April 19, 2018

Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutios of Jerusalem

St. Paphnutios of Jerusalem (Feast Day - April 19)


The grave of Paphnutios was hidden in the earth,
Neglected and silent it hides the grave.
On the nineteenth Paphnutios was thereupon raised up.

All that we know of Saint Paphnutios is gathered from the hymns chanted today, as no biography has been left to us. We therefore gather that he was a Bishop or Priest from Jerusalem, who for his faith in Christ contested with wild beasts, then fire, and he was finally beheaded by the sword.

Patriarch Germanos (c. 634-c. 733) composed a Canon in his honor, where he informs us that Saint Paphnutios' relics were glorified by miracles, dispelling demons and distributing abundant miracles of healing. The Patriarch also implores the Saint's entreaties, so that "by his intercessions, we might be delivered from the yoke of Ishmael's vengeance" (Ode 7) and "be granted victory, O Master, against the barbarians" (Ode 8). In Ode 9 there is a petition for the Hieromartyr to bring peace to the flock of Christ.

Some consider this Saint to be the same Saint Paphnutios celebrated on September 25th, who was martyred by crucifixion, but this is not likely. Others associate him with the Paphnutios that was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great and was a Bishop of the Upper Thebaid, who also was a Confessor during the persecution of Emperor Maximian, but this also seems unlikely. The Saint of today seems to be a unique Saint, who was especially venerated for his miraculous relics, which seem to have been discovered in a miraculous manner and were a source of miracles.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
As a Priest thou didst offer the Holy Sacrifice, and as a Martyr thou was thyself a burnt offering. O Hieromartyr Paphnutios, God's steadfast Athlete and Treasury of grace, bestow grace on us who praise thee.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst redden thy priestly vesture in the streams of thy blood, and run joyfully to the heavenly tabernacle, O blessed Paphnutios, and cry out to the Saviour: Thou art the Fountain of Life, pouring compassion on us all.