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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: How Valens exiled the virtuous bishops.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XII.—How Valens exiled the virtuous bishops.

At the very time of the baptism of Valens Eudoxius bound the unhappy man by an oath to abide in the impiety of his doctrine, and to expel from every see the holders of contrary opinions. Thus Valens abandoned the apostolic teaching, and went over to the opposite faction; nor was it long before he fulfilled the rest of his oath; for from Antioch he expelled the great Meletius, from Samosata the divine Eusebius, and deprived Laodicea of her admirable shepherd Pelagius. 712 Pelagius had taken on him the yoke of wedlock when a very young man, and in the very bridal chamber, on the first day of his nuptials, he persuaded his bride to prefer chastity to conjugal intercourse, and taught her to accept fraternal affection in the place of marriage union. Thus he gave all honour to temperance, and possessed also within himself the sister virtues moving in tune with her, and for these reasons he was unanimously chosen for the bishopric. Nevertheless not even the bright beams of his life and conversation awed the enemy of the truth. Him, too, Valens relegated to Arabia, the divine Meletius to Armenia, and Eusebius, p. 116 that unflagging labourer in apostolic work to Thrace. Unflagging he was indeed, for when apprised that many churches were now deprived of their shepherds, he travelled about Syria, Phœnicia and Palestine, wearing the garb of war and covering his head with a tiara, ordaining presbyters and deacons and filling up the other ranks of the Church; and if haply he lighted on bishops with like sentiments with his own, he appointed them to empty churches.



Present at Antioch in 363; banished to Arabia in 367. Present at Constantinople in 381.

Next: Of Eusebius, bishop of Samosata, and others.

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