Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem
|Bishop of Jerusalem and Confessor|
|Born||c. AD 99 (reputedly)|
|Died||c. AD 216 (aged around 117)|
Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palaestina
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church of Arodon
|Feast||October 29 (Roman Catholic Church)|
August 7 (Eastern Orthodox Church)
|Attributes||Depicted as a Bishop holding a thistle in blossom; pitcher of water near him; an angel depicted carrying his soul to Heaven.|
Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem (c. 99 (reputedly) – c. 216) was an early patriarch of Jerusalem. He is venerated as a saint by both the Western and Eastern Churches. In the Roman Catholic Church, his feast day is celebrated on October 29, while in the Eastern Orthodox Church it is celebrated on August 7.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the Catholic episcopal see of Jerusalem, officially seated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was originally established in 1099 with the Kingdom of Jerusalem encompassing the newly territories in the Holy Land conquered by the First Crusade. From 1374-1847 it was a titular see, with the Patriarchs of Jerusalem being based at the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. A resident Latin Patriarch was re-established in 1847 by Pius IX.
A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.
It is inferred that the average reign of the bishops of Jerusalem was short, as evidenced by the episcopal reigns of those who followed Saint Simeon, the second bishop of Jerusalem, who was martyred in the year 117 by the Emperor Trajan.Of Greek origin, tradition holds that Narcissus was born in the year 99 and was at least 80 when he was made the 30th bishop of Jerusalem. More than a century had then elapsed since the city was destroyed by the Romans, and it had since been rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina by the Emperor Hadrian.
Simeon of Jerusalem, son of Clopas, was a Jewish Christian leader and according to most Christian traditions the second Bishop of Jerusalem.
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Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
In the year 195, St Narcissus, together with Theophitus or Theoctistus, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, presided over a council held by the bishops of Palestine in Caesarea, and it was decreed that Easter was to be always kept on a Sunday, and not with the Jewish Passover. According to Eusebius, the bishop performed many miracles. One miracle of note, as Eusebius testified, had occurred during the Easter Vigil when Narcissus changed water into oil to supply all the lamps of the church.
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Narcissus was the subject of several serious allegations made by members of the Christian community, but these proved to be false. He forgave his accusers, but left Jerusalem and lived in seclusion for several years.
Three bishops governed the See of Jerusalem in succession during his absence. Upon his return to Jerusalem, the people unanimously sought him out and asked him to resume his episcopal duties. This he did, but owing to his extreme age and the weight of his duties, he made Saint Alexander his coadjutor bishop.St Narcissus continued to serve his flock and other churches outside his jurisdiction by his constant prayer and his exhortations to the faithful for unity and peace.
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A coadjutor bishop is a bishop in the Catholic, Anglican, and (historically) Eastern Orthodox churches whose main role is to assist the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese. The coadjutor is a bishop himself, although he is also appointed as vicar general. The coadjutor bishop is, however, given authority beyond that ordinarily given to the vicar general, making him co-head of the diocese in all but ceremonial precedence. In modern times, the coadjutor automatically succeeds the diocesan bishop upon the latter's retirement, removal, or death.
Cyril of Jerusalem was a distinguished theologian of the early Church. He is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion. In 1883, Cyril was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII. He is highly respected in the Palestinian Christian Community.
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