December 1, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Philaret the Merciful

St. Philaret the Merciful (Feast Day - December 1)


You who were adorned with every virtue have died,
Truly full of compassion you loved father.

Philaret lived during the reign of Emperors Constantine (780-797) and Irene (775-802), and was from the land of Paphlogonia, the son of George and Anna. Taking a lawful wife by marriage, he occupied himself as a farmer of the earth, and from this he brought in the necessities of life. Having become wealthy he distributed it as alms to the poor. Wherefore by the envy of the devil, the renowned one came to such a state of poverty, that like another Job, he was without even needed food. But God did not overlook him till the end so that he should be distressed with want. Rather He economized by His foreknowledge for Constantine, the son of Empress Irene, to take as a wife the granddaughter of Saint Philaret, whose name was Maria, for she was full of every form of beauty both in her soul and her body. He also economized for Saint Philaret to be honored with the office of consul. By this he became a very wealthy lord, which he distributed abundantly to the poor.

Because the thrice-blessed one foreknew the time of his death and his departure to Christ, for this reason he called all his relatives to him, and he foretold to each of them what would take place with them. He further stated these memorable things: "Do not be negligent, my children and relatives, in hospitality. Do not desire foreign things. Do not be absent from the services and liturgies of the Church. In summary, as you have seen me conduct myself, so also conduct yourselves." After saying these things and blessing them, he reposed in peace.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
From the wealth of God-like faith, thou didst distribute thy riches to the poor, O Philaret; thy life was adorned with compassion, and thou didst glorify the Giver of Mercy. Beseech Him to have compassion and to be merciful to those who praise thee.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Thou didst possess the spirit of Job in temptations, and compassionately distribute thy wealth to the poor. Thou wast a living fountain of almsgiving, and by thy manner of life thou dost gladden those who cry: Rejoice O Philaret, servant of Christ.