Akathist Hymn

to the Holy New-hieromartyr

Maximus Sandovich,

Protomartyr of the Lemko People

Whose Memory the Holy Church Celebrates

on the 24th of July & the 24th of August

Kontakion I

To Maximus, the martyred priest, do we sinners offer up hymns of victory and thanksgiving; for, unlike the hirelings, he laid down his life for his flock, and hath therefore acquired invincible might, and received from the hand of Christ, the Chief Shepherd, the imperishable crown of victory. Wherefore, with love we chant unto him: Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Ikos I

How deep was thy faith, which was rooted in thee by thy pious parents, Timothy and Christina, who reared thee well in love for God and neighbor, and in reverence for things divine! Wherefore, let the land of Lemkovina, the land of thy birth, O saint, be glad, and with us let it cry out to its offspring, saying:

Rejoice, child of devout parents, who wast born into a pious family;

rejoice, for like a fruitful olive-tree didst thou grow up round about thy father’s table!

Rejoice, O Zhdynya, who, like Bethlehem of old, art not the least among the habitations of thy land;

rejoice, for from thee arose a new-hieromartyr, a valiant champion of the Orthodox Faith!

Rejoice, O Lemkovina, for after ages of persecution and enslavement thine offspring hath delivered thee by his sacrifice;

rejoice, for he established Holy Orthodoxy firmly within thee, that thou mightest worship God in spirit and truth!

Rejoice, O ye mountains of Carpathia, from whence cometh Maximus, the help of the Lemko people;

rejoice, for with his martyr’s blood he hath sanctified and hallowed you all!

Rejoice, for by his confession he made his people steadfast in the Holy Faith;

rejoice, fervent intercessor of our times, entreating the mercy of God for us sinners!

Rejoice, thou whose pleas for those who honor thee are heard at the throne of the Most High;

rejoice, thou who dost mediate salvation for thy kinsmen and compatriots!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion II

Entering a Roman Catholic monastery to receive religious instruction, thou was repelled by the ungodliness of the monks and their contempt for thy people; wherefore, thou didst flee unto Mount Pochaev, to the safe haven of the Holy Lavra, where in purity and chastity thou didst study the truths of the Holy Orthodox Faith, that thou mightest pray aright unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos II

How can we praise thy courage and struggle as is meet, O holy Maximus? How can our sullied lips of clay form words of pure laudation? Yet accept this, our poor offering, as Christ accepted the widow’s mite, and reject us not who cry unto thee with faith:

Rejoice, thou who helpest us to vanquish Satan;

rejoice, thou who drivest away from us the soul-destroying demons, like as they were carrion fowl!

Rejoice, thou who teachest us to recognize the wiles of heretics, who are like jackals in the night;

rejoice, thou who repellest their bestial ravages upon our minds and hearts!

Rejoice, thou who overcamest all temptations;

rejoice, thou who with the wings of thy spirit dost noetically shelter and protect us!

Rejoice, thou who, as our champion and defender, dost aid us in our every need;

rejoice, thou who art a mighty ally against the prince of evil who assaileth this world!

Rejoice, sword of the Spirit honed to sharpness to smite false belief;

rejoice, dispeller of ungodliness!

Rejoice, thou who disdained all temporal things as of no account;

rejoice, thou who madest thy flesh subject to thy spirit!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!


Kontakion III

O the power of the Most High, which overshadowed thee in thy pastoral ministry and thy cruel imprisonment, O holy hieromartyr Maximus! For thou didst cleave to the Holy Orthodox Faith without wavering and didst meet thine end with valor; and in thanksgiving to God thy people ever chant unto Him: Alleluia!

Ikos III

Love for thy long-suffering people induced thee to accept ordination to the holy priesthood at the hands of the most blessed hierarch Anthony; and thou wast sent to thy native land to shepherd the flock of Christ, which was beset by all manner of predatory beasts. And, dwelling now with the incorporeal hosts in the heavens, thou hearest from us such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who openest the portals of God’s loving-kindness to the sinful;

rejoice, thou who from God impartest forgiveness to repentant sinners!

Rejoice, for thou didst receive the grace of the Spirit of truth with a purified heart;

rejoice, for having made thyself steadfast by thy manner of life and patient mind, thou didst trample the falsehood of the noetic foe underfoot!

Rejoice, shield of faith who protectest us amid battle with the enemy;

rejoice, thou whose precious body was felled by the weapons of the ungodly!

Rejoice, for, clad in a robe empurpled with the dye of thine own blood, thou hast presented thyself to Christ;

rejoice, thou who attained thy desired goal and now lookest upon thy beloved Savior and Lord!

Rejoice, thou who dost quench the flame of our passions with heavenly coolness;

rejoice, thou who dost extinguish the fire of fever amid our illnesses!

