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Saints and Feasts: Τhe Three Holy Youths Ananias, Azarias, and Mishael

The Holy Youth Ananias (“God is gracious”) was a companion of the Holy Prophet Daniel. He was chosen to serve in the king’s palace with Daniel, Azarias, and Mishael (Daniel 1:6), who were all from the tribe of Judah. They gave Ananias the Chaldean name Shadrach (“royal”). They gave Azarias the Chaldean name Abednego (“servant of Nego”).  They gave Misael the Chaldean name Meshach (“guest”). They were thrown into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship the golden idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, but the angel of the Lord preserved them (Daniel 3:25).

The Seventh and Eighth Odes of the nine Biblical Odes at the back of the Psalter are taken from The Song of the Three Holy Youths (found in the Septuagint text of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church).

The Three Holy Youths and the Prophet Daniel are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers.

Troparion — Tone 2

Great are the accomplishments of faith, / for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though in the waters of rest; / and the prophet Daniel appeared, / a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. / So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!

Kontakion — Tone 6

You did not worship the graven image, / O thrice-blessed ones, / but armed with the immaterial Essence of God, you were glorified in a trial by fire. / From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying: / Hasten, O compassionate One! / Speedily come to our aid, / for You are merciful and able to do as You will.

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