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Month of August

The 24th Day

Commemoration of the Holy Hieromartyr Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons in Gaul

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

N.B.: The celebration of the feast of the hieromartyr, which falleth on the 23rd of August, is transferred to the 24th, that it may not coincide with the Apodosis of the Dormition of the all-holy Theotokos.

At Vespers

On "Lord, I have cried ...", 6 stichera: 3 of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in the Menaion), and 3 of Hieromartyr Irenæus, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: "Thou hast given a sign ..." -

Like the moon in the firmament, which reflecteth the radiance of the material sun, emitting its beams to illumine the night, so in the firmament of the Church, like a noetic moon, did Irenæus reflect the effulgence of Christ, the Sun of righteousness, shedding His light upon those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death, and illumining their souls with splendour divine.

Blessed wast thou, O Irenæus, and most fortunate, for in the days of thy youth thou wast vouchsafed to behold and converse with the disciples of the apostles of the Lord, among whom the holy Polycarp of Smyrna recounted to thee the doctrine and teachings he had learned from the mouth of the Apostle and Evangelist John, the great theologian and preacher of the love of God.

Setting forth from thy native land in the coasts of Asia Minor, O Irenæus, in obedience to the most eminent Polycarp thou didst journey afar to the parts of Gaul, where under the oversight of the holy Pothinus thou didst tend well the sheep of Christ as priest, as an initiate of the divine Mysteries, and a zealous dispeller of vile heresies; and thou gayest courage to thy flock in time of persecution.

Glory ... : Idiomelon, in Tone VIII -

As is thy name, so was thy life, O godly peacemaker Irenæus, for though thou didst contend mightily against all heresies, yet wast thou full of pity and compassion for those lost in the trackless wastes of false belief, and as a loving father thou didst journey far for their sake, to return them to the fold of Christ, the Chief Shepherd, nurturing them on the verdure of sound doctrine, and watering them at the living springs of the Spirit, which the Lord giveth to those who worship Him with faith and love. Wherefore, honouring thine apostolic witness and archpastoral zeal, we glorify God Who through thee imparteth peace unto troubled souls.

Theotokion, or Stavrotheotokion (see in the Menaion).

Aposticha from the Octoechos, and this sticheron of Hieromartyr Irenæus: Idiomelon, in Tone VI -

Stichos: Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy righteous shall rejoice.

When the wolves of false knowledge and belief, rabid with the arrogance of pride and self-delusion, fell upon the sheep and lambs of thy Church, O ever-memorable Irenæus, with thine archpastoral staff thou didst smite them fearlessly, and with the sling of the Orthodox Faith thou didst hurl at them the stones of true doctrine, so that fleeing from thee, wounded and repelled, they straightway ceased to assail the flock of Christ. O glorious hieromartyr, by the purity of thy writings defend us even now, that we may escape the ravening beast.

Glory ... , of Hieromartyr Irenæus: Idiomelon, in the same tone -

Come, ye who cherish the Sacred Scriptures, and in hymnody let us honour the glorious Irenæus: for, wielding the Cross of Christ like the staff of Moses, he ever parteth the sea of lying heresies, that the New Israel may journey on to the Promised Land of God, our feet unstained by the mire of ungodly belief. O ye who love the feasts of the Church, let us lift our voices unto God, for in His compassion and love for mankind He hath bestowed upon us so great an instructor and spiritual leader, through whose teachings we surely gain admittance to the splendid mansions of heaven.

Now & ever … : Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "On the third day ..." -

Seeing Thee crucified, O Christ, she who gave birth unto Thee cried out: "What strange mystery is this that I see? How is it that Thou diest, suspended in the flesh upon the Tree, O Bestower of life?"

Troparion of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in Menaion); and Glory ...: Troparion of Hieromartyr Irenæus, in Tone I -

The sea-coasts of Asia Minor boast in thy birth and youth, O glorious hieromartyr Irenæus, and the city of Lyons, protected by thy mighty intercessions, offereth praise unto our merciful God. Gaul exulteth exceedingly in thy great Christian witness, and the whole Orthodox Church is gladdened beyond measure, made steadfast by the pure Christian doctrine of thee who with the peace of Christ hast stilled the spiritual tempests which beset our souls.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or stavrotheotokion.

At Matins

At "God is the Lord ...", the troparion of Hieromartyr Eutyches, twice; Glory ... , that of Hieromartyr Irenæus; Now & ever ... , Theotokion.
One canon from the Octoechos, with 6 troparia, including the irmos and the martyria; then the canon of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in the Menaion), with 4 troparia; and the canon of Hieromartyr Irenæus, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is "All-blessed is Irenæus the Peacemaker", in Tone VIII -

Ode I

Irmos: O Lord, Thou didst deliver Israel from slavery with Thy mighty right hand. Save us now, as Thou didst save them.

Angels in heaven and men on earth together laud the peaceable Irenæus, who right boldly refuted all heresies.

