| The Akathistos of the Most Holy Mother of
|(translated from the Church Slavonic - translated by
In honour of the appearance of her wonderworking IVERSKAYA ikon, called the PORTAITISA, to wit, VRATARNITZA (Our Lady of the Portal).
From thy holy ikon, O Lady, Mother of God, flow healing and wholeness in abundance to all who draw near to it in faith and love; therefore visit thou my infirmity and have mercy on my soul, O Blessed, and heal my body by thy grace, O Purest One.
O chosen Champion, Our Lady the Mother of God, we thy servants bring thee a song of praise, bearing as it were thine honoured image in procession like a mighty shield, an unbreakable wall, an unsleeping guard; and thou, as thou hast invincible power, cover and protect us, Lady, from all our enemies seen and unseen, and deliver us from all harm to body or soul, who cry to thee: HAIL, BLESSED LADY OF THE PORTAL, OPENING THE GATE OF PARADISE TO THE FAITHFUL.
The leader of the angels was sent to speak to the Mother of God, that her apostolic service might
fall upon the land of Iviron: Separate not thyself from Jerusalem, for it is thy lot to enlighten her
the last days; for God hath laid it upon thee to work for the world: wherefore we cry to thee:
The Holy Virgin seeing the wonderful new plan of God, as his handmaid was as ever ready to carry it out, crying: Alleluia.
The mysterious meaning of the Angel's word was clear to thee, Purest
One, and in obedience to it thou didst wend thy way to Mount Athos, to spread
the Gospel, as the lot fell to thee. And we joyfully sing to thee:
At the intercession of the Mother of God, the power of the Most High overshadowed the holy mountain, and its glens and thickets appeared as a great harvest-field full of religious eager to reap their salvation, as they sang to her: Alleluia.
Having in mind the lot of the people of the land of Iviron, thou didst settle thyself in their midst,
even upon Mount Athos, to them all a shelter, a quiet harbour of salvation to them, giving them
thy ikon as a shield and guard, and all cried out:
The noble widow was tossed by a storm of inward doubts, when in Nicea, perplexed, she saw the sacrilegious warrior pierce with his spear the face of the holy and honoured ikon of the Mother of God, and blood issuing from it; seized with fear lest the holy ikon be defaced, with prayers and tears she flung it into the sea. But seeing it on the surface of the water making its way towards the west, she cried joyfully: Alleluia.
When the monks of the holy mountain saw it proceeding over the sea
like a burning flame, even a pillar of fire, lighting up the heavens like the
shining sun, and in the night drawing near to the shore; and knowing it for
the holy ikon of the Mother of God, borne on the waves by a supernatural power,
they cried to the Blessed One:
Wishing to give thy God-sent ikon to the dwellers in Iviron, thou didst speak, Mother of God, to the Elder Gabriel: "Go down with the choir of monks to the seashore, enter the water and bring up my ikon"; and he, filled with faith and love, walked over the water as if on dry land, took it in his bosom, and they, receiving the treasure (all unworthy of it) to be their own ikon of Iviron, joyfully sang: Alleluia.
The monks of Iviron, seeing the ikon of the Mother of God many times
rise out of its shrine and fly up the wall above the monastery gate, borne by
an invisible force, were terrified, and standing cried to her thus:
When the elder Gabriel had done thy will, thou saidst to him, O Lady: "I have not come to be preserved by you, but to be your preserver, both in this world and the world to come. Behold, I give you a sign: as long as you see my ikon in this monastery, my Son's mercy will not be withdrawn from you, who all cry to him: Alleluia."
The monks, beaming with joy on hearing thy great promise, Mother of
God, raised a shrine above the gate of the monastery to the heavenly Lady of
the Portal, joyfully crying out thus:
One day the wicked Amir thought to destroy the Iverskaya hermitage, and scatter the flock of monks gathered there; but soon after he learned that the Mother of God was their strong defence, as he saw his ships founder in the depths of the sea, and his warriors destroyed; whereupon he humbly brought silver and gold to the hermitage, asking their prayers. The monks, seeing this, cried to God: Alleluia.
