Diadochos of Photiki

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Our venerable and God-bearing father '''Diadochos of Photiki''' was a fifth century ascetic whose work is included in the [[Philokalia]].
 +
Scholars have acknowledged his great influence on later Byzantine saints such as [[Maximos the Confessor]], [[John Climacus]], [[Symeon the New Theologian]], and in general the [[Hesychasm|Hesychast]] movement of the 14th century. He has also had great influence in the West via the "De vita contemplativa" of Julian Pomerius (+ 498).
  
Our venerable and God-bearing father '''Diadochos of Photiki''' is one of the great heirs of [[Evagrius the Solitary]] (Pontique) for the doctrine of hesychia, and of saint [[Macarios of Egypt]] (the Great), for the ideas of sensible spiritual experience and the fierceness of the fight against the demons.
 
Scholars have acknowledged his great influence on later Byzantine authors like saint [[Maximos the Confessor]], saint [[John Climacus]] ("of the Ladder"), saint [[Symeon the New Theologian]] and the Hesychast movement of the 14th century. He has also a great influence in the West via the "De vita contemplativa" of Julian Pomerius (+ 498), who came to southern Gaul in 496, in Arles, and gained great influence on [[saint Cesarius of Arles]].
 
 
His [[feast day]] is commemorated on [[March 29]].
 
His [[feast day]] is commemorated on [[March 29]].
  
 
== Life ==
 
== Life ==
Saint Diadoque is born c. 400, and died before 486, date of an "History of the persecution by the Vandals" who's author praises him.
 
He became bishop of Photiki (Photicé), small town in the province of Old Epira, in the nord-west of actual Greece. So F. Dörr, in "Diadochus von Photike und die Messalianer" calls him "the most Western of all Eastern bishops", and thus from the Greek Fathers.
 
  
He took part to Ecumenical Councile of Chalcedon (415) as bishop of Photiki. In one of his later works, "Sermo on Ascension", Diadoque appears as a real champion of the Orthodox doctrine of Chalcedon. His most known work, the "100 Chapters", was written for his monks, in reaction to some strange doctrines coming from Mesopotamia, from the schism (or sect?) of Messalianists (Euchists).
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Saint Diadochos was born c. 400 and died sometime before 486.
 +
He became [[bishop]] of Photiki (Photicé), a small town in the province of Old Epira, in the Northwest part of present Greece. In 451, he took part in the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] as Bishop of Photiki.  
  
Some authors have misunderstood the role of saint Macarius in Mesopotamia, and concluded that saint Diadoque wrote his main work against him. Later studies showed that saint Macarius held in fact the same role with those Messalianists communities of Mesopotamia as saint Basil the Great with some excentric communities of Cappadocia : trying to save inside of it those who were only there by chance, or just mislead by ambiguous discourses but not really believing heterodox teachings.
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He was most likely part of a group of Epiran notables who were captured by a Vandal raid between 467 and 474. The group was then released in North Africa, somewhere around Carthage, where all vanished. His exact date and place of death are thus unknown.
  
In this work, Diadoque is clearly showing himself as bishop worried about and carring for the orthodoxy of his faithfuls, plainly actor in the spiritual fights of his time.
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==Writings==
Chapters 13 & 91 of his works shows us also a real Christian man of [[prayer]], united to God, discovering very few of his "life in Christ", but wanting to share the good of if with the readers.
+
  
He was maybe part of the group of notables of Epira who got captured by a raid of Vandals between 467 and 474, group brought in deportation to North Africa, around Carthage, all vanished there.
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Diadochos' writing and ascetic practice were greatly influenced by [[Evagrius the Solitary]] (Pontique) and Saint [[Macarius the Great|Macarios of Egypt]] (the Great), incorporating their ideas of hesychia (Greek ησυχία, "stillness, rest, quiet"), sensible spiritual experience, and the fierceness of the fight against the demons.
His date and place of death are thus unknown.
+
  
In English, Greek and Russian, he is in the Philokalia as mentionned on this orthodoxwiki.
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In all his work Diadochos appears as a true champion of the Orthodox doctrine of [[Chalcedon]]. In fact, his best known work, the ''100 Chapters on Spiritual Perfection'', was written for his [[monk]]s in reaction to strange doctrines coming from the heretical [[Messalianism|Messalian]] sect in Mesopotamia (or Euchists).
 +
Some authors have misunderstood the role of Saint Macarius in Mesopotamia and concluded that Diadochos wrote this main work against him. This, however, is not the case, as St. Macarius' role was merely to salvage from within the Messalian heresy those who were there by chance or just mislead by the ambiguous discourses of the heresy.
  
