February 25

From the Prologue

This great saint was a contemporary of St. Anthony the Great. It is said about him that he wore the same cassock for eighty years. St. Anthony greatly respected him and used to say that Paphnutius was a true ascetic who was able to come and to save souls.



The Creator radiant, with light crowned,

By no one described, by nothing expressed,

The wise builders of the Church, he raises,

Zealous defenders and good shepherds.

He permits sufferings, because of our sins

Even though in essence, He is Mercy and Goodness.

Just as the unmalleable earth, with better frost He prepares,

Makes it malleable and for crops makes ready

In the same way our hearts He mellows with bitter sufferings

But by His tender hand leads all to good.

Through the darkness of sin, He gazes into the light,

And the darkness, after a designated time, He does not permit it to linger

He discerns joy, through sorrow and tears,

To the ends of every beginning, He sees the ends

For He began all, He wants to complete all

Who will oppose Him, when He commands?

One would say He is weak, for He adroitly conceals,

And with a shadow of a deed, He conceals and blocks the view of Himself

When the shadow passes and the world reaches its end,

And the Church prepared to heaven is lifted,

Then the Sun of Righteousness which never extinguishes

With the Church, as with porphyry, to cover Himself.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas