Commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

Commemorated October 11 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

This Council was held in 787 in Nicaea, in the reign of the devout Empress Irene and her son Constantine, and in the time of Patriarch Tarasius. This Council finally upheld the veneration of icons, expounding it from Holy Scripture, the witness of the holy fathers and the examples of miracles in connection with the holy icons. Among other examples cited, the Cypriot bishop, Constantine, brought forward this one: A herdsman from the city of Constantia, driving his flock out to pasture one day, saw an icon of the Mother of God adorned with flowers by the devout. 'Why give so much honour to a rock?', said the herdsman, obviously brought up in iconoclasm, and threw his iron stave at the icon, damaging the right eye of the Mother of God. As soon as he had left that spot, he stumbled over the same stave and put out his own right eye. Returning blinded to the city, he cried out tearfully that it was a punishment from the Mother of God.

This Council also decided that the relics of the martyrs be placed in the antimins.* Three hundred and sixty-seven fathers took part in the Council. May the Lord have mercy on us and save us by their prayers.

*Antimins: a cloth containing relics of the saints that is spread on the Holy Table for the celebration of the Liturgy - Tr.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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