Akathist Hymn to Saint Mary of Egypt, Desert Mother

Kontakion 1

Our Heavenly Father, we know that Your Son, Jesus Christ, laid down His life for us sinners, even for the most turbulent of sinners. Truly, we place such a woman above us: Saint Mary of Egypt, for she repented and then embraced the height and breadth of holiness. We therefore proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Ikos 1

Shine your compassion upon us, Saint Mary, as the desert sun shone upon your quest for purity and eternity. We also yearn for holiness, but without help we perish in our impure desires and worldly notions. For this reason, we humbly seek your blessings and pursue a life of prayer and worship:

Rejoice, seeker of God’s glorious restoration.

Rejoice, for you worshipped on a steadfast rock of faith.

Rejoice, knower of Christ’s innocent sacrifice.

Rejoice, for you prayed in a vast land of forgiveness.

Rejoice, indebted to the Holy Spirit’s righteous indwelling.

Rejoice, for you repented beneath heavenly stars of illumination.

Rejoice, beholden to the Virgin Mary’s sacred caregiving.

Rejoice, for you responded to spacious skies of compassi0n.

Rejoice, inheritor of the Church’s unstained doctrine.

Rejoice, for you thrived upon ancient sands of continuity.

Rejoice, recipient of the wasteland’s austere preparation.

Rejoice, for you flourished within inward states of victory.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 2

Saint Mary of Egypt, like the beautiful lilies you blossomed forth, leaving behind the darkness of destruction and walking forward into the light of divine love. You depended on God, for you saw the traps of despair and in contrast to the vitality of goodness, and you said: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Renouncing the degradation of carnality, for your life was engrossed in sordid behaviors, you sought the mercy of God. You looked upward from the repugnant mire and saw help and hope. We also wish to arise from any unfitting activities, and we entreat your superb guidance:

Rejoice, help of the heartsick woman.

Rejoice, hope of the desperate man.

Rejoice, refuge of the pressured girl.

Rejoice, rescue of the confused boy.

Rejoice, strength of the sorely tempted.

Rejoice, welcome of the deeply repentant.

Rejoice, gain of the bishops and priests.

Rejoice, advantage of the monks and nuns.

Rejoice, comfort of the faithful spouses.

Rejoice, validation of the prayerful singles.

Rejoice, wisdom of the elderly worshippers.

Rejoice, peace of the lifelong believers.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 3

Saint Mary of Egypt, all have sinned and no one can cast the first stone. Each of us crucified Christ, for He died for the sins of all people. But not everyone has turned to God as you did: with your whole being, dying to the world, fulfilling His will, and always saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Help us, Saint Mary, to renounce all evil and to put on the clean garment of salvation. We wish to be desert dwellers, beginning in this moment of clarity, and to send up prayers for ourselves and for our loved ones. Help us to put away former things and to exalt the Cross of Christ:

Rejoice, that we might redeem the remaining days.

Rejoice, for we live according to divine timeliness.

Rejoice, that we might thrive while there is still light.

Rejoice, for we are delivered from heavy burdens.

Rejoice, that we might acquire a meek disposition.

Rejoice, for we wish to become faithful servants.

Rejoice, that we might cultivate an inward desert.

Rejoice, for we are strengthened with unaltered truth.

Rejoice, that we might treasure the communion of saints.

Rejoice, for we pray never to distort the holy fathers.

Rejoice, that we might consider the raiment of lilies.

Rejoice, for we are transformed into new creatures.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 4

We know that sin is never contained within itself, but every action has an impact on those around us. Some people commit devious or premeditated behaviors, causing pain and damages. Everyone feels the repercussions, but may Christ heal us and embolden us to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Saint Mary of Egypt, attend to the victims of our transgressions, for you excelled in repentance and you commiserate with the ills of mankind. May no one perish because of our impure words and deeds. Rather, let us prepare a holy path for our families and neighbors, as well as all posterity:

Rejoice, as we confess our sins honestly.

Rejoice, as we go and sin no more openly or privately.

