Commemoration of the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel (10th c.) to a monk on Mt. Athos, and the revelation of the hymn "It Is Truly Meet" (Axion Estin)

Commemorated on June 11

A monk on the Holy Mountain was chanting the ancient hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos, "More honorable than the Cherubim..." (composed by St Cosmas the Hymnographer) in his cell, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him, disguised as a monk. The angel chanted the same hymn, but began it differently: "It is truly meet to call thee blessed, the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and most pure and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim..." Amazed at the hymn's beauty, the monk asked the stranger to write it down for him: the Angel inscribed it on a stone tablet with his finger, then vanished from sight. The tablet was brought to Constantinople and shown to the Emperor and the Patriarch as proof of the miracle. From that time, this version of the hymn began to be sung in the Divine Liturgy, as it is to this day.

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