Let us praise the holy hieromartyr; for, in accordance with his name, he brought peace to the Church of Christ.

Lyons rejoiceth in its chief shepherd and pastor, who fed it well on the grass of piety and Orthodox doctrine.

Theotokion: Blessed art thou by every generation of mankind, O most immaculate and pure Virgin Theotokos.


Irmos: My heart is established in the Lord; my horn is exalted in my God; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies. I am glad in Thy salvation.

Leaving the path of Orthodoxy, the heretics pursued false knowledge; but Irenæus refuted them with true knowledge derived of God.

Errors in dogma, and a whole system of falsehood, didst thou expose in Valentinus, the accursed heretic, O Irenæus, putting his lying words to shame.

Sophia and the other Eons didst thou lay bare as cunningly contrived allurements, inspired by Satan for the delusion of the simple, O saint.

Sacred Scripture and Tradition were perverted and corrupted by Valentinus; wherefore, O champion of the Faith, thou didst utterly confound him.

Theotokion: Everlasting life have we inherited because of thee, O thou who knewest not wedlock, for thou gavest birth without pain to our Redeemer and Saviour.

Kontakion of Hieromartyr Irenæus, in Tone VI -

Worshipping the Trinity in spirit and in truth, O glorious hieromartyr Irenæus, mindful of the words of the Apostle, with the love which doth edify men's souls thou didst confound the vain knowledge which puffeth up, didst refute the abstruse and inane speculations of the heretics, which are fraught with falsehoods, and didst thus keep the sheep of the flock of Christ walled off from their foul disease. Wherefore, praising the Triune God, with hymns of praise we honour thee as a blessed peace-maker.

Ikos: The portentous mysteries of the mindless Gnostics, whereon they expend great labour in their love of falsehood, hath the peaceable Irenæus easily refuted with divine knowledge imparted by the Holy Spirit through his great teachers, the wondrous Polycarp of Smyrna and Pothinus of Lyons, and like their instructor, the holy Apostle and Evangelist John, rebuking the vile heretics he proclaimed the one omnipotent God, and one Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Logos, by Whom all things were made, the true Light Who enlighteneth every man, the sole Creator of the universe, Who became flesh and dwelt among us, at Whose name every knee should bow and every tongue should confess as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. O the depths of the riches of the true wisdom and knowledge of the Godhead, which Irenæus possessed by grace! Wherefore, we honour him as a blessed peace-maker.

Sessional hymn of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in the Menaion); and Glory ... , that of Hieromartyr Irenæus, in the same tone & melody -

Emitting the pleasing scent of knowledge divine, thou didst dispel the fœtor of the ravings of the Gnostics, perfuming the souls of the faithful with the sweet fragrance of Orthodox doctrine. And in thy writings thou pourest forth soothing balm to heal the spiritual wounds inflicted by the heretics. O glorious father Irenæus, by thine entreaties make us ever steadfast in the true Faith and piety.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or Stavrotheotokion (for both, see in the Menaion).

Ode IV

Irmos: I heard report of Thee, O Lord, and was afraid; I understood Thine ineffable dispensation, and glorified Thy condescension, O Word.

Denouncing Ptolemy and Marcus, the followers of Valentinus, thou didst rightly declare their prophecies false and their miracles frauds, O holy one.

Inspired by the Paraclete, O Irenæus, thou didst mock the audacious falsehoods of Marcus and berate him as a wretched contriver of lies.

Self-condemned are those who separate themselves from the Church, giving heed to the fables of the Gnostics, thou didst declare, O Irenæus.

Theotokion: Ineffably didst thou conceive the Immaterial One in thy material womb, O Virgin Maiden; and thou gavest birth to Him, incarnate, for our salvation.

Ode V

Irmos: Enlighten us with Thy commandments, O Lord, and with Thine upraised arm grant us Thy peace, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Right impious, yea beyond impiety, as Irenæus saith, are those who contrive fables and endless genealogies, rather than edifying in the Faith.

Ever pursuing novelties, the Gnostics fell prey to the unclean spirit of folly, which inspired them to devise vile fictions; but Irenæus preacheth the Truth.

Numbers and letters did the Gnostics endlessly manipulate, vainly seeking to attain the sublime; but Irenæus hath exposed their arrant folly.

Theotokion: Awed by the mystery which was manifest in thee, O Lady Theotokos, the archangel cried out to thee: Blessed art thou among women!

Ode VI

Irmos: Like the waters of the sea am I tossed about by the waves of life, O Thou Who lovest mankind. Wherefore, like Jonah I cry to Thee: Lead up my life from corruption, O compassionate Lord!

Excellent theology did Irenæus wield like a sword to slay the corrupt Gnostic doctrine of the transmigration and reincarnation of souls; wherefore, let us give heed to his sublime wisdom.

Unrestrained indulgence, promiscuity and polygamy, which were preached and practiced by the accursed Carpocrates, did Irenæus, the champion of the Faith, denounce.

