This is a list of all the Cathedral Homilies of St Severus, from the Patrologia Orientalis translation of the edition by James of Edessa. It includes a