Wayne, West Virginia, September 8, 2020
St. Joseph the Hesychast, one of the greatest saints of the 20th century, was canonized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in March.
The Patriarchate established the feast of St. Joseph as August 16/29 so as not to coincide with the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos on which he reposed in 1959.
The feast of St. Joseph was celebrated for the first time this year with special fervor on the island of Paros, where he was born in 1898, and in the monasteries of Mt. Athos, where he labored for decades. Following his repose, his disciples repopulated and renewed several of the holy habitations on the mountain.
In America and Canada, St. Joseph is especially venerated as the spiritual “grandfather” of the brotherhoods and sisterhoods of the many monasteries founded by Elder Ephraim, who was a spiritual child of St. Joseph for many years.
And at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, West Virginia, under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, his feast was celebrated for the first time in the English language.
While his feast is officially transferred one day to August 16/29, the monastery transferred it to August 17/30, so as not to coincide with the feast of the Icon Not Made by Hands, reports the monastery website.
The text of the service was translated into English by a monk of Holy Cross Monastery from the Greek version published by Vatopedi Monastery.
The monastery’s report provide gives the troparions and kontakion to St. Joseph in English:
Troparion of the Venerable One. Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Swiftly overtake…”
The offspring of Athos and beauty of monastics, a champion of ascesis and haven of stillness art thou shown to be, O our Father. By thy life, thou hast revealed the ways of Grace: by thy prayer, thou hast saved those who faithfully entreat thee; wherefore intercede with the Lord, O Joseph our venerable Father.
Another of the Venerable One. Same Tone.
Having first subdued thy flesh with ascesis, thou didst resolutely lift thy mind from earthly things, O our venerable Father. Thou didst perceive through mystic vision the lands of the saved: thou hast shown them that desire it the path of salvation; wherefore save thou now also those who honor thy memory.
Kontakion. Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “To thee, the Champion…”
By the streams of thy tears, O Father, thou didst wash clean, and by thy sleepless prayers thou didst make gleam, the garment of thy soul, O Joseph; and within the incorrupt Bridechamber thou dost now exult with the Saints whose way of life thou didst follow. With them, do thou pray that those who honor thee be saved.