The Akathist Hymn for Saint Barbara


Akafist Sviatieĭ velikomuchenitsie Varvarie (The Akathist hymn for Saint Barbara) honors the Holy Great Martyr Barbara of Heliopolis (died 305), whose relics were transferred from Constantinople to Kiev early in the 12th century and have been kept there ever since. She is regarded as the saint who protects against sudden, unexpected death; her feast day is December 4. The hymn was printed for the first time at the press of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, also called the Monastery of the Kiev Caves, in the late 17th century. According to historian and bishop, Evgenii Bolkhovitinov, the hymn was written by Metropolitan Bishop of Kiev Ioasaf Krokovskii, who is also known for his work in 1702 on the Kievan Cave Patericon. Another edition of the hymn is known from the printing press in Mogilev (1698). Akafist Sviatieĭ velikomuchenitsie Varvarie was printed about 20 times during the 18th century in Kiev and was very popular with Eastern Orthodox believers. This edition of 1788 is a reprint from the Kievan edition and was produced in the printing press of the Holy Dormition Lavra in Pochayiv, probably to serve the needs of the Old Believers living in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Last updated: August 19, 2015