Dionysus the Areopagite
The Hieromartyr Bishop Dionysius the Areopagite was a learned man of Athens who studied abroad in various countries. While in Egypt, he witnessed the solar eclipse that occurred at the Crucifixion of our Lord. Dionysius remarked, “either the Creator of all the world now suffers, or this visible world is coming to an end.” Having returned to Athens, he was selected as part of the assembly on Mars Hill, the Areopagus. It was here where he heard the Apostle Paul preaching and came to believe in Christ. He was soon made the first Bishop of Athens and was even present at the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. He had journeyed to Jerusalem previously to visit the Theotokos and on seeing her, he wrote to the Apostle Paul saying, “Before me gleamed a sort of divine radiance which transfixed my spirit. The grace from her overwhelmed my heart and shook my very spirit. If I did not have in mind your instruction, I should have mistaken Her for the very God. It is impossible to stand before greater blessedness than this which I beheld.” Saint Dionysius preached in many countries, even going to Spain and modern day France. He had many spiritual visions and was even taken up to the Third Heaven where he saw the nine ranks of Angels. Some traditions name this Saint Dionysius as Saint Denis, Bishop of Paris, who after having been beheaded in Paris, picked up his head and walked all the way to his church confessing Christ. Once he reached the church, he then fell down as dead. It is not certain whether these to Saints are the same person, but it is from Saint Denis of Paris that our city Sydney receives its name. The Saint has left us with many writings on various topics which are still studied closely by theologians today.
Ἦχος πλ. α’. Τὸ συνάναρχον Λόγον.
Ἀγρευβεῖς τῷ τοῦ Παύλου Πάτερ κηρύγματι, ὑφηγητὴς ἀνεδείχθης τῶν ὑπὲρ νοῦν δωρεῶν, διαvoiα ὑψηλὴ καλλωπιζόμενος, τῶν γὰρ ἀΰλων οὐσιῶν, τᾶς ἀρχὰς μυαταγωγεῖς, ὡς μύστης τῶν ἀπορρήτων, καὶ τῆς σοφίας ἐκφάντωρ, Ἱερομάρτυς Διονύσιε.
Χρηστότητα ἐκδιδαχθείς, καὶ νήφων ἐν πᾶσιν, ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν ἱεροπρεπῶς ἐνδυσάμενος, ἤντλησας ἐκ τοῦ Σκεύους τῆς ἐκλογῆς τὰ ἀπόῤῥητα, καὶ τὴν πίστιν τηρήσας, τὸν ἴσον δρόμον τετέλεκας, Ἱερομάρτυς Διονύσιε. Πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ.
Τὰς οὐρανίους διαβὰς πύλας ἐv πνεύματι, μαθητευθεὶς τῷ ὑπὲρ τρεῖς οὐρανοὺς φθάσαντι, Ἀποστόλου Διονύσιε τῶν ἀῤῥήτωv, ἐπλουτίσθης πᾶσαν γνῶσιν καὶ κατηύγασας, τοὺς ἐν σκότει ἀγνωσίας πρὶν καθεύδοντας, διὸ κράζομεν, Χαίροις Πάτερ παγκόσμιε.
Πρῶτος Ἀθηναίων Ἀρχιερεύς, πρῶτος τε καὶ μάρτυς γεγονέναι ἀξιωθείς, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁπάντων ποιοῦ σὴν ἱκεσίαν Θεῷ, θερμαῖς λιταῖς σου, ὦ Διονύσιε.