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Religious figures biography (28)

Saints

St John Chrysostomus

Chrysostomus (Chrusostomos) (St. John). An eminent Father of the Church, born of a noble family at Antioch, A.D. 347. His father's name was Secundus, and the surname of Chrysostom, or "golden mouth," obtained by the son, was given to him on account of his eloquence. He was bred to the bar, but quitted it for an ascetic life: first, with a monk on a mountain near Antioch, and then in a cave by himself. He remained in this retirement six years, when he returned to Antioch, and, being ordained, became so celebrated for his talents as a preacher that, on the death of Nectarius, patriarch of Constantinople, he was chosen to supply his place. On obtaining this preferment, which he very unwillingly accepted, he acted with great vigour and austerity in the reform of abuses, and exhibited all the mistaken notions of the day in regard to celibacy and the monastic life. He also persecuted the pagans and heretics with great zeal, and sought to extend his episcopal power with such unremitting ardour that he involved himself in a quarrel with Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, who enjoyed the patronage of the empress Eudoxia; which quarrel ended in his formal deposition by a synod held at Chalcedon, A.D. 403. He was, however, so popular in Constantinople that a formidable insurrection ensued, and the empress herself interfered for his return. Towards the end of the same year, owing to his zeal relative to a statue of Eudoxia, placed near the great church, and causing a disturbance of public worship, all his troubles were renewed. If true, that in one of his sermons the empress was compared by him to Herodias, who asked the head of John in a charger, the anger of Eudoxia was not altogether unjustifiable. The consequence of her resentment was the assembling of another synod, and in A.D. 404 the patriarch was again deposed and sent into exile. The place of his banishment was Cucusus, a lonely town among the ridges of Mount Taurus, on the confines of Cappadocia and Cilicia. He sustained himself with much fortitude; but having, by means of his great influence and many adherents, procured the intercession of the Western emperor, Honorius, with his brother Arcadius, he was ordered to be removed still farther from the capital, and died on the journey at Comana in Pontus, A.D. 407, at the age of sixty. Opinion was much divided in regard to his merits for some time after his death, but at length his partisans prevailed, and thirty years from his decease he was removed from his place of interment as a saint, and his remains were met in procession by the emperor Theodosius II., on their removal from the place of his original interment to Constantinople. The Roman Church celebrates St. Chrysostom on the 27th of January; the Greek Church, on the 13th of November.
    Chrysostom was a voluminous writer, but more eloquent than either learned or acute. Although falling short of Attic purity, his style is free, copious, and unaffected, and his diction often glowing and elevated. The numerous treatises or sermons by which he chiefly gained his reputation are very curious for the information they contain on the customs and manners of the times, as elicited by his declamation against prevailing vices and follies.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Chrysostomus, Joannes (Chrusostomos, golden-mouthed, so surnamed from the power of his eloquence), was born at Antioch, most probably A. D. 347, though the dates 344 and 354 have also been given. His father Secundus was a general in the imperial army, and his mother Anthusa was left a widow soon after his birth. From her he received his first religious impressions, so that she was to him what Monica was to Augustin, though, unlike Augustin, Chrysostom from his earliest childhood was continually advancing in seriousness and earnestness of mind, and underwent no violent inward struggle before he embraced Christianity. To this circumstance, Neander attributes the peculiar form of his doctrine, his strong feeling that the choice of belief or unbelief rests with ourselves, and that God's grace is given in proportion to our own wish to receive it. Libanius taught him eloquence, and said, that he should have desired to see him his successor in his school, if the Christians had not stolen him. Before his ordination, he retired first to a monastery near Antioch, and afterwards to a solitary cavern, where he committed the whole of the Bible to memory. In this cavern he so injured his health that he was obliged to return to Antioch, where he was ordained deacon by the bishop Meletius, A. D. 381, who had previously baptized him, and afterwards presbyter by Flavianus, successor to Meletius, A. D. 386. At Antioch his success as a preacher was so great, that on the death of Nectarius, archbishop of Constantinople, he was chosen to succeed him by Eutropius, minister to the emperor Arcadius, and the selection was readily ratified by the clergy and people of the imperial city, A. D. 397. The minister who appointed him was a eunuch of infamous profligacy, and Chrysostom was very soon obliged to extend to him the protection of the church. Tribigild, the Ostrogoth, aided by the treachery of Gainas, the imperial general, who hated and despised Eutropius, threatened Constantinople itself by his armies, and demanded as a condition of peace the head of Eutropius, who fled to the sanctuary of the cathedral. While he was grovelling in terror at the altar, Chrysostom ascended the pulpit, and by his eloquence saved his life for the time, though it was afterwards sacrificed to the hatred of his enemies.
  The sermons of the archbishop soon gave great offence at Constantinople. The tone of his theology was always rather of a practical than a doctrinal kind, and his strong sense of the power of the human will increased his indignation at the immorality of the capital. He was undoubtedly rash and violent in his proceedings, and the declamatory character of his preaching was exactly adapted to express the stern morality of his thoughts. He was also disliked for the simplicity of his mode of living, and the manner in which he diverted the revenues of his see from the luxuries in which his predecessors had consumed them, to humane and charitable objects. Many of the worldly-minded monks and clergy, as well as the ministers and ladies of the court, became his enemies, and at their head appeared the empress Eudoxia herself, who held her husband's weak mind in absolute subjection. His unpopularity was spread still more widely in consequence of a visitation which he held in Asia Minor, two years after his consecration, in which he accused several bishops of simony and other gross crimes, and deposed thirteen of them. Meanwhile, a contest had arisen in Egypt between Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, and certain monks of Nitria, who followed the opinions of Origen. At their head were four of one family, known as the Tall Brothers (adelphoi makpoi), against whom Theophilus seems to have been prejudiced by a strictly private quarrel. He excommunicated them, and they fled to Constantinople, where they sought the protection of Chrysostom and of the empress. A long dispute followed, in the course of which Theophilus, by artfully working on the simplicity of Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus, and other prelates hostile to the opinions of Origen, prejudiced them against Chrysostom as implicated in the charge of heresy with which those views had recently been branded by a synod. Eudoxia, who had summoned Theophilus to Constantinople to answer the charge of persecuting the Nitrian monks, became his warm friend when she saw in him her instrument for the destruction of Chrysostom; and he arrived at the capital of the East not as an accused person, but as the judge of its archbishop. But the same causes which had brought on Chrysostom the hatred of the higher orders had made him the idol of the people; and as it was thought unsafe to hold a synod against him within the city, it was summoned to meet on an estate at Chalcedon, called the oak, whence it is known by the name of su/nodos pro\s th\n dru/n. The accusations against him were various; his inhospitality was especially put forward (hoti ten philoxenian athetei, monositian epitedeuon, hoti monos esthiei, asotos xon Kuklopon Bion, Phot. Cod. 59), and the charge of Origenism was used to blind the better part of the assembly. Before this council Chrysostom steadily refused to appear, until four bishops, notoriously his enemies, were removed from it, who are called by Isidore of Pelusium (i. 152) sunerloi e uallon sunapostatai with Theophilus. He was therefore deposed for contumacy, forty-five bishops subscribing his sentence, to which was added a hint to the emperor, that his sermons against Eudoxia subjected him to the penalties of treason. At first he refused to desert the flock which God had entrusted to him; but, on hearing that there was a danger of an insurrection in his favour, he retired from Constantinople, to which he was recalled in a few days by a hasty message from the empress, whose superstitious fears were alarmed by an earthquake, which the enraged people considered as a proof of the divine anger at his banishment. But in two months after his return he was again an exile. The festivities attending the dedication of a silver statue of Eudoxia near the cathedral had disturbed the worshippers, and provoked an angry sermon from the archbishop, who, on hearing that this had excited anew the enmity of the empress, began another sermon with this exordium: "Herodias again rages, once more she dances, she again requires the head of John". This offence Eudoxia could not forgive. A new synod of Eastern bishops, guided by the advice of Theophilus, condemned Chrysostom for resuming his functions before his previous sentence had been legally reversed, and he was hastily conveyed to the desolate town of Cucusus, on the borders of Isauria, Cilicia, and Armenia.
