Saint Andrew of Crete: texts of prayers, the creation of the Great Penitential Canon
Christianity, as one of the most important world religions, is based on the faith in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who for Christians is an undoubted historical figure. Many adherents of the largest world religion had a chance to fight for it at different stages of history; defenders of the Christian faith were singled out for special feats.
Recently, the Most High revealed to me the life of St. Andrew of Crete; his life was not an easy one and the enormous contribution to the glorification of God left to subsequent generations struck me. I am in a hurry to acquaint you with interesting information about the miracle and creativity of the saint, because life can be called a feat.
Two saints with the same name
People who are not immersed in the foundations of theology often confuse the Monk Archbishop of Crete Andrew (Jerusalem) with the Monk Martyr Andrew of Crete. Each of the righteous went through his life and became famous for his godly deeds.
The reason for the confusion lies in the fact that the famous ascetic deeds of the individual lived at approximately the same historical time.
Martyr Andrei of Crete: a short life
According to the biography compiled by Rev. Simeon Metaphraste, a saint was born on the territory of Crete (Castron area) at the beginning of the VIII century. The life of the God-fearing young man was spent in monasticism and prayers with the observance of Christian traditions. The monk was an example for others and a beacon of faith during the reign of Emperor Constantine V, called Copronym.
The life of God-fearing Andrew was filled with piety, contempt for worldly joys, which became for many an example of charity.
Having learned about the struggle of Copronym against the veneration of Christian icons, the issuance of a decree on the removal of the faces of saints from churches, the warrior of Christ, offended in religious feelings, is sent to Constantinople in the palace of St. Mamas. There, the fiery defender of the faith began to publicly denounce the heretical acts of the iconoclast emperor, the torture of believers for honoring icon-painting images.
Andrei personally appealed to the tsar with accusations, having surprised the heretical emperor with his boldness. By order of Constantine, servants beat up the righteous monk, throwing the future martyr outside prison walls.
After a series of brutal tortures, an unbroken, but crippled young man died from loss of blood when he was dragged along the ground for execution. The brave body lay at the bottom of the abyss for 12 days, after which the obsessed people carried the body of the martyr to a sacred place with the command of God, for which they were rewarded with healing.
In the ancient Slavic manuscripts of life prmch. Andrei of Crete is mentioned infrequently.
The day of the memory of the saint is scheduled for October 17, which corresponds to the new style on October 30. On the icon prmch.
Andrew of Crete is depicted in the chiton, and the prayers of the sufferer heal those who are possessed.
The words of troparion and kondak performed on the day of memory of the martyr and in the days of Lent, glorify Andrei of Crete as a valiant defender of the Christian faith, as well as its symbols during times of cruel persecution. The chanting of short poems in the church sounds like a reminder to believers about a series of important events in the light of the holiday, and calls for taking an example from the monastic martyr who truly served faith.
The life path of another Andrei of Crete was brighter and longer, filled with spiritual events and miracles. A brief history of his life, which struck me, will tell you further.
Who was St. Andrew of Crete
The path to serving God
According to approximate data, Andrew, who later received the title of Archbishop of Crete, was born in the VII century (660 year) in the city of Damascus (Syria) in a family of deeply religious Christians. The son of George and Gregory was mute until the age of seven, but after the communion rite in the temple, the boy was healed of dumbness thanks to divine power.
The miracle that happened struck the child and his parents, and set the course for the Christian life of Andrei, later named the Cretan.
Following an ascetic way of life, studying the Bible and the texts of sacred treatises, the future saint becomes 15 years old a monk of the Holy Brotherhood in the Jordanian monastery on the island of Crete. Passing obedience in the rank of reader, housekeeper, and then notary, the young monk became famous as an active fighter against heretical movements, for which he received the title of Andrew of Jerusalem.
Then the pious priest was sent by the special envoy of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to the meeting of the Sixth Ecumenical Council to deliver the sacred acts adopted at it to Constantinople, where he remained for service.
Acts of God
At the next stage of his life’s journey, St. Andrew of Crete received the rank of deacon under the auspices of the Sofia Church, located on the territory of modern Istanbul. In the service of the Holy Church, the shepherd, leading a righteous life and caring for orphans, becomes the archdeacon of the church of the city of Gortyn, and then the archbishop of Crete.
