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At this period of the year the weeks are named, not from the Sundays that precede, but from those that follow them. Quinquagesima is termed Tyrophagus, because up to that time, but not beyond, cheese is allowed. The Friday previous is appropriated to the Commemoration of All Holy Ascetes; in order, as the Synaxarion says, that, by the remembrance of their conflict, we may be invigorated for the race that is set before us.


Theophanes (759-818)

Δευτε απαντες πιστοι.

Hither, and with one accord,

Sing the servants of the LORD:

Sing each great ascetic sire;—

Anthony shall lead the choir:


Let Euthymius next him stand

Then in order all the band.

Make we joyous celebration

Of their heavenly conversation;

Of their glory, how they rise,

Like another Paradise;

These the trees our GOD hath placed,

Trees, with fruit immortal graced;

Bringing forth, for CHRIST on high,

Flowers of Life that cannot die;

With the sweetness that they fling

Mortal spirits nourishing.

Filled with GOD, and ever blest,

For our pardon make request!


Egypt, hail, thou faithful strand!

Hail, thou holy Libyan land!

Nurturing for the realm on high

Such a glorious company!

They by many a toil intense,

Chastity and continence,

Perfect men to GOD upreared,

Stars to guide us have appeared;

They, by many a glorious sign,

Many a beam of Power Divine,

To the earth’s remotest shore

Far and wide their radiance pour.

Holy Fathers, bright and blest,

For our pardon make request!


By what skill of mortal tongue

Shall your wondrous acts be sung?

All the conflicts of the soul,

All your struggles towards the goal;

And your virtues’ prize immense,

And your victories over sense,

How perpetual watch ye kept

Over passion, prayed and wept;

Yea, like very angels came,

Visible in earthly frame,

And with Satan girt for fight

Utterly o’erthrew his might.

Famed for signs and wonders rare,

Join to ours, great Saints, your prayer:

Ask that we, ye ever blest,

May attain the Land of Rest!

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