• Council in Antioch for Trying Paul of Samosat
  • Martyrdom of St. Theophilus and his Wife in Fayoum

Council in Antioch for Trying Paul of Samosat
On this day in the year 280 A.D. a holy Council was assembled in a church in Antioch to condemn Paul, the Patriarch of Antioch who was a native of Samosat. Satan made him believe the following: the Lord Jesus was a simple ordinary man whom God had created and chose to redeem the human race, Jesus was entirely Mary's offspring, the divinity did not unite with Jesus but joined Him by will only and that God is one person. So he did not believe in the Son or in the Holy Spirit.

A council was assembled in the City of Antioch during the reign of King Orlianous, forty five years before the Council of Nicaea. Abba Dionysius, the 14th Pope of Alexandria was old, as a result he was not able to attend but wrote a letter stating the belief that the Lord Jesus is the Word of God, and His Son, and is equal to Him in Essence, in Divinity and in being eternal. The Holy Trinity is three Persons in one Godhead. One Person of the Trinity is the Son Who was incarnated and become a complete man having one nature. Abba Dionysius attested to these things using many references from the Old and the New Testaments and he sent this letter to the Council with two priests who were scholars of the Church.

Paul was brought before thirteen bishops and the two priests who asked him about the heresy that he was teaching. He did not deny anything and was adamant in his belief. They debated the matter with him, read to him the letter of Abba Dionysius and made him listen to what the Apostle Paul said about the Lord Jesus Christ the Word of God: "The brightness of His (God the Father) glory and the express image of His person" (Hebrews 1:3). But he did not accept their argument, and would not turn from his wrong belief. They exiled and excommunicated him and all his followers.

The fathers put forth Canons which are in the hands of the believers to this day.

Martyrdom of St. Theophilus and his Wife in Fayoum
On this day also we commemorate the martyrdom of St. Theophilus and his wife in Fayoum in the days of Emperor Diocletian the infidel. They were accused of being Christians. The Governor questioned them and they confessed our Lord Jesus before him. He commanded that a deep pit be dug for them, they be thrown into it and the pit be filled with stones. So it was done and St. Theophilus and his wife received the crown of martyrdom.

May their intercession be with us. Glory be to God forever. Amen.