Rejoice, as we seek the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Rejoice, as we become temples of the Holy Spirit.

Rejoice, as we give all and hold nothing back in deception.

Rejoice, as we take the lowly place among the brethren.

Rejoice, as we seek the Bread of Life that comes down from above.

Rejoice, as we cherish the True Bread that gives life to the world.

Rejoice, as we fear not but sing wholeheartedly.

Rejoice, as we love much and develop sacredly.

Rejoice, as we stand together at the foot of the Holy Cross.

Rejoice, as we offer fragrant words and deeds to the Body of Christ.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 5

Saint Mary of Egypt, you were held back from entering the Holy Church, for your lifestyle was unfitting and you had not repented. Yet, you were made in the image of God, and Jesus Christ offered life abundant. This is the marvel of the Holy Cross, that we are called forth to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

If our conscience holds us back, Saint Mary, because we are made in the image of God and His ways are therefore written on our heart, then let us thank Him for this inner sense of direction. Let us not defile ourselves or one another, but let us follow the straight path to victory:

Rejoice, our true friend in the hidden desert.

Rejoice, for we admire your journey.

Rejoice, our loyal companion in spiritual battles.

Rejoice, for we honor your struggles.

Rejoice, our blessed mother in the life of prayer.

Rejoice, for we appreciate your contrition.

Rejoice, our prized guide in righteous conduct.

Rejoice, for we respect your transformation.

Rejoice, our illuminated path in the trials of life.

Rejoice, for we venerate your icon.

Rejoice, our radiant messenger in the good news.

Rejoice, for we uphold your memory.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 6

Saint Mary of Egypt, there are many who exist outside the doors of the Church, and for various reasons. Let us pray for the devastated and for the world which exist in pain and unbelief, and let us not separate ourselves from holiness of life but constantly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

By living in solitary prayer in the arena of the wastelands, by defeating the devil and overcoming temptation, by telling your story to a humble priest, you are an example to the wayward and  lost. May those outside become catechumens and join those inside who live and pray in this way:

Rejoice, for you sought neither to criticize nor entice men.

Rejoice, for we likewise intend to please only God.

Rejoice, for you looked neither to ridicule nor flatter women.

Rejoice, for we also wish only to enter the Kingdom.

Rejoice, for you desired neither to undermine nor idolize a priest.

Rejoice, for we truly choose to be disciples of Christ.

Rejoice, for you indulged neither in nostalgia nor fantasy.

Rejoice, for we likewise prefer to live in prayerful sobriety.

Rejoice, for you despised neither worshippers nor strangers.

Rejoice, for we also want to acquire a peaceful disposition.

Rejoice, for you blamed neither God nor world.

Rejoice, for we truly pray to meet the sunrise with joy.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 7

Saint Mary of Egypt, you wanted to enter the Church with the others, with the People of God, and to participate in the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. There is no greater thing to want, and no greater fortune than to be called forth by Christ and to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

You desired help and not ruin, Saint Mary, purity and not defilement, and forgiveness and not exclusion. Your separation from the Body and Blood began to cause you agony in the core of your being. Thus, you renounced unsettling activities and you yearned to follow Christ:

Rejoice, follower of God’s Only-Begotten Son.

Rejoice, for you repented outside the only entrance to the Mysteries.

Rejoice, partaker of Christ’s sacrificial ministry.

Rejoice, for you pondered before the true Church of the apostles.

Rejoice, grateful to the Holy Spirit’s invisible workings.

Rejoice, for you renounced iniquity upon learning of eternity.

Rejoice, faithful to the Virgin Mary’s countless mercies.

Rejoice, for you forsook depravity after hearing of unity.

Rejoice, admirer of the Church’s wondrous beauty.

Rejoice, for you began to transform inwardly and forever.

Rejoice, beholder of the desert’s splendid daybreak.

