire, threw himself into the flames and quenched them. Birds would come to his table whenever he ate, and he would share his meal with them.
In 482 the young warrior Clovis became leader of the Frankish tribes in that region. Though he was a pagan, he knew and admired St Remigius, and was married to a Christian, St Clotilde (June 3). Once, when his army faced defeat by the Alemanii, Clovis prayed to 'the God of Clotilde and Remigius' and won a great victory. This answer to his prayers convinced him of the truth of the Christian Faith, and he asked St Remigius to instruct him. Two years later he gathered all his chieftains in Rheims to attend his baptism. The baptism was accompanied by many miracles, seen by all in attendance. Two of the king's sisters and three thousand of his lords and soldiers were baptized at the ceremony. This event is considered the birth of France as a Christian nation.
In great old age, St Remigius went blind, but miraculously recovered his sight. He reposed in peace at the age of 105, immediately after serving the Divine Liturgy.

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Μιχαὴλ ἡγούμενος τῆς Μονῆς Ζώβης καὶ 36 ἄλλοι Ὁσιομάρτυρες
Οἱ ὁσιομάρτυρες αὐτοί ἔζησαν στὰ χρόνια τοῦ βασιλιᾶ Κωνσταντίνου ΣΤ´ καὶ τῆς μητέρας του Εἰρήνης (780). Κατοικοῦσαν στὴ Μονὴ Ζώβη, ποὺ βρισκόταν κοντὰ στὴ Σεβαστούπολη. Ἐπειδὴ τότε ὁ Ἀμηρᾶς τῶν Ἀγαρηνῶν, Ἀλεὶμ ὀνομαζόμενος, πολεμοῦσε τὴν χώρα ἐκείνη, συνέλαβε καὶ τοὺς Ὁσίους αὐτοὺς Πατέρες, καὶ τοὺς παρακινοῦσε νὰ ἀρνηθοῦν τὴν πίστη τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ὁ δὲ Ὅσιος ἡγούμενος Μιχαὴλ ἔλεγξε δριμύτατα τὸν Ἀγαρηνὸ ἄρχοντα, τοὺς δὲ Μοναχοὺς τοὺς ἐνθάῤῥυνε νὰ ὑπομείνουν γενναία τὸν θάνατο γιὰ τὸν Χριστό. Ἔτσι, ὅλοι ἀποκεφαλίστηκαν γιὰ τὴ δόξα τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Δομνῖνος
Ἔζησε στὰ τέλη τοῦ 3ου αἰῶνα (288) καὶ καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Θεσσαλονίκη. Ὅταν ὁ Μαξιμιανὸς ἔκτιζε βασιλικὰ ἀνάκτορα στὴν πόλη αὐτή, τότε συνελήφθη ὁ Ἅγιος αὐτὸς σὰ Χριστιανὸς καὶ κήρυκας τῆς εὐσέβειας. Ὁδηγήθηκε μπροστὰ στὸν βασιλιὰ Μαξιμιανό, ποὺ τὸν κατηγόρησε ὅτι τολμάει νὰ ὁμολογεῖ ἄλλον Θεό, ἀπ᾿ αὐτὸν ποὺ ὁ βασιλιὰς λατρεύει, καὶ τοῦ συνέστησε νὰ θυσιάσει στὰ εἴδωλα, ἂν θέλει νὰ ζήσει. Ὁ Ἅγιος ὅμως δὲν πείστηκε καὶ ὁ βασιλιὰς διέταξε καὶ τοῦ ξέσχισαν τὸ σῶμα. Ἀλλ᾿ ὁ Δομνῖνος, ἐνῷ ἔπασχε, περιγελοῦσε τὸν τύραννο. Τότε αὐτὸς διέταξε νὰ τὸν ὁδηγήσουν ἔξω ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη καὶ νὰ τοῦ σπάσουν τὰ σκέλη. Ἀφοῦ λοιπόν, ἔκοψαν μὲ τὸν πιὸ ὠμὸ τρόπο τὰ πόδια, ἔμεινε ἀκόμη ζωντανὸς ἑπτὰ ὁλόκληρες ἡμέρες χωρὶς νὰ φάει τελείως. Ἔπειτα εὐχαριστῶντας τὸ Θεό, τοῦ παρέδωσε τὴν ἁγία του ψυχή.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰωάννης ὁ ψάλτης, ὁ καλούμενος Κουκουζέλης
Ἄριστος μουσικὸς καὶ καλλικέλαδος. Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὸ Δυῤῥάχιο, ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια τῶν Κομνηνῶν καὶ ἦταν ὀρφανὸς ἀπὸ πατέρα. Ἡ εὐσεβὴς μητέρα του ὅμως, ἔδωσε τὴν εὐκαιρία στὸ παιδί της νὰ μάθει τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα, τὸ ὁποῖο, ἐπειδὴ ἦταν πολὺ ἔξυπνο καὶ πολὺ καλλίφωνο, ὅλοι τὸ φώναζαν ἀγγελόφωνο. Σὲ κατάλληλη ἡλικία κατέφυγε στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, ὅπου μόνασε στὸ κελὶ τῶν Ἀρχαγγέλων τῆς Μεγίστης Λαύρας. Ἔψαλε στὴ Μεγίστη Λαύρα μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Γρηγόριο Δομέστικο, ποὺ ἀναφέρουμε ἀμέσως παρακάτω. Ἔτσι ὁσιακὰ ἀφοῦ ἔζησε ὁ Ἰωάννης, ψάλλοντας θεσπέσιους ὕμνους πρὸς τὸ Θεό, ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ στὶς ἀρχὲς τοῦ 15ου αἰῶνα καὶ τάφηκε στὸ κελὶ ποὺ μόναζε.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Γρηγόριος ὁ Δομέστικος
Ἦταν καὶ αὐτὸς περίφημος ψάλτης τῆς Μεγίστης Λαύρας. Ὅταν ἡγούμενος ἦταν ὁ Ἰάκωβος ὁ Πρικανᾶς, ὁ Γρηγόριος ἔψαλλε κατὰ τὴν παραμονὴ τῶν Φώτων ὄχι τὸ «Ἄξιόν ἐστι», ἀλλὰ τὸ Ἐπὶ σοὶ χαίρει» στὴ λειτουργία. Στὸ τέλος δὲ τῆς ἀγρυπνίας μισοκοιμήθηκε, καὶ νά, βλέπει τὴν Δέσποινα Θεοτόκο νὰ εἶναι πάνω του καὶ νὰ τοῦ λέει: «Δέξαι σου τὸ ψαλτικόν, ὦ Δωμέστικε, καὶ εὐχαριστῶ σοι πολλά». Καὶ ἀφοῦ εἶπε αὐτό, τοῦ ἔδωσε στὸ χέρι ἕνα φλουρί, ποὺ ἀμέσως τὸ ἔβαλε, μετὰ ἀπ᾿ αὐτά, στὴν εἰκόνα τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου τῆς Μεγίστης Λαύρας. Ὅλα αὐτὰ βέβαια, σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν παράδοση τῆς μονῆς. Ἔτσι λοιπὸν θεάρεστα ἀφοῦ ἔζησε ὁ Γρηγόριος, ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά.

