This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28 -- Feast of Saint Caesarius of Armenia

 G. Bruno standing in for Caesarius 

The legend says that Caesarius was the father of Eudoxius of Antioch, the Arian bishop.  That may be true, but if Caesarius was burned at the stake in 309 and Eudoxius didn't become bishop until 360, I have to wonder how old the dad was when the son was conceived.  There's not enough information to make a real math problem, but I'd since Eudoxius died in 370, I'm not inclined to hold the dad responsible for his son's heresy.  Hell, I'm never inclined to hold a dad responsible for a son's heresy, especially given what my little heathen spawn said at the dinner table last night.  Yet some of the brief biographies of Saint Caesarius suggest that he is recognized as a saint despite his son's views.  Maybe it is just the American constitutional provision that "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood" (Article III, Section 3), but I reject inter-generational transmission of sins (other than original sin, which I accept as merely descriptive of human nature).

There's a lot more written about Eudoxius than about Caesarius.  The latter was apparently a cad of some kind -- one source says much of his life was "dissolute and sinful" while another demurely describes it as "less than exemplary."  He gets credit, however, for hanging tough on faith during the persecution of Galerius Maximian.

Without a picture of Eudoxius, the Hagia Sophia must do.
Eudoxius is more of an opportunist than a cad, but a scoundrel nonetheless.  He was attending the Emperor in the West when word came that the Bishop of Antioch died.  Eudoxius excused himself from the imperial court, raced to Antioch, and introduced himself as the Emperor's nominee.   Emperor Constantius II later wrote "Eudoxius went to seek you without my sending him. . . . To what restraint will men be amenable, who impudently pass from city to city, seeking with a most unlawful appetite every occasion to enrich themselves?" Constantius didn't fire him, though; in fact, he helped him trade up to the Archbishop of Constantinople, a gig he held until his death.

In his inaugural homily, Eudoxius opened by saying "The Father is asebes (impious) because he honors nobody, but the Son is eusebes (pious) because he honors the Father."  Pandemonium broke loose in the Hagia Sophia, but you can bet he never had trouble drawing a crowd.

I'm not big on the condemnation of the Arians.  They were no better than the orthodox, but I don't see that they were worse, either.  I tend to think Jesus would have lost patience when Church leaders argued about the nature of the Trinity.  Eudoxius may not merit a spot in the Canon, but I'm happy to let him draft in his Dad's wake.

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