Hymn of Praise
Taxiotis the Soldier
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Throughout all of Carthage, Taxiotis sobbed,
Telling to all, the horrors seen:
The horrors, O brethren, what my soul saw!
O malodorous abyss where my soul descended!
O monsters terrible, and mud and shrieks!
O weeping without tears, wailing and screaming!
Not six hours did I think, but a hundred years,
In the world of Hades, that, an inhabitant I was!
Until a radiant angel, a guarantee for me offered,
Raised and lowered me near Carthage,
That I, he said, in the body be clothed again;
For my latest misdeed, to repent.
When, upon the body, the smelly corpse I gazed,
My strength left me and my joy perished:
This smelly corpse, O, how can I enter?
How, in this loathsome carrion, to be clothed?
O, how, until now, could I have in it remained?
For pleasure, that garbage, my soul to lose?
O, radiant angel, spare me pain,
Force me not, anymore, into that fetid shame!
At my crying out, the angel, angry became:
Who in the body sins, in the body repents!
Thus, sternly he said and, added this:
Either, into the body you will, or into Hades again?
When Hades he mentioned, I fell painfully silent,
Rapidly to the body I approached and into the body crawled.
Forty days for repentance, I have,
And a lesson to all and a warning.
Repent, O brethren, quickly repent,
With your sins into Hades, do not stumble.
Repent quickly, only repent,
Repentance will not be allowed you there.
Taxiotis is relating to you what he, himself, saw
O, fetid abyss, where my soul descended!
From “The Prologue from Ochrid” : Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date March 28, and New Calendar date April 10 – Lazarica Press – Birmingham 1985 Four Book Edition – Translated by Mother Maria
Archangel Jeremiel, whose name means “the exaltation of God,”