Rejoice, for you proceeded to pray intensely and always.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 8

Saint Mary of Egypt, though you were to live out your days in solitude, after forsaking sin and finding the Church, you were not isolated from truth and mercy. You abided in Christ, and He in you, and you exalted the Holy Cross in the interior of the desert and said: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Continuing to repent and pray, to grow and become holy for God is holy, you felt only love for the Church and for mankind. Your impact was of benefit to a humble priest and then to all Christians. For, we each have a time and place from which we hope to be united with the saints in Heaven:

Rejoice, guide of the concerned parent.

Rejoice, revival of the zealous grandparent.

Rejoice, mainstay of the homebound believer.

Rejoice, support of the prayerful elderly.

Rejoice, inspiration of the wholesome girl.

Rejoice, protection of the chaste boy.

Rejoice, counselor of the true seeker.

Rejoice, beauty of the pure worshipper.

Rejoice, partner of the admirable wife.

Rejoice, shield of the devoted husband.

Rejoice, light of the vigilant nun.

Rejoice, path of the attentive monk.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 9

Saint Mary of Egypt, it was the Mother of God who helped you to enter the Church, for you saw her icon and you prayed in humility and trust. You beheld her Heavenly glory and in contrast to your turbulent circumstances. Her unspoiled beauty gave you the ability to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

Help us, Saint Mary, to turn to the Virgin Mary when we have no other resources, in times of grief, and always. Let us beseech her and praise her who gave birth to the Savior of mankind. We henceforth place our confidence in the Theotokos and not in worldly influences:

Rejoice, that we might become what we were intended to be.

Rejoice, for we desire tranquility in our heart, soul, and mind.

Rejoice, that we might give a kind word to everyone around us.

Rejoice, for we are made in the image of a merciful God.

Rejoice, that we might love with undying devotion.

Rejoice, for we renounce sin and every impure attachment.

Rejoice, that we might discern whatever is good, right, and true.

Rejoice, for we are risen with the Risen Christ of God.

Rejoice, that we might represent the Church in good conscience.

Rejoice, for we uphold unity and pursue unceasing prayer.

Rejoice, that we might flourish under sunrays of blessings.

Rejoice, for we are uplifted by the Mother of God.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 10

We know that many people suffer emotionally and physically, and often live without any rescue or care. Let us pray for those who have been abused or exploited, whether man or woman or child, that they will be renewed and live in fruitfulness, and that they will say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

Saint Mary of Egypt, look also upon the unruly, the type who abuse and exploit others, that they may cease to commit harm. Let us pray for the cleansing of the deviant, and may we ourselves always be true disciples and not re-crucifiers of the Christ Whom we profess:

Rejoice, as we walk the narrow path despite any obstacle.

Rejoice, as we serve as holy ambassadors in perilous times.

Rejoice, as we ask in hope and charity, “Do you want to be made well?”

Rejoice, as we say truthfully, “No one can serve two masters.”

Rejoice, as we intervene and protect the vulnerable.

Rejoice, as we intercede but never condone the intolerable.

Rejoice, as we testify to the righteousness of the saints.

Rejoice, as we bring forth our gifts and talents in witness.

Rejoice, as we exalt the Holy Cross among our contemporaries.

Rejoice, as we follow Christ at home and in public places.

Rejoice, as we faint not when the world turns against us.

Rejoice, as we form our homes into domestic churches.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 11

Saint Mary of Egypt, upon meeting the priest, Saint Zosimas, you told him the gripping story of your former lifestyle, and of your conversion and solitude. He regarded you as above him in holiness, and you esteemed him more than yourself, and to this we undeniably say: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Everyone has a story, Saint Mary, and some are known to us and some are known only to God. Your story has been given to us for our edification and hope, and therefore may we be found righteous on the Day of Judgment. We place you above us, for you point us to purity of life:

Rejoice, our beloved sister in the holy virtues.

Rejoice, for we behold your demeanor.

Rejoice, our gracious mother in sacred nurture.

Rejoice, for we value your disposition.

Rejoice, our dependable aide in the spotless life.

Rejoice, for we beseech your hospitality.

Rejoice, our diligent nurse in divine remedy.

Rejoice, for we implore your healing.

Rejoice, our superb teacher in the undivided Church.

Rejoice, for we cherish your labors.

