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Baba 19 : Assembly of the Council of Antioch and The Martyrdom of Sts. Theophilus and His Wife


1. The Assembly of the Council of Antioch against Paul of Samosata.

On this day of the year 280 A.D. a Holy Council assembled in an Antiochian church to judge Paul of Samosata. He was a native of Samosata, and he was chosen a Patriarch of Antioch. Satan sowed in his mind the belief that the Lord Christ was a simple, ordinary man whom God had created and chosen to redeem the human beings; and that Christ was entirely Mary's offspring and that Divinity did not unite with Jesus but joined Him by the will only and that God is one person, so he did not believe in the Son or the Holy Spirit.

Because of him, a council assembled in the city of Antioch during the reign of Emperor Valerian and the papacy of Abba Dionysius, 14th Pope of Alexandria, which was 45 years before the Council of Nicea. Because Abba Dionysius was old, he was not able to convene with them, so he wrote a letter stating the belief that the Lord Christ is the Word of God, and His Son, and is equal to Him in essence, in divinity and in being eternal. The Holy Trinity is Three Persons by character, in one God-head. One Person of the Trinity is the Son incarnated and became in Hypostatic Union, a complete man. Abba Dionysius testified concerning these things using many testimonies from the Old and the New Testaments and he sent this letter with two priests of the church scholars.

Thirteen bishops and the two priests assembled in that council. They brought that Paul and asked him about the heresy that he was teaching. He declared it to them and did not deny anything. They debated the matter with him and read to him the letter of Abba Dionysius and made him listen to what the Apostles said about the Lord Christ the Word of God that He is, "The brightness of His glory. And the express image of His person." (Hebrews 1:3) But he did not accept their words, and he would not turn from his infidel opinion. They excommunicated him, and all those who believed his words, and they exiled him. The fathers put forth the Canons, which are still in the hands of the believers who follow them to this day.

The blessings of their prayers be with us. Amen.



2. The Martyrdom of Sts. Theophilus and His Wife in Fayyum.

On this day also, St. Theophilus and his wife in Fayyum, was martyred, in the days of EmperorDiocletian the infidel.

Some brought accusation against them before the Governor of being Christians. The Governor brought them and questioned them. They confessed our Lord Christ, to Him is the glory, before him. He commanded that a deep pit be dug for them, that they be cast into it, and covered by stones. They did so and St. Theophilus and his wife received the crown of martyrdom.

Their intercession be for us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.


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