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Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel (13 July)

The Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel is celebrated on the day after the Annunciation, and a second time on July 13. It was instituted in the ninth century, perhaps to celebrate the dedication of a church at Constantinople. Originally, the Feast was observed on October 16 (Juan Mateos, Le Typikon De La Grande Eglise).

An account of the Holy Archangel Gabriel is found under March 26 and November 8.

This great archangel of God is commemorated on March 26. Today, however, his appearances and miracles throughout the entire history of man’s salvation are celebrated. It is believed that this celebration was first established on Mt. Athos in the ninth century, during the time of the Emperors Basil and Constantine Porphyrogenitus and Patriarch Nicholas Chrysoverges, and was occasioned by the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel in a cell near Karyes, where the archangel wrote with his finger on a stone tablet the hymn to the Birth-giver of God “It Is Truly Meet” [Dostojno Jest, Axion Estin].

Because of this event, the cell was called, and is called to this day “It is Truly Meet.” Together with this occurrence, the other appearances of the Archangel Gabriel are also commemorated: the archangel’s appearance to Moses while he was tending the flock of Jethro, when he related to this great one called of God how the world was created and all the rest that Moses later recorded in his Book of Creation (Genesis); his appearance to the Prophet Daniel, revealing to him the mystery of future kingdoms and of the coming of the Savior; his appearance to St. Anna and the promise that she would give birth to a daughter, the All-blessed and All-pure Holy Virgin Mary; his repeated appearances to the Holy Virgin while she was living in the Temple in Jerusalem; his appearance to Zacharias the High Priest with the tidings of the birth of John the Forerunner, and the punishment of dumbness upon Zacharias because he did not believe the archangel’s words; his appearance once again to the Holy Virgin, in Nazareth, with the Annunciation of the conception and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ; his appearance to the righteous Joseph; his appearance to the shepherds near Bethlehem; his appearance to the Lord Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he strengthened the Lord, as a man, prior to His passion; his appearance to the myrrh-bearing women, and so on.

It is believed that the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel was transferred to this day from March 26 so that it could be celebrated more festively than in the period of the Great Fast; and, in fact, all the miracles of the Archangel are celebrated on this feast day, which has been listed here in the church books since the ninth century.

Apolytikion of Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel

Fourth Tone

O Commanders of the Heavenly Host, we the unworthy beseech you, that through your entreaties you will fortify us, guarding us in the shelter of the wings of your ethereal glory, even as we fervently bow before you crying: “Deliver us from all danger, as Commanders of the Powers on high! “

Kontakion of Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel

Plagal of the Second Tone

As thou beholdest the glory of God in Heaven, and on earth dost bestow grace from on high, O leader of Angels, wise Gabriel, minister of the glory of God, and divine defender of the world, save and keep them that cry to thee: Be thyself our helper, and no one can be against us.

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