The Holy Disciple Ananias, bishop of the city of Damascus, was one of the Seventy Disciples. At the command of God, it was he that baptised the converted persecutor of Christians Saul, afterwards to become the great preacher and Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 10-19). Saint Ananias, despite the danger, boldly and openly confesses Christianity afront the Jews and the pagans. From Damascus he set off in evangelising to Eleutheropolis, where he healed many of their infirmities. The governor of the city, Lucian, tried to persuade the holy disciple to offer sacrifice to idols, but seeing his staunchness and solid confession of Christ, he gave orders to torture the saint. Harsh torments did not sway the witness of Truth. Then the torturers led him out beyond the city where they then stoned him. The saint expired to the Lord while at prayer for his murderers (+ I Century). His relics were afterwards transferred to Constantinople.

The Monk Romanos the Melodist was born in the V Century in the Syrian city of Emessa. Having moved on to Constantinople, he became a church-attendant in the temple of Saint Sophia. The monk spent his nights alone at prayer in a field or in the Blakhernae church out beyond the city.
Saint Romanos did not initially have the talent for reading and song. One time, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ, he read the kathisma verses, but so poorly, that another reader had to take his place, and the clergy made fun of Romanos. The youth for a long while in grief prayed before an icon of the MostHoly Mother of God. The Mother of God appeared at night in a dream-vision to the saint, and haven given him a scroll (in Greek "kondakion" or "khontakhion"), commanded him to eat it. Thus did the Monk Romanos receive the gift of book understanding, compostion and the making of churchly song. This was on the day of the Nativity of Christ. For the all-night vigil Saint Romanos in a wondrous voice sang forth in church his first kondak: "Today the Virgin giveth birth to the Transcendent One...". From this scroll ("kondakion") all the songs of the monk became known as kondakions or kondaks. Saint Romanos was also the first to write in the form of the "ikos", -- a song-form which he incorporated into the all-night vigil at his places of domicile (in Greek "oikos").
For his zealous service Saint Romanos was ordained to the dignity of deacon and became a teacher of song. Up until his death, which occurred in about the year 556, the Monk-deacon Romanos the Melodist composed nearly a thousand church-songs, many of which Christians still use to glorify the Lord.

