Akathist Hymn to Saint Nonna of Nazianzus

Kontakion 1

We rejoice, O God, to honor your saints with praises and to learn from their lives of holiness. We see that sometimes entire families consist of saints. Such was the case with Saint Nonna of Nazianzus, for she radiated truth and love to her husband and children. We therefore gladly say:

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Ikos 1

Saint Nonna, daughter of Christian parents and also mother of Christian children, aunt of a bishop, salvation of a pagan husband — all of whom became saints of the Church — we entreat your blessings that we might likewise become holy and of benefit to our loved ones:

Rejoice, for every mother aspires to your beauty of soul.

Rejoice, for every daughter follows after your purity of heart.

Rejoice, for every father finds gain amid your spiritual treasures.

Rejoice, for every son seeks help from your gracious outpouring.

Rejoice, for every orphan draws unto the door of your mercy.

Rejoice, for every widow walks upon the path of your kindness.

Rejoice, for every prodigal flourishes in the shadow of your being.

Rejoice, for every leper thrives on the banquet of your prayers.

Rejoice, for every believer prospers within your bountiful orchard.

Rejoice, for every worshipper marvels at your abundant harvest.

Rejoice, for every laborer enters into the family of your devotion.

Rejoice, for every sinner hastens toward the prize of your compassion.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 2

We are humbled and encouraged, O God, to hear of Saint Nonna and her excellence as a Christian wife and mother. She attended Church services and also prayed at home, and she delighted in her sacred responsibility to raise her children in the Faith and always say: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Saint Nonna, beloved for your zeal as well as your tenderness, notable for your prudence and also your charity, renowned for your sincere prayers while caring for young children — we implore your aid in our daily comings and goings and your guidance into the harbor of holiness:

Rejoice, for we arise to nourish our families and loved ones.

Rejoice, for we cherish the gift of life.

Rejoice, for we endeavor to pray for our neighbors and the world.

Rejoice, for we see the struggles of mankind.

Rejoice, for we begin each day with enthusiasm for God.

Rejoice, for we are alive in hope.

Rejoice, for we end each day in accomplishment of His will.

Rejoice, for we are dead to sin.

Rejoice, for we assist the infirm and remember the forgotten.

Rejoice, for we love with perpetual attentiveness.

Rejoice, for we console the heartbroken and uplift the forlorn.

Rejoice, for we give with everlasting meaningfulness.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 3

O God, although Saint Nonna was raised in a wealthy Christian family, she was to marry a pagan man, Gregory, who was a rich landowner. She had material satisfactions, but felt inner unhappiness with the uneven yoke. Yet, Your ways are mysterious, O God, and she continued to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Saint Nonna, you prayed fervently that God would lead your husband to pure doctrine and to salvation through the Cross of Christ. You desired complete oneness with a true soulmate and sacred unity in the Church. Hence, you met the stormy seas of life with faith in the merciful God:

Rejoice, for you looked not at the violent waters below.

Rejoice, for you kept your eyes on the glory of Heaven above.

Rejoice, for you understood that all things are possible with God.

Rejoice, for you wept in supplication at the foot of the Holy Cross.

Rejoice, for you defeated falsehood by shining forth discipleship.

Rejoice, for you conquered delusion by pouring out righteousness.

Rejoice, for you allowed no opening to the devil.

Rejoice, for you built up the Heavenly Kingdom.

Rejoice, for you decided not to complain but to pray.

Rejoice, for you chose not to perish but to increase.

Rejoice, for you climbed the top of the mountain.

Rejoice, for you reached the height of virtue.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 4

O God, he is known as Saint Gregory the Elder — the husband of Saint Nonna whose prayers for salvation never faltered  — for he attended the First Ecumenical Council where he converted to the True Church. He later became the Bishop of Nazianzus and with joy he said: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Saint Nonna, we admire you and we esteem Saint Gregory the Elder, for the two became one in serving the Holy Church with total dedication. Your husband died at the age of 100 and, though you were younger, you also expected to die but remained on earth according to God’s purpose:

Rejoice, for the ways of God are not the ways of man.

