Tuesday, February 25, 2014

King Aethelberht (Ethelbert), Enlightener of Our Southern Forefathers in England

From the service to St Ethelbert (reposed in the Lord on 24 Feb. 616):

When the might of Rome had departed from the British shores, and barbarian tribes fell upon them, Gregory, the boast of Orthodox hierarchs, sent new apostles to enlighten them; and the servants of God, coming to land on Thanet's coast, met the glorious King Ethelbert, whom they brought to faith in the one true God.
Having learned of the Christian Church from the holy Bertha his queen, and in her piety and kindness perceived the essence of the Orthodox Faith, Ethelbert received the new apostles with reverence and opened his heart to their preaching; wherefore, his sins were washed clean away in the hallowed waters of regeneration.
Remember now, ye Christians of the English land, the holy Ethelbert, your father in the faith, for by his corrections ye came to know eternal life, to understand the Truth, and to submit to the great Father of spirits; wherefore, in acclamations exalt him most fervently, for he reigneth ever with Christ and intercedeth for us all.
Troparion of the saint, in Tone IV—
Having acquired all the Christian virtues, O right-believing King Ethelbert, thou didst attain glory in doing godly deeds, and art now enrolled among the choirs of the saints on high; for, having passed from the things of this fleeting world, in glory thou reignest now eternally with Christ our God, Whom do thou beseech to grant us great mercy.
. . .

For a short life of the saint, see the entry of 24 February at http://www.abbamoses.com/months/february.html.

To Holy St Ethelbert let us lift up prayers on behalf of his wayward children in the Faith and in the flesh here in the South.

(Icon copied from this page:  http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/ethlbert.htm)

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