Chase the night from our hearts, O Theotokos

THERE is a continual battle between good and evil, between right and wrong, between freedom and captivity of ideas, between purity and corruption.

All these battles take place on the one single field of combat — the heart of man.

Fr Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa (1925-2006). From “Christ Is Calling You” (Source).

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Today is the anniversary of the day in 1940 that the splendid Greek people soundly rejected alliance with Mussolini’s fascist Italy.

Since 1960, the Greek Church has celebrated the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on this day, instead of the traditional date of October 1.

It is also the day in 312 on which Constantine the Great became Roman Emperor, defeating his rival Maxentius under the banner of Chi-Rho symbol of the Christians. Constantine subsequently adopted Christianity as the official religion of his Empire.

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A Chi-Rho symbol in a Roman chapel (AD360), Lullingstone, England

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8). A Chi-Rho (ΧΡ) symbol in a Roman chapel (c. AD 360), Lullingstone, England. The letters 'alpha' and 'omega' (Α ω) can also be seen.

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Canon the Second, Ode 4. Plagal of the Fourth Tone.

CHASE from our hearts the night of the passions by the overshadowing of thy Protection, O Theotokos: for thou art good, and makest the day of joy shine out, the brightness of merriment, and thou givest cheer unto them that faithfully cry out to thee: Rejoice, protection of the world, all light.

GOD was revealed unto the world as man from thee, begotten from thy immaculate bloodstream; and in thee he brought to light a protection for the world, O Virgin, and a help in tribulation: for thou dost cover them all about, thou dost pluck them out of perils, that with longing seek refuge under thy protection.

AS thou barest in the womb the King of all, as thou art Queen of all things: accompanied by saints of godly form, thou didst reveal unto us by heart-sight (νοερῶς) the proof of thy holy protection, in a demonstration yet more divine, O all-immaculate Lady.

WE who are saved by it from grievous trials raise our hymns, O Lady hymned by all, to thy Protection, wondrous and formed in splendour, by which thou dost protect and save every soul of the devout; and faithfully we cry to thee: Rejoice O Maid, help of mankind.

Katavasia

WHEN the prophet Habakkuk perceived the unsearchable divine counsel of thy taking flesh from the Virgin, thou Most High, he was found crying out: Glory to thy power, O Lord (cf. Hab 3:1-6, LXX).

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In the Greek practice, there is an additional Doxology (see Greek text) on this day, in which the following Kontakion features prominently.

UNTO THEE, my champion and commander,
I thy city, redeemed from perilous griefs,
ascribe songs of victory and thanksgiving, O Theotokos:
but as thou hast the might which is unassailable,
set me free from every kind of danger,
that I might cry to thee:
Rejoice, bride unwedded!

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