  Chrysostom's character shone even more brightly in adversity than it had done in power. In spite of the inclement climate to which he was banished, and continual danger from the neighbourhood of Isaurian robbers, he sent letters full of encouragement and Christian faith to his friends at Constantinople, and began to construct a scheme for spreading the gospel among the Persians and Goths. He met with much sympathy from other churches, especially the Roman, whose bishop, Innocent, declared himself his warm friend and supporter. All this excited jealousy at Constantinople, and in the summer of A. D. 407 an order came for his removal to Pityus, in Pontus, at the very extremity of the East-Roman empire. But the fatigues of his journey, which was performed on foot under a burning sun, were too much for him, and he died at Comana in Pontus, in the 60th year of his age. His last words were those of Job,-- doxa to Theo panton heeken, and formed a worthy conclusion of a life spent in God's service. His exile nearly caused a schism at Constantinople, where a party, named after him Johannists, separated from the church, and refused to acknowledge his successors. They did not return to the general communion till A. D. 438, when the archbishop Proclus prevailed on the emperor Theodosius II. to bring back the bones of Chrysostom to Constantinople, where they were received with the highest honours, the emperor himself publicly imploring the forgiveness of heaven for the crime of his parents, Arcadius and Eudoxia. Chrysostom, as we learn from his biographers, was short, with a large bald head, high forehead, hollow cheeks, and sunken eyes. The Greek church celebrates his festival Nov. 13, the Latin, Jan. 27.
  The works of Chrysostom are most voluminous. They consist of: 1. Homilies on different parts of Scripture and points of doctrine and practice. 2. Commentaries, by which, as we learn from Suidas, he had illustrated the whole of the Bible, though some of them afterwards perished in a fire at Constantinople. 3. Epistles addressed to a great number of different persons. 4. Treatises on various subjects, e. g. the Priesthood (six books), Providence (three books), &c. 5. Liturgies. Of the homilies, those on St. Paul are superior to anything in ancient theology, and Thomas Aquinas said, that he would not accept the whole city of Paris for those on St. Matthew, delivered at Antioch, A. D. 390-397. The letters written in exile have been compared to those of Cicero composed under similar circumstances; but in freedom from vanity and selfishness, and in calmness and resignation, Chrysostom's epistles are infinitely superior to Cicero's. Among the collection of letters is one from the emperor Hlonorius to his brother Arcadius in defence of Chrysostom, found in the Vatican, and published by Baronius and afterwards by Montfaucon.
  The merits of Chrysostom as an expositor of Scripture are very great. Rejecting the allegorical interpretations which his predecessors had put upon it, he investigates the meaning of the text grammatically, and adds an ethical or doctrinal application to a perspicuous explanation of the sense. The first example of grammatical interpretation had indeed been set by Origen, many of whose critical remarks are of great merit; but Chrysostom is free from his mystical fancies, and quite as well acquainted with the language of the New Testament. The Greek expositors who followed him have done little more than copy his explanations. The commentary of Theodoret is a faithful compendium of Chrysostom's homilies, and so also are the works of Theophylact and Oecumenius, so much so that to those who wish to gain a knowledge of the results of his critical labours, the study of the two latter may be reconmmended as perfectly correct compilers from their more prolix predecessor.
  Of Chrysostom's powers as a preacher the best evidence is contained in the history of his life; there is no doubt that his eloquence produced the deepest impression on his hearers, and while we dissent from those who have ranked him with Demosthenes and Cicero, we cannot fail to admire the power of his language in expressing moral indignation, and to sympathise with the ardent love of all that is good and noble, the fervent piety, and absorbing faith in the Christian revelation, which pervade his writings. His faults are too great diffuseness and a love of metaphor and ornament. He often repelled with indignation the applause with which his sermons were greeted, exclaiming, "The place where you are is no theatre, nor are you now sitting to gaze upon actors" (Hom. xvii. Matt. vii.). There are many respects in which he shews the superiority of his understanding to the general feelings of the age. We may cite as one example the fact, that although he had been a monk, he was far from exalting monachism above the active duties of the Christian life (See Hom. vii. in Heb. iv.; Hom. vii. in Ephes. iv.). "How shall we conquer our enemiies", he asks in one place, "if some do not busy themselves about goodness at all, while those wvho do withdraw from the battle"? (Hom. vi. in 1 Cor. iv.). Again, he was quite free from the view of inspiration which prevailed at Alexandria, and which considered the Bible in such a sense the word of God, as to overlook altogether the human element in its composition, and the difference of mind and character in its authors. Variations in trifles he speaks of as proofs of truth (Hom. i. in Matth.); so that he united the principal intellectual with the principal moral element necessary for an interpretator of Scripture, a critical habit of mind with a real depth of Christian feeing. At the -amie time he was not always free from the tendencies of the time, speaking often of miracles wrought by the relics of martyrs, consecrated oil, and the sign of the cross, and of the efficacy of exorcism, nor does he always express himself on some of the points already noticed with the same distinctness as in the examples cited above. His works are historically valuable as illustrating the manners of the 4th and 5th centuries of the Christian aera, the social state of the people, and the luxurious licence which disgraced the capital.
  The most elaborate among the ancient authorities for Chrysostom's life are the following:
1. Palladius, bishop of Helenopolis, whose work (a dialogue) was published in a Latin translation at Venice A. D. 1533, and in the original text at Paris in 1680. It is to be found in Montfaucon's edition of Chrysostom's works, vol. xiii.
2. Tile Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates (lib. vi.), Sozomenus (lib. viii.), Theodoret (v. 27).
3. The works of Suidas (Ioannes), and Isidore of Pelusium (ii. Epist. 42), besides several others, some published and some in MS.,of which a list will be fund in Fabricius (Bibl. Graec.).
  Among the more modern writers it will suffice to mention Erasmus (vol. iii. Ep. 1150., ed. Lugd. Bat.), J. Frederic Meyer (Chrysostomus Lutheranus, Jena, 1680), with Hack's reply (S. J. Chrysostomus a Lutheranismo vindicatus, 1683), Cave (Script. Eccl. list. Litter.), Lardner (Credibility of the Gospel Hist.), Tillemont (Memoires Eccle/siastiques), and Montfaucon, his principal editor. Gibbon's account (Decline and Fall, xxxii.) is compiled from Palladius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Tillemont, Erasmus, and Montfaucon. But the best of all will be found in Neander (Kirchengesch.), who has also published a separate life of Chrysostom.
  Chrysostom's works were first published in Latin at Venice in 1503, Comment. impensa et studio Bernardini Slaynini Tridinenisis et Gregorii de Gregoriis. Several editions followed at Basle, also in Latin, and in 1523 the Homilies on Genesis were translated there by Oecolampadius (Hauschein). In 1536 his works were published at Paris, but the most famous edition which appeared in that city was cura Frontonis Ducaei, 1613, whose translation is much commended by Montfaucon. In Greek were first published at Verona, 1529, the Homilies on St. Paul's Epistles, edited by Gilbert Bishop of Verona, with a preface by Donatus, addressed to Pope Clement VII. In 1610-13, the most complete collection of Chrysostom's works which had yet appeared was published at Eton by Norton, the king's printer, under the superintendence of Henry Savil, in 8 vols.: this edition contained notes by Casaubon and others. In 1609, at Paris, F. Morell began to publish the Greek text with the version of Ducaeus, a task which was completed by Charles Morell in 1633. Of this edition the text is compiled from that of Savil, and that of an edition of the Commentaries on the New Testament, published at Heidelberg by Commelin, 1591-1603. In 1718-38 appeared, also at Paris, the editio optima by Bernard de Montfaucon, in 13 vols. folio. He has endeavoured to ascertain the date of the different works, has prefixed to most of them a short dissertation on the circumstances under which it was written, with an inquiry into its authenticity, and has added very much hitherto unpublished, together with the principal ancient lives of Chrysostom. Montfaucon was a Benedictine monk, and was assisted by others of his order. Of separate works of Chrysostom the editions and translations are almost innumerable. Erasmus translated some of the homilies and commentaries; and the edition of two homilies (those on 1 Cor. and 1 Thess. iv.) "Gr. Lat. interprete Joanne Cheko, Cantabrigiensi, Londini, ap. Reyner Vnolfuin. 1543" is interesting as the first book printed with Greek types in England. Some of the homilies are translated in the Library of the Fathers now publishing at Oxford, and those on St. Matthew have been recently edited by the Rev. F. Field, Fellow of Trin. Coll. Cambridge. The number of MSS. of Chrysostom is also immense: the principal of these are in the royal library at Paris, the imperial library at Vienna (to which collection two of great value were added by Maria Theresa), and that of St. Mark at Venice.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


