The Departure of St. Peter the Third 27th Pope of Alexandria
On this day in the year 481 A.D., the Great Saint Abba Peter III, 27th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was chosen patriarch after the departure of St. Timothy, 26th Pope.
Shortly after his enthronement upon the apostolic throne, he received a letter from St. Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, confessing in it the one nature of Christ, according to the faith of St. Cyril and St. Dioscorus. He also stated clearly that it is not right to recognize two separate natures for Christ after the union, otherwise, the usefulness of the union would be futile. Abba Peter replied by a letter declaring his acceptance of Abba Acacius into the Orthodox Faith. He sent it with three learned bishops to Abba Acacius, who received them with respect and asked them to join him in the prayers of the Divine Liturgy.
Abba Acacius read the letter to his particulars and to those who followed him. He then wrote another Catholic epistle to Abba Peter. When Abba Peter received it, he gathered the bishops and the fathers and read the letter to them. They rejoiced exceedingly and they admired the words and the explanations therein. They then recognized Abba Acacius' fellowship with them in the Orthodox Faith.
This father suffered many tribulations from those who opposed his religion and opinion. Abba Peter was exiled from his chair once, but was restored later. In his exile he continually taught the flock. He preached to them by means of written messages and, whenever he was present, by his spoken words. He stayed on the See of St. Mark for eight years then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
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