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Akathist Hymn to Saint Valentina

Kontakion 1

O Creator of all living things, hear my frail supplication amid the multitude of voices calling out to You from this world of turmoil.  Hear me as the bird that sings in the early morning, unique and yet the same as all others.  See me as the deer that thirsts for revitalizing water, no different from and yet poorer than all others.  O Maker of all that is, I am mindful today of Your holy saint, the Martyr Valentina, who has risen above all who struggle on this earth, and yet who stoops down to nourish those who bow before You and who venerate her martyrdom.  I cry out, therefore, with conviction in all things that are divinely inspired:

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Ikos 1

Saint Valentina, through your glowing faith and the ever-flowing grace of God, you vigorously refused to worship at the altar of the pagan idols — for “valentina” means “vigorous.”   Your devotion to the God of the Christians was so firm that you overcame all fearfulness and falsehood. When the infidel Governor Firmilian heard you confess Jesus Christ, in the year 308, he thought that he could blot out the rays of the Sun through terrorization and torture.  Nonetheless, the light of the Savior shone upon you and strengthened you, and through you that light now emits blessings to all who call upon you in humility:

Rejoice, for you declared your belief in Christ and denounced the idols as the hollow fiction of the ungodly.

Rejoice, for you bravely proclaimed the truth of Christ before the falsehearted authorities and at the altar of the unholy.

Rejoice, for you chose Jesus Christ over manmade philosophies and pleasures.

Rejoice, for you decided in favor of the Church instead of conformity to a corrupted culture.

Rejoice, for you savored every word preached from Holy Scripture.

Rejoice, for you appreciated the righteous ancestors of Christianity.

Rejoice, for you shed your blood for the sake of your Redeemer.

Rejoice, for your memory is sacred to all who worship the True God.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 2

Who am I that you should listen to my prayers?  A wandering stranger am I, searching for heavenly shelter in this world of audacious unbelievers and resentful backsliders.  Saint Valentina, let me not put my trust in people or idols, but in Jesus Christ in Whom there is no hint of malice or speck of incompetence.  Direct my mind away from false paths and guard my heart from fruitless activities.  For this I pray, as a foreigner to virtue who wishes to be made worthy though unworthy of the Heavenly Kingdom. Henceforth, with assurance in Jesus Christ, I truly say: Alleluia.

 Ikos 2

Saint Valentina, your divine friendship is a pearl of wealth in the poorest Christian household, a star of illumination above the holy monasteries, and an abundance of spiritual nourishment for the solitary believer on the straight path.  Your martyrdom is of benefit to all the faithful who praise you in this manner:

Rejoice, young woman who gladly gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, tender Christian who thereby preserved the purity of her words and deeds.

Rejoice, virgin martyr who gratefully received her reward in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rejoice, faithful friend who thereby bequeathed blessedness to Christ’s disciples on earth.

Rejoice, holy saint who feared not the wicked rulers of nations or the fabricated idols of mankind.

Rejoice, true believer who respected foremost and loved utterly the Ruler of All.

Rejoice, partaker in the sufferings of Christ our King.

Rejoice, participant in the perfect will of God.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 3

Thank You, Christ God, for the holy Martyr Valentina.  Accept the desire of my heart to emulate the depth of her love for You, even though I cannot contain such holiness in my sinful condition. Therefore, unworthily but sincerely, I bow my eyes before You every morning and evening, and pray to be enriched and fulfilled in holiness of life.  Forgive me, Lord Jesus.  May I never again depart from Your presence or waver from Your teachings, but support the sanctity of the Church and praise the precious martyrdom of Saint Valentina, always saying: Alleluia.

 Ikos 3

Saint Valentina, regard me as a kindly wayfarer and not as another persecutor for, although my mistakes are many, I yearn to blossom forth under the Sun of Righteousness.  Bless me and help me to become fragrant with truth during my transitory journey on earth, until the hour of death inescapably arrives and I take my last breath.  Since you died in all holiness, beseech our Heavenly Father to open the gates of the Kingdom and grant His redeemed creation to enter therein.  For the sole purpose of salvation and in quest of His heavenly will for me, I bring these rightful praises to you:

Rejoice, for your beauty of soul is known throughout the Kingdom.

Rejoice, for you were cleansed by Baptism and martyred by blood.

Rejoice, for your heart overflowed with love for Christ.

Rejoice, for you were endowed by God with a steadfast spirit.

Rejoice, for you carried your cross with wondrous commitment.

Rejoice, for you offered your life to your Beloved and His Holy Church.

Rejoice, for you never forsook the innocent Lamb of God.

