On this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea of the three hundred eighteen Godbearing Fathers.
Repose in the Lord of Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea,
Holy Elder Eumenios Saridakis (May 23, 1999)
Elder Justin Pârvu of Romania (June 16, 2013).
Abbess Macrina of the Monastery of Panagia Odigitria in Portaria (June 4, 1995)
Luminous stars of the spiritual sky,
illumine my mind with the light of your rays.
Arius be a stranger to God’s glory,
for calling the Son a stranger to the Father’s essence.
”O Master, leave not as orphans, But as Thou didst promise, * send us Thine All-holy Spirit…”
Saint Nikolai Velimirovich:
To an Orthodox scholar who asks why Orthodoxy doesn’t have its own pope (Letter 48)
“Well, oh yes! Orthodoxy has its own Pope, greater than all popes and patriarchs in the world. It has had and will have from the beginning to the end of the ages. This is the same pope invoked by all Christ’s Apostles, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and reason, the Spirit of God’s comfort and power. He is the true pope of Christ’s Church, without substitution or change, without disputations or elections, with no precursor or successor.
Moreover, fortunately, there is a document, written by their own hands, where we observe that the Apostles recognized/confessed the Holy Spirit as their chosen patron and pope.
At the first Council in Jerusalem, the Apostles had written these famous words: It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. (Acts.15, 28)
It is obvious that the Apostles put the Holy Spirit before and over them. Before this and each of their meetings, they used to pray and invoke Him. Have not the leaders of the Church done the same thing until nowadays? Every time they meet, first of all, they remember of their infallible pope-the Holy Spirit. They invoke Him with fear before all their work and obey to Him without any condition. Not only the leaders of the Church but also the leaders of the Orthodox states, the ministries and the members of the Parliament first used to invoke the Holy Spirit and than began their work as civil authorities. Similarly, also did and do the school leaders. You know that, at the beginning of their school work, they go to church with their students for invoking the Holy Spirit? And the All Benefactor, Almighty and All Wise handles, invigorates and inspires all of them: the Church, the State and those who work into the educational system. And He governs all people in all deeds, not brutally like the earthly dictators but like a father, with wisdom and love. He is our father through the Baptism we received. And you know that the Greek word “papa” means father. Indeed it means, ethically and historically felt, that the Holy Spirit is our father, our pope. Then, what should it be necessary for the Orthodox Church to have another father or pope? Isn’t Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who has advertised us to avoid the earthly fathers, the stepfathers? He, nineteenth centuries ago, ordered us: And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’ (being read: pope), for you have one Father and He is in Heaven. (Mt. 23,9.).
I wish you health and the peace of God
Extracted from the Saint’s book: “Missionary Letters”, Translated and published by Anda Maria Martin
About the power that God gave to the words of the prophets
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
“Behold, I made My words in your mouth, a fire. And this people is the wood that it shall devour!” (Jeremiah 5:14).
You see brethren, that the effect of the word of God is different according to different people. The word of God is like fire, in whom the righteous one rejoices, as one frozen in the cold of this world; and the word of God is like fire which burns the unrighteous one whom this material world has overly warmed. The experienced spiritual fathers have left us proof that only the Name of Jesus brings power, joy and refreshment to the faithful – and this Name consumes evil spirits as a living fire. That is the way with every word of God. With some it creates comfort, with others irritation, with some it quiets anger, with others it increases anger, with some it provokes respect with fear and with others scorn. To the healthy it is honey; to the unhealthy it is the honey of wormwood.
But, why should the people be as wood which will be consumed? For, are the people to be blamed if the godless elders and false prophets lead them astray? The people are not to blame to such a degree as their elders and false prophets but nevertheless they are to blame to a certain extent. For God also gave the people to know the right path through conscience and through the preaching of God’s word and the people should not blindly follow their blind leaders when they lead them on the false paths and distance them from God and God’s law.
Brethren, God is Just and He knows the measure of everyone’s faults, and He will not permit the illiterate and the least to suffer as much as the literate and the greatest.
O All-seeing God, save us that we neither be blind leaders not blind followers. Strengthen our hearts that, as leaders and as followers, we will always be Your servants and only Your servants.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Here the angelic music of the eternal truth of God—is clothed in human words.St. Justin Popovich
Let us prepare ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we must truly be in the world in which we live an incarnate presence of Christ and the temple of Spirit, a vanguard of the Kingdom. Anthony Bloom of Sourozh
St Nicholas Archbishop of Myra and the First Ecumenical Council
Apolytikion For the Fathers.
Glory. Mode pl. 4.
Supremely blessed are You, O Christ our God. You established the holy Fathers upon the earth as beacons, and through them You have guided us all to the true Faith, O greatly merciful One, glory be to You.
Both now. Apolytikion of the Feast. From Pentecostarion
You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, after You filled the Disciples with joy, by promising to send them the Holy Spirit, and You blessed them and established their faith, that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.
For the Fathers. From Pentecostarion
Mode pl. 2. That woman, who was spurned.
Who is it, O Savior, that rent Your garment? * “Arius,” You said, who creates divisions, * dividing the Trinity’s equipotent dominion. * He rejected You as being one of the Trinity’s persons. * He teaches Nestorius not to use the term Theotokos. * But the holy Council in Nicea * proclaimed that You are the Son of God and share the throne * with the Father and the Spirit, O Lord.
Arius the fool introduced division * into the holy Trinity’s single kingship, * asserting three dissimilar and alien natures. * Therefore the God-bearing fathers convened in the holy Council * burning with zeal for God, like the Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, * and they wielded the sword of the Spirit, * and they cut off that shameful teacher of blasphemy, * according to what the Spirit decreed.
Mode pl. 2. When the saints deposited.
When those holy hierarchs, preachers of Christ, and defenders * of the Gospel teachings and Orthodox traditions had received in themselves * the divine radiance of the Holy Spirit, * they proclaimed the supernatural * pronouncement openly * to be their conviction inspired by God, * namely the Creed, which is concise * yet defines the true faith sufficiently. * Clearly these enlightened and blessed men, receiving from on high * the revelation, declared to all * the decision taught by God.
When the holy Shepherds brought all of their pastoral knowledge * to the Council and they stirred * their most righteous anger now justifiably, * they drove out with the sling of the Holy Spirit * the offensive and corruptive wolves, * and from the complement of the Church of Christ they expelled them all, * as having fallen mortally, and as being ill and incurable. * Thus they demonstrated themselves as loyal servants of the Lord, * and sacred mystics of the divine * and inspired preaching of Christ.
Glory. From Pentecostarion
Mode pl. 4.
When the choir of Holy Fathers convened from every corner of the civilized world, they decreed into dogma the single essence and nature of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And the mystery of theology they clearly handed down to the Church. Let us the faithful call them blessed, and extolling them let us say: O divine battalion, heavy artillery of theologians of the Lord’s army; luminaries that shine brightly in the noetic firmament; the mystical Zion’s unassailable towers; the sweet scented flowers of Paradise; the solid gold mouthpieces of the Logos; the glory of Nicaea and the splendor of the universe. Intercede insistently on behalf of our souls.