THE HISTORY OF THE REPENTANCE OF THEOPHILUS

June 23

From the Prologue

Theophilus, out of envy toward the bishop, rendered his soul to the devil and, in writing, renounced Christ and the Birth-giver of God [Theotokos]. However, after that Theophilus repented bitterly and obtained the forgiveness of the Holy All-pure One. After forty days of fasting and tearful prayers, Theophilus received back the paper he had written renouncing Christ, which he had given to the devil, and openly confessed his sin in church before the bishop and the people. When the bishop pronounced the words of forgiveness and administered Holy Communion to him, the face of Theophilus shone as the sun. Behold, an example of how the merciful God not only forgives the sins of true penitents but also includes them among the saints.

HYMN OF PRAISE

SAINT AGRIPPINA

Agrippina, purer than the lily,

Of God's Son, the betrothed,

Her soul, brighter than a flame

And her faith, firmer than a rock.

To the Lord she prayed, while being flogged,

Chanted psalms while enduring the wounds,

Forgiving everyone and blessing all,

As a pillar of blood, stood before judgment.

When her bones were crushed

An angel descended, the wounds healed!

But when new sufferings were imposed,

Agrippina's strength gave out,

To God, Agrippina gave her spirit,

The soul departed, the body remained.

The holy relics of St. Agrippina

Are the defense of the land of Sicily,

Medicine to the misfortunate and to the sick

And a protection from the battlesome hoards.

By the prayers of Saint Agrippina

May many miseries pass us by.





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