And new and countless miracles wrought the Mother of God, filling the
hermitage with wine, flour and oil, healing those possessed of devils, making
the lame to go, the blind to see, and curing all ills, and those who saw these
marvels sang to thee:
The Patriarch Nikon, hearing of the wonderful protection given by the ikon of the Mother of God to the monastery of Iviron, would fain have the land of Russia share in her grace; wherefore he set up a monastery in honour of the glorious image, respectfully soliciting a copy of the wonderworking ikon of the Mother of God, that those who enjoyed her protection might cry to God: Alleluia.
Ever dwelling on high, but not forsaking the lowly, thou deignedst,
Mother of God, to give the new monastery in the land of Russia thy blessing,
even as of old to ancient Antony on Mount Athos when he established his holy
cave-dwelling; even the blessing wherewith thou didst bless Athos, in honour
of thy revered image. Wherefore we cry to thee:
With all reverence for the copy of the honoured image of the merciful Lady of the Portal, the host of mortified monks of Iviron finished their prayers and hymns and washed with holy water the board on which the honoured image was to be portrayed; and they consecrated the Elder lamblichus for the work; who in fasting, prayer and vigil with all the brethren, using only holy water and blessed relics executed the noble likeness of the Mother of God, praying and crying to God: Alleluia.
We see wise men silent as fish on account of thee, Mother of God; for
they cannot tell how fitly to sing of thy wondrous works, done for our race
through thy holy ikon; for on the way to Russia, commanding the noble Manuel
to give ransom to the infidels who were obstructing the progress of the holy
ikon into the land of Russia, thou rewardest him twofold thereafter. And we,
marvelling, faithfully sing to thee:
Wishing to save many times from grief and misery, thou pourest forth from thy ikon an unending stream of mercies on our race, Mother of God. Wherefore, blessed Lady of the Portal, in the royal city of Moscow thou didst show thyself to all who bow down to thee, giving ready help and pouring forth streams of light from thy ikon in the new Iverskaya shrine; and on other cities, monasteries and all who honour thee, fulfilling thy kindly promise. Wherefore, glorifying God, who gave us so much grace, we sing to him: Alleluia.
Thou art, a wall of defence to monks, O Mother of God, and to all who
take refuge with thee; for the Creator of Heaven and earth dwelt in thy virgin
womb, and taught all who long for purity and chastity to cry to thee:
All songs must fail that try to encompass the magnitude of thy mercies; if we brought thee as many songs as the sands of the sea, Our Lady, Mother of God, we should do nothing worthy of what thou hast given to us, who sing to thee: Alleluia.
We see the holy ikon of the Mother of God shining in darkness like
a glorious light; with its mysterious fire of grace, its miraculous rays, it
illuminates all, teaching us to cry to the Blessed Lady:
Wishing to give grace and release from ancient debts to all debtors, the Redeemer of mankind came with thee to those who had departed from his grace, and tearing up the writ against them, gave us a mighty intercessor, high in God's grace: so to her in prayer we cry: Alleluia.
As we sing thy wonders shown to us in this life, we praise thee, Mother
of God, as the inexhaustible fountain of mercy: but falling down before thy
wonderworking ikon, we humbly pray, be our protection and shield in the day
of our death, and when we come to stand before the dreadful judgement seat of
they Son, let us cry to thee.
O most holy Lady, Virgin, Mother of God, Mother whose praise all sing look down upon us humbly with tears bringing our little prayers before thy most pure image, putting all our trust and hope in thee, and deliver us from all ills and disasters in this life, and from torments in that to come, that, saved by thee, we may sing:
|© The Guild of Our Lady of the Portal; Dr. Margaret Pollard and Faith Godbeer; Published by Dyllansow Truran Trewolsta, Trewirgie, Redruth, Cornwall, 1985.|