Akathist Hymn to Saint Athanasia, Abbess of Aegina

Kontakion 1

We glorify Thee, O Father Almighty, for Thou hast never forsaken those who turn to Thee for the imperishable bread of holiness. Let us then, as is proper, bow down before Thee and give thanks for Thy splendid saint, Athanasia the Abbess of Aegina, as we declare unto her:

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Ikos 1

Saint Athanasia, thou wast a spiritual mother of blessed nuns who did find salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou didst partake of that precious Body and Blood with thy spiritual daughters, and thou wast thereby abundantly filled with Heavenly joy even whilst on earth:

Rejoice, thou who didst delight in the Church established by Christ.

Rejoice, thou who didst thrive in the Faith of our holy fathers.

Rejoice, thou who didst flourish in the traditions of monasticism.

Rejoice, thou who didst prosper in the routine of work and prayer.

Rejoice, for thou didst follow Jesus Christ reliably.

Rejoice, for thou didst minister unto His flock eagerly.

Rejoice, for thou didst take up thy cross willingly.

Rejoice, for thou didst renounce the world gladly.

Rejoice, thou holy abbess amongst the saints and angels.

Rejoice, thou amiable servant amidst the sick and poor.

Rejoice, thou bringer of good news unto the brokenhearted.

Rejoice, thou giver of true words unto the troubled.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 2

As a young girl, Saint Athanasia, thou didst love God and Church, for thou wast raised in a pious home. Thou wast a good and sweet child and, beyond all parental expectation, thou didst read the Psalter devotedly and didst immerse thy youthful vitality into all holiness, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

One day when thou wast weaving at the loom, O little one of God, a brilliant star did come down from Heaven above and did touch thy heart innermost. Thou wast thereby spiritually illuminated with wisdom and compassion, and thereafter thou didst desire to serve God only:

Rejoice, thou who art ever-vigilant in the ways of Godliness.

Rejoice, for thou didst dedicate thy childhood unto holiness.

Rejoice, thou who art ever-engrossed in the mysteries of the Church.

Rejoice, for thou didst commit thy youth unto worship.

Rejoice, thou who art ever-admirable in thy love of the Psalter.

Rejoice, for thou didst draw close to God day by day.

Rejoice, thou who art ever-blessed in thy respect of the saints.

Rejoice, for thou didst emulate the righteous ones of old.

Rejoice, thou who art ever-peaceful in thy prayers.

Rejoice, for thou didst disdain the frivolities of childhood.

Rejoice, thou who art ever-confident in thy petitions.

Rejoice, for thou didst always trust in the mercy of the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 3

Mother Athanasia, after thou wast enlightened by the marvelous star, thou didst increase thy zeal for God and Church. Thy soul did long to be with God inescapably, abiding in His majestic and tender love. Hence, thou didst yearn for a monastery in which the very bells do say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

When thou didst turn sixteen years of age, O beautiful maiden, thy parents did implore thee to accept marriage. Thou didst comply with their well-intended wishes, but wast soon made a young widow. For, only sixteen days later, thy husband did meet with death by marauding barbarians:

Rejoice, wonderful daughter.

Rejoice, faultless believer.

Rejoice, dutiful posterity.

Rejoice, blameless disciple.

Rejoice, steady worshipper.

Rejoice, inevitable nun.

Rejoice, compliant trust.

Rejoice, inescapable longing.

Rejoice, enduring confidence.

Rejoice, unbroken resolve.

Rejoice, perpetual serenity.

Rejoice, unsurpassed composure.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 4

Saint Athanasia, upon the untimely death of thy young husband, thou didst devote thyself unto the interior life of prayer. Thou didst endeavor to please God in all things and to obey His Commandments. Thou didst live in anticipation of the Kingdom of God, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Nonetheless, the times were harsh, O righteous widow, and a second marriage was imposed upon thee. The emperor did order all single and widowed women to marry soldiers. Therein, thou didst marry thy second husband, yet thou didst unceasingly praise God and trust in His care:

Rejoice, thou who didst know that God worketh for the good of believers.

Rejoice, thou who didst believe that all things are possible with God.

Rejoice, thou who hadst seen the radiance of divinity.

Rejoice, thou who hadst been consecrated from childhood.

Rejoice, for thou didst cling unto thy First Love, Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, for thou didst bear the virtuous marks of discipleship.

Rejoice, for thou hadst seen the image of God in thy new husband.

Rejoice, for thou hadst been blessed to be a caregiver to people.

Rejoice, thou fragrance of prayer in demanding times.

Rejoice, thou blossom of worship in challenging places.

Rejoice, thou sunrise of truth over barbaric cold-heartedness.

