July 25, 2014

The 165 Holy Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod

165 Holy Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod (Feast Day - July 25)

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

On the 25th of July we commemorate the 165 Holy Fathers of the Fifth Synod gathered in Constantinople, and the destruction of Origenist doctrines.

The words of Beliar are the words of the Origenists, 
Having been destroyed by the worshipers of the Word.

During the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the year 535, the Patriarch of Constantinople was Anthimos of Trebizond, who supported the impious beliefs of the Eutychians. First he was the Bishop of Trebizond, then of Constantinople. Because he appeared to be a heretic, as we said, for this he was stripped of the throne, both by the Orthodox and also by the then Pope of Rome Agapetus. Patriarch Menas was ordained in his place, who was first a presbyter in the Church of Constantinople and an innkeeper of Sampson's. Under this pretext, therefore, Severus and Peter of Apameia, who were men that had every heresy upon them, began a revolt, establishing the blasphemous doctrines of the Origenists.1 Thus, having disturbed the Church of Christ, they brought grief to all Orthodox. For this reason Emperor Justinian, in the seventh year of his reign, gathered a Synod in Constantinople of 165 Holy Fathers, together with the most-holy Patriarch Menas, and together they anathematized the above mentioned, and those like-minded.2 Hence, from that time the Church of God remembers this Synod, glorifying God.


1. The blasphemous doctrines of Origen are the following:

* That souls pre-existed before bodies.

* That these are sent after death from one body to another.

* That hell has an end.

* That demons will receive the first position of angelic grace, as they once had.

* That souls will resurrect naked without bodies.

* That the heavenly bodies have souls, and other falsehoods.

It should be noted, that the teachers of the future generations, compiled a book of Origen, calling it Philokalia, in which all the correct opinions of Origen are written. Within this is the wonderful interpretation of Origen regarding the Pentateuch, the Psalms, and other parts of Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments, from which the divine Fathers copied much verbatim.

2. They anathematized Origen, Didymus, Evagrius, Zooras, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus , who were Nestorians. The Canons from this Synod are in our Pedalion.

From the Synaxarion of the Twelve Months of the Year. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.