Prayer to the Venerable fathers and elders who shone forth in the Optina Desert

O great saints of God, pillars and lamps of the Land of Russia, our venerable and God-bearing fathers Optina, Leo, Macarius, Moses, Anthony, Hilarion, Ambrose, Anatolia, Isaac and Joseph, Barsonofia, Anatolia, Nektary, Nikon and Isaac, who according to the gospel law loved the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and to all the people of God for the salvation of the former; for this reason, under the protection of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, to the monastery of Optina, founded by a penitent robber, who walked by a narrow and sorrowful path of humility and self-reproach until the end of your days, thereby acquiring the grace-filled gifts of the Holy Spirit in abundance; the old and young, the noble and the most simple, the wise of this world and those who are weak-minded, who have never been dependent on those who are coming to you, who have never sent them away in vain and inconsolable, but who have enlightened all by the light of the truth of Christ and spiritually raised up your neighbors, who have loved them as themselves, and who, according to the words of the Apostle, have included them in your heart, prophesying and edifying, admonishing and comforting. Beseech the Merciful Lord, who has taken a wise robber with you to the abode of paradise, to grant us, unworthy as a worker of the one-tenth hour, a spirit of contrition, purification of the heart, keeping of the mouth, righteousness of deeds, humble wisdom, tears of repentance, unashamed faith, unfeigned love, peace of mind and health of body, so that through your intercession He may vouchsafe us May the Lord give you a good answer at His Last Judgment, delivering you from eternal torment, and grant you the kingdom of heaven together for ever and ever. Amen.

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