From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Fri Aug 27 23:57:25 2021
– Proverbs 15:1 –
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Have you ever tried to argue in a whisper? It is equally hard to argue
with someone who insists on answering gently. On the other hand, a
rising voice and harsh words almost always trigger an angry response.
To turn away wrath and seek peace, choose gentle words.
August 28th – St. Alexander of Constantinople
St. Alexander was an archpastor (rural bishop) in the time of the most
holy Mitrofan, the first Patriarch of Constantinople. [ruled as
Patriarch from 315 to 325] This Alexander was richly adorned with all
manner of good works. When the First Ecumenical Council was called in
Nicea, Alexander was sent to the Council as a zealous champion of
piety, for Patriarch Mitrofan was unable to attend the Council by
reason of his great age and bodily infirmities. Acting as the
Patriarch's representative, Alexander zealously defended the Orthodox
Faith against the impious Anus (Arius). When the Council had finished
its work, and Alexander was already on his way back to Constantinople,
an angel of the Lord appeared to blessed Mitrofan and said:
"In ten days shalt thou receive a crown from God. Let thy servant
Alexander ascend the Patriarchal throne after thee..."
The righteous Emperor Constantine, together with many fathers of the
Church, came to the most holy Patriarch Mitrofan who was already on
his death-bed. When asked whom he blessed to receive the Patriarchal
throne after him, Mitrofan answered:
"The Lord has revealed to me that my servant Alexander, truly worthy
to be chosen and worthy of the Gift of the Holy Spirit, shall have the
throne after me."
As Patriarch of Constantinople, Alexander shepherded Christ's rational
flock with diligence, driving off the wolves-heretics and pagan
Hellenes, for it was not only against the Arians, but also against the
pagan philosophers that Alexander had to wage a great struggle
Once certain of' the pagan philosophers were emboldened to persuade
the Emperor that in rejecting the ancient faith of his fathers, and
also Roman and Greek laws, he had taken on some new faith and new laws
which, they claimed, had led to the decline of the Empire. The
philosophers received the Emperor's consent to enter into a debate on
faith with Bishop Alexander. Although not learned in pagan philosophy,
God's luminary Alexander was filled with the Holy Spirit and he did
not shrink from the debate.
When the philosophers had gathered in great number, they chose from
among themselves one whom they considered to be the wisest. The latter
was presented to the holy one while the rest prepared to listen
attentively. Beginning the debate, the most holy Patriarch Alexander
said to the philosopher:
"In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ , I command you to be silent!"
Immediately the philosopher lost his tongue and became dumb, so that
he could not utter a single word.
All the assembled philosophers became frightened and ashamed; some of
them fled in disgrace, while others came to believe in Christ. The
very philosopher who had lost the gift of speech, let it be known
through signs that he acknowledged his error and confessed the
Christian faith to be the true one. He fell at the feet of the holy
one and immediately his tongue was loosened and he began glorifying
our Lord Jesus Christ for everyone to hear. Afterwards he was baptized
together with other friends of his. The Emperor and all the faithful
rejoiced at this event, and all glorified God Who had given such
miraculous power to His saint.
Upon another occasion St; Alexander vanquished the impious Arius with
his prayer. It happened that a few years after the First Ecumenical
Council, the heretic Arius was called to Constantinople. Here he
cunningly deceived the pious Emperor Constantine in the following
manner: Constantine asked Arius whether he believed as the Holy
Fathers of the Nicean Council had decreed. Having concealed on his
breast a document on which he had written his own false creed, Anus
(Arius) struck himself on the breast and declared: "This is what I
Thus, to all appearances the heretic ostensibly expressed his
agreement with the doctrine affirmed at Nicaea. Inwardly, however, he
believed that which he had written with his own hand and which was
concealed on his breast. And the deceiver swore before the Emperor,
saying this is what he believed. Not suspecting such wickedness, the
Emperor believed Arius' words and sent him to the holy Patriarch
Alexander, directing him to receive Arius into communion with the
Church as an Orthodox Christian. At the same time a certain Sunday
was designated on which Arius was to be brought into the cathedral to
be joined together with the faithful. St. Alexander, however, refused
to receive Arius because he was the founder of a heresy.
