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The Divine Refuge

It is getting late and

My head hangs low.

It is darker now and

My tears begin to flow.

It is desperate all round so

My hands grasp

Because they know.

The divine language of love,

Played on a rope

Made of silence.

With humility and love,

I implore you.

Give me shelter,

So I may pray through the nights.

"O Mistress, Empress and Lady,

Defend all who are in danger and misfortune

Or weak from many sins,

And who stand before your holy Icon

Praying with tears, humility, repentance, and invincible hope,

Free them from all evil,

Give them the grace they need.

And save us all, O Virgin Mother of God,

For Your are the divine refuge of those who follow you!"

- This is the Troparion (a short hymn) for the commemoration of the icon (below) titled "The Theotokos of Vladimir," whose image, tradition tells us, was originally painted by St. Luke the Apostle.

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