The Monk Savva of Vishersk was the son of the boyar-noble, Ivan Borozda, from Kashin. From childhood the monk was noted for his piety. He initially asceticised at the Tver Savvino wilderness monastery, where the brethren chose him hegumen. In shunning honours, the Monk Savva went off to Athos, where he toiled over the copying of Divine-service books. Upon his return from Athos he selected for his ascetic efforts a solitary place 7 versts from Novgorod at the banks of the River Vishera. Here, with the blessing of the Novogorod archbishop Simon, the monk in 1418 organised a small monastery in honour of the Ascension of the Lord. The Monk Savva set up a pillar nearby the monastery and asceticised upon it. He died in 1461 at the advanced old age of 80. He appointed as his successor his disciple Andrei, known for a strict and ascetic life.
The local commemoration was established under the Novgorod archbishop Jona (+ 1470), in connection with the healing of the hegumen of the Savvo-Vishersk monastery. Archbishop Jona thereupon ordered an icon of the monk be written and a canon composed. The general churchly glorification of the Monk Savva took place at the Moscow Sobor (Council) of 1549. The service to him was composed by priest-monk Pakhomii the Serb.

The Monk John Kukuzel, a native of Dirrachia (Bulgaria), in childhood was left orphaned ["kukuzel'" per another source indicates "raised on beans", reflecting his great poverty as an orphan]. Endowed with a very fine voice, he entered the Constantinople court school, where for his talent he found favour with the emperor John Comnenos (1118-1143) and became a chief court singer. But the enticements of the imperial court bothered the pious youth. Not wanting to remain amidst the sumptuousness and luxury, and to evade a marriage prepared for him by the emperor, young John began to seek out ways to quit the capital and hide away in an outlying wilderness. By the will of God he met up with an Athonite elder -- an hegumen, who had come to Constantinople on monastic business. John revealed to him his intent, and with his blessing, he went off with him to the Holy Mountain. There he was accepted, tonsured into monasticism and entrusted to tend a monastic flock. Walking away with the flock to far-off wilderness places of the Holy Mountain, the youth without hindrance could give himself over in solitude to prayer, contemplation of God and the singing of Divine hymns. The angelic beauty of his voice charmed even the animals, which gathered about the shepherd and listened as though entranced. Out of modesty and humility, the youthful singer did not reveal to the brethren about his gift. But one time the moving pastoral song touched a certain wilderness dweller, and he informed the hegumen about the wondrous singer. Young John revealed, that formerly he had been a singer at court, and he tearfully implored the hegumen to let him remain at his former pastoral obedience. Fearing that there might be the displeasure of the emperor, who eventually might find his favourite and make him return from the Holy Mountain, the hegumen himself journeyed off to Constantinople, where he told the emperor everything about what had become of his former subject, and he besought him not to hinder the youthful monk from the salvific path chosen by him.
John Kukuzel thereafter on Sundays and feastdays sang in the cathedral on the right kleros-choir. For his singing the monk was granted a great mercy by the Mother of God Herself. One time after an akathist, sung before an icon of the Mother of God, She Herself appeared in a subtle dream and said to him: "Sing, and do not cease to sing. I for this shalt not forsake thee". With these words She placed into John's hand a golden coin and became invisible. This coin was hung beneathe the icon, and from that time from the coin and icon there began to occur miracles. This icon, named the "Kukuzelisa", is located even now in the Lavra monastery of Saint Athanasias. Its remembrance is made twice, on 1 October and on the 10th Friday after Pascha.
The Mother of God afterwards another time appeared to Saint John and healed him from a grievous problem with his legs, caused by the long standing in church. The remaining days of Saint John were spent in intense ascetic efforts. Foreseeing the hour of his death, he took his leave of the brethren, and in his last wishes bidding them to bury him in the Archangel church built by him. Church singers reverence Saint John Kukuzel as their own especial patron-saint.
 An experienced singer, the Monk John Kukuzel also toiled much in the discipline of church singing, and he rightfully gained for himself the title of both "magister" ["master-teacher"] and "regent" ["overseer"]: he himself improved on and compiled melody for church stikhera-verses, tropars and kondaks and for every church service; he reworked texts of song, and wrote his own tropars. In manuscripts are known also his compostions: "A Book, by the Will of God Encompassing All the Order of Progression of Church Services, Compiled by Magister Master John Kukuzel". -- "Progression of Services, Compiled by Magister John Kukuzel, From the Beginning of Great Vespers through to the Finish of Divine Liturgy". -- "Science of Song and Singing Signs with all the Legitimate Hand-Placement and with all the Arrangements of Song", -- and also more otherwise.