April 9

From the Prologue

During the reign of the Persian Emperor Sapor, Vadim, the abbot of a certain monastery and a man famous for his generosity was cast into prison with seven of his disciples. With them in prison was a certain Prince Nirsan who was also a Christian. Everyday they were taken out and beaten. Prince Nirsan became terrified and promised to deny the Faith and worship the sun. This was gratifying to Sapor and he promised to give Nirsan, among other things, the entire estate of Vadim's monastery if he would behead Vadim by his own hand. Nirsan agrees to this. With a quivering hand and frightened by the majestic countenance of St. Vadim, he struck this holy man with the sword many times on the neck until he finally beheaded him. Shortly after that, Nirsan succumbed to despair and stabbed himself with the sword and received at his own hand, the due punishment for the murder of the righteous one. St. Vadim suffered in the year 376 A.D.



The courageous Vadim, looks death in the eyes

And feels sorry for Nirsan because misery befell him.

Nirsan, with a bare sword before Vadim stands,

Of God he is not afraid, but is afraid of the saint.

Brandishing the sword and, brandishing, lowers it!

Before the knight of God; in truth, a sheer coward!

Nirsan, Nirsan! Vadim, to him, speaks:

On the road to eternity, Vadim to you, speaks:

You denied Christ; falsehood, you embraced,

By yourself alone, your soul you lost [destroyed].

Death, I eagerly await every godly-hour,

That the gate of the eternal kingdom, He opens to me.

But, from your hand, I was sorry to die,

And, never more, to see you O prince.

Any traitor of Christ, eternal darkness will cover

And, twice as black - one who slays Christians.

That, the saint uttered and with silence became silent,

And Nirsan slew him with a quivering hand.

Such a lion died from a frightened rabbit!

But, who did Nirsan slay? Himself or the saint?

Eternal justice speaks: the thief judges himself,

And to the saint of God, no harm came to him.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas