January 2

From the Prologue

Ammon was a great ascetic of the fifth century. He was the abbot of the Tabennesiote Monastery in Upper Egypt. Three thousand monks lived the ascetical life under his direction. He possessed the abundant gift of miracle-working and discernment. Once when a monk asked him for advice, he said to him, "Be like a convict in prison, as he continually asks: when will the judge come, and so should you ask with trembling."



O Lord, most wonderful, wonderful in Your saints, You are,

Mighty and Merciful, through Your saints, You appear.

As the sun through the stars, You shine through Your saints,

To the humble You give strength; To Paradise You raise them.

To the simple You impart wisdom; through them the wise, You shame,

To the unfortunate; you comfort with kindness; with heaven, You nourish the hungry.

Saints of every type, You have,

Among the saints, from every age, You receive

From every age and from every stock,

Without caste, without mark: the last or the first.

Pure from sin and, in good, fruitful,

Noble souls, kindred to Your Christ,

You call them saints. Everyone You call

To be a saint. Those who respond, You cleanse,

Wash them from sins that white as wool they become,

In such as these, all heaven rejoices with You,

Sylvester was such a one; In him You rejoice, and

Because of him, blessing You impart to us.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas