Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saint Athanasius the Great: 2 May 2010

Saint Athanasius, champion of Orthodoxy, defended the dogma of the divine nature of our Lord Jesus against the heretical notions of Arius who claimed that "there was a time when Jesus was not." When the Arian controversy threatened the faith -- and the stability of the empire -- Constantine called a council of bishops in 325; 250 met at Nicea and codified the faith of the one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic church in the Nicene Creed. In no small part through the sacrifice and faithfulness of Athanasius at the council and for years afterwards, Orthodoxy prevailed.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
You became a pillar of Orthodoxy, strengthening the Church with divine dogmas, O Hierarch Athanasios. For by preaching that the Son is one in essence with the Father you put Arius to shame. O venerable Father, to Christ our God pray earnestly, entreating that great mercy be on us bestowed.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Having planted the dogmas of Orthodoxy, thou didst cut out the thorns of false doctrine; and with the rain of the Spirit, thou didst increase the seed of the Faith, Wherefore, we praise thee, O righteous Athanasius.
Uphold your Church, O God of truth, as you upheld your servant Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the catholic faith against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of your eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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