Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mor Severios - February 8th

Church celebrates the memory of St. Severios, the Great on February 8th. The fifth diptych (Thubaden) remembers Mor Severios as “Patriarch Mor Severios, the crown of the Syrians, that rational mouth and pillar and teacher of all the holy Church of God, the meadow fill of flowers who always preached that Mary is undoubtedly the Mother of God”

Brief Biography of Mor Severios

Mor Severios was born at Sozopolis, Pisidia. His father was a member of the Council of the city. Mor Severios was the third son of his parents. After the death of his father, Mor Severios’ mother send him to one of the most eminent monastery in Alexandria to study Green, Latin and rhetoric. Later in A.D 486 he went to Beirut and studied Law and practiced as an advocate there. At this time he read widely on theology and published a book praising St. Paul – Encomium of the Apostle Paul. It is not certain whether his parents were Christians. Severios was baptized in AD 488 at Tripolis. He sold all his properties and distributed to poor and needy. Mor Severios visited Jerusalem and joined the monastery of Peter between Gaza and Majuma. After learning the Holy Bible and the customs of ascetic life he build a Monastery nearby and lived there. He became ill due to the strict ascetic practices in the monastery.

Bishop Epphiphanos ordained Severios as Priest. He lived at Constantinople during AD 508-511. Patriarch Flavian II was removed from the Throne in AD 512. Severios was enthroned Patriarch on 6th November 512. After assuming the position as Patriarch, he continued the monastic life style. He demolished all luxurious facilities build by his predecessor (Aphrem 1963).

In A.D 518 a pro-Chalcedonian emperor, came into power and the writings of Patriarch Mor Severios were burned. Anybody having in his or her possession the writings of Mor Severios were tortured. Subsequently, on 29th September AD 518, he was exiled from Antioch to Alezandria. The teachings of Patriarch Mor Severioson the incarnation is famous. “His conception of the incarnation was, that all the human qualities remained in Christ unchanged in their nature and essence, but that they were amalgamated with the totality of hypostasis; that they had no longer separate existence, and having no longer any kind of center or focus of their own, no longer constituted a distinct monad. On the contrary, the foci had become one. The monads were conjoined; the substratum in which the qualities of both natures inhered no longer had an independent subsistent in this composite hypostasis.”

The above confession of faith is repeated during the fracture and commixture in the Holy Mass. That is “He is One Immanuel, and is indivisible into two natures after the unity. Thus we believe and thus we confess and this we confirm.”

The responsory (Manisso) of Mor Severios sung in the beginning of the celebration of Holy Qurobono also proclaims the basic tenet of the church regarding the incarnation of God, the Word. “.. and did become incarnate of the Holy and glorious pure virgin, Mother of God, Mary; who did become man, being God without change, and was crucified for us.”

Patriarch Mor Severios was a prolific writer. He has prepared a liturgy and several other prayers for special occasions, as list of which is available. Mor Severios foreseeing his death called his disciples and said: “It is good that I am going to join Jesus Christ. You will also come to me there and will again unite.” He spend about twenty years in hiding and departed for the heavenly abode on 8th Feb(Saturday) 538 at Sakha, Egypt at the age of 79.


Thubathen – Dr. A.V. Zakkariya

Martyrs, Saints & Prelates of The Syriac Orthodoc Church – Rev. Fr. K. Mani Rajan

Vellinakshatrangal – HE Aphrem Poulose Mor Athanasiose

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