In French, we can have his works in 3 editions :
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In the ''100 Chapters'', Diadochos shows himself as bishop worried about the orthodoxy of his flock and as a clear actor in the spiritual fights of his time.
SAINT DIADOQUE DE PHOTICE, évêque et Père de l'Eglise
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Also, Chapters 13 & 91 of his work show us a real Christian man of [[prayer]], united to God, discovering the "life in Christ" and wanting to share its goodness with his readers.
"100 chapitres de la perfection spirituelle"
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* Philocalie des Pères Neptiques, JC Lattes, 2 volumes - real great initiative of Olivier Clement, the whole Philocalia in 2 big books, very cost-effective. Sadly no longer published by Lattes.
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* [http://www.migne.fr/PDF/PDF_41.htm b. Editions Migne, collection Pères dans la Foi nr.41]
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* [http://www.editionsducerf.fr/html/fiche/fichelivre.asp?N_LIV_CERF=732 c. Sources Chrétiennes, éditions du Cerf, nr.5] (great scholar edition)
+
  
  
Chapter 11 & 12 (please correct translations errors, thank you!)
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==''100 Chapters'' Quote==
"Spiritual discourse always keeps the soul free from self-esteem, for it gives every part of the soul a sense of light, so that it no longer needs the praise of men. In the same way, such discourse keeps the mind free from fantasy, transfusing it completely with the Love of God.  Discourse deriving from the wisdom of this world, on the other hand, always provokes self-esteem; because it is incapable of granting us the experience of spiritual perception, it inspires its adepts with a longing for praise, being nothing but the fabrication of conceited men.  It follows, therefore, that we can know with certainty when we are in the proper state to speak about God, if during the hours when we do not speak we maintain a fervent remembrance of God in untroubled silence.
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Whoever loves himself cannot love God; but if, because of 'the overflowing richness' of God's love, a man does not love himself, then he truly loves God (Ephes. 2,7).  Such a man never seeks his own glory, but seeks the glory of God. The man who loves himself seeks his own glory, whereas he who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. It is characteristic of the soul which consciously senses the Love of God always to seek God's glory in every Commandment it performs, and to be happy in its low estate.  For glory befits God because of His majesty, while lowliness befits man because it unites us with God.  If we realize this, rejoicing in the glory of the Lord, we too, like Saint John the Baptist, will begin to say unceasingly, 'He must increase, but we must decrease.'"
+
  
 +
From Chapters 11 & 12:
 +
 +
"Spiritual discourse always keeps the soul free from self-esteem, for it gives every part of the soul a sense of light, so that it no longer needs the praise of men. In the same way, such discourse keeps the mind free from fantasy, infusing it completely with the Love of God.  Discourse deriving from the wisdom of this world, on the other hand, always provokes self-esteem; because it is incapable of granting us the experience of spiritual perception, it inspires its practitioners with a longing for praise, it being nothing but the fabrication of conceited men.  It follows, therefore, that we can know with certainty when we are in the proper state to speak about God if during the hours when we do not speak we maintain a fervent remembrance of God in untroubled silence.
 +
Whoever loves himself cannot love God; but if, because of 'the overflowing richness' of God's love, a man does not love himself, then he truly loves God (Ephes. 2,7).  Such a man never seeks his own glory, but seeks the glory of God. The man who loves himself seeks his own glory, whereas he who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. It is characteristic of the soul which consciously senses the Love of God always to seek God's glory in every Commandment it performs and to be happy in its low estate.  For glory befits God because of His majesty, while lowliness befits man because it unites us with God.  If we realize this, rejoicing in the glory of the Lord, we too, like Saint John the Baptist, will begin to say unceasingly, 'He must increase, but we must decrease.'"
  
