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February 19, 2018

An Encomium to the Theotokos (St. Philothei of Athens)


The following is an encomium, written by Saint Philothei of Athens in her childhood years to the Most Holy Theotokos. It was discovered by the Byzantinist Professor Nicholos Bees (1883-1958), in a manuscript of the Monastery of the Great Cave in Kalavryta, and published in an article in 1923:

Encomium of a Child to the Most Holy Theotokos

My all-pure Virgin and my eternal spring,
The preaching of the Prophets and the mother of the Venerables,
You were the sermon preached by the Prophets,
You are the unburnt bush, you are the holy mountain,
You are the ark, sanctified Lady,
You are also the palace, home of the King,
Where God dwelt, and put on flesh,
And accepted the cross for my sins.

I entreat you to tell Him to forgive me,
I who have done many evils and I stand in sadness.

Become, Lady, a mediator that you might liberate me,
As you have become for many a mediator and surety.

You are, my Virgin, she who was spoken of by the Prophets,
Rejoice heavenly vine, ladder of paradise,
And rejoice, unquenchable light, the rod of Aaron,
The assistant of salvation, you are the joy of the righteous,
Hope of sinners and boast of the angels,
And I hope in you that you will mediate for me.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.