Church Fathers: Intercession of the Saints

Originally posted 3/6/2009.

The Patristic testimony proving the early Church’s firm belief in the intercession of the saints.

1st Century
East: Bishop St. Dionysius the Areopagite Martyr of Athens says

4th Century
East: Patriarch St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Doctor) says in 350 [Catechetical Lectures 23:9 in PG ],

Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.

East: Patriarch St. Gregory Nazianzen the Great Theologian of Constantinople (Doctor, Cappadocian Father, & Holy Hierarch) says in 379 [Orations 24:11 in PG 35:1181A], “Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring her [the Virgin Justina] assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground.”

East: Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa (Cappadocian Father) says in 380 [Against Eunomius 1:1 in PG 45:], “Only may that power come upon us which strengthens weakness, through the prayers of him [St. Paul the Apostle] who made his own strength perfect in bodily weakness.”
WRH: St. Paul, pray to our Lord that He strengthens our weakness! Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

East: Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor & Holy Hierarch) says in 387 [Homilies on the Statues 6:19 in PG ],

But God forbid that any in this fair assembly should appear there suffering such things! but by the prayers of the holy fathers, correcting all our offenses, and having shown forth the abundant fruit of virtue, may we depart hence with much confidence, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom, and with Whom, be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

5th Century
East: Bishop Basil of Seleucia says before 459

6th Century
East: St. Romanus the Melodist says before 560
8th Century
East: Patriarch St. Germanus of Constantinople says before 733

West: Bishop St. Anselm of Canterbury (Doctor) says

West: St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Mellifluous Doctor) says


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