Saint Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch

February 12

Meletius, this great and holy man, was an exceptional interpreter and defender of Orthodoxy. His entire life was dedicated to a struggle against the Arian heresy, which did not recognize the Son of God as God and blasphemed the Holy Trinity. On three occasions, Meletius was banished and exiled from his archiepiscopal throne to Armenia. The struggle between the Orthodox and the heretics was waged so bitterly that, on one occasion, when St. Meletius was preaching to the people in church concerning the Holy Trinity in unity, his own deacon, a heretic, ran over to him and covered his mouth with his hand. Not being able to speak with his mouth covered, Meletius spoke in signs. He raised his clenched hand in the air, opening at first his three fingers and showing them to the people. After that, he closed his hand and raised up one finger. He participated in the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople, 381), where Emperor Theodosius showed him special honor. At this Council, God revealed a miracle through His hierarch. When Meletius was propounding the dogma of the Holy Trinity to Arius, at first he only raised three fingers, separately one by one, and after that folded them into one. At that moment, before all those present, a light shone like lightning from his hand. At this Council, Meletius confirmed Gregory the Theologian on the patriarchal throne in Constantinople. Earlier Meletius had ordained Basil the Great to the diaconate and baptized John Chrysostom. After the close of the Council, St. Meletius completed his earthly life in Constantinople. His relics were translated to Antioch.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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