Rejoice, thou springtime of love upon inhuman mandates.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 5

Saint Athanasia, as a wife thou didst tend to all the household chores diligently. Wherein, thou also hadst compassion on the unfortunates and the sick. Thou didst feed the beggars and give rest unto the transients, for thou didst all things as unto Christ our Lord, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

As the lady of the house, O God-pleasing homemaker, thou didst invite thy family and friends for Sunday dinner and didst read the Holy Bible to them. Whereupon, thy husband did convert to Christianity, and thy domestic life was thereby brought to holy contentment:

Rejoice, thou who art most industrious in many things.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto Martha in thy caretaking.

Rejoice, thou who art most sincere in biblical studies.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto Mary at the feet of Christ.

Rejoice, thou who art most uplifting of the poor and needy.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto the sinful woman who loved much.

Rejoice, thou who art most protecting of the sick and crippled.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto the Good Samaritan at the roadside.

Rejoice, thou who art most evangelical in thy knowledge.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto Paul who preached movingly.

Rejoice, thou who art most sacrificial in thy love of all creation.

Rejoice, for thou wast like unto Jesus Christ Who took up His Cross.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 6

Mother Athanasia, thy husband did excel in the virtues and, accordingly, did yearn for a deeper interior life of prayer. With thy consent, he did enter a monastery where his prayers did arise Heavenward constantly. Before long, he did meet a peaceful death, having said: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Thereupon thou wast again a widow, O follower of Christ, for thou wast suddenly unfettered by the bonds of marriage. Thy childhood desire to become a nun was to be honored beyond all personal expectation, for thou hadst never betrayed the brilliant light of His love in all thy doings:

Rejoice, shining example.

Rejoice, vivid illustration.

Rejoice, wise partner.

Rejoice, selfless companion.

Rejoice, thoughtful wife.

Rejoice, honorable widow.

Rejoice, precious friend.

Rejoice, generous neighbor.

Rejoice, faithful intercessor.

Rejoice, prompt advocate.

Rejoice, marvelous enrichment.

Rejoice, wondrous formation.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 7

Saint Athanasia, thou didst speedily dispense of thy wealth, as God did lead thee onward for the sake of thy salvation and for the building up of the Kingdom of Heaven. Thou didst go into a secluded place with a few other like-minded women and establish a monastery, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

After a few years, O kindhearted one of God, the other sisters did request thee to become their abbess. Thou didst consent, but only with utmost humility and in compliance with the will of God for thee and for them. As always, thou wast a caregiver to those around thee:

Rejoice, thou who didst gather the sheep of Christ.

Rejoice, thou who didst love others as thyself.

Rejoice, thou who didst submit unto the will of the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, thou who didst become an abbess in order to serve.

Rejoice, for thou didst cherish humility and meekness.

Rejoice, for thou didst treasure prayer and worship.

Rejoice, for thou didst hold thyself accountable.

Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself available.

Rejoice, thou sister amongst beloved sisters.

Rejoice, thou mother amidst dear daughters.

Rejoice, thou sage who didst buy the finest pearl.

Rejoice, thou fisherman who didst launch into the deep.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 8

Saint Athanasia, thou wast committed to holy simplicity in the monastery, putting others above thyself and seeing the image of God in everyone. Thou wast an abbess in discernment, a servant in daily tasks, and a caring mother in disposition. For this reason, all the nuns did truly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Thou wast a hardy laborer, O God-fearing abbess, for thou didst till the soil and water the seedlings. Thou didst counsel the sisters and sing praises unto God. Thou didst maintain the fasts and celebrate the holy feast days. Thou wast thankful for thine own poverty and for the riches of God:

Rejoice, thou who art all-beautiful in the sight of God.

Rejoice, for thou didst increase in doing His will.

Rejoice, thou who art all-perceptive in the ways of spirituality.

Rejoice, for thou didst excel in the teachings of the Church.

Rejoice, thou who art all-fruitful in the monastic life.

Rejoice, for thou didst embrace both poverty and charity.

Rejoice, thou who art all-blessed in thy black robes.

Rejoice, for thou didst renounce worldliness long ago.

Rejoice, thou who art all-bountiful in thy bread and olives.

Rejoice, for thou didst toil beside the hardworking sisters.

Rejoice, thou who art all-spacious in thy wisdom and compassion.

Rejoice, for thou didst teach the sisters by loving example.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 9

Mother Athanasia, thou didst desire even greater seclusion, and thou didst therefore establish another monastery far upon a hill. Nonetheless, people did follow thee and the sisters, and thou didst gain renown after healing a man of eye disease. Whereupon, all the people did say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

People did hasten to the new monastery, O holy wonderworker, to obtain healing of their impurities and infirmities. So much money was given unto thee in return, that thou wast able to construct three churches around the monastery and for the glory of God:

Rejoice, bountiful wonderworker.

Rejoice, able nun.

Rejoice, charitable miracleworker.

Rejoice, gifted abbess.

Rejoice, vigorous contemplative.

Rejoice, friendly consideration.

Rejoice, intrepid deliverer.

Rejoice, ready emancipator.

Rejoice, God-glorifier.

Rejoice, Christ-exalter.

Rejoice, Church-builder.

