March 28, 2020

The Prayers Prayed by the Athonite Monks in Their Vigil Against the Coronavirus

On Friday 27 March into Saturday 28 March the monks of Mount Athos, in every monastery, skete and cell, held an all-night vigil against the pandemic of the coronavirus.

The vigil was dedicated to the Panagia, who is the protectress of the Holy Mountain, as well as the Holy Hieromartyr Haralambos, who is noted especially for his miracles in vanquishing plagues and epidemics, including an epidemic that once infected the monks of the Holy Mountain and which he was responsible for dispelling.

In all the monasteries, during Matins, a special canon to the Holy Trinity for deliverance from pestilence was chanted, as well as a canon to the Theotokos and a canon to Saint Haralambos.

Also, during the vigil, the following three prayers were read with great emotion that have been specially written for the deliverance from epidemics and pestilence, the first by Saint Symeon, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, and the other two by Saint Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople and disciple of Saint Gregory Palamas.

First Prayer

On Behalf of Infectious Diseases to our God in Trinity

By St. Symeon, Archbishop of Thessaloniki

Beginningless, eternal, Master God, Father all-holy, almighty, with Your living and good Word, and Your Comforter Spirit, accept with sympathy the prayers of us sinners.

The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, Lord Jesus Christ, with Your compassionate Father and the gladsome Spirit, mercifully accept the entreaties of we who are the least.

The all-holy and all-good divine Spirit of the Father together with the all-merciful Father and the Son who became man out of His love for mankind, accept the distressed voices of Your humbled people.

The consubstantial and indivisible Trinity, one in reign and nature, the thrice-holy Lord, hear the petitions of Your humble supplicants and through Your immeasurable goodness forgive our countless offenses.

Through Your unsurpassable mercy, take pity on us who are justly chastised as You are justly enraged.

Through Your ineffable compassion, save us who are in danger and redeem us from every just threat and anger of Yours.

Expel from us the evil one and all his pursuits and machinations.

Divert every sensible and invisible temptation.

Banish every distress and sigh from us, and guard us from famine and pestilence, untimely and unforeseen death and every other misfortune, and take away from us all scandals and tumults that may arise.

And grant us to live in peace and harmony and abide in love with You and others, keeping Your commandments and finishing the course of this present life in a well-pleasing and pious manner through repentance.

Make us worthy also of Your heavenly and eternal glory and kingdom.

For You are our God and in You we place our hope, we have no one else but You and we place our hope in calling upon Your name to save us, through the intercessions of the all-holy and ever-virgin Theotokos, Your philanthropic angels, and all Your saints.

For You are a God of mercy, compassion and love for mankind and to You we ascribe glory, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Second Prayer

On Behalf of the Misfortunes of People and Infectious Diseases

By St. Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople

Beginningless King, invisible, unsearchable, incomprehensible, inexpressible, who encompasses all creation in Your hand and maintains, permeates and governs it, by Your inexpressible word. Who beforehand tolerated the lawlessness of Nineveh, after their repentance and their conversion You accepted them and granted them, through Your exceeding goodness and slowness to anger, despite all their iniquities and trespasses, to accept Your habitual and unutterable philanthropy. Accept also our prayers, just as You did with the conversion and repentance of the Ninevites. Accept our tears and sighs. Accept our humble petitions, for we are not able, due to our sins, to look upon You who alone are sinless. Accept our deep cries, as smoke of judgment, which we send up to You Master. Accept the supplication of distress of Your people. Prevail over the multitude of our sins in the abyss of Your compassion, and grant Your people redemption, freedom from temptations and forgiveness by cutting off death.

Yes, Lord our God, hearken unto Your people at this hour, as well as me the sinner, and make the rod of sinners stand upright among the elect righteous, as You alone know and have established, and do not judge them. And may I also Your useless servant glorify Your all-holy name, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Third Prayer

On Behalf of the Misfortunes of People

By St. Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople

All-Good Lord, Creator of all things, whose mercy is without measure and love for mankind beyond compare, who took all our iniquities and was nailed to the cross to sanctify us; taking courage we fall down before You in supplication, forbearing Lord, and Your ineffable and immeasurable philanthropy is as vast as the sea, therefore we cry before You, forgiving Lord: Save us. We do not offer You odes and hymns as the pharisee, but as the publican. Nor as the senseless thief, but like the sensible and thankful one we cry out: Remember me.

Therefore by Your unsearchable mercy prevail over our iniquities, even if we do not suitably repent and convert; and show us the magnitude of Your philanthropy; as one who is slow to anger show compassion and reconcile Your people; put a stop to the scythe of death so that it does not advance upon us; make haste to stop the untimely cutting off; put a stop to this destructive pestilential disease which is just; put a stop to the broad sword that has risen against us so that we may not be destroyed; before You only have we sinned, and before You alone do we fall down.

Yes, Lord, hear us sinners and Your worthless servants in this hour and do not repulse our entreaties; overlook our trespasses, voluntary or involuntary, known or unknown, that we may glorify Your all-holy name, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.