Rejoice, for thou didst stain the earth with thy blood;

rejoice, for thou didst trample the devil underfoot!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion IV

Ye pious people of Lemkovina, let no storm of doubts and adverse thoughts affright you and keep you from holding firm to the right Faith! For the holy Maximus perished valiantly, that by his sacrifice he might confirm within your souls the Holy Orthodox Faith. Wherefore, giving thanks for his right acceptable witness, we cry out to God: Alleluia

Ikos IV

Hearing of thy piety, the Orthodox people of Graba came to thee and besought thee to become the pastor of their right-believing flock; and taking up this ministry, thou didst not show thyself to be a hireling, but a true shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. Wherefore, we rightly chant these praises unto thee, saying:

Rejoice, for the merciful Christ gave thee the grace to endure to the end;

rejoice, for He strengthened thee to undergo most grievous torments!

Rejoice, thou who instructest those in tribulations and sorrows to flee to the intercession of the saints;

rejoice, thou who teachest us to turn to God in all our needs!

Rejoice, thou who valiantly endured the wounding of thy body;

rejoice, thou whose courage and patience moved the tormentor to rage!

Rejoice, thou who didst show his force to be impotent;

rejoice, for with love for God and thy people thou didst depart unto the Lord!

Rejoice, thou who showed the power of faith in God;

rejoice, thou who movest the faithful to glorify our Redeemer!

Rejoice, thou who by the example of thy life and death hast turned many to the Lord;

rejoice, for a crown of righteousness hath been bestowed upon thee in heaven for thy patient endurance!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion V

In the slaying of thy body, thy soul soared aloft to join the saints and angels on high, forming with them a wondrous constellation in the firmament of the Church, each, like a star, shedding the light of grace upon the faithful, who chant unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos V

Even those who are weak in faith and love are astonished by thy martyrdom, O hieromartyr, for as the holy children cast into the furnace of Babylon did not waver in their confession of the true God, so thou didst not waver in thy confession of Holy Orthodoxy, and for thy courage and endurance thou dost hear from us these hymns:

Rejoice, thou who settest at nought the machinations of the devil and his angels;

rejoice thou who castest down all their power!

Rejoice, thou who showest them to be devoid of strength;

rejoice, thou who strikest them with fear and trembling!

Rejoice, thou who leadest the faithful to salvation;

rejoice, forthright reprover of those in error!

Rejoice, thou who didst manifest complete self-denial when thou didst move Uniates to return to the Church of Christ;

rejoice, thou who fulfilled the words of Christ, that he who endureth to the end shall be saved!

Rejoice, thou who by pleasing God hast received as an inheritance the kingdom of heaven;

rejoice, morning-star who art for us the harbinger of the never-setting Sun!

Rejoice, model of a life of righteousness;

rejoice, thou who showest the heretics the paths of true repentance!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion VI

Right justly doth the Pope of Rome bear the blame for thine undeserved incarceration and martyrdom, O Maximus most great, for in the arrogance of his power he sought to enslave the Lemko people to his errors; but, led by thee to the true light of Orthodoxy, they eluded his wiles and machinations, and cleaved anew to the Faith of their fathers, crying out in joy: Alleluia!

Ikos VI

O the light which is poured forth upon the oppressed through thy brave sacrifice, O new martyr! For armed with the fiery sword of God’s grace, thou didst dispel the darkness of falsehood from those who for long centuries had languished disconsolate in the shadow of the Latins’ errors. Wherefore, praising God Who is wondrous in His saints, we cry out to thee:

Rejoice, most radiant beacon of Gorlitsa;

rejoice, thou who shinest as a light therein, guiding all to safe haven!

Rejoice, thou who put Satan to shame;

rejoice, thou by whom Christ hath been glorified!

Rejoice, radiant glory of all the passion-bearers;

rejoice, for the report of thy martyrdom filleth the faithful with joy!

Rejoice, treasury of the great gifts of the Spirit;

rejoice, thou who by thy manner of life wast well-pleasing unto the Lord!

Rejoice, uprooting of the tares sown in the field of the Church by the ancient foe of mankind;

rejoice, thou whose patience was a stern reproof to those who executed thee!

Rejoice, thou who hast cast down the deception of the heretics;

rejoice, thou who puttest to flight the councils of the ungodly!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion VII

Many of thy compatriots suffered imprisonment and an unjust death during the Great War; and though their lot was wretched, yet did they take heart from thy courageous sacrifice and lift up their hands and mouths to chant unto God in Orthodox manner: Alleluia!