Meanwhile, Saturday came and Sunday was approaching. On Saturday
night, the archpastor of God gave himself over to prayer before the
altar. With tears he prayed to God to take the very soul from his body
so that he would not see the day wherein Arius would be restored to
the Church and to the partaking of the Holy Mysteries; or else, having
pity on His Church, to strike Arius from the midst of the living. St.
Alexander spent the whole night in prayer. Morning came and the time
for Liturgy drew nigh. Arius emerged from the royal palace with great
pride and directed his steps toward the cathedral; he was surrounded
by imperial officials who were in a agreement with his heresy and by a multitude of men-at-arms.
When Arius approached the place which is called "the market-place of Constantine," (here stood a marble column surmounted by a statue of
the Emperor), his stricken conscience began to trouble him and he was
seized with fear. Because of this fear, he felt an urgency to satisfy
a bodily need and began to look for some hidden place. Not far was
just such a place for public use. Entering therein, Arius was suddenly
stricken with an acute internal disorder. As with Judas, the belly of
the wicked one burst open and his insides spilled forth. In this
horrible way the heretic perished.
Those who were standing nearby and waiting for Arius to come out,
seeing that he did not come out after a long interval, themselves went
in to get him and found him lying dead in the midst of filth and
blood. Immediately the news spread throughout the city of the terrible
and unexpected death of Anus. The heretics were put to shame, while
the Orthodox rejoiced that Christ the True God had taken vengeance on
His enemy and blasphemer. And even more did the holy Patriarch
Alexander give thanks to Christ God that He had taken pity on His
Church and saved her from that ravenous wolf.
The pious Emperor Constantine the Great, learning of Arius' death,.
became even more firmly established in the Faith and defended the
dogmas of the Council of Nicaea to the very end of his days. Such was
the power before God of the righteous prayer of God's great archpastor Alexander. Like a sharp sword it slew God's enemy and secured the
triumph of the Orthodox Church. St. Gregory the Theologian recalled
this later on in his address to the people of Constantinople:
"In truth I tell you that you are disciples of the praiseworthy
Alexander, that zealous champion and confessor of the Holy Trinity,
who with word and deed took up arms against heretical delusion. You
remember his apostolic prayer through which he destroyed the founder
and leader of the heretics in a place fit for a godless, he then, in
order to pay back disgrace for disgrace, and in order that, through a
justly merited dishonorable death, the mortal evil of heresy, which
had ruined many souls, would be made manifest forever."
St. Alexander shepherded the Church of Christ for a number of years
until he reached a ripe old age. When he lay dying, his flock gathered
around their shepherd and asked:
"To whom wilt thou leave us, thy children, father? Whom dost thou set
as our shepherd instead of thee; who will be able, following in thy
footsteps, to firmly guide the Church?"
Alexander, pointing to two just men--namely, Paul the Presbyter and
Macedonius the Deacon, answered and said:
"If you would have a wise shepherd, adorned with good works, then
choose Paul; if you would have a shepherd who is fair to behold
shining with external beauty, then, choose Macedonius."
Having said this, the holy Patriarch Alexander passed away to the
Lord, having lived 98 years from his birth.
Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. vi. Cf. also DCB., s. nn.
I want to be holy, loving Jesus in the Eucharist, suffering with
Christ Crucified and seeing Christ in my brothers and sisters.
-- Blessed Maria Grazia Tarallo
For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the
west: so shall the coming of the Son of man be. [Matthew 24:27]
Memorare to Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph
Remember, O Merciful Jesus, Immaculate Mary and glorious St.
Joseph that no one has ever had recourse to Your Protection, or
implore Your assistance without obtaining relief. Animated with a like confidence, but weighted down by my sins, I prostrate myself before
You. O! Reject not my petitions, but graciously hear and grant them.