The Monk Akakios, Bishop of Melitinea

Commemorated on April 17

      The Monk Akakios, Bishop of Melitinea, was born into a pious family in the Armenian city of Melitinea. His parents for a long time were childless, and in praying for a son, they vowed to dedicate him to God. Therefore the lad Akakios was given over to the Melitinea bishop Ostrios for the service of the Church. Sainted Ostrios was a firm supporter of Orthodoxy. When the heresy of Macedonias arose, it was Saint Ostrios at the Second OEcumenical Council (381) that set forth the Orthodox teaching about the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Holy Trinity One-in-Essence and Undivided.
      The sainted-hierarch with love raised Akakios, made him a reader, and then ordained him to the dignity of deacon and then to priest. Saint Akakios devoutly served the Church. He instructed both adults and children in the Holy Scripture, and in the Orthodox Confession of faith.
      Among his students was such a luminary of the Church as the Monk Euthymios the Great (Comm. 20 January).
      After the death of Saint Ostrios, by general acclamation Saint Akakios was elevated to the bishop's throne of Melitinea. He wisely governed his diocese. By his firm faith, humility and deeds, the saint acquired the gift of wonderworking. One time, when during a dry Summer the saint made Liturgy in an open field, the wine in the Holy Chalice was mixed suddenly by the falling rain, which fell throughout all the land. Through his prayer during a time of flooding an advancing river flowed off and did not come higher than the stone which he had placed at the riverbank. On one of the islands of the River Azar, despite the opposition of the pagans, the saint built a temple in honour of the MostHoly Mother of God. The builders of the church either through carelessness or through malice defectively built the dome. During the time of Liturgy the dome gave way and was ready to collapse. The people in terror rushed out of the church. But the saint halted the fleeing with the exclamation: "The Lord is Defender of my life, of what shalt I be afraid?" (Ps. 26 [27]: 1). The dome remained as though suspended in the air. Only when the Divine-services were ended, and the saint was the last one to emerge from the church, did the dome collapse, causing harm to no one. After this the church was rebuilt again.
      Sainted Akakios was a participant in the Third OEcumenical Council (431) and he defended the Orthodox Confession of the Two Natures (Divine and Human) of the Saviour, and of His Birth without seed from the MostHoly Virgin Mother of God. Saint Akakios peacefully expired to the Lord in about the year 435.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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