THE CATHOLIC FEAST DATE:
NAME: SAINT MELETIUS
HIS LIFE PROFILE
Saint Meletius lived in the fourth century.
The Roman persecutions were over, and Emperor Constantine had recognized Christianity as a legal religion in 315.
But a serious problem was dividing Christians. While most people considered themselves Catholic, others were Arian. The Arians denied that Jesus is God. They taught that He was only a Holy Man. Some people believed this false teaching because they were very confused.
Meletius loved the Church and was true to Jesus. He knew and believed that Jesus is God, and he was not afraid to teach this. Meletius realized that the Church needed to explain this truth to everyone. He became the bishop of Antioch in 361.
The Arians were not pleased. For twenty years, Meletius was a patient, loving bishop. But his life was made difficult by people who did not accept him.
He often had to go into exile because other men were claiming to be the bishop of his diocese.
But St. Meletius was the true bishop and would patiently return as soon as possible.
When Emperor Valens died in 378, the Arians finally stopped their persecution.
In 381, the famous Council of Constantinople, a special Church meeting, was called. The bishops wanted to talk about important truths of our faith. Bishop Meletius opened the council meetings and directed the sessions. Then, to the sadness of all the bishops, he died right there at one of the meetings.
Great saints like John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa attended his funeral along with all the bishops at the Council.
The people of Constantinople poured into the church as well. Saint Gregory of Nyssa delivered the funeral homily.
He spoke of Bishop Meletius’ calmness and radiant smile, his fatherly voice and gentleness. Saint Gregory said that Meletius was a Christ–like bishop whom everyone loved. And he was right: everyone who loved the Church loved Saint Meletius.
Dear Saint Meletius, you showed Christ-like love to all people and you were very kind and gentle even to those who hated you. Pray for us to God now that you are in heaven that we may imitate you. Amen.
SAINT MELETIUS OF ANTIOCH,
PRAY FOR US.