Saturninus blasphemed beyond measure, declaring that the God of the Jews was evil, and that Christ came to destroy Him; but Irenæus condemned this monstrous falsehood.

Theotokion: The tumultuous waves of temptations break over us, O thou who knewest not man, and mighty billows of misfortunes assail us; but in thy compassion do thou still them.

Kontakion & Ikos of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in the Menaion).


Irmos: O Lord, make us imitators of Thy three children, opposing sin and trampling the fire of the passions underfoot, and chanting: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

How like Saturninus was Mohammend, who like the former taught that Christ did not die on the Cross, but that another died in His stead; but Irenæus long ago refuted this lie.

Ebionites taught that Christ was begotten of Joseph, by such falsehood striving to overturn the marvellous dispensation of God; but their madness was laid bare by the holy hieromartyr.

Puffed up in thought, and imagining himself superior to others, the wretched Tatian preached that marriage is but corruption and fornication; but Irenæus confounded his false understanding.

Theotokion: Every being created by God, material or noetic, praiseth thee, O Mary Theotokos, for in holiness and sanctity thou dost surpass and transcend all creation.


Irmos: The children who refused to worship gold defied the king; but the fire laid for them revealed them as servants of God, who cried: Let creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Adultery and the eating of idolatrous meats were advocated by the accursed Nicholas, the apostate deacon; but the hierarch pronounced his deeds hateful to God, as the Lord Himself declared.

Cerinthus, who in error held that Jesus was but a righteous man Who became the Messiah only at His baptism, was committed to anathema by the wise Irenæus, the great defender of Orthodoxy.

Effectively did the glorious Irenæus expose the falsehoods of Marcion of Pontus, who blasphemed the God of the Law and the Prophets, calling Him the author of evils.

Theotokion: Mother of the Light art thou, O noetic lamp, shedding ineffable radiance upon us who are benighted by our manifold sins and transgressions. O pure Virgin, illumine us!

Ode IX

Irmos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Who hath exalted the horn of salvation for us in the house of David His child, wherein the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, and directed us to the path of peace.

Acclaiming the godly understanding of the hieromartyr, let us spurn all who teach that Sophia, the Wisdom of God, is not Christ the Lord, the Word of God, but some other supposed hypostasis of the Godhead.

Keeping the true dogmas of Orthodoxy in the treasuries of our minds, let us avoid the fevered imaginings of the Gnostic heretics and cleave to the pious doctrines of the great Irenæus, the preacher of the Truth.

Ever guiding the faithful along the straight and narrow path which leadeth to salvation, O Irenæus, thou holdest high the torch of thy peerless teachings, that we may unerringly reach the kingdom of heaven.

Theotokion: Reconcile us with thine omnipotent Son and God, O Lady and divine Bride, for no mediation is of more avail than thine at His awesome throne, where thou standest at His right hand, entreating Him in our behalf.

Exapostilarion of Hieromartyr Eutyches (see in the Menaion); and Glory ... , that of Hieromartyr Irenæus, in the same tone - Great was the power of the grace which filled thy precious relics, O holy hieromartyr Irenæus; but for our sins and offences the Almighty permitted their destruction by the enemies of piety. Yet do thou mercifully deign to intercede for us sinners, O saint.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion (see in the Menaion). Aposticha from the Octoechos ... ; and Glory ... , of Hieromartyr Irenæus: Idiomelon, in Tone I -

Come, ye faithful of Lyons, and all ye pious Orthodox Christians, and with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs let us praise the great Irenæus, the excellent hierarch, the confessor of the True Faith, the apostle of Gaul, the enlightener of the Celts, and the wondrous martyr, who like his mentors, the hieromartyrs Polycarp and Pothinus, laid down his life for the reason-endowed sheep of the Lord. Yea, with laudation let us exalt his memory, for with wisdom and understanding he trampled all the heresies of the Gnostics underfoot, preserving the Church of Christ untainted by their mindless errors, and by his grace-filled writings he still instructeth Christians to this day to worship the triune God in spirit and in truth.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "Joy of the ranks of heaven ..." -

Standing before the Cross of thy Son and God, and beholding His long-suffering, thou didst say, weeping, O pure Mother: "Woe is me, my Child most sweet! How is it that thou sufferest unjustly, O Word of God, that Thou mightest save mankind?"

At Liturgy

Prokimenon, in Tone VIII -

The saints shall boast in glory, and they shall rejoice upon their bed.

Stichos: Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise is in the Church of the saints.

Epistle to the Hebrews, § 335
[Heb. 13: 17-21]

Brethren: Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as ones who must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Alleluia, in Tone II -

Stichos: Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy righteous shall rejoice.

Stichos: For the Lord hath elected Sion; He hath chosen her to be a habitation for Himself.

Gospel according to Luke, § 67
[Lk. 12: 32-40]

The Lord said: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men who wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."

Communion verse - In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.

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