Rejoice, for the salvation of man is to obey the will of God.

Rejoice, for God hears the prayers of the faithful.

Rejoice, for there is no disappointment when trusting God.

Rejoice, for the merciful God transforms sorrow into joy.

Rejoice, for the suffering of mankind finds meaning in God.

Rejoice, for God knows those who labor for their loved ones.

Rejoice, for there is no misperception in the mind of God.

Rejoice, for the plan of God includes the last and least.

Rejoice, for the quest of repentance is union with God.

Rejoice, for God sees the activities of the world.

Rejoice, for there is no hope outside the goodness of God.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 5

We exalt You, O God, for the amazing lives of Your saints and for the wondrous help they give us and our families. Saint Nonna was foremost a disciple of Christ, for she died to self-centeredness and arose as a virtuous wife and a beloved mother, and therefore the whole Church says: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Saint Nonna, when your husband became a bishop, after the children had been raised, you also became a deaconess. You thereby acquired many more loved ones to whom you gave great care practically and spiritually, for such are not separate, and your conscience was clean before God:

Rejoice, for help is available every day upon prayer.

Rejoice, for mercy is offered to the humble of heart.

Rejoice, for love was demonstrated on the Holy Cross.

Rejoice, for abundance was bestowed above Golgotha.

Rejoice, for hope is fortified with the stories of the saints.

Rejoice, for courage is renewed because of living icons.

Rejoice, for faith was shown by the martyrs for Christ.

Rejoice, for trust was evident in the apostles of the Son of God.

Rejoice, for patience is rewarded greater than expected.

Rejoice, for endurance is fruitful beyond what can be imagined.

Rejoice, for truth was expounded by the Fathers of the Church.

Rejoice, for humility was found among the hermits of the desert.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 6

We glorify You, O God, for every child that is born, for establishing families in the life of the Church, for creating us in Your image and accepting our repentance, and for sending  Saint Nonna to guide us in pure relationships for the sake of salvation, that everyone might say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Saint Nonna, your firstborn child was a son — as you had prayed for a son and vowed to dedicate him to God — and he was named Gregory. He became known as Saint Gregory the Younger, or Saint Gregory the Theologian — sharing this title only with Saint John the Theologian:

Rejoice, for your prayers were answered by the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, for your dedication was acceptable to the Life-Giving Trinity.

Rejoice, for it was a time to live and not to fear.

Rejoice, for it was a time to abound and not to diminish.

Rejoice, for your care for loved ones was unto Christ Himself.

Rejoice, for your fruitfulness in life was to build up the Church.

Rejoice, for it was a time to gather and not to reject.

Rejoice, for it was a time to enfold and not to lose.

Rejoice, for your discipleship was honored by all of Heaven.

Rejoice, for your path was prepared by the saints and martyrs.

Rejoice, for it was a time to begin and not to hesitate.

Rejoice, for it was a time to bless and not to withhold.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 7

O God, we see that a holy mother gave birth to and raised a holy son, her firstborn saint, for he was a son brought forth by prayer. Help us, O God, to do everything with prayer, even as Saint Nonna — wife and homemaker —  lived in Your presence and always said: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

Saint Nonna, as soon as Saint Gregory was old enough to read, you gave him the Scriptures and he immersed himself in words which shall not pass away. Saint Gregory became a good friend of Saint Basil the Great, for they studied together and for a while they lived in the same monastery:

Rejoice, for there are many children who have unseen potential.

Rejoice, for there are responsible ways to teach and guide them.

Rejoice, for there are numerous mothers who need a friend.

Rejoice, for there are various ways to reach and assist them.

Rejoice, for there are lights that shine in the darkness.

Rejoice, for there are rivers that flow throughout time.

Rejoice, for there are trees that produce edible fruits.

Rejoice, for there are rocks that support heavy weight.

Rejoice, for there are Bibles to be studied and read aloud.

Rejoice, for there are prayers to be said for every occasion.

Rejoice, for there are icons to be venerated in the home.