St. Pelagia

  The name of several saints. The old Syrian martyrology gives the feast of a St. Pelagia of Antioch (in Antiochia Pelagiae) under the date of 8 October. Further information concerning this martyr, undoubtedly an historical person, is given in a homily of St. John Chrysostom [P. G., L, 479 sqq.; Ruinart, "Acta mart. sincera" (ed. Ratisbon), 540 sqq.]. Pelagia was a Christian virgin fifteen years of age. Soldiers came in search of her, evidently during the Diocletian persecution, in order to force her to offer publicly a heathen sacrifice. She was alone in the house, no one being there to aid her. She came out to the soldiers sent after her and when she learned the order they had to execute, she requested permission to go again into the house in order to put on other clothing. This was granted to her. The virgin who probably knew what was before her was not willing to expose herself to the danger of being dishonoured. She therefore went up to the roof of the house and threw herself into the sea. Thus she died, as St. Chrysostom says, as virgin and martyr, and was honoured as such by the Antiochene Church. St. Ambrose also mentions this Pelagia of Antioch ("De virginibus", III, vii; Epist. XXVII, "Ad Simplicianum", xxxviii).
  There is a later legend of a Pelagia who is said to have led the life of a prostitute at Antioch and to have been converted by a bishop named Nonnus. According to the story she went to Jerusalem where disguised as a man and under the name of Pelagius she led a life of self-mortification in a grotto on the Mount of Olives. The author of this legend who calls himself the Deacon Jacob has drawn the essential part of his narrative from the forty-eighth homily of St. Chrysostom on the Gospel of St. Matthew. In this homily the preacher relates the conversion of a celebrated actress of Antioch whose name he does not give. As no old authority makes any mention of a Pelagia in Jerusalem, no doubt the alleged converted woman is a purely legendary recasting of the historical Pelagia. In the East the feast of this second Pelagia is observed on the same day (8 October); in the present Roman martyrology the feast of the martyr is observed on 9 June, that of the penitent on 8 October.
On the latter date the Greek Church also celebrates as virgin and martyr still another Pelagia of Tarsus. The Roman martyrology places the feast of this Pelagia on 4 May. There is a legend of later date concerning her. As Tarsus was near Antioch St. Pelagia of Tarsus should probably be identified with the Antiochene martyr, whose feast was also observed in Tarsus and who was afterwards turned into a martyr of Tarsus. Usener's opinion that all these different saints are only a Christian reconstitution of Aphrodite has been completely disproved by Delehaye.
In addition to St. Pelagia of Antioch, taken from the Syrian martyrology, the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" also mentions on 11 July a martyr Pelagia, the companion in martyrdom of a Januarius, naming Nicopolis in Armenia as the place of martyrdom, and giving a brief account of this saint. She is plainly a different person from the martyr of Antioch. Her name was included by Bede in his martyrology and was adopted from this into the present Roman list of saints.

J.P. Kirsch, ed.
Transcribed by: Elizabeth T. Knuth
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch

More information at Side in Pamphylia, where was born c. 270


St. Luke the Evangelist

  The name Lucas (Luke) is probably an abbreviation from Lucanus, like Annas from Ananus, Apollos from Apollonius, Artemas from Artemidorus, Demas from Demetrius, etc. (Schanz, "Evang. des heiligen Lucas", 1, 2; Lightfoot on "Col.", iv, 14; Plummer, "St. Luke", introd.) The word Lucas seems to have been unknown before the Christian Era; but Lucanus is common in inscriptions, and is found at the beginning and end of the Gospel in some Old Latin manuscripts (ibid.). It is generally held that <b>St. Luke was a native of Antioch</b>. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. III, iv, 6) has: Loukas de to men genos on ton ap Antiocheias, ten episteuen iatros, ta pleista suggegonos to Paulo, kai rots laipois de ou parergos ton apostolon homilnkos--"Lucas vero domo Antiochenus, arte medicus, qui et cum Paulo diu conjunctissime vixit, et cum reliquis Apostolis studiose versatus est." Eusebius has a clearer statement in his "Quaestiones Evangelic?", IV, i, 270: ho de Loukas to men genos apo tes Boomenes Antiocheias en--"Luke was by birth a native of the renowned Antioch" (Schmiedel, "Encyc. Bib."). Spitta, Schmiedel, and Harnack think this is a quotation from Julius Africanus (first half of the third century). In Codex Bez? (D) Luke is introduced by a "we" as early as Acts, xi, 28; and, though this is not a correct reading, it represents a very ancient tradition. The writer of Acts took a special interest in Antioch and was well acquainted with it (Acts, xi, 19-27; xiii, 1; xiv, 18-21, 25, xv, 22, 23, 30, 35; xviii, 22). We are told the locality of only one deacon, "Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch", vi, 5; and it has been pointed out by Plummer that, out of eight writers who describe the Russian campaign of 1812, only two, who were Scottish, mention that the Russian general, Barclay de Tolly, was of Scottish extraction. These considerations seem to exclude the conjecture of Renan and Ramsay that St. Luke was a native of Philippi.
  St. Luke was not a Jew. He is separated by St. Paul from those of the circumcision (Col. iv, 14), and his style proves that he was a Greek. Hence he cannot be identified with Lucius the prophet of Acts, xiii, 1, nor with Lucius of Rom., xvi, 21, who was cognatus of St. Paul. From this and the prologue of the Gospel it follows that Epiphanius errs when he calls him one of the Seventy Disciples; nor was he the companion of Cleophas in the journey to Emmaus after the Resurrection (as stated by Theophylact and the Greek Menol.). St. Luke had a great knowledge of the Septuagint and of things Jewish, which he acquired either as a Jewish proselyte (St. Jerome) or after he became a Christian, through his close intercourse with the Apostles and disciples. Besides Greek, he had many opportunities of acquiring Aramaic in his native Antioch, the capital of Syria. He was a physician by profession, and St. Paul calls him "the most dear physician" (Col., iv, 14). This avocation implied a liberal education, and his medical training is evidenced by his choice of medical language. Plummer suggests that he may have studied medicine at the famous school of Tarsus, the rival of Alexandria and Athens, and possibly met St. Paul there. From his intimate knowledge of the eastern Mediterranean, it has been conjectured that he had lengthened experience as a doctor on board ship. He travailed a good deal, and sends greetings to the Colossians, which seems to indicate that he had visited them.
  St. Luke first appears in the Acts at Troas (xvi, 8 sqq.), where he meets St. Paul, and, after the vision, crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist, landing at Neapolis and going on to Philippi, "being assured that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them" (note especially the transition into first person plural at verse 10). He was, therefore, already an Evangelist. He was present at the conversion of Lydia and her companions, and lodged in her house. He, together with St. Paul and his companions, was recognized by the pythonical spirit: "This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who preach unto you the way of salvation" (verse 17). He beheld Paul and Silas arrested, dragged before the Roman magistrates, charged with disturbing the city, "being Jews", beaten with rods and thrown into prison. Luke and Timothy escaped, probably because they did not look like Jews (Timothy's father was a gentile). When Paul departed from Philippi, Luke was left behind, in all probability to carry on the work of Evangelist. At Thessalonica the Apostle received highly appreciated pecuniary aid from Philippi (Phil., iv, 15, 16), doubtless through the good offices of St. Luke. It is not unlikely that the latter remained at Philippi all the time that St. Paul was preaching at Athens and Corinth, and while he was travelling to Jerusalem and back to Ephesus, and during the three years that the Apostle was engaged at Ephesus. When St. Paul revisited Macedonia, he again met St. Luke at Philippi, and there wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthians.
  St. Jerome thinks it is most likely that St. Luke is "the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches" (II Cor. viii, 18), and that he was one of the bearers of the letter to Corinth. Shortly afterwards, when St. Paul returned from Greece, St. Luke accompanied him from Philippi to Troas, and with him made the long coasting voyage described in Acts, xx. He went up to Jerusalem, was present at the uproar, saw the attack on the Apostle, and heard him speaking "in the Hebrew tongue" from the steps outside the fortress Antonia to the silenced crowd. Then he witnessed the infuriated Jews, in their impotent rage, rending their garments, yelling, and flinging dust into the air. We may be sure that he was a constant visitor to St. Paul during the two years of the latter's imprisonment at Caearea. In that period he might well become acquainted with the circumstances of the death of Herod Agrippa I, who had died there eaten up by worms" (skolekobrotos), and he was likely to be better informed on the subject than Josephus. Ample opportunities were given him, 'having diligently attained to all things from the beginning", concerning the Gospel and early Acts, to write in order what had been delivered by those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" (Luke, i, 2, 3). It is held by many writers that the Gospel was written during this time, Ramsay is of opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was then composed, and that St. Luke had a considerable share in it. When Paul appealed to Caesar, Luke and Aristarchus accompanied him from Caesarea, and were with him during the stormy voyage from Crete to Malta. Thence they went on to Rome, where, during the two years that St. Paul was kept in prison, St. Luke was frequently at his side, though not continuously, as he is not mentioned in the greetings of the Epistle to the Philippians (Lightfoot, "Phil.", 35). He was present when the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon were written, and is mentioned in the salutations given in two of them: "Luke the most dear physician, saluteth you" (Col., iv, 14); "There salute thee . . . Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow labourers" (Philem., 24). St. Jerome holds that it was during these two years Acts was written.
  We have no information about St. Luke during the interval between St. Paul's two Roman imprisonments, but he must have met several of the Apostles and disciples during his various journeys. He stood beside St. Paul in his last imprisonment; for the Apostle, writing for the last time to Timothy, says: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. . . . Make haste to come to me quickly. For Demas hath left me, loving this world. . . . Only Luke is with me" (II Tim., iv, 7-11). It is worthy of note that, in the three places where he is mentioned in the Epistles (Col., iv, 14; Philem., 24; II Tim., iv, 11) he is named with St. Mark (cf. Col., iv, 10), the other Evangelist who was not an Apostle (Plummer), and it is clear from his Gospel that he was well acquainted with the Gospel according to St. Mark; and in the Acts he knows all the details of St. Peter's delivery--what happened at the house of St. Mark's mother, and the name of the girl who ran to the outer door when St. Peter knocked. He must have frequently met St. Peter, and may have assisted him to draw up his First Epistle in Greek, which affords many reminiscences of Luke's style. After St. Paul's martyrdom practically all that is known about him is contained in the ancient "Prefatio vel Argumentum Luc?", dating back to Julius Africanus, who was born about A.D. 165. This states that he was unmarried, that he wrote the Gospel, in Achaia, and that he died at the age of seventy-four in Bithynia (probably a copyist's error for Boeotia), filled with the Holy Ghost. Epiphanius has it that he preached in Dalmatia (where there is a tradition to that effect), Gallia (Galatia?), Italy, and Macedonia. As an Evangelist, he must have suffered much for the Faith, but it is controverted whether he actually died a martyr's death. St. Jerome writes of him (De Vir. III., vii). "Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vigesimo Constantii anno, ossa ejus cum reliquiis Andre? Apostoli translata sunt [de Achaia?]." St. Luke its always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil II, A.D. 980. A picture of the Virgin in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, is ascribed to him, and can be traced to A.D. 847 It is probably a copy of that mentioned by Theodore Lector, in the sixth century. This writer states that the Empress Eudoxia found a picture of the Mother of God at Jerusalem, which she sent to Constantinople (see "Acta SS.", 18 Oct.). As Plummer observes. it is certain that St. Luke was an artist, at least to the extent that his graphic descriptions of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Shepherds. Presentation, the Shepherd and lost sheep, etc., have become the inspiring and favourite themes of Christian painters.
  St. Luke is one of the most extensive writers of the New Testament. His Gospel is considerably longer than St. Matthew's, his two books are about as long as St. Paul's fourteen Epistles: and Acts exceeds in length the Seven Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse. The style of the Gospel is superior to any N. T. writing except Hebrews. Renan says (Les Evangiles, xiii) that it is the most literary of the Gospels. St. Luke is a painter in words. "The author of the Third Gospel and of the Acts is the most versatile of all New Testament writers. He can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch. . . He is Hebraistic in describing Hebrew society and Greek when describing Greek society" (Plummer, introd.). His great command of Greek is shown by the richness of his vocabulary and the freedom of his constructions.

