Above: Orthodox Cross
SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE (DIED 397)
Archbishop of Constantinople
St. Nectarius of Constantinople, Archbishop of Constantinople, succeeded one notable saint, Gregory of Nazianzus the Theologian (lived circa 329-389) (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/feast-of-sts-gregory-of-nazianzus-the-elder-nonna-and-their-children-february-25/ and https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/feast-of-st-gregory-of-nazianzus-may-9/) and preceded another famous saint, John Chrysostom (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/feast-of-st-john-chrysostom-january-27/), in the office. The life of St. Nectarius reflected firmness in what he understood to be right, whether that was opposing some theological position or being gracious to heretics. It was a fine example.
The saint, son of a Roman Senator, was born at Tarsus, Cilicia (in modern-day Turkey). He served as praetor at Constantinople before Emperor Theodosious I “the Great” (reigned 379-395) chose his name by chance from a list of candidates to become Archbishop of Constantinople. At the time St. Nectarius was married and unbaptized, so he was an unlikely choice.
But he was a good one. He banned the practice of public penance. The saint also opposed Arianism. Some Arians took such great offense at him that they burned down his house in 388. Novationism was another heresy the saint opposed. Novation (died circa 258), a priest and martyr, had insisted that Pope Cornelius was wrong to have absolved penitent Christians who had lapsed during the Decian persecution. Those who followed Novation (into the 600s)
held that, in cases of idolatry through fear of persecutions, the church could not absolve the penitents; later they extended this doctrine to all grievous sins. They claimed for themselves a character of especial purity and insisted on the rebaptism of converts to their views.
—Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 20, page 503
According to many of his critics, St. Nectarius was too lenient with the Novatians. These critics forget or never knew that people can disagree without resorting to harsh measures.
St. Nectarius died on September 11, 397.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS
THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY, BROTHERS AND KINGS
THE FEAST OF PAULINE SPERRY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST
THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN, ECUMENIST
Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops in your church,
including Saint Nectarius of Constantinople.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60