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Lives of the Saints - any suggestions on a saint who stood for Church unity?


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#1 Barbara S.

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:51 PM

Forgive me - I'm not sure this is the best place to post this. My children are searching for examples from the Lives of the Saints which exemplify the importance of Church unity. We have come up w/ a number of blessed examples of Saints who stood for Truth, at the risk of disunity, in defending the Faith against heresies. But does anyone have a suggestion of a man or woman who somehow embodied "living in unity" or "building up the Body of Christ" in unity?

One we have thought of is our beautiful St. Raphael of Brooklyn, of whom we pray, was "Arab by birth, Greek by education, American by residence, Russian at heart and Slav in soul, thou didst minister to ALL, teaching the Orthodox in the New World to proclaim with one voice: Alleluia." What a beautiful, blessed example for the Church in America! Does anyone know of a specific example from his life which embodies this commitment to unity?

On behalf of my children and our family, thank you for your help!

Barbara

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:03 AM

Dear Barbara,

Forgive me if this sounds poorly, but ALL saints lived in unity of the church. Can you ask your question in another way? Perhaps I don't understand the angle of the question.

The reason Saints lost their lives is that they were fighting disunity in the church (heresy). Had the world sought to follow Christ, their would not be a need to defend unity, as the entire world would be unified.

Many of the Holy Fathers and Saints traveled to other parts of the world and were teaching the faith there as well. So they were unifying world travelers. Just as St. Raphael.

Paul

#3 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 07:48 AM

I believe Elder Joseph the Hesychast recounted once having a vision of Athos being divided, and the split-away portion on which he was standing sinking into the sea - which he took as a sign that the non-commemoration of the patriarch that was widespread on the mountain at the time was an act of schism that needed to be corrected.

Though it may have been the other elder Joseph -- I don't recall.

INXC, Matthew

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 12:14 PM

If ever there was a saint dedicated to unity, it has to be St. Constantine, who convened the first Ecumenical Council to settle the controversies and issues that were disrupting the Church in his day...

#5 Barbara S.

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 12:10 AM

Dear Paul - forgive me ... of course you're correct - "ALL saints lived in unity of the church." YES, definitely "The reason Saints lost their lives is that they were fighting disunity in the church (heresy). Had the world sought to follow Christ, their would not be a need to defend unity, as the entire world would be unified."

Specifically, I was looking for individuals who encountered disunity or factors which might have led to disunity, and countered them. I greatly appreciate the suggestions sent - Elder Joseph and St. Constantine - thank you!

I was reminded of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, a Uniate priest who brought his parish and others back to Orthodoxy.

Thank you again for your time!

Barbara

#6 Nina

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:20 AM

If ever there was a saint dedicated to unity, it has to be St. Constantine, who convened the first Ecumenical Council to settle the controversies and issues that were disrupting the Church in his day...


Dear Herman and everyone,

Happy Saint Constantine's day! May he and his dear mother Helena intercede to God for the salvation of us all! :)

#7 Euthymios

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 05:34 AM

Hi,

 

I have always wondered why we Orthodox consider Constantine to be a saint. Maybe someone can help me. Constantine always tolerated cults, and allowed the building of pagan cult temples in Constantinople, and was not even baptized until late in his life. And there is no evidence of strong sanctification (Theosis) in him. Constantine believed the emperor was closer to God than the bishop. In Eusebius' Life of the Emperer Constantine, he suppressed all that was negative in his person and politics. To me it just seems like another example of the Orthodox bowing before the strong, while supressing the weak.



#8 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 01:58 AM

The Church does not "make" saints, that is God's place. We merely recognize them and try to learn from them. Constantine was evidently chosen by God ("Under this sign conquer). He did end the persecutions and convene the Council of Nicea which did preserve the unity of the Church.

 

Don't ask us why he is a saint, ask God!

 

A simple thought from a bear of little brain.



#9 Matthew Panchisin

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 06:46 AM

Dear Herman,

 

We are not idiots, the Church does make saints and doesn't  preempt God in the process. How can you even divide matters like that?

 

In Christ,

 

Matthew Panchisin



#10 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 02:09 PM

Matthew, nobody is attacking you or calling you an idiot. This was not directed towards you. I am merely trying to answer a question, you needn't get so defensive.



#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:18 AM

The question 'why is St Constantine considered a saint' is easily answered. It is because the Church, guided as she is by the Holy Spirit, says he is. He belongs to that number of saints who have been accepted as such before formal canonisation was instituted. He has his feast with his mother, St Helena; there is a service and an akathist to him (with his mother); there are icons of him; countless Orthodox Christians have been named after him. Accordingly, it is not open to any Orthodox Christian to question that he is a saint.






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