Ikos VII

After thy blessed repose, the faithful of the city of Gorlitsa took up thy holy remains and interred them with honor near the place of thy murder, O righteous Maximus; and thy precious relics have become a cup ever flowing with gifts of healings for those who approach them with faith and cry out to thee:

Rejoice, thou who lookest down from heaven upon thy brethren on earth;

rejoice, thou who prayest for all who invoke thine aid!

Rejoice, thou who by thy holy example hast called all of us to follow after Christ;

rejoice, thou whose name signifieth the all-greatness of God!

Rejoice, wondrous guide to the Most High for those who seek salvation;

rejoice, for thou didst follow the straight and narrow path to Christ!

Rejoice, for thou hast entered the mansions of paradise;

rejoice, thou who didst not accept the words of heretics!

Rejoice, for, confessing Christ’s Holy Faith before men, thou wast borne witness by Him before the heavenly Father;

rejoice, faithful servant of Christ who for thy loyalty hast inherited the kingdom on high!

Rejoice, thou who dwellest with the angels and art the friend of all the saints;

rejoice, thou who didst love the Lord Jesus most fervently!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion VIII

Ruthless was the tyrant who dragged thee from thy narrow cell and set thee forth in the square of Gorlitsa to be executed; but his wrath and anger were to no avail, for instead of dealing a fatal blow to Orthodoxy, he created a holy martyr, who with the angelic hosts doth chant unceasingly unto the Trinity: Alleluia!


The whole land of Lemkovina rejoiceth today, but especially the towns and villages of thine earthly sojourn, O Maximus—holy Zhdynya, thy birthplace; pious Graba, where thou didst administer the most holy Mysteries of Christ; and fair Gorlitsa, where thou didst shed thy precious blood for thy Lord. And we, mindful of thy might in interceding for the oppressed, cry out to thee with thanksgiving:

Rejoice, thou who hast received from the Spirit the gift of healings;

rejoice, thou who expendest this gift to benefit thy neighbor;

Rejoice, thou who healest all manner of diseases;

rejoice, thou who givest relief in all infirmities!

Rejoice, thou who transformest sufferings into joy;

rejoice, thou who workest these healings unto the glory of God!

Rejoice, for thou didst make no attempt to entreat the tyrant for thine earthly life;

rejoice, for by thy suffering and death thou hast won the kingdom of heaven!

Rejoice, thou who by thy martyrdom for Christ didst show true love for Him;

rejoice, thou who hast earnestly taught us to stand firmly for the Lord, even unto the shedding of our blood!

Rejoice, for in heaven thou hast been invested with the purple robe of incorruption;

rejoice, for thou didst reject the errors of the Latins!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!


Kontakion IX

Your hands and voices uplifted to the Almighty in praise and supplication, O immaterial angels of God, ye were astonished and amazed by the fortitude of the hieromartyr Maximus, who, undaunted, feared not the threats of the tyrant, since he had no power to slay his soul. Wherefore, all the ranks of heaven cry aloud to our omnipotent God: Alleluia!

Ikos IX

Rich reward hast thou received on high from Christ our God, the Judge of the contest, O Maximus most great, for thou didst run the race and keep the Faith. Wherefore, even in these evil times the most eloquent of orators are as mute as fish, at a loss how to hymn thee worthily. But we who honor thee cry aloud unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who amazed both angels and men with thy long-suffering;

rejoice, thou who professed thy faith by dying for Christ!

Rejoice, thou who hast uplifted all Orthodox Christians with thy mighty confession;

rejoice, thou who placed steadfast trust in God!

Rejoice, for thou didst eagerly hasten to the fragrant myrrh of Christ;

rejoice, thou who hast received the good-pleasure of the Most High!

Rejoice, olive-tree planted in the house of God;

rejoice, lofty cedar of Lebanon!

Rejoice, gladness of all the noetic hosts;

rejoice, shaming of blasphemous heretics!

Rejoice, thou who hadst great desire to care for the souls of thy flock;

rejoice, for thou didst hold the glory of this world to be foolishness!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion X

Dying from the wounds inflicted upon thee, thou didst lift up thy God-pleasing voice, and didst proclaim for all to hear: “Long live Holy Orthodoxy!”, whereupon the tyrant dealt thee a mortal blow, and thou didst surrender thy chaste soul into the hands of thy Master, to Whom we all cry: Alleluia!


Ikos X

O bulwark of the Orthodox, defender of the oppressed, champion of the down-trodden, intercessor and mediator for all! We give thanks to our merciful Savior, that He hath provided us with so great an advocate before His radiant throne; for the holy Maximus standeth in glory before the King of heaven, making unceasing supplication for those who honor his memory, and crying out to him:

Rejoice, thou who strengthened thyself with earnest prayer to God before thy struggle;

rejoice, thou who wast humble in spirit!

Rejoice, thou who wast simple of heart;

rejoice, champion of the Faith, who chose to please God more than all!