Rejoice, for there are lepers wanting to become our loved ones.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 8

O God, may we never forget Saint Amphilochius who was a cousin of Saint Gregory the Theologian and also a friend of Saint Basil the Great. Let us praise Saint Nonna who raised a son who, in his youth, interacted with Saint Amphilochius who became a holy bishop, and let us say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Saint Nonna, your solicitude for your loved ones was far-reaching, for you spread goodness through prayers, words and deeds. Your nephew, Saint Amphilochius, had visions of angels and was able to heal both spiritual and physical afflictions — and thus we turn to you for lovingkindness:

Rejoice, for blessed are those who honor your guidance.

Rejoice, for blessed are the parents who follow your pathway.

Rejoice, for blessed are those who behold your sainthood.

Rejoice, for blessed are the faithful who celebrate your feastday.

Rejoice, for blessed are those who accept your mercy.

Rejoice, for blessed are the needy who receive your generosity.

Rejoice, for blessed are those who appreciate your courage.

Rejoice, for blessed are the monastics who seek your kinship.

Rejoice, for blessed are those who admire your eagerness.

Rejoice, for blessed are the priests who preserve your memory.

Rejoice, for blessed are those who respect your endurance.

Rejoice, for blessed are the elderly who cherish your caregiving.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 9

We give thanks, O God, for the countless times You have forgiven us and made a way for us. We know that You hear prayers, for You fulfilled the hopes of Saint Nonna. We know that You love children, for You created all life — even whole families of saints which say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

Saint Nonna, you had a daughter named Gorgonia who is also a saint. Like her mother, she converted her husband, and all her children were baptized in the True Church. Saint Nonna, your holy lineage flourished through a  wise daughter — as it also continues with everyone who praises you today:

Rejoice, for it is fitting to live in thanksgiving for redemption.

Rejoice, for it is right to remember our predecessors in the Faith.

Rejoice, for it is meet to arise to the challenges of each day.

Rejoice, for it is good to pray for loved ones and for strangers.

Rejoice, for it is beneficial to plant the seeds of salvation.

Rejoice, for it is profitable to see the image of God in others.

Rejoice, for it is glorious to acquire the virtues.

Rejoice, for it is wonderful to utilize our gifts and talents.

Rejoice, for it is essential to cherish and train a child.

Rejoice, for it is necessary to nurture with words and deeds.

Rejoice, for it is faithful to build up the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rejoice, for it is worthy to live by the teachings of the Church.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 10

We are amazed, O God, that Saint Gorgonia was twice healed, for You heard her prayers — once of injuries and then of illness. This holy daughter of Saint Nonna was likewise merciful, and is known as the “Mother of Orphans” and the “Eyes of the Blind,” that the afflicted might say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

Saint Nonna, your daughter died in peace at the age of thirty-nine, having lived a life pleasing to God. You and your husband were very old, and you grieved as a loving mother and old woman who had seen much. Yet, you trusted in God and prayed fervently:

Rejoice, for God is All-Knowing and All-Seeing.

Rejoice, for you raised your children to glorify Him.

Rejoice, for God is a God of the living.

Rejoice, for you believed in eternal life.

Rejoice, for God is faithful and cannot lie.

Rejoice, for you overcame sorrow with truth.

Rejoice, for God is not to be tempted.

Rejoice, for you kept all His commandments.

Rejoice, for God is longsuffering toward mankind.

Rejoice, for you worked out your salvation.

Rejoice, for God is a God of tender mercies.

Rejoice, for you gave thanks for all His ways.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 11

O God, our Heavenly Father and the God of all goodness, You saw fit to grant Saint Nonna a second son, Saint Caesarius, who excelled in science and became a physician. Saint Caesarius resisted the pagan influences of Julian the Apostate, and Saint Nonna’s holy son therefore said: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Saint Nonna, your younger son died one year before your daughter, and then, not long after the loss of your daughter, your husband departed this life. You endured these family sorrows with courage and faith, and you intensified your life of prayer during your final days on this earth:

Rejoice, for your thoughts abounded with truth.

