October 25, 2014

Saint Tabitha, Who Was Raised From the Dead by the Apostle Peter

St. Tabitha (Feast Day - October 25)

"She was always doing good works and acts of charity." In this way Luke the Evangelist praises Saint Tabitha. The name Tabitha is Syriac and in Greek is translated as Dorcas, which means "deer". Such was name of this most-pious and philanthropic woman, who lived in Joppa.

In the Acts of the Apostles (9:36-40) we are informed that Dorcas specialized as a weaver and manufactured tunics and garments, which she would sell and from these proceeds she supported the poor, widows and orphans.

While the Apostle Peter was out spreading the gospel, and he arrived in Lydda of Palestine, it happened that Dorcas fell ill and died. And though she was ready for burial, it became known that Peter was in Lydda. Then two were sent to plead with Peter to come to Joppa. When he arrived he went upstairs to the room in which they kept the body of Dorcas. Peter was moved, and without saying anything, after sending everyone outside the room, he knelt and prayed fervently. Then he said: "Tabitha, rise up." And indeed the dead woman resurrected! This was received with immense joy by all those in attendance, and the event spread throughout Joppa, which led to many believing in Christ.

After this Tabitha lived many years, "always doing good works and acts of charity." Death found her again in old age. And so this benevolent woman departed in peace and with joy, because God made her worthy to live beneficially full of good spiritual fruits.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
With the flow of the many-streamed river of almsgiving thou didst water the dry earth of the needy and shower alms on the widows and poor; thou didst shine forth with the light of thy works and wast radiant with grace, O Tabitha. Glory to Christ Who loves thee; glory to Christ Who has blessed thee; glory to Christ Whom thou didst follow as a true disciple and a spotless lamb.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst serve the Savior in holiness by thy God-fearing works and deeds, and wast a model of love as His disciple. O Tabitha, we praise thy memory.

Hymn in the First Tone
Today the Faith of Christ is confirmed by Peter, and the faithful who behold the great wonder which hath been wrought in Joppa join chorus in gladness and glorify with psalms the Son of God, the Bestower of life. The preeminent apostle speaketh, and she who had died riseth from the grave. Her doth He Who hath cast down death give to the Christ, that the people may adorn themselves in emulation of her virtues. Wherefore come, ye Christians, let us bear our supplications to the saint: O blessed and loving Tabitha, bear thou our sighs unto the all-holy Trinity, and pray thou with boldness, that we may be children of the preeternal Light, may be counted worthy of the mercy of God, and may abide in love divine; and that peace may reign throughout all the world.

Hymn in the Fourth Tone
The people of Joppa were filled with awe, and the angels of God marvelled, when he who healed Eneas called forth from the dead her who was called Dorcas, who was wholly adorned with lovingkindness, for whom the poor widows cried aloud. And now, O blessed Tabitha, hearken to our prayers which are offered unto thee, and beg thou the Bestower of all good things that He grant mercy and com­passions unto His faithful, that, blessing thee, we may cry aloud: Rejoice, O thou who teachest us the virtues!

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Tabitha

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Tabitha died, not that she might no longer live,
But that the world might be astonished
at the miracle which came to pass.

Beside her deathbed Peter humbly knelt,
And uttered fervent prayer unto the Lord.

She was resurrected in body! And the unbelievers heard
How the Lord hearkened to the apostle's prayer
And returned the living soul to the dead body.

And Peter turned the unbelievers to the Faith.
O wondrous miracle, of a kind unknown in the world!

By the name of Christ, death was conquered.
Death was conquered, and life rejoices.
The young Tabitha rejoices in life;

And, more than in her own life,
She rejoices that she served as a wonder to the unbelieving world.

She was resurrected in body! The unbelievers heard,
And their own souls were raised from the dead.

O great Peter, servant of Christ,
Pray to our Savior for us;

Resurrect our souls, buried in the mud-
You, who revived Tabitha by the power of God.