February 6, 2016

Saint Boukolos, First Bishop of Smyrna

Saint Boukolos (Bucolus or Bucolos) of Smyrna (Feast Day - February 6)


As a shepherd of Smyrna Boukolos offered the priestly sacrifice,
He was vigilant and died protecting his flock.
Splendid sun, on the sixth the light of Boukolos departed.

In his youth our Holy Father Boukolos cleansed himself of his passions, and became a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, so that when the Holy Apostle and beloved by Christ John the Theologian established the Church of Smyrna, he found him approved and worthy to serve as Bishop and shepherd of that great city. This divine hierarch, illumined by the Holy Spirit, enlightened the pagans who were in the darkness of ignorance, making them sons of the light and children of the day through Holy Baptism, delivering them from those beasts of the night, namely the fierce and dark demons.

According to Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, who wrote the canon for his divine office, the holy Bishop theologized correctly on the Logos of God and delivered many people from the folly of the heretic Marcion. In fact, he is reputed to have brought more people to Christ than any other single missionary of the apostolic age. It was perhaps under his pastorship that the Apostle John sent a letter to the Church of Smyrna in the name of the Lord, which is recorded in Revelation 2:8-11.

When he realized that the time had come for him to meet the Lord, he consecrated Saint Polycarp (Feb. 23) as his successor, entrusting him with the care of his spiritual flock, and he then reposed in peace. After his burial in the courtyard of the church there, God caused a tree with healing properties to grow from his tomb, whereby many who came to it with faith were restored to health in the course of the centuries that followed.

Today a portion of his relics can be venerated in the Monastery of Saint Theodosios in Argos, and a church dedicated to him in Smyrna (Izmir) still stands and is in operation.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Boukolos, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst shine with the rays of virtue received from him who leaned on the Master's breast. Resplendent, God-inspired Hierarch, thou didst lead thy flock to the pastures of Truth. O Father Boukolos, entreat Christ our God for those who honour thee.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
We all acclaim thee as a hierarch of the Church of Christ and a disciple of His ven'rable disciples' choir, but especially of him that was His belov'd one. O wise Father, pray the Saviour for us lauding thee, that He save us from all need and all adversity; for we cry to thee: Rejoice, O thrice-blessed Boukolos.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
He who was beloved of Christ saw the purity of thy life and made thee a shepherd of the Church and a radiant lamp of godliness; holy Father Boukolos, thou didst emulate his virtues.