C. Aherene, ed.
Transcribed by: Ernie Stefanik
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Babylas Bishop of Antioch

Bishop and Martyr. He was the successor of Zebinus as Bishop of Antioch in the reign of the Emperor Gordianus (238-244), being the twelfth bishop of this Oriental metropolis. During the Decian persecution (260) he made an unwavering confession of faith and was thrown into prison where he died from his sufferings. He was, therefore, venerated as a martyr. St. John Chrysostom and the "Acts of the Martyrs" relate further concerning him, that Babylas once refused an emperor, on account of his wrongdoing, permission to enter the church and had ordered him to take his place among the penitents. Chrysostom does not give the name of the emperor; the Acts mention Numerianus. It is more probably Philip the Arabian (244-249) of whom Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VI, xxxiv) reports that a bishop would not let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil. The burial-place of St. Babylas became very celebrated. The Caesar Gallus built a new church in honor of the holy martyr at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, and the bones of the saint were transferred to it. When after this Julian the Apostate consulted the oracle of Apollo at the temple to his god which was near by, he received no answer because of the proximity of the saint. He therefore, had the sarcophagus of the martyr taken back to its original place of burial. In the middle ages the bones of Babylas were carried to Cremona. The Latin Church keeps his feast on January 24th, the Greek Church on September 4th.

J.P. Kirsch, ed.
Transcribed by: Dick Meissner
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch

Bishop of Antioch, A.D. 559, distinguished for his learning and austerity of life, excited the enmity of the Emperor Justinian by opposing certain imperial doctrines about the Body of Christ. He was to he deposed from his see and exiled, when Justinian died; but Justin II carried out his uncles purpose five years later, and another bishop, named Gregory, was put in his place; on the death of that prelate in 593, Anastasius was restored to his see. This was chiefly due to Pope Gregory the Great, who interceded with the Emperor Maurice and his son Theodosius, asking that Anastasius be sent to Rome, if not reinstated at Antioch. From some letters sent to him by Gregory, it is thought that he was not sufficiently vigorous in denouncing the claims of the Patriarch of Constantinople to be universal bishop. He died in 598, and another bishop of the same name is said to have succeeded him in 599, to whom the translation Gregory's "Regula Pastoralis" is attributed, and who is recorded as having been put to death in an insurrection of the Jews. Nicephorus (Hist. Eccl., XVIII, xliv) (declares that these two are one and the same person. The same difficulty occurs with regard to certain Sermons de orthodoxa fide, some ascribing them to the latter Anastasius; others claiming that there was but one bishop of that name.

T.J. Campbell, ed.
Transcribed by: W.S. French, Jr.
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Apollinaris

One of the first great martyrs of the church. He was made Bishop of Ravenna by St. Peter himself. The miracles he wrought there soon attracted official attention, for they and his preaching won many converts to the Faith, while at the same time bringing upon him the fury of the idolaters, who beat him cruelly and drove him from the city. He was found half dead on the seashore, and kept in concealment by the Christians, but was captured again and compelled to walk on burning coals and a second time expelled. But he remained in the vicinity, and continued his work of evangelization. We find him then journeying in the province of Aemilia. A third time he returned to Ravenna. Again he was captured, hacked with knives, had scalding water poured over his wounds, was beaten in the mouth with stones because he persisted in preaching, and then, loaded with chains, was flung into a horrible dungeon to starve to death; but after four days he was put on board ship and sent to Greece. There the same course of preachings, and miracles, and sufferings continued; and when his very presence caused the oracles to be silent, he was, after a cruel beating, sent back to Italy. All this continued for three years, and a fourth time he returned to Ravenna. By this time Vespasian was Emperor, and he, in answer to the complaints of the pagans, issued a decree of banishment against the Christians. Apollinaris was kept concealed for some time, but as he was passing out of the gates of the city, was set upon and savagely beaten, probably at Classis, a suburb, but he lived for seven days, foretelling meantime that the persecutions would increase, but that the Church would ultimately triumph. It is not certain what was his native place, though it was probably Antioch. Nor is it sure that he was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, as has been suggested. The precise date of his consecration cannot be ascertained, but he was Bishop of Ravenna for twenty-six years.


St. Asclepiades

d. 217, feastday: October 18


St. Barbatian

d. 5th century, feastday: December 31 (Catholic). Confessor and counselor to the Roman Empress Galla Placidia. A priest of Antioch, Turkey, he went to Rome where the empress sought his council. She built a monastery for him at Ravenna.


St. Basileus and Companions

d. unknown, feastday: November 27


St. Beronicus

d. unknown, feastday: October 19


St. Clerus

d.c. 300, feastday: January 7


St. Eulogius of Alexandria

Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, and a friend of Pope St. Gregory I the Great. Eulogius was a Syrian monk at Antioch named as abbot of Mother of God Monastery. In 579 , he became patriarch of Alexandria and met the future pontiff Gregory the Great. He wrote many treatises against the heresies of his era.


St. Hesychius of Antioch

Feastday: November 18. Roman soldier. Suddenly moved to proclaim his faith, he threw off his military belt and announced himself a Christian. He was promptly martyred, drowned in the River Orontes c.303