Rejoice, fertile ground which received the seed of the word of God;

rejoice, field producing fruit an hundredfold!

Rejoice, wheat ground into flour for the celestial Bread;

rejoice, thou who art laid up in the granaries of God!

Rejoice, thou who placed all thy hope of the providence of God;

rejoice, thou who didst find the pearl of great price and purchased it with all thou hadst!

Rejoice, thou who didst guide the ship of thy soul across the sea of life;

rejoice, thou who didst safely pass through its treacherous shoals and reefs!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion XI

With psalms, hymns and spiritual songs do we laud the new-hieromartyr Maximus; for as a faithful laborer in the vineyard of Christ, his blood hath become the wine which maketh glad the heart of man, delighting all the faithful and filling all heretics with dismay, who cannot cry out to God in Orthodox manner: Alleluia!

Ikos XI

Every town and village of Lemkovina is filled with radiance, for the holy Maximus is set on high, like a splendid lamp, shining brightly with the light of grace, and guiding all along the straight and narrow path of Orthodoxy, which leadeth to the mansions of heaven. Wherefore, in compunction we cry unto him:

Rejoice, invincible ally given us by God;

rejoice, most fervent intercessor!

Rejoice, thou who didst cleave unto Christ with all thy soul;

rejoice, thou who hast ascended to the heights of virtue!

Rejoice, for thou wast not reject the straight and narrow path of martyrdom;

rejoice, O wise one, who exchanged a transitory life for one that is eternal!

Rejoice, fearless preacher of the truth;

rejoice, mighty champion of piety!

Rejoice, thou who dedicated thy whole soul unto the Lord;

rejoice, thou who didst suppress all the uprisings of the flesh!

Rejoice, thou who hast received from the Lord the gift of healing every ailment and every sickness;

rejoice, thou who wast far wiser than the heretics who slew thee!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion XII

Hearkening to the voice of our laudation and entreaty, O Maximus most great, entreat our merciful Redeemer, that He send down upon us sinners His radiant grace, that our hearts may be illumined and our minds given enlightenment, and with all who confess the triune God we may cry out: Alleluia!

Ikos XII

Ye who love the feasts of the Church and venerate the struggles of the martyrs of Christ, come and join chorus today on the memorial of the holy Maximus; for, lo! his precious relics have shone forth from the ground like the dawning sun, and give light to those in darkness and warmth to those who hearts have grown cold. Wherefore, with gladness we cry to him such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who considered all the good things of this earth to be as nought;

rejoice, elect of God!

Rejoice, pious rule of faith;

rejoice, thou who didst faithfully and blamelessly keep all the commandments of the Lord!

Rejoice, thou who art far more glorious than kings and emperors;

rejoice, thou who didst manfully shoulder the yoke of Christ!

Rejoice, thou who didst reject all the quickly-fading attractions of this world;

rejoice, for thou didst offer thyself unto the Lord as a living sacrifice!

Rejoice, teacher of righteousness adorned by God;

rejoice, for because of thee the all-holy name of the Lord is glorified throughout the world!

Rejoice, O our intercessor before the all-holy Trinity;

rejoice, valiant martyr who now joinest chorus with the right glorious choir of the saints!

Rejoice, O Maximus most great, intercessor for the afflicted and the oppressed!

Kontakion XIII

Maximus, who confessed the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father alone, who laid down his life for the Orthodox Faith, and was well-pleasing to his Lord and Master, standeth now amid the choir of the martyrs, arrayed in splendid vesture and wearing the crown which he received from Christ for his struggle; and with all the saints he joyously crieth aloud: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

This Kontakion is recited thrice, whereupon Ikos I and Kontakion I are repeated.

Prayer to the Holy New-hieromartyr Maximus Sandovich

Never-ending bliss is now thy lot in the heavens, O holy hieromartyr Maximus, where, overflowing with the uncreated grace of God, thou lookest with unwavering gaze upon the face of Christ in glory. Wherefore, knowing thee to be a fervent intercessor for all who honor thee, and the protector of the oppressed and afflicted, we earnestly beseech thee: Entreat our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, that He fill the hearts of the Lemko people with love for the Holy Orthodox Church and a firm resolve to hold fast to the Faith of their ancestors, lest the wolves of heresy and indifference fall upon them and carry them away to devour them, and the wiles and machinations of the demons lead them astray in the trackless wilderness of errors. Yea, O favorite of God, lift up thy holy hands to the Most High, and beg for us peace and prosperity, that the wicked may not say, Where is their God? For through thy fearless confession thou becamest a great mediator for all who honor thy holy memory and have recourse to thy precious relics; and thou dost ever beseech the Savior, that He grant our souls great mercy and compassion. Amen.

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