The Departure of St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch
On this day of the year 538 A.D., the holy father St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. He was from Asia Minor. His grandfather, whose name was also Severus, saw in a vision someone telling him, "The child who is for your son will strengthen Orthodoxy, and his name will be after your name." When his son had this saint, he called him Severus. He was taught the Greek wisdom and church subjects.
Once, the saint was strolling outside the city, a shut-in saint came out of his cave crying, "Welcome to you Severus, teacher of Orthodoxy, and Patriarch of Antioch." Severus marvelled at how he called him by his name, for he did not know him before, and how he foretold what would become of him.
Severus grew in virtue and became a monk in the monastery of St. Romanus. The fame of his righteousness and his ascetic life spread out. When the Patriarch of Antioch departed, the bishops had a consensus to ordain him the Patriarch of the city in the year 512 A.D. The church was illuminated by his teachings which spread to all the universe, and he was one of the fathers who attended the Universal Council at Ephesus.
Shortly after, Emperor Anastasius died and Justinian, who was Chalcedonian in faith, reigned after him. He called upon this holy father and gave him great honors to persuade him to change his stand and to follow the Emperor's belief, but the Saint refused. The Emperor became angry, but the Saint did not fear his anger, and so the Emperor ordered him to be killed. Theodora, the Emperor's wife who was Orthodox in faith, knew about what the Emperor intended to do, so she told the saint to flee from his face.
St. Severus escaped to the land of Egypt and traveled everywhere and visited monasteries disguised as a monk. He strengthened the faith of the believers in the Orthodox doctrine. He dwelt in the city of Sakha in the home of a holy lay leader called Doretheos. God performed through him many miracles. He departed in the city of Sakha, and his body was relocated to the monastery of El-Zugag.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
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