Feast of the Four Beasts
November 17, 2023
On Hidar 8 day is celebrated the festival of the Four Beasts, who have no bodies, and which are the Wheels of God that bear His Divine Throne according to the testimony concerning them by John the evangelist in his Vision, who says, “I saw a throne in heaven, and He Who sat thereon was brighter than the sun, and more brilliant then the lightning. And I saw in the midst four beasts, full of eyes; the first had the likeness of the face of a lion, the second had the likeness of the face of a bull, the third had the likeness of the face of a man, and the fourth had the likeness of the face of an eagle; and each of them had six wings. And they cried out by day and by night, saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, God of Hosts. All the heavens and the earth are filled with the holiness of Thy glory” (Revelation 4:6).
Isaiah the prophet also said, “I saw the Lord of Hosts sitting upon a high throne, and the whole place was filled with His glory. Seraphim and Cherubim surrounded Him, and His awe and majesty were exceedingly great. Each of these had six wings; with two of their wings they covered their faces, with two of their wings they covered their feet, and with two of their wings they did fly in the greatest glory by day and by night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. All the heavens and the earth are filled with the holiness of Thy glory” (Isaiah 6: 2). And David the prophet said, “He rode upon the Cherubim and did fly” (Psalm 18:10), and he also said, “He Who sit upon the Cherubim make the earth to quake,” And Ezekiel said concerning these wheels, “I saw a wind blow from heaven, and in it there was a cloud surrounded by fire, and brightness, and lightning, and four beasts supported Him. Each face (or person) had six wings, and they went before them. And the first beast had the likeness of the face of a man, and they ceased not to praise God by day and by night, and they said, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, all the heavens and the earth are filled with the holiness of Thy glory” (Ezekiel I).
John the evangelist said, “I heard a voice saying, Hallelujah! Salvation and power and blessing to our God. And the four beasts and the four and twenty elders of heaven worshipped God, saying, Hallelujah! God the Sustainer of the universe is King (Revelation 19: 4). After this I heard a voice saying, Praise our God with harp and psalms, Hallelujah! And I heard the voice of a multitude of peoples like unto the thunder, saying, God, the Sustainer of the universe, is King.” And many of the Books of the Old and the New Testaments testify concerning the honor of these Four Beasts which God has set near Him to make supplication on behalf of all creation. He with the man’s form make supplication on behalf of the children of men, he with the lion’s form make supplication on behalf of the beasts, he with the bull’s form make supplication on behalf of the cattle, and he with the eagle’s form make supplication on behalf of the birds. Now these beasts are very much nearer God than all the other powers of heaven. For this reason, the doctors of the Church have confirmed the commemoration of them, and have built churches to them in every place, even as at this day, because they make supplication for the race of man. Salutation to the Four Beasts and to the horses of the Cherubim.
On this day also is commemorated the festival of Afnin the Archangel, one of the nine and ninety archangels, who together with Surafel guard the throne of glory. Of him Enoch said that he goeth round that house; and Surafel, and Kirubel, and Afnin, “These are the [angels] who never sleep, and who guard the throne of His glory,” Salutation to this Trinity of Angels who guard the throne of God.
May the Saint Angels intercession be with us, Amen!