Rejoice, for you never deserted the glorious Holy Trinity.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

  Kontakion 4

We know that it was said, “The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.”  This is the truth of Christian persecution and martyrdom, the tactic of the vainglorious rulers of this world, as well as the inclination of the evil-minded to join forces against the Godly-minded individual. This was your experience of life, Saint Valentina, and the consequence of your faith when you refused to bow before idols.  However, a greater consequence awaited you in Heaven where you received a crown of martyrdom, and you therefore said: Alleluia.

 Ikos 4

Saint Valentina, my warranted sufferings on earth have no comparison to the undeserved tortures which you endured for Jesus Christ.  Nonetheless, I surrender myself to your great mercy and your divine understanding of human sinfulness.  Hear my requests, holy martyr, and release me from all interior hindrances and exterior disabilities: that my chastisement may be completed, that I may serve the Church and glorify God, and that I may live out the fleeting remainder of my days in prayer.  Let the will of God be accomplished, whether or not to my preferences, while today I put forth my needs as I imperfectly see them:

Rejoice and heal my injured heart even as I offer praises to you.

Rejoice and mend my broken bones even as I worship on Sunday.

Rejoice and cure the afflictions of my mind even as I open my Bible.

Rejoice and soothe the wounds of my past even as I turn to your icon.

Rejoice and open my blind eyes with your peace and compassion.

Rejoice and restore my shoulders with the strength of your holy shadow.

Rejoice and enliven my spirit with your confidence and dedication.

Rejoice and fortify my walk with the victory of your sacrifice.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 5

Your friend and sister in the Lord, whose name was Ennatha, had gone to hear the Gospel being read among a group of Christians.  This holy assembly of true-believers was an offense to those who worshipped the idols. The soldiers therefore came and ordered everyone to disperse, but they singled out Saint Ennatha and brought her to trial before the Governor Firmilian.  The foolish soldiers thought they could overpower the faith of a Christian woman through intimidation and brute force, not knowing the mighty sovereignty of God the Father and His tender mercy toward those who love and confess His Son.  Saint Ennatha therefore stood before the governor and bravely said: Alleluia.

 Ikos 5

Consider me a friend also, Saint Valentina, as I stand in awe of Saint Ennatha and praise her courage and her commitment to Jesus Christ.  We mortals on earth can only beseech your loving-kindness and appeal to your compassionate intercession on our behalf.  We all strive to do the will of God: as He sees fit for us, each in our own way, according to our talents and with grace from above, our weaknesses transformed by His mercy and for His purpose, and our minds renewed and our hearts cleansed.  In this journey of purification, as a Christian who hears the Gospel and attempts to walk forward and climb upward, I unworthily but wholeheartedly offer these praises to you:

Rejoice, for you chose your friends wisely.

Rejoice, for you continually befriend Christians on earth.

Rejoice, for we turn to you in the hour of distress.

Rejoice, for we venerate you today and always.

Rejoice, for no government can extinguish the Faith.

Rejoice, for the martyrs arise over the rulers of nations.

Rejoice, for Jesus Christ is our Wonderful Counselor.

Rejoice, for we trust in Him and not in idols of any kind.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

Kontakion 6

When the soldiers began torturing Saint Ennatha, you admonished them to cease their wickedness and to release this holy woman from unjustified punishment.  However, the courts were corrupt and biased, the governor was authoritarian and deluded, and the soldiers were pawns who did what they were paid to do.  In this arena of depravity, the soldiers then seized you, Saint Valentina, because your outspokenness was felt as a threat to an idolatrous culture and a hardened people.  Valiantly, you neither denounced the Faith nor disowned your friend, but said to everyone around you: Alleluia.

 Ikos 6

Let me not be ignorant of the cost of Christianity, for Jesus Christ paid the highest price for our salvation, and the world will therefore oppose the faith of each believer.  Although I may not be called to martyrdom, yet I will trust in His provision to endure and overcome what sufferings come my way.  Let me not expect to be understood by society, but only to cast off fearfulness and falsehood and to confess that Jesus is Lord and God. Through your holy intercession, Saint Valentina, the wiles of the ungodly and the deceitfulness of the devil will not vandalize my Baptism or impede my ultimate destination.  While I still have breath, I will praise you in this manner:

Rejoice, for your sainthood is celebrated by the Holy Church.

Rejoice, for your friendship is cherished by all the faithful.

Rejoice, for your witness is instructive to those who seek truth.

Rejoice, for your suffering is enlightening to those who pursue love.

Rejoice, for your blood accused your persecutors.

Rejoice, for your confession indicted your torturers.

Rejoice, for your sacrifice revealed your holiness.

