Amphilochius of Iconium

quotes from Amphilochius of Iconium:→

Amphilochius of Iconium (340-394 A.D.) was a bishop of the fourth century and was probably a first cousin to Gregory of Nazianzus. Early in 374 he was appointed bishop of Iconium by Basil the Great, whom he continued to aid in Cappadocian ecclesiastical affairs until Basil’s death (379).  He remained close to Gregory of Nazianzus and accompanied him to the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. where he met St. Jerome (On Illustrious Men c. 133).

Quotes and Excerpts:

“It is enough, O Virgin, to be called the Mother. It suffices to be the nurse of Him who nurtures the world. It is a great thing to have held within your flesh the One who upholds all things.”
-On the Hypapante 8 (Written 390)

“What a grand and most wise strategy against the devil! The world, which had once fallen under the power of sin because of a virgin, is now restored to freedom because of a Virgin. Through the virginal birth, a great multitude of invisible demons has been cast down into Tartarus.”
-On Christmas 4 (written 390)


Oration V: “On the Day of the Holy Sabbath”

We celebrate the burial feast of our Savior today. And He is unloosing the bonds of death among the dead below, and filling Hades with light, and awakening those who had fallen asleep; but we dance upon earth, having beheld the Resurrection, and we have not feared corruption, for it has no power over incorruption. For You will not give, it says, Your holy one to see corruption (Ps 16:10). And, likewise, the Jews and Greeks laugh at our philosophy; for these await another Christ, and those have enclosed their hopes in tombs, about whom the prophet fittingly says: Their tombs are their homes unto the age (Ps 49:11). But those laughing will moan (for they will moan later, looking on Whom they have pierced and insulted (Zec 12:10)); but we, weeping, will temper the suffering with pleasure. Did death snatch away the Master Christ? But he does not take life from Him. Did he swallow him? He swallowed, not knowing, but he vomited up many along with Him. He is freely held now; after this day, despoiling Hades, He will rise. Yesterday, He darkened the sun, being crucified, and He brought forth night in the midst of day; today, death is undone, accepting a dead stranger; yesterday, creation mourned, seeing the mania of the Jews, and darkness put on a mourning stole; today, the people sitting in darkness have seen a great light (Is 9:2). Yesterday, earth trembled, and gave counsel of flight, and threatened to separate from its inhabitants, and the mountains were cut, and the rocks were split, and the temple was bare, as if animate, tearing the garment asunder, through which it suffered, having revealed the Holy Things as if it were profaned. Soulless things understood the daring, and those daring these things had senseless souls. The elements were vexed, and abandoned their order a little, and would have worked confusion in all, if they had not perceived the Creator’s will, that He was not insulted unwillingly
O new and paradoxical things! Stretched on the wood is the One stretching the heavens with a word; and enwrapped in chains is the One Who binds the sea with sand; He is given gall to drink, Who bestows fountains of honey; and He is crowned with thorns, Who crowns the earth with flowers; and He is struck with a reed on the head, Who struck the Egyptians with ten plagues, and hid the head of Pharaoh in the waters. Spit upon is the face of He Whom the Cherubim do not bear to see. And, suffering these things, for those crucifying Him He prayed, saying: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Lk 23:34). He conquers evil with goodness. He gives a defense for the Christ-slayers, dragging them to salvation. He dissolves the charge, pleading their ignorance. He is not sore over their drunken antics, having become a trifle. He accepts the drunkenness, and calls them to repentance through love of mankind. What more must be said? Accepting nothing of goodness, they enclose in the tomb Him Who none of existing things contains; and they set signs, guarding our salvation; and, having feared the Resurrection, they set guard soldiers at the memorial. Who has seen a guarded dead man? Or, rather, who has seen a dead man warred-against? Who has heard of a doubtful end, and one giving fear to those who caused it? Who has not ceased fighting the enemy, having taken away his soul? Who has not released enmity, being satisfied with the adversary’s death? Why do you fear Whom you destroyed, O Judea? Why do you fear Whom you have killed? Do you tremble at the One put aside? Why do you fear Whom you have annihilated? Why do you agonize over Whom you have crucified? You have security because of the slaughter. Take courage. If He Who died is bare man, He will not arise; if bare man, you rightly set up the Cross; if bare man, He does not speak truth, saying, Dissolve this temple, and in three days I will raise it (Jn 2:19). If bare man, He is held by death; if bare man, why do you seal the tomb, mindless one? Wait for the third day, and you will see the condemnation of your mania. Stop worrying, and you will see the consequence of the deeds. Stop fighting against the truth. Stop warring against God, and wounding yourself in warring. Stop insulting the Sun of Righteousness, and thinking you quenched His rays. Stop filling up the fountain of life, loving contention. Stop troubling the princes, and talking about guards. Stop buying falsehood, and moving the hoplites. Don’t labor, mindless one; don’t waste your goods on impiety, and fantasize a victory against God. Don’t give a reward to the soldiers for saying one thing instead of another. Don’t make a crowd lie down at the tomb. Don’t take courage in arms. Resurrection is not hindered by arms; it is not tripped up by seals, it is not shut out by soldiers, it is not stolen with goods, but with faith. Did you not see Lazarus again, shaking off death like sleep? Did you see how he walked with his cords, hearing “Come forth”? Did you see how the dead man followed the command, and the bond did not hinder him? Did you see how the voice fit the one loosened from death? He Who was able to do that, will also be able to do these things; He Who raised the servant, will Himself much more be raised. The One giving life to the rotten, will not permit His own death. But since the blindness of the Jews is great, even seeing the wonders, you do not see. Eyes they have, but they do not see; ears they have, but they do not hear. For the God of this age blinded their hearts, that the Gospel of righteousness not be resplendent upon them (Ps 115:5-6; 2 Cor 4:4). But we will leave them in faithlessness; while we say, with the faith of those around Mariam, re-forming the Savior’s tomb in our minds: “They have taken our Lord, and we do not know what they have done to Him” (Jn 20:13). To Him be the glory, with the immaculate Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”  -(Source: Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, ed. J.-P. Migne, Tomus XXXIX (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1863), 89A-93A. [PG 39:89A-93A])

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