Rejoice, our splendid treasure in unbroken heritage.

Rejoice, for we have your story.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 12

Saint Mary of Egypt, you were able to receive Holy Communion from Saint Zosimas, for you exalted the Holy Cross in your heart and had prepared yourself to partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. You were not turned away, but with pure love you approached and said: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Thus we see the path of repentance, the manner of conquering evil, the preparation for life eternal, and the gathering of every type of saint into Heaven. God is not limited, for His saints are diverse though genuine and unified in the Church. Accordingly, we continue our journey to the end:

Rejoice, for you chose neither to dispute nor tempt God.

Rejoice, for we likewise strive to uphold His will for us.

Rejoice, for you resolved neither to forget nor betray the Theotokos.

Rejoice, for we also arise to fulfill her call to holiness of life.

Rejoice, for you sought neither to cushion nor dismiss mankind.

Rejoice, for we truly desire to pray for the redemption of all.

Rejoice, for you projected neither irrelevance nor estrangement.

Rejoice, for we likewise try to bring others into the fold.

Rejoice, for you disdained neither lilies nor sunsets.

Rejoice, for we also take our place in the plan of salvation.

Rejoice, for you scorned neither enduring nor departing.

Rejoice, for we truly labor until the end of our days.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Kontakion 13

Saint Mary of Egypt, after you partook of Holy Communion, and  before Saint Zosimas returned that following year, you departed this life. We give glory to God for your victories on this earth, for your help from Heaven, and for your beauty of soul. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Our Heavenly Father, we know that Your Son, Jesus Christ, laid down His life for us sinners, even for the most turbulent of sinners. Truly, we place such a woman above us: Saint Mary of Egypt, for she repented and then embraced the height and breadth of holiness. We therefore proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Shine your compassion upon us, Saint Mary, as the desert sun shone upon your quest for purity and eternity. We also yearn for holiness, but without help we perish in our impure desires and worldly notions. For this reason, we humbly seek your blessings and pursue a life of prayer and worship:

Rejoice, seeker of God’s glorious restoration.

Rejoice, for you worshipped on a steadfast rock of faith.

Rejoice, knower of Christ’s innocent sacrifice.

Rejoice, for you prayed in a vast land of forgiveness.

Rejoice, indebted to the Holy Spirit’s righteous indwelling.

Rejoice, for you repented beneath heavenly stars of illumination.

Rejoice, beholden to the Virgin Mary’s sacred caregiving.

Rejoice, for you responded to spacious skies of compassi0n.

Rejoice, inheritor of the Church’s unstained doctrine.

Rejoice, for you thrived upon ancient sands of continuity.

Rejoice, recipient of the wasteland’s austere preparation.

Rejoice, for you flourished within inward states of victory.

Rejoice, Saint Mary of Egypt, desert mother and fearless conqueror.

A Prayer

Saint Mary of Egypt, we thank God for your life of prayer, and for the hope you give to men and women who are struggling in extreme situations. Your life is a testament to the goodness of God and to the everlasting teachings of the Church. These teachings are not biased or dead, but sacred and life-giving.

Help us, Saint Mary, to live in a way pleasing to God our Father and to fulfill His holy will for us. This is the only path to meaning and joy. If we have sinned in conduct, then let our repentance please God and unite us with the saints. If we have sinned in thought, then let us return quickly to the path of virtues.

Let us pray for those who are wayward and lost, and for those who have suffered the impact of others’ dark activities. Let pray also for those who have obeyed God since childhood, that they stray not. Help us, Saint Mary, to be found faithful on the Day of Judgment.

We therefore endeavor to uphold purity in our words and deeds, in all our relationships with family and everyone we encounter, and through our cultivation of an inward desert. Let us give glory to God for sending His Only-Begotten Son to save us, and for the Ever-Virgin Mary and Mother of God who watches over us. Thank you, Saint Mary of Egypt, for showing us the devastation of sin and the victory of renunciation. Amen.

 

Copyright © 2020 by Natalia J. Garland
Batch 123, Version 1
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