February 25, 2023 - Amshir 18, 1739
Departure of St.Malatius the Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch
On this day of the year 381 A.D., St. Malatius (Miltius) the Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. He was ordained a bishop for Sebaste in the year 357 A.D. He left it because of the rudeness of its people and lived a solitary life nearby the city of Halab in Syria. In the year 360 A.D., he was chosen a patriarch for Antioch during the days of Constantius, the son of Constantine the Great.
He was an eminent, learned and meek man, who was loved by everyone. When he entered the city of Antioch, he resisted the Arians and kept them away from the churches. When the Emperor heard that, he exiled him in the same year that he was enthroned patriarch. The noble men of the city of Antioch, the bishops and the priests met and wrote to the Emperor asking for the return of the Patriarch. The Emperor returned St. Malatius in shame to them.
When St. Malatius came back in the year 362 A.D., he did not cease resisting the Arians, excommunicating them and all those who believed in their doctrines. He made clear to them their errors and explained to them their blasphemy. He declared, preached and confirmed that the Son was of the same essence as the Father, consubstantial with Him in essence and in Godship. The followers of Arius returned to slander St. Malatius before Emperor Valens, who exiled him again to a country further away than the one to which he was exiled first. When he arrived to his exile, the bishops and the fathers that were exiled from different countries came and gathered around and stayed with him.
St. Malatius did not slack in teaching and interpreting what was difficult to understand in the Holy Scriptures. His epistles reached his flock, in spite of the distance, confirming their faith in the Holy Trinity, preaching the faith of the Council of Nicea and refuting the teachings of Arius.
He was in exile for many years until his return to Antioch in the year 378 A.D. He was present in the Council of Constantinople in the year 381 A.D. Then he departed in peace.
St. John Chrysostom (Golden Mouthed) praised St. Malatius on his feast day declaring his greatness and that he was not in any less stature than the apostles in honor for what he suffered from exile and humiliation for the sake of the Orthodox faith.