It was in Gortyne that the saint showed the ability to compose Orthodox hymns, most of which were written during this period.
In the field of archpastoral activity, St. Andrew creates godly deeds:
- promotes the construction of new churches, the organization of shelters and almshouses;
- with earnest prayers, it removes the danger from the city of Drumeos, besieged by the Saracens;
- rescues the population of the province affected by drought by preaching from hunger.
After 20 years of great work in Constantinople, St. Andrew was awarded the title of archbishop and sent to a distant abode on the island of Crete. There he became famous for helping orphans and the elderly, by building a temple to the credit of the icon of the Blachernae Mother of God.
The saint often visited Constantinople, and during his last visit he fell ill and died on the way back to the Cretan monastery. It happened on the fourth day of July (July 17) of 740, which became the day of commemoration of Archbishop Andrei of Crete in the services in all Orthodox churches.
According to legends, the saint foresaw his demise at a deeply respectable age.
The relics of the saint, through the prayers of which many miracles were performed, were buried on the territory of the temple, built in honor of Saint Anastasia. Later, the church was renamed in the name of St. Andrew of Crete, and in 2017, fragments of the surviving relics were provided to the review of believers.
They come to the relics of the saint with prayers for healing, they ask for tranquility of the soul of the one who asks. The icons depicting Andrew of Jerusalem, which are exhibited in most Orthodox churches, turn for help during times of severe trials and disasters with the words of prayer, texts of troparions, personal petitions:
The gift of songwriting and writing
In addition to the talent of creating prayers, the saint had the gift of composing church hymns and glorifying songs due to the wonderfully set syllable and remarkable oratorical abilities. On the pages of collections of church writings to the authorship of Andrew of Crete belong not less than 60 sermons read at the festive divine services.
Prayer books written in a language rich in metaphors and divine symbolism are included in modern liturgical books.
He especially glorified his life by the godly canons of his own authorship, which decorate the services during the Great Lent. Many hymns preserved in the original to the present day are dedicated to the Mother of God, the Lord’s feasts, church ministers.
The Great Canon of Repentance is considered the most famous creation of the monk.
The lines of the hymnographic work calling the flock to repentance were corrected by the author until his death. The Great Canon, called the touching canon, consisting of 9 parts, contains:
- texts 250 own troparion;
- the affiliated canon of St. Mary of Egypt;
- Tropari dedicated to Rev. Andrew of Crete.
According to the tradition of the Jerusalem Charter, which the modern church adheres to, the singing of the Great Canon begins with the service of Thursday the fifth week (week) of the Great Lent. Also, some of the verses (they are called by the term «mephimones») are heard at the services during the first week of the Post, at the evening services at the first four days of the post.
Penitential hymns are distinguished by a deep sense of sincerity, felt by the author himself. The main thought, permeating all parts of the canon, sounds a request to the Beneficent (merciful) Lord for mercy for the sinner.
The list of works of the Archbishop published in Russian:
Let’s sum up
In Russia, St. Andrew of Crete is honored by the mention of his memory in the pages of the calendars of Mstislav (XI-XII century). The texts of hymnographic works and other works of the saint of Christ can be heard today among the festive chants at church services.
Icons with the holy faces of the MonkMartyr and the Archbishop of Crete can be found in many Orthodox churches, but it’s not worth confusing saints with the same name.
Prmch. Andrei is praised for the feat of the warrior of Christ, accomplished by an ordinary man who keeps faith in the Lord on his heart and is not afraid to oppose the iconoclast sovereign.
Archbishop Andrei served the Almighty in various church positions, helping the suffering and calling on believers to repent with the words of heartfelt verses, describing the virtues and deeds of the holy fathers.
The next time you visit an Orthodox church, find out from its ministers if there are holy faces in the church of the defender of Orthodox icons and a herald of repentance, two Andrews of Crete, who praised the Lord with their actions. Pray to the saints, remember their exploits.
The strength of their selfless faith in God and his covenants led ordinary people to the Christian road, led to the worship of all believers, and the assignment to the great brotherhood of Orthodox saints.
Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.