St. Nicodemus on St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite 1749-1809

[H]oly Augustine, that wonderful man, was bishop, who was so great a theologian of the Church, in which he also died as an old man at the age of seventy, engrossed in prayer, and ill, and deeply grieved on account of the inroad which the Arian Vandals had made into Africa. Notwithstanding that this Hippo itself was burned down by them the library in it was preserved unharmed, by divine, and not by any human, power. Hence the writings of the saint, which were far more noteworthy and robust than any cedar tree, were preserved unburned, despite the fact that thereafter they were garbled by heretics. That is why Orthodox Easterners do not accept them in toto and as a matter of course, but only whatever agrees with the common consensus of the catholic Church. (Footnotes to Carthage Regional Council:52, The Rudder edited by R.J. Masterjohn pg 1338)

St. Augustine is mentioned 52 times in the Masterjohn edition of St. Nicodemus’ The Rudder (Pedalion), which is the first printed collection of Orthodox canon law. He is simply called “Augustine” 13 times: pgs. 243, 270, 400, 439, 464, 466, 529, 928, 1262, 1280, 1312, 1354, 1824. He is called “Holy Augustine” four times: pgs. 217, 271, 408, 1338. He is mentioned as “St. Augustine” 28 times: pgs. 253, 360, 401, 405 twice, 407, 409, 412 twice, 421, 791, 802 twice, 874, 883, 924, 1130, 1148, 1154, 1334, 1338, 1344, 1397, 1440, 1544, 1551, 1576, 1914. He is also called “sacred Augustine” three times: pgs. 420, 1154, 1347. Lastly, he is called “divine Augustine” four times: pgs. 568, 834, 287, 1319.

G. Demacopoulos and A. Papanikolau: In 1799, Nicodemus [the Hagiorite] edited and published Demetrios Kydones’ translation of Augustine’s Soliloquiorum, which had been circulating under the title Monologia. Perhaps more significantly, he included Augustine’s name among the saints to be commemorated on June 15, when he completed his monumental revision of the Synaxarion (a calendar of saint’s feastdays) between 1805 and 1807 (published for the first time in Venice, 1819). Following Nicodemus’ lead, the Russian Church added Augustine to their own Synaxarion later that century. These Synaxaria remain in use today. Although Nicodemus did not offer a vita or publish hymns for liturgical veneration, the latter was produced by Fr. Ambrose Pogodin of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1955. (Orthodox Readings of Augustine pg. 18)

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