In the time of the suffering of St. Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher, there was a young man of Thessalonica, Nestor, who learned the Christian Faith from St. Demetrius himself. At that time Christ’s enemy, Emperor Maximian, organized various games and amusements for the people. The emperor’s favorite in these games was a Vandal by the name of Lyaeus, a man of Goliath-like size and strength. As the emperor’s gladiator, Lyaeus challenged men every day to single combat and slew them. Thus, the bloodthirsty Lyaeus amused the bloodthirsty, idolatrous Maximian. The emperor built a special stage for Lyaeus’s battles, similar to a threshing floor on pillars. Spears, points upward, were planted beneath this platform. When Lyaeus defeated someone in wrestling, he would throw him from the platform onto the forest of spears. The emperor and his pagan subjects cheered as some poor wretch writhed in torment on the spears until he died. Among Lyaeus’s innocent victims were many Christians: when no one volunteered to duel with Lyaeus, by the emperor’s orders Christians were arrested and forced to duel with him. Seeing this horrifying amusement of the pagan world, Nestor’s heart was torn with pain, and he decided to come forward for a duel with the gigantic Lyaeus. But first, he went to prison to see St. Demetrius and sought a blessing from him to do this. St. Demetrius blessed him, signed him with the sign of the Cross on the forehead and on the chest and prophesied to him: “You will defeat Lyaeus, but you will suffer for Christ.” Thus, young Nestor went to duel with Lyaeus. Maximian was present with a multitude of people; everyone felt pity for the young Nestor, who would surely die, and tried to dissuade him from dueling with Lyaeus. Nestor crossed himself and said: “O God of Demetrius, help me!” and with God’s help, he overcame Lyaeus, knocked him down, and threw him onto the sharp spears, where the heavy giant soon found death. Then all the people cried out: “Great is the God of Demetrius!” But the emperor, shamed before the people and sorrowing for his favorite Lyaeus, was greatly angered at Nestor and Demetrius, and commanded that Nestor be beheaded and Demetrius run through with lances. Thus, the Christian hero Nestor ended his earthly life and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of his Lord in the year 306. (Prologue of Ohrid)
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 6
10. O Christ, You won the victory over Hades,
You ascended the Cross so that You might raise up with Yourself
all those who dwelt in the darkness of death.
Almighty Saviour, You are free from death
and bestow life by Your divine light.
We, therefore, beseech You to have mercy on us.
9. Today Christ has conquered Death.
He has risen from the grave as He foretold,
bestowing great joy upon the world.
Therefore, let us all lift up our voices and sing:
O Fount of Life, O Light Whom no one can approach,
Almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.
8. O Lord, where can we sinners flee from You,
for You are present in all creation?
You are present in heaven, for it is Your dwelling place.
Your power prevails in Hades where You conquered Death.
O Master, Your sustaining hand touches even the depths of the sea.
Where, then, can we take refuge except in You?
We, therefore, prostrate ourselves before You and pray:
O Lord, risen from the dead, have mercy on us.
7. We exult in Your Cross, O Christ,
and we sing the glory of Your Resurrection.
For You are our God, and we have no other Lord but You.
6. Glory to Your might, O Lord,
for You have conquered the power of death.
You have renewed us through Your Cross,
granting us life and incorruption.
5. We forever bless the Lord and praise His resurrection,
for by suffering crucifixion,
He has destroyed death by His death.
4. By Your death and burial, O Lord,
You broke asunder the bonds of Hades;
and by Your resurrection from the dead,
You enlightened the whole world.
We, therefore, exclaim: Glory to You, O Lord!
In Tone 8
3. Glorious sufferer Nestor,
you girded yourself in all the armour of Christ!
Locked in mortal combat, you destroyed Lyaeus.
With invisible arrows you brought down and killed the invisible enemy!
Therefore the bountiful One has crowned you with a wreath of victory!
2. Strengthened with divine words, wise Nestor,
with true courage you killed the proud tormentor of the martyr Demetrius.
Confessing the immortal God
Who died and harrowed hell,
you received an unjust death, glorious one.
Therefore, rejoicing, you have inherited everlasting life!
1. You were a godly youth, radiant in physical beauty and power.
therefore you threw down the might of Lyaeus by the power of the Almighty!
You suffered, rejoicing,
and have been numbered with the choirs of those who struggled.
As you rejoice with them, ever remember us!
In Tone 6, Glory… Now…
Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.
In Tone 6
O Christ our Saviour,
the angels in heaven sing the praises of Your Resurrection;
make us on earth also worthy
to extol You with a pure heart.
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
Almighty God, You destroyed the brazen gates and bars of Hades,
and raised up fallen mankind.
Therefore, with one accord, we cry out:
O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
Christ willed to renew us from our corruption of old
by being nailed to a cross and placed in a tomb.
When the women came to anoint His body they tearfully cried out:
O, what sorrow afflicts us!
O Saviour of All, how could You consent to occupy a grave?
If you truly willed this, then why did You allow Your body to be stolen?
How were You removed?
What place now conceals Your life-bearing body?
O Lord, appear to us as You promised
and put an end to out tears.
As they were lamenting, an angel appeared and cried out to them:
Do not weep, but tell the Apostles that the Lord is risen,
granting sanctification and great mercy to the world.
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
O Christ, You were crucified of Your free will,
and by Your burial You imprisoned Death.
As God, You rose in glory on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.
Christ the Lord, our Creator and Redeemer,
came forth from your womb, O most pure Virgin.
He clothed Himself in our human flesh
to set us free from the original curse of Adam.
Therefore, O Mary, we praise you, without ceasing,
as the true Virgin Mother of God,
and we sing with the angels:
Rejoice, O Lady, advocate, protector, and salvation of our souls.
In Tone 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory to You!
In Tone 4, Glory…
Your martyr, Nestor, O Lord,* by his passion acquired the crown of incorruptibility from You, our God.* For possessing Your power he overcame the torturers* and shattered the feeble insolence of demons.* By his supplications, save our souls.
O Mother of God, the mystery hidden from all eternity* and unknown even to the angels,* was revealed through you to those on earth:* God took on our human nature* and united it to His divine nature in a perfect but unconfused union.* Then, He willingly accepted the cross for our sake* and thereby raised again the first created man,*and saved our souls from death.
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 6: Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory be to You!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 6: With His life-giving hand* Christ our God, the Giver of life,* raised all the dead from the murky abyss* and bestowed resurrection upon humanity.* He is for all the Saviour,* the resurrection and the life, and the God of all.
Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Theotokion, Tone 6: Undaunted patroness of Christians,* O steadfast intermediary with the Creator,* turn not away from the suppliant voices of sinners,* but in your kindness come to help us who cry out to you in faith.* Be quick to intercede, make haste to plead,* for you are ever the patroness of those who honour you, O Mother of God.
Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Save Your people, O Lord, * and bless Your inheritance.
verse: Unto You I will cry, O Lord, my God, lest You turn from me in silence. (Psalm 27:9,1)
Alleluia, Tone 6
verse: He who lives in the aid of the Most High, shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven.
verse: He says to the Lord: You are my protector and my refuge, my God, in Whom I hope. (Psalm 90:1,2)
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)