Rejoice, monastery-founder.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 10

Saint Athanasia, thou didst feel compelled to press further into isolation and to live in obscurity, in order to remain hidden in Christ and to pray unceasingly. For this cause, thou didst take refuge in a monastery in Constantinople and did live there as an ordinary nun, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

For several years, O seeker of prayer, thou didst happily pray and do thy handicrafts. From the days of thy youthful caregiving until the days of thy wonderworking, thou didst always serve others. Yet, thou didst also seek God alone and for Himself only, for thou wast touched by a star as a child:

Rejoice, thou who didst avoid recognition and prominence.

Rejoice, thou who didst pursue simplicity and anonymity.

Rejoice, thou who didst repudiate social acclamation.

Rejoice, thou who didst give all glory to the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, for thou didst love the sisters through prayer.

Rejoice, for thou didst intercede for their souls.

Rejoice, for thou didst help the people through supplications.

Rejoice, for thou didst entreat God for His great mercy.

Rejoice, thou seeker of a mansion in Heaven.

Rejoice, thou witness of the Light of the world.

Rejoice, thou worshipper in spirit and truth.

Rejoice, thou believer in Him Who was sent.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 11

Saint Athanasia, when the nuns of thy former monastery did discover thy whereabouts, they did seek thee straightway and beg thee to return. Thou didst pray over this matter and didst endeavor to discern the will of God for thee and for them, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Since it was within thy spirit to be a caregiver, O loving mother, and because thou didst do unto others as thou wouldst have them do unto thee, thou didst return with the sisters to the monastery which thou hadst founded in thy prime and for the glory of God:

Rejoice, for thou didst love with undying love.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-obedient unto the ways of the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, for thou didst obey out of love.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-filled with the light of His tender mercies.

Rejoice, for thou didst honor God with thine every word and deed.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-thankful for His provision and gifts.

Rejoice, for thou didst sacrifice thy personal wants.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-sensitive to the needs of others.

Rejoice, for thou didst carry thy cross unto the end of thy life.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-abundant in thy discipleship.

Rejoice, for thou didst cast thy burdens upon Christ our Lord.

Rejoice, for thou art ever-hopeful of Eternity.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 12

Mother Athanasia, thou wast back in the monastery only a short time, and then thou wast called by God to join with the saints in Heaven. Thine obedience was to be rewarded and thy desire for union with God was to reach its ultimate destination where All Saints do say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Thou didst depart this life, O joyful nun, on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. Thou didst request that the sisters read the Psalter in church for thee, and that they prepare food for the sick and poor. Therein, thou didst leave thy mortal body:

Rejoice, divine fulfillment.

Rejoice, holy completion.

Rejoice, sacred conclusion.

Rejoice, merciful ending.

Rejoice, uplifted soul.

Rejoice, purified being.

Rejoice, endless praise.

Rejoice, eternal oneness.

Rejoice, purest snow.

Rejoice, holiest mountain.

Rejoice, calmest waters.

Rejoice, brightest skies.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Kontakion 13

Saint Athanasia, after thy departure, thy body did remain incorrupt and fragrant. Thou didst continue in thy caregiving ways, for thy relics became a great source of healing for the sick and possessed. Hereafter, thou dost await for us in Heaven. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

We glorify Thee, O Father Almighty, for Thou hast never forsaken those who turn to Thee for the imperishable bread of holiness. Let us then, as is proper, bow down before Thee and give thanks for Thy splendid saint, Athanasia the Abbess of Aegina, as we declare unto her:

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Saint Athanasia, thou wast a spiritual mother of blessed nuns who did find salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou didst partake of that precious Body and Blood with thy spiritual daughters, and thou wast thereby abundantly filled with Heavenly joy even whilst on earth:

Rejoice, thou who didst delight in the Church established by Christ.

Rejoice, thou who didst thrive in the Faith of our holy fathers.

Rejoice, thou who didst flourish in the traditions of monasticism.

Rejoice, thou who didst prosper in the routine of work and prayer.

Rejoice, for thou didst follow Jesus Christ reliably.

Rejoice, for thou didst minister unto His flock eagerly.

Rejoice, for thou didst take up thy cross willingly.

Rejoice, for thou didst renounce the world gladly.

Rejoice, thou holy abbess amongst the saints and angels.

Rejoice, thou amiable servant amidst the sick and poor.

Rejoice, thou bringer of good news unto the brokenhearted.

Rejoice, thou giver of true words unto the troubled.

Rejoice, Saint Athanasia, holy abbess and wonderworker.

A Prayer

Saint Athanasia, the monasteries implore thee for thy blessings of simplicity and dedication to God and Church. All people entreat thee for thine outpouring of healing of body and soul. We beseech thee, be thou our holy mother and do guide us in prayer and charity. Amen.

[There are at least two versions of the life of Saint Athanasia. This Akathist was modeled after one of those versions, drawing only a couple of details from another version.]

Copyright © 2017 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 517, Version 2

This material may be reprinted and redistributed for personal and non-profit uses only.

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