Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Prayer of the Holy Seven Youths For One Who Is Ill And Cannot Sleep


In the Euchologion (Book of Prayers) there is a prayer for those suffering from insomnia, especially in time of illness, titled "Prayer For One Who Is Ill and Cannot Sleep, Known As That of the Seven Holy Youths". This prayer is not very ancient, as it mentions St. Athanasius of Athos (c. 950). Read more on the Seven Youths, here.

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God, Great, Praised, Incomprehensible and Ineffable, Who didst fashion man with Thy hands, taking dust from the earth, and Who didst honor him with Thine Image, O Jesus Christ, Most-desired Name, together with Thy Father Who is without beginning, and Thy Most-Holy, Good, and Lifegiving Spirit: Do Thou manifest unto Thy servant, N., and visit him (her) in soul and body, being entreated by our most-glorious Sovereign Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary; by the holy Bodiless Powers of Heaven; by the honorable and glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John; by the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles; by the holy, glorious and right-victorious Martyrs; by our Fathers among the Saints and ecumenical Teachers: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom; by Athanasius and Cyril, Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, Cyril and Methodius, Teachers of the Slavs, Spyridon the Wonderworker, and all the holy Hierarchs; by the holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen; by the holy, glorious Greatmartyrs: George the Trophy-bearer, Demetrius the Myrrgusher, Theodore Stratelates, and all the holy Martyrs; by our Venerable and Godbearing Fathers: Anthony, Euthymius, Savvas the Sanctified, Theodosius (Founder of the Common Life), Onouphrius, Arsenius, Athanasius the Athonite, and all the Venerable Ones; by the holy Unmercenary Physicians: Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Panteleimon and Hermalaeus, Samson and Diomedes, Thalelaeus and Tryphon, and all the rest; by Saint(s), N. (of the Day); and by all Thy Saints; and grant unto him (her) a peaceful sleep, the sleep of bodily health and salvation, and life and strength of soul and body, as once Thou didst visit Abimelech, Thy favorite, in the house of Agrippa, and gavest him the consolation of sleep, that he not see the Fall of Jerusalem, and having nourished him with sleep, didst raise him up again in the twinkling of an eye, to the glory of Thy goodness; and as Thou didst make manifest Thy holy glorious Seven Youths, confessors and witnesses of Thine Appearance in the days of the Emperor Decius and the Apostate, having sustained them in the cave for 372 years[1], as infants kept warm in their own mother's womb, none having endured corruption, to the praise and glory of Thy love for mankind, and for a testimony and confession of our regeneration and the resurrection of all. Do Thou Thyself, therefore, O Lover of Mankind and King, be present now also with the infusion of Thy Holy Spirit, and visit Thy servant, N., and grant unto him (her) health, strength and power, by Thy grace, for with Thee every action is good, and every gift is perfect. For Thou art the Physician of our souls and bodies, and unto Thee do we send up glory, thanksgiving and worship, together with Thy Father Who is without beginning, and Thy Most-Holy, Good, and Lifegiving Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

1. It was actually about 184 years.


From The Great Book of Needs (vol. III), St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 2002, pp. 4-5.

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