St Eustathius of Antioch, Bishop, Confessor: Missa “In medio”
Saint Eustathius, Archbishop of Antioch (323-331) was born in Side, Pamphylia in 324. He was Bishop of Beroea (modern Aleppo), and enjoyed the love and esteem of the people, and at the request of his flock he was elevated by the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (325) to the See of Antioch.
St Eustathius was a learned theologian, and was also distinguished by his broad knowledge in secular sciences. When the heresy of Arius began to spread in the East (Arianism denied the consubstantiality of the Son of God with the Father), St Eustathius struggled zealously for the purity of the Orthodox Faith through his words and his writings.
The First Ecumenical Council was convened in the year 325 by the holy God-crowned Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337). The first to preside over this Council was St Eustathius. The Council condemned the heretical teachings of Arius and incorporated the Orthodox confession into the Symbol of Faith (the Nicene Creed).
But the mad Arius, as St Eustathius called him, refused to renounce his errors. He and those who shared his opinion were excommunicated from the Church by the Council. Among the bishops who signed the Nicene Symbol of Faith were some who sympathized with the heresy of Arius, but signed the Acts of the Council through fear of excommunication.
After the Council, his enemies plotted against St Eustathius. With great cunning they gained his consent to convene a local Council at Antioch. Having bribed a certain profligate woman, they persuaded her to appear at the Council with an infant at her breast, and falsely declare that St Eustathius was the father of the infant.
The Arians declared St Eustathius deposed, violating the Apostolic Rule that accusations against the clergy must be substantiated by two witnesses. Without a trial he was sent off into exile in Thrace. But the lie was soon unmasked: the woman repented after falling grievously ill. She summoned the clergy, and in the presence of many people, she confessed her sin.
St Constantine the Great died around this time, and his son Constantius (337-361), who shared the heretical views of Arius and favored the Arian bishops, succeeded his father on the throne. Even in exile, St Eustathius struggled for Orthodoxy with the same zeal. He died in exile, in the city of Philippi or Trajanopolis, in the year 337.
Convened in the year 381 at Constantinople, the Second Ecumenical Council confirmed the Orthodox Symbol of Faith, which St Eustathius had so vigorously defended. The Arian heresy was once again anthematized.
In the year 482 the relics of St Eustathius were reverently transferred from Philippi to Antioch, to the great joy of the Antioch people, who had not ceased to honor and love their patriarch.
St Eustathius was esteemed by the great hierarchs of the fourth century, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Athanasius of Alexandria, Epiphanius of Cyprus, Anastasius of Sinai, and Jerome of Stridonia. The renowned church historian Bishop Theodoret of Cyrrhus calls St Eustathius a pillar of the Church and a man of piety, of equal stature with St Athanasius of Alexandria and the other bishops at the forefront of the struggle for Orthodoxy.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat In the midst of the Church…
O GOD, who hast vouchsafed to enlighten thy Church with the wondrous learning and singular holiness of thy blessed Confessor and Theologian Saint Eustathius: we humbly pray thee; that, at his intercession, thou wouldest with things unfailing power defend the same against all the deceits of false doctrine, and all the assaults of iniquity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom
for the Church
Mercifully hear the prayers of thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, that all adversities and errors being overcome, she may serve thee in security and feedom. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 2 Timothy 4: 1-8
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy. Dearly beloved, I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His Kingdom. Preach the word: be instant in season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience, and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed; and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day; and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.
The mouth of the just man shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. V. The law of his God is in his heart; and his steps shall not be supplanted. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 109: 4) The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent. Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 5: 13-19
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples,”You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house; so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For, amen I say unto you, till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 24, 22
I have found David my servant: with my holy oil I have anointed him; for my arm shall help him, and my hand shall strengthen him, alleluia.
Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts dedicated to Thee, and by the intercession of blessed Eustathius, Thy bishop, look upon them with approval. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter.
for the Church
Protect us, O Lord, who celebrate thy mysteries, that holding fast to divine things, we may serve thee with body and soul. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12: 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
O Lord, may this Sacrifice bring us closer to our salvation through the intercession of Your blessed Confessor and illustrious Eustathius. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity.
for the Church
We beseech thee, O Lord, our God, that thou permit not those, to whom thou hast given a participation of divine things to be subjected to human dangers. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
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