St. Publia

d.c. 362, feastday: October 9


St. Theodoret of Antioch

Theodoret. Bishop of Cyrus and theologian, born at Antioch in Syria about 393; died about 457.
  He says himself that his birth was an answer to the prayers of the monk Macedonius ("Hist. rel.", IX; Epist. lxxi). On account of a vow made by his mother he was dedicated from birth to the service of God and was brought up and educated by the monks Macedonius and Peter. At a very early age he was ordained lector. In theology he studied chiefly the writings of Diodorus of Tarsus, St. John Chrysostom, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Theodoret was also well trained in philosophy and literature. He understood Syriac as well as Greek, but was not acquainted with either Hebrew or Latin. When he was twenty-three years old and both parents were dead, he divided his fortune among the poor (Epist. cxiii; P. G., LXXXIII, 1316) and became a monk in the monastery of Nicerte not far from Apamea, when he lived for seven years, devoting himself to prayer and study.
  Much against his will about 423 he was made Bishop of Cyrus. His diocese included nearly 800 parishes and was suffragan of Hierapolis. A large number of monasteries and hermitages also belonged to it, yet, notwithstanding all this, there were many heathen and heretics within its borders. Theodoret brought many of these into the Church, among others more than a thousand Marcionites. He also destroyed not less than two hundred copies of the "Diatessaron" of Tatian, which were in use in that district ("H?ret. fab.", I, xix; P. G., LXXXIII, 372). He often ran great risks in his apostolic journeys and labours; more than once he suffered ill-usage from the heathen and was even in danger of losing his life. His fame as a preacher was widespread and his services as a speaker were much sought for outside of his diocese; he went to Antioch twenty-six times. Theodoret also exerted himself for the material welfare of the inhabitants of his diocese. Without accepting donations (Epist. lxxxi) he was able to build many churches, bridges, porticos, aqueducts, etc. (Epist. lxxxi, lxxviii, cxxxviii).
  Towards the end of 430 Theodoret became involved in the Nestorian controversy. In conjunction with John of Antioch he begged Nestorius not to reject the expression Theotokos as heretical (Mansi, IV, 1067). Yet he held firmly with the other Antiochenes to Nestorius and to the last refused to recognize that Nestorius taught the doctrine of two persons in Christ. Until the Council of Chalcedon in 451 he was the literary champion of the Antiochene party. In 436 he published his ?Anatrope (Confutation) of the Anathemas of Cyril to which the latter replied with an Apology (P. G., LXXVI, 392 sqq.). At the Council of Ephesus (431) Theodoret sided with John of Antioch and Nestorius, and pronounced with them the deposition of Cyril and the anathema against him. He was also a member of the delegation of "Orientals", which was to lay the cause of Nestorius before the emperor but was not admitted to the imperial presence a second time (Hefele-Leclerq, "Hist. des Conc.", II, i, 362 sqq.). The same year he attended the synods of Tarsus and Antioch, at both of which Cyril was again deposed and anathematized. Theodoret after his return to Cyrus continued to oppose Cyril by speech and writing. The symbol (Creed) that formed the basis of the reconciliation (c. 433) of John of Antioch and others with Cyril was apparently drawn up by Theodoret (P. G., LXXXIV, 209 sqq.), who, however, did not enter into the agreement himself because he was not willing to condemn Nestorius as Cyril demanded. It was not until about 435 that Theodoret seems to have become reconciled with John of Antioch, without, however, being obliged to agree to the condemnation of Nestorius (Synod. cxlvii and cli; Epist. clxxvi). The dispute with Cyril broke out again when in 437 the latter called Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia the real originators of the Nestorian heresy. Theodore entered the lists in their defence. The bitterness with which these polemics were carried on is shown both by the letter and the speech of Theodoret when he learned of the death in 444 of the Patriarch of Alexandria (Epist. clxxx).
  The episcopate of Dioscurus, the successor of Cyril, was a period of much trouble for Theodoret. Dioscurus, by the mediation of Eutyches and the influential Chrysaphius, obtained an imperial edict which forbade Theodoret to leave his diocese (Epist. lxxix-lxxxii). In addition Theodoret was accused of Nestorianism (Epist. lxxxiii-lxxxvi); in answer to this attack he wrote his most important polemical work, called "Eranistes". Theodoret was also considered the prime mover of the condemnation of Eutyches by the Patriarch Flavian. In return Dioscurus obtained an imperial decree in 449 whereby Theodoret was forbidden to take any part in the synod of Ephesus (Robber Council of Ephesus). At the third session of this synod Theodoret was deposed by the efforts of Dioscurus and ordered by the emperor to re-enter his former monastery near Apamea. Better times, however, came before long. Theodoret appealed to Pope Leo who declared his deposition invalid, and, as the Emperor Theodosius II died the following year (450), he was allowed to re-enter his diocese. In the next year, notwithstanding the violent opposition of the Alexandrine party, Theodoret was admitted as a regular member to the sessions of the Council of Chalcedon, but refrained from voting. At the eighth session (26 Oct., 451), he was admitted to full membership after he had agreed to the anathema against Nestorius; probably he meant this agreement only in the sense: in case Nestorius had really taught the heresy imputed to him (Mansi, VII, 190). It is not certain whether Theodoret spent the last years of his life in the city of Cyrus, or in the monastery where he had formerly lived. There still exists a letter written by Pope Leo in the period after the Council of Chalcedon in which he encourages Theodoret to co- operate without wavering in the victory of Chalcedon (P. G., LXXXIII, 1319 sqq.). The writings of Theodoret against Cyril of Alexandria were anathematized during the troubles that arose in connexion with the war of the Three Chapters.

Chrys Baur, ed.
Transcribed by: WGKofron
This extract is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Philogonius

d. 324, feastday: December 20


St. Theophilus, bishop of Antioch

Bishop of Antioch. Eusebius in his "Chronicle" places the name of Theophilus against that of Pope Soter (169-77), and that of Maximinus, Theophilus's successor, against the name of Eleutherus (177-93). This does not mean that Maximinus succeeded Theophilus in 177, but only that Theophilus and Maximinus flourished respectively in the times of Soter and Eleutherus. Lightfoot and Hort showed that Eusebius, having no such precise chronological data for the bishops of Antioch as he had for those of Rome and Alexandria, placed the names of the Antiochene bishops against those of contemporary Roman bishops (Lightfoot, "St. Ignatius", etc., II, 468 sq., and St. Clement", etc., I, 224 sqq.). When therefore we find in the third book of Theophilus, "Ad Autolychum", that the writer was alive after the death (180) of Marcus Aurelius, it does not follow, as even writers like Harnack and Bardenhewer suppose, that Eusebius made a chronological blunder.
The "Ad Autolychum", the only extant writing of Theophilus, is an apology for Christianity. It consists of three books, really separate works written at different times, and corresponds exactly to the description given of it by Eusebius as "three elementary works" (Hist. eccl., IV, xxiv). The author speaks of himself as a convert from heathenism. He treats of such subjects as the Christian idea of God, the Scripture accounts of the origin of man and the world as compared with pagan myths. On several occasions he refers (in connection with the early chapters of Genesis) to an historical work composed by himself. Eusebius (op. cit.) speaks of refutations of Marcion and Hermogenes, and "catechetical books". To these St. Jerome (De vir. illust., xxv) adds commentaries on Proverbs and the Gospels. He speaks of the latter in the prologue to his own commentary on the Gospels, and also in his epistle "Ad Algasiam", where we learn that Theophilus commented upon a Diatessaron or Gospel Harmony composed by himself ("Theophilus . . . quattuor Evangelistarum in unum opus compingens"). A long quotation in the same epistle is all that survives of this commentary, for Zahn's attempt to identify it with a Latin commentary ascribed in some manuscripts to Theophilus has found no supporters.

F.J. Bacchus, ed.
Transcribed by: Herman F. Holbrook
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


