St Meletios, archbishop of Antioch (381)

February 12, 2019 Length: 1:29

Our holy father Meletios, an Armenian by birth, became archbishop of Antioch at the height of the Arian controversy. Though he was appointed by influential Arians who thought that he shared their views, as soon as he was raised to the throne he began to preach the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. "At this, the archdeacon, an Arian, put his hand over the bishop's mouth; Meletios then extended three fingers towards the people, closed them, and extended one only, showing by signs the equality and unity of the Trinity. The embarrassed archdeacon then seized his hand, but released his mouth, and Meletios spoke out even more forcibly in defense of the Council of Nicea" (Great Horologion). It was St Meletios who ordained St John Chrysostom reader and deacon in Antioch. He presided at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. At his repose, St Gregory of Nyssa gave his funeral oration, lamenting: "Our Elijah has been caught up, and no Elisha is left behind in his place."


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