May 5

The holy and glorious martyr Irene, at Thessalonica in Macedonia. Since she had hidden the sacred books in violation of the edict of Diocletian, she was taken to a public house of ill repute, then burned in a fire by order of the governor Dulcetius. It was under this same governor that her sisters Agape and Chionia had suffered previously. (1st century)

Our venerable father Nicephor, hegumen of the Medikion Monastery. He lived the life of an ascetic as a monk on Mt. Athos with the wise Theoliptos. He was a teacher of Gregory Palamas and wrote a work on mental prayer. Nicephor taught: "Gather your mind and force it to enter into the heart and remain there. When your mind is established in the heart, it should not remain empty, but allow it to continually perform this prayer: O LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY ON ME [THE JESUS PRAYER]! Never allow it to be silent. Because of this, the entire chain of virtues will enter into you: love, joy, peace and all others, because of which your every petition to God will be fulfilled later." (14th century)

At the Divine Liturgy

music - see the May Menaion

Troparion, Tone 4. Your lamb Irene, O Jesus, cries out in a loud voice: * I love you, my Bridegroom; I seek you with painful longing. * I am crucified with you; in your baptism, I am buried with you; *I suffer for you that I may reign with you; * and I die for you that I may live with you. * Receive me as a spotless sacrifice immolated with love for you. * By her prayers, O merciful One, save our souls.

Glory – Kontakion, Tone 4.  Anointed with the sweetness of virginity, * you were beautiful in your martyrdom, O virgin Irene. * Robed in crimson from your blood, you exposed the lies of the godless. * For this the Creator crowned you in triumph.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4 (Ps. 67:36,27). God is wondrous in his saints, the God of Israel.
V. In the churches bless God; from Israel's wellsprings bless the Lord.

Epistle:  (for the day)

Alleluia, Tone 1 (Ps. 39:2,3). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.

Gospel: (for the day)

Communion Hymn (Ps. 32:1). Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is fitting. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!