Sainted Celestine (Celestinus), Pope of Rome

Commemorated on April 8

      Sainted Celestine (Celestinus), Pope of Rome (422-432), a zealous champion of Orthodoxy, lived during the reign of the holy Emperor Theodosius the Younger (408‑450). He received quite excellent an education, and he knew philosophy well, but most of all he studied the Holy Scripture and pondered over theological questions. The virtuous life of the saint and his authority as a theologian won him the general esteem and love of the clergy and people. After the death of holy Pope Saint Boniface (418-422), Saint Celestine was chosen to the cathedra-chair of Bishop of Rome.
      During these times emerged the heresy of Nestorius. At the Local Council in Rome in the year 430, Saint Celestine denounced this heresy and condemned Nestorius as an heretic. After the Council Saint Celestine wrote a missive to Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria (Comm. 18 January), stating that if Nestorius after 10 days did not recant his false teachings, then he should be deposed and excommunicated.
      Saint Celestine directed also a series of missives to other Churches, Constantinople and Antioch, in which he unmasked and denounced the Nestorian heresy.
      The following two years after the Council, Saint Celestine preached incessantly the true teaching about Christ the God-Man, and thus he died at peace on 6 April 432.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.