A martyr, probably of the third century. Although St. Christopher is one of the most popular saints in the East and in the West, almost nothing certain is known about his life or death. The legend says: A heathen king (in Canaan or Arabia), through the prayers of his wife to the Blessed Virgin, had a son, whom he called Offerus (Offro, Adokimus, or Reprebus) and dedicated to the gods Machmet and Apollo. Acquiring in time extraordinary size and strength, Offerus resolved to serve only the strongest and the bravest. He bound himself successively to a mighty king and to Satan, but he found both lacking in courage, the former dreading even the name of the devil, and the latter frightened by the sight of a cross at the roadside. For a time his search for a new master was in vain, but at last he found a hermit (Babylas?) who told him to offer his allegiance to Christ, instructed him in the Faith, and baptized him. Christopher, as he was now called, would not promise to do any fasting or praying, but willingly accepted the task of carrying people, for God's sake, across a raging stream. One day he was carrying a child who continually grew heavier, so that it seemed to him as if he had the whole world on his shoulders. The child, on inquiry, made himself known as the Creator and Redeemer of the world. To prove his statement the child ordered Christopher to fix his staff in the ground. The next morning it had grown into a palm-tree bearing fruit. The miracle converted many. This excited the rage of the king (prefect) of that region (Dagnus of Samos in Lycia?). Christopher was put into prison and, after many cruel torments, beheaded.
The Greek legend may belong to the sixth century; about the middle of the ninth, we find it spread through France. Originally, St. Christopher was only a martyr, and as such is recorded in the old martyrologies. The simple form of the Greek and Latin passio soon gave way to more elaborate legends. We have the Latin edition in prose and verse of 983 by the subdeacon Walter of Speyer, "Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus" (Augsburg, 1721-23), II, 27-142, and Harster, "Walter von Speyer" (1878). An edition of the eleventh century is found in the Acta SS., and another in the "Golden Legend" of Jacob de Voragine. The idea conveyed in the name, at first understood in the spiritual sense of bearing Christ in the heart, was in the twelfth or thirteenth century taken in the realistic meaning and became the characteristic of the saint. The fact that he was frequently called a great martyr may have given rise to the story of his enormous size. The stream and the weight of the child may have been intended to denote the trials and struggles of a soul taking upon itself the yoke of Christ in this world.
The existence of a martyr St. Christopher cannot be denied, as was sufficiently shown by the Jesuit Nicholas Serarius, in his treatise on litanies, "Litaneutici" (Cologne, 1609), and by Molanus in his history of sacred pictures, "De picturis et imaginibus sacris" (Louvain, 1570). In a small church dedicated to the martyr St. Christopher, the body of St. Remigius of Reims was buried, 532 (Acta SS., 1 Oct., 161). St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) speaks of a monastery of St. Christopher (Epp., x., 33). The Mozarabic Breviary and Missal, ascribed to St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), contains a special office in his honour. In 1386 a brotherhood was founded under the patronage of St. Christopher in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, to guide travellers over the Arlberg. In 1517, a St. Christopher temperance society existed in Carinthia, Styria, in Saxony, and at Munich. Great veneration was shown to the saint in Venice, along the shores of the Danube, the Rhine, and other rivers where floods or ice-jams caused frequent damage. The oldest picture of the saint, in the monastery on the Mount Sinai dates from the time of Justinian (527-65). Coins with his image were cast at Wurzburg, in Wurtermberg, and in Bohemia. His statues were placed at the entrances of churches and dwellings, and frequently at bridges; these statues and his pictures often bore the inscription: "Whoever shall behold the image of St. Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day." The saint, who is one of the fourteen holy helpers, has been chosen as patron by Baden, by Brunswick, and by Mecklenburg, and several other cities, as well as by bookbinders, gardeners, mariners, etc. He is invoked against lightning, storms, epilepsy, pestilence, etc. His feast is kept on 25 July; among the Greeks, on 9 March; and his emblems are the tree, the Christ Child, and a staff. St. Christopher's Island (commonly called St. Kitts), lies 46 miles west of Antigua in the Lesser Antilles.

Francis Mershman, ed.
Transcribed by: Chris Angel
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Serapion

Bishop of Antioch (190-211). Known principally through his theological writings. Of these Eusebius (Hist. eccl., V, 19) mentions a private letter addressed to Caricus and Pontius against the Montanist heresy; a treatise addressed to a certain Domninus, who in time of persecution abandoned Christianity for the error of "Jewish will-worship" (Hist. eccl., VI, 12); a work on the Docetic Gospel attributed to St. Peter, in which the Christian community of Rhossus in Syria is warned of the erroneous character of this Gospel. These were the only works of Serapion with which Eusebius was acquainted, but he says it is probable that others were extant in his time. He gives two short extracts from the first and third.

Patrick J. Healy, ed.
Transcribed by: Herman F. Holbrook
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch

One of the defenders of the Faith of Chalcedon (451) against the Monophysites, b. at Amida in Mesopotamia; d. in 545. He was Count of the East (Comes Orientis) under Justinian I. In 527 he succeeded Euphrasius as Patriarch of Antioch. Most of his many works are lost. We know the titles of them, however, from Anastasius Sinaita (c. 700), St. John Damascene (d. about 754) or whoever was the author of the "Sacra Parallela", and especially Photius (d. 891). Anastasius (P.G., LXXXXIX, 1185-1188) quotes passages from a work of Ephraim against Severus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch (512-519). The "Sacra Parallela" give a short passage from "St. Ephraim, Archbishop of Antioch", taken from a work "On John the Grammarian and the Synod" (Tit. lxi, cf. P.G., LXXXVI, 2, 2104-2109). Photius (P.G., CIII, 957-1024) speaks of four books by Ephraim. The first consisted of sermons and letters, the second, and third contained a treatise against Severus in three parts and an answer to five questions about Genesis addressed to the author by a monk named Anatolius. The fragments quoted by Photius represent practically all that is left of Ephraim's writings. Cardinal Mai was able to add a few more from a manuscript Catena in the Vatican library (P.G., LXXXVI, loc. cit.). Krumbacher (Byz. Litt., loc. cit.) mentions a few other fragments in the Paris library, etc., and considers that Ephraim would deserve the same reputation as Leontius Byzantinus if more of his work had been preserved. He had extensive knowledge of Greek Fathers and follows chiefly St. Cyril of Alexandria in his Christology.

Adrian Fortescue, ed.
Transcribed by: Thomas M. Barrett
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


