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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Salutations to the Holy Martyr Mamas (St. Neophytos the Recluse)

By St. Neophytos the Recluse
(Excerpt from his Encomium to the Holy Martyr Mamas)
Rejoice, Mamas the champion of the Lord worthy of admiration, for like Jeremiah you were destined before your mother gave birth to you; born in prison there you were left after your parents delivered their souls to the Lord.

Rejoice, Mamas, for as one chosen by God, an angel of the Lord urged Matrona to take you from prison to raise you, and to bury the bodies of your parents with honor.

Rejoice, Mamas who underwent many contests, for from a young age you were brought to trials before tyranical kings and rulers, and having rebuked their unbelief, you testified for Christ; although you were a young child in age, you had a divine and perfect mind of a great man.

Rejoice, Mamas worthy of admiration, for having escaped the torturers and the depths of the sea with the intervention of a divine angel, you fled to the mountain of Caesarea, as Lot had escaped in ancient times.

Rejoice, Mamas thrice-happy, for as Moses on Mount Sinai received the law and rod to guide the people, you also on the mountain of Caesarea fasted forty days in imitation of Moses, receiving the rod and the gospel, by which wild animals obeyed you, thus revealing the initial authority of the forefather in this.

Rejoice, Mamas who underwent many contests, for although you were accused of being a magician to the unbelieving and paranoid tyrant Alexander, you rebuked him, presenting yourself as a godly-minded servant of Christ, who has nothing to do with magicians.

Rejoice, Mamas the martyr of Christ, for you calmed the wild beasts that were left to come against you, and having overcome the various tortures you became a brilliant martyr of Christ.

Rejoice, Mamas the servant of Christ, for you kept the faith, ran the race to the end, fought the good fight, according to Paul, and you received the crown of righteousness.

Rejoice, Mamas the blessed one, for you became a living sacrifice, acceptable and pleasing to God. After the slaughter, having held with your two hands your entrails, you went to your Master and Lord who you loved, so that not only stained with the blood of martyrdom, but holding your entrails as welcome gifts you offered them to God, whom, thrice-happy Mamas, you supplicated with the boldness you have before Him on behalf of us all, writers, readers, chanters, celebrants, ministers and all those who came to your glorious festival and your sacred temple, so that we may find healing in our souls and our bodies, and to receive the mercy of God with your warm supplications, and to enjoy the eternal good things with the grace and philanthropy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom belongs glory, honor and worship together with the Father and the holy and life-giving Spirit, now and always and to the endless ages. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.  
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