Rejoice, for your feelings overflowed with warmth.

Rejoice, for your steps were sure on the straight path.

Rejoice, for your eyes were steadfast on the narrow gates.

Rejoice, for your toil gladdened your spouse and children.

Rejoice, for your prayers uplifted your descendants and posterity.

Rejoice, for your days on earth were completely fulfilled.

Rejoice, for your talents in life were thoroughly developed.

Rejoice, for your words were edifying and enriching.

Rejoice, for your deeds were invigorating and illuminating.

Rejoice, for your impact was profound.

Rejoice, for your effect was everlasting.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 12

O God, the God of our Fathers and the God of all fullness, You strengthen us to work and pray, to hope and trust, and to endure until we take our last breath. Saint Nonna died after her husband and two of her children, leaving only Saint Gregory the Theologian to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Saint Nonna, you died while praying inside a church, joining Saint Gregory the Elder, Saint Gorgonia, Saint Caesarius, and all those who departed this life in repentance and service. Your fortitude and kindheartedness are an inspiration to Christians of all nationalities and cultures:

Rejoice, for plentiful are the wonders of God.

Rejoice, for precious are the children of God.

Rejoice, for you shone forth as an honorable wife.

Rejoice, for you arose early as a diligent mother.

Rejoice, for unchanging are the truths of God.

Rejoice, for unflinching are the servants of God.

Rejoice, for you thrived in a home of faith.

Rejoice, for you died in a state of prayer.

Rejoice, for generous are the mercies of God.

Rejoice, for jubilant are the people of God.

Rejoice, for you reach flocks in faraway lands.

Rejoice, for you teach multitudes in successive centuries.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Kontakion 13

Saint Nonna, we turn to you as a holy mother to all Christians, for we wish to be the recipients of your extensive love and righteous guidance. We wish also to show these qualities to our families and everyone on our path, that your legacy might continue in our lives. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

We rejoice, O God, to honor your saints with praises and to learn from their lives of holiness. We see that sometimes entire families consist of saints. Such was the case with Saint Nonna of Nazianzus, for she radiated truth and love to her husband and children. We therefore gladly say:

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Saint Nonna, daughter of Christian parents and also mother of Christian children, aunt of a bishop, salvation of a pagan husband — all of whom became saints of the Church — we entreat your blessings that we might likewise become holy and of benefit to our loved ones:

Rejoice, for every mother aspires to your beauty of soul.

Rejoice, for every daughter follows after your purity of heart.

Rejoice, for every father finds gain amid your spiritual treasures.

Rejoice, for every son seeks help from your gracious outpouring.

Rejoice, for every orphan draws unto the door of your mercy.

Rejoice, for every widow walks upon the path of your kindness.

Rejoice, for every prodigal flourishes in the shadow of your being.

Rejoice, for every leper thrives on the banquet of your prayers.

Rejoice, for every believer prospers within your bountiful orchard.

Rejoice, for every worshipper marvels at your abundant harvest.

Rejoice, for every laborer enters into the family of your devotion.

Rejoice, for every sinner hastens toward the prize of your compassion.

Rejoice, Saint Nonna, woman of great faith and mother of holy children.

A Prayer

Saint Nonna, we ask for your great blessings upon each member of every family, as well as upon the prayerful souls in every monastery. We pray for the capacity to nurture our children and loved ones in a way pleasing to God. Help us to give without holding back, and may not one person on our path be lost because of us.

We pray for the safety of our children, especially at school and in public places, for this is a disturbing era of violence and death. May each child return home in peace every day, and may all boys and girls grow to become good citizens and true Christians. May those affected by the terror of extremists or classmates be healed of their wounds and trauma, and may the dead be remembered in the Heavenly Kingdom.

Saint Nonna, guide us to pray and to faint not, to cherish our loved ones and to meet every challenge, to be victorious over all temptations, and to fulfill the will of God as He sees fit for us. Lead us in discipleship as well as in childcare, that each generation might serve the Church according to their gifts and talents. Amen.

 

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