Rejoice, for your endurance shone forth your sanctity.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 7

Saint Valentina, pray that the Sun of Righteousness will shine upon my life and nourish my words and deeds, my thoughts and feelings also, and everyone whom I encounter on my earthly journey.  May my faults not be a deterrent to the weak or an outrage to the strong.  May the light of Christ burn away the rubbish from my fields of sin, cultivate new plantings of righteousness, and mercifully soften the hearts of those who would judge and condemn the sinner.  Let each attend to his own allotment, for the devil delights in the twisted weeds of conflict while the angels delight over one sinner who repents.  Bless me and help me, Saint Valentina, that I may rightly say: Alleluia.

 Ikos 7

Every day presents a new opportunity to repent and to walk on the straight path.  Death did not take me during the night, as the Psalmist says, “The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.”  It was a marvel to me that I awoke, that the sun rose, and that I went out to till the soil in my garden.  Am I really alive and not dead?  Yes, alive in Christ and through Christ, in amazement at the mercies of God, and imploring Saint Valentina for the strength to live righteously and to pray sincerely:

Rejoice and pardon me in my deficiencies.

Rejoice and forgive me in my failings.

Rejoice and uplift me in my struggles.

Rejoice and uphold me in my endeavors.

Rejoice and encourage me to do good deeds.

Rejoice and inspire me to think right thoughts.

Rejoice and thwart the attacks of the devil.

Rejoice and aid the ascent of the faithful.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, radiant martyr for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 8

Having refused to worship the idols, Saint Valentina, you were tortured and then beheaded along with Saint Ennatha.  Your lives were brief in comparison to those of us who are bent with age, but all human life is brief and the only aim is to live for Christ whether young or old.  May I not be a stranger any longer, not staring at goodness from afar, but grasp the realization that I am a child of God and a member of the Body of Christ.  Let me not wither away within a society of oppression or stumble into oblivion, but find vitality in every word of the Scriptures.  Praise be to the God Who has strengthened me to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

At that time, another holy young woman, Saint Paula, was also martyred for her disobedience to the governor’s order to worship the idols.  These three virgin martyrs were not influenced by the decadence of culture or government, but only by the teachings of Jesus Christ.  They preferred death by martyrdom rather than betrayal of the only Savior in Whom there is everlasting life.  For that reason, they deserve all glory and praise:

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, for you are connected to Saints Ennatha and Paula for all eternity in Heaven.

Rejoice, Saint Ennatha, for your friend Saint Valentina has joined you in the Kingdom of God forever.

Rejoice, Saint Paula, for you are united perpetually with Saints Valentina and Ennatha in everything right, true, and good.

Rejoice, virgin martyrs, for a crown in Heaven is worth more than the misery of hypocrisy and conformity on earth.

Rejoice, for you disobeyed man in order to obey God.

Rejoice, for you submitted to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, for you took your Baptism seriously. Rejoice, for you suffered martyrdom readily.

Rejoice, Saint Valentina, Saint Ennatha, and Saint Paula: radiant martyrs for the Sun of Righteousness.

 Kontakion 9

Saint Valentina, my mind and heart are set on praising God and following the teachings of Christ.  Yet, without His grace and your holy prayers, I am fated to return to a state of affliction and confusion. Help me and bless me, I ask in all humility and in recognition of my numerous and grievous sins. Thank you, Saint Valentina, for your acceptance of my repentance and for your aid in my Christian transformation. May I sleep in peace tonight and awake to aliveness in Christ tomorrow morning and until the end of my days. Alleluia.  Alleluia.  Alleluia.

Closing Verse

Glory to God: for hearing our praises and supplications, for His forgiveness and blessings, and for His wondrous martyrs and saints.

Copyright © 2014 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 26, Version 2

This material may be reprinted and redistributed for personal and non-profit uses only.

ADDENDUM #1: (June 24, 2017)

1) Regarding Ikos 1: the use of the word infidel might be questioned. My dictionary defines infidel as: a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one’s own. Historically, it seems that infidel (or not faithful) referred to a person of a religion other than one’s own: especially Muslim to Christian, Christian to Muslim, or to a Gentile.

While the use of infidel in this Akathist is not incorrect, it now appears not to have been the best choice of words due to its varying usage among different readers.

2) Regarding Ikos 1, verse 1: the use of the word ungodly, in this instance, might be questioned. Inasmuch as pagans believe in false gods, then we might be mistaken to say that they are ungodly. Inasmuch as they do not believe in God the Father, the only True God, then it might be accurate to say that they are ungodly. Let us keep in mind that some elements of paganism were actually demonic and used for evil purposes.

3) Regarding Ikos 7: this phrase appears,

“…alive in Christ and through Christ…”

In English, although grammatically distinct, these words are sometimes used interchangeably: in, through, by. Theologically, these words probably have precise meanings but are not used uniformly among Orthodox writers or translators.

Generally, in my hymns, I have used these words to designate that:
Christ is the agent/cause/process/course/means of