 
== Source ==
 
== Source ==
Line 40: Line 37:
 
* [http://www.roca.org/oa/153/153c.htm Quote : On silence] ([[ROCA]])
 
* [http://www.roca.org/oa/153/153c.htm Quote : On silence] ([[ROCA]])
 
* [http://www.onelittleangel.com/wisdom/quotes/saint_net.asp?mc=346 Some quotes] (non-Orthodox website?)
 
* [http://www.onelittleangel.com/wisdom/quotes/saint_net.asp?mc=346 Some quotes] (non-Orthodox website?)
* [http://www.annunciation.org/perception.html Quote : On the perception of God's Love] (non-Orthodox website?)
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* [http://www.annunciation.org/perception.html Quote : On the perception of God's Love] ([[GOA]])
 
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[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
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[[Category:5th-century bishops]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
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[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
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[[Category:Greek Saints]]
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[[Category:Hesychasm]]
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[[Category:5th-century saints]]

Latest revision as of 12:01, October 22, 2012

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Our venerable and God-bearing father Diadochos of Photiki was a fifth century ascetic whose work is included in the Philokalia. Scholars have acknowledged his great influence on later Byzantine saints such as Maximos the Confessor, John Climacus, Symeon the New Theologian, and in general the Hesychast movement of the 14th century. He has also had great influence in the West via the "De vita contemplativa" of Julian Pomerius (+ 498).

His feast day is commemorated on March 29.

Contents

Life

Saint Diadochos was born c. 400 and died sometime before 486. He became bishop of Photiki (Photicé), a small town in the province of Old Epira, in the Northwest part of present Greece. In 451, he took part in the Council of Chalcedon as Bishop of Photiki.

He was most likely part of a group of Epiran notables who were captured by a Vandal raid between 467 and 474. The group was then released in North Africa, somewhere around Carthage, where all vanished. His exact date and place of death are thus unknown.

Writings

Diadochos' writing and ascetic practice were greatly influenced by Evagrius the Solitary (Pontique) and Saint Macarios of Egypt (the Great), incorporating their ideas of hesychia (Greek ησυχία, "stillness, rest, quiet"), sensible spiritual experience, and the fierceness of the fight against the demons.

In all his work Diadochos appears as a true champion of the Orthodox doctrine of Chalcedon. In fact, his best known work, the 100 Chapters on Spiritual Perfection, was written for his monks in reaction to strange doctrines coming from the heretical Messalian sect in Mesopotamia (or Euchists). Some authors have misunderstood the role of Saint Macarius in Mesopotamia and concluded that Diadochos wrote this main work against him. This, however, is not the case, as St. Macarius' role was merely to salvage from within the Messalian heresy those who were there by chance or just mislead by the ambiguous discourses of the heresy.

In the 100 Chapters, Diadochos shows himself as bishop worried about the orthodoxy of his flock and as a clear actor in the spiritual fights of his time. Also, Chapters 13 & 91 of his work show us a real Christian man of prayer, united to God, discovering the "life in Christ" and wanting to share its goodness with his readers.


100 Chapters Quote

From Chapters 11 & 12:

"Spiritual discourse always keeps the soul free from self-esteem, for it gives every part of the soul a sense of light, so that it no longer needs the praise of men. In the same way, such discourse keeps the mind free from fantasy, infusing it completely with the Love of God. Discourse deriving from the wisdom of this world, on the other hand, always provokes self-esteem; because it is incapable of granting us the experience of spiritual perception, it inspires its practitioners with a longing for praise, it being nothing but the fabrication of conceited men. It follows, therefore, that we can know with certainty when we are in the proper state to speak about God if during the hours when we do not speak we maintain a fervent remembrance of God in untroubled silence. Whoever loves himself cannot love God; but if, because of 'the overflowing richness' of God's love, a man does not love himself, then he truly loves God (Ephes. 2,7). Such a man never seeks his own glory, but seeks the glory of God. The man who loves himself seeks his own glory, whereas he who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. It is characteristic of the soul which consciously senses the Love of God always to seek God's glory in every Commandment it performs and to be happy in its low estate. For glory befits God because of His majesty, while lowliness befits man because it unites us with God. If we realize this, rejoicing in the glory of the Lord, we too, like Saint John the Baptist, will begin to say unceasingly, 'He must increase, but we must decrease.'"

Source

History : Adaptation & translation of the preface of the French edition "Migne"

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