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Commemoration of St. James of Nisibis, hermit St. Maruge and Bishop St. Melitus

18decAll DayCommemoration of St. James of Nisibis, hermit St. Maruge and Bishop St. Melitus

Pontiff St. James of Nisibis is one of the authoritative and beloved saints of the Universal Church. He has deserved the epithet “Thaumaturge” (Wonderworker) for the numerous miracles relating to his name. According to hagiographical sources St. James was from a Parthian dynasty and the nephew of St. Gregory the Illuminator. When the family members of Anak the Parthian were killed nurses secretly fled to Caesaria taking with them baby Suren and James where they were educated in Christian spirit. Soon baby James and his sister Sakden were taken to Persia and for a while lived in the royal palace. However, James refused from safe and well-to-do life and became a hermit. He left for Nisibis where he met hermit St. Maruge, who was famous for leading a life befitting saints. Learning from the hermit Maruge that many people despite their conversion to true faith were skeptic and suspicious about the existence of Noah’s Ark James decided to climb the mountain in order to see the Ark and bring a piece of it. Despite his inflexible will-power he couldn’t reach the peak and after long sufferings he had a short nap. The angel visited him in his dream and put a piece of the Ark under his head. According to the tradition in the place where St. James had lain down appeared a cold stream having healing and miraculous qualities. In the future a church bearing the saint’s name was built nearby the stream. The piece of the Ark is up to date kept in the museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He is one of the clergymen participating in the Nicene Council in 325. After the death of the Bishop of Nisibis God appeared to Maruge and told him that St. James was the deserving candidate for the Bishop of Nisibis. St. James passed away in 350, after leading the flock for a long time.

Bishop St. Mielitus was born in Melitene, Armenia Minor. In 358 he was the Bishop of Sebastia. In 360 he ascended the throne of Antioch. He struggled against the Arians. In 381 he presided the Second Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople but unfortunately passed away before the end of the Council.



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