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Melitius of Antioch (Athos) Icon - S305


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Saint Meletius (or Meletios or Melitius) was an Armenian. He became bishop of Sebaste in 357, but was later banished and he went to Syria. After the deposition of the Arian bishop of Antioch, the Orthodox and the Arian factions debated over who to appoint in his place. The Arians believed that Meletius was himself an Arian, and appointed him as bishop. But as soon as he took his throne, he denounced Arianism and embarrassed the Arian clergy in Antioch. He was banished by the Arian Emperor Constantius, later recalled, and banished again by Valens.

As bishop, he ordained Saint John Chrysostom as reader and later deacon in Antioch. He lived until the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, where he was honored as a venerable elder. While there, he fell ill and reposed shortly thereafter. Saint Gregory of Nyssa gave a eulogy at his funeral. His feast is celebrated on February 12.

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