Ephraem. Ephraimius (Ephraimios), or, as Theophanes writes the name, Euphraimius (Euphraimios), patriarch of Antioch, or, as it was then called, Theopolis. If the designation given him by Theophanes (ho Amidios) indicates the place of his birth, he was a native of Amida in Armenia, near the source of the Tigris. His first employment were civil : and in the reign of the emperor Justin I. he attained to the high dignity of Count of the East. While in this office he received, according to a curious story, recorded in the Leimonarios, or Pratum Spirituale, written by Joannes Moschus, but erroneously ascribed, by ancient as well as modern writers, to Sophronius patriarch of Jerusalem, an intimation of the ecclesiastical dignity to which he was destined to attain. In the years 525 and 526, Antioch was nearly destroyed by successive shocks of an earthquake, and by a fire which had been occasioned by the overthrow of the buildings. Among the suf ferers was Euphrasius the patriarch, who was buried in the ruins of the falling edifices; and the people, grateful for the compassionate care which Ephraimius manifested for them in their distress, chose him successor to the deceased prelate. His elevation to the patriarchate is generally placed in the year 526, but perhaps did not take place till the year following. His conduct as patriarch is highly eulogized by ecclesiastical writers, who speak especially of his charity to the poor, and of the zeal and firmness with which he opposed heresy. His zeal against heretics was manifested in a curious encounter with an heretical stylite, or pillar-saint, in which the heretic is said to have been converted by the miraculous passing of the patriarch's robes, unconsumed, through the ordeal of fire. He condemned, in a synod at Autioch, those who attempted to revive the obnoxious sentiments of Origen; and wrote various treatises against the Nestorians, Eutychians, Severians, and Acephali, and in defence of the Council of Chalcedon. But, toward the close of his life, he was obliged by the Emperor Justinian, under a threat of deposition, to subscribe the condemnation of three of the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, which he had hitherto so earnestly supported. Facundus of Hermia, the strenuous advocate of the condemned decrees, reproaches Ephraimius on this occasion, and with justice, as more solicitous for the preservation of his office than for the interests of what e deemed divine and important truth. Ephraimius died soon after this transaction, A. D. 546, or perhaps 545, after a patriarchate, according to Theophanes, of eighteen years, or, according to other calculations, of twenty years.
  The works of Ephraimius are known to us only by the account of them preserved in the Bibliotheca of Photius, who says that three volumes written in defence of the dogmas of the Church, and especially of the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, had come down to his day : but he gives an account only of two. The first comprehended, 1. An epistle to Zenobius, a scholasticus or advocate of Emesa, and one of the sect of the Acephali ; 2. Some epistles to the emperor Justinian ; 3. Epistles to Anthimus, bishop of Trapezus, Dometianus Syncleticus, metropolitan of Tarsus, Brazes the Persian, and others ; 4. An act of a synod (sunodike praxis) held by Ephraimius respecting certain unorthodox books; and, 5, Panegyrical and other discourses. The second volume contained a treatise in four books, in which were defences of Cyril of Alexandria and the synod of Chalcedon against the Nestorians and Eutychians; and answers to some theological questions of his correspondent the advocate Anatolius. (Phot. Bibl. Codd. 228, 229; Facundus, iv. 4; Evagrius, Eccles. Hist. iv. 5, 6 ; Joannes Moschus (commonly cited as Sophronius) Pratum Spirituale, c. 36, 37 in Biblioth. Patrum, vol. xiii. ed. Paris, 1654; Theophanes, Chronograph. ad Ann. 519 (Alex. Era=526 Common Era) and table ad Ann. 537, 538; Baronius, Annales ; Cave, Hist. Liter. vol. i. , ed. 1740-3; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. x.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Sts. Cyprian & Justina

Christians of Antioch who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian at Nicomedia, 26 September, 304, the date in September being afterwards made the day of their feast. Cyprian was a heathen magician of Antioch who had dealing with demons. By their aid he sought to bring St. Justina, a Christian virgin, to ruin; but she foiled the threefold attacks of the devils by the sign of the cross. Brought to despair Cyprian made the sign of the cross himself and in this way was freed from the toils of Satan. He was received into the Church, was made pre-eminent by miraculous gifts, and became in succession deacon, priest, and finally bishop, while Justina became the head of a convent. During the Diocletian persecution both were seized and taken to Damascus where they were shockingly tortured. As their faith never wavered they were brought before Diocletian at Nicomedia, where at his command they were beheaded on the bank of the river Gallus. The same fate befell a Christian, Theoctistus, who had come to Cyprian and had embraced him. After the bodies of the saints had lain unburied for six days they were taken by Christian sailors to Rome where they were interred on the estate of a noble lady named Rufina and later were entombed in Constantine's basilica. This is the outline of the legend or allegory which is found, adorned with diffuse descriptions and dialogues, in the unreliable "Symeon Metaphrastes", and was made the subject of a poem by the Empress Eudocia II. The story, however, must have arisen as early as the fourth century, for it is mentioned both by St. Gregory Nazianzen and Prudentius; both, nevertheless, have confounded our Cyprian with St. Cyprian of Carthage, a mistake often repeated. It is certain that no Bishop of Antioch bore the name of Cyprian. The attempt has been made to find in Cyprian a mystical prototype of the Faust legend: Calderon took the story as the basis of a drama: "El magico prodigioso". The legend is given in Greek and Latin in Acta SS. September, VII. Ancient Syriac and Ethiopic versions of it have been published within the last few years.

Gabriel Meier, ed.
Transcribed by: Michael T. Barrett
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


St. Evodius

The first Bishop of Antioch after St. Peter. Eusebius mentions him thus in his "History": "And Evodius having been established the first [bishop] of the Antiochians, Ignatius flourished at this time" (III, 22). The time referred to is that of Clement of Rome and Trajan, of whom Eusebius has just spoken. Harnack has shown (after discarding an earlier theory of his own) Eusebius possessed a list of the bishops of Antioch which did not give their dates, and that he was obliged to synchronize them roughly with the popes. It seems certain that he took the three episcopal lists of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch from the "Chronography" which Julius Africanus published in 221. The "Chronicle of Eusebius" is lost; but in Jerome's translation of it we find in three successive years the three entries:
- that Peter, having founded the Church of Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he perseveres as bishop for 25 years;
- that Mark, the interpreter of Peter, preaches Christ in Egypt and Alexandria; and
- that Evodius is ordained first Bishop of Antioch.
  This last year is given as Claudius III by the Codex Freherianus, but by the fifth-century Bodleian Codex (not used in Schoene's edition) and the rest as Claudius IV (A.D. 44). The Armenian translation has Claudius II. We have no mention of Evodius earlier than that by Africanus; but the latter is confirmed by his contemporary, Origen, who calls Ignatius the second bishop after Peter (Hom. IV, in Luc., III, 938A). It is curious that the ordination of Evodius should not have been given in the "Chronography" in the same year as the founding of the Antiochian Church by Peter, and Hort supposed that the three entries must have belonged to a single year in Eusebius. But the evidence is not in favour of this simplification. The year of the accession of Ignatius, that is of the death of Evodius, was unknown to Eusebius, for he merely places it in the "Chronicle" together with the death of Peter and the accession of Linus at Rome (Nero 14-68), while in the "History" he mentions it at the beginning of Trajan's reign.
  The fame of Ignatius has caused later writers, such as Athanasius and Chrysostom, to speak of him as though he were the immediate successor of the Apostles. Jerome (De viris ill., 16) and Socrates (H.E. VI, 8) call him the "third" bishop after St. Peter, but this is only because they illogically include Peter among his own successors. Theodoret and Pseudo-Ignatius represent Ignatius as consecrated by Peter. The difficulty which thus arose about Evodius was solved in the Apostolic Constitutions by stating that Evodius was ordained by Peter and Ignatius by Paul. The Byzantine chronographer, John Malalas (X, 252), relates that as Peter went to Rome, and passed through the great city of Antioch, it happened that Evodus (sic), the bishop and patriarch, died, and Ignatius succeeded him, he attributes to Evodius the invention of the name Christian. Salmon does not seem to be justified in supposing that Malalas ascribes any of this information to Theophilus, the second century Bishop of Antioch. We may be sure that Evodius is an historical personage, and really the predecessor of St. Ignatius. But the dates of his ordination and death are quite uncertain. No early witness makes him a martyr.
  The Greeks commemorate together "Evodus" and Onesiphorus (II Tim., i, 16) as of the seventy disciples and as martyrs on 29 April, and also on 7 September. Evodius was unknown to the earlier Western martyrologies the Hieronymian, and those of Bede and Florus; but Ado introduced him into the so-called "Martyrologium Romanum parvum" (which he forged not long before 860) and into his own work, on 6 May. His source was Pseudo-Ignatius, whom he quotes in the "Libellus de fest. Apost.", prefixed to the martyrology proper. From him the notice came to Usuard and the rest, and to the present Roman Martyrology.

John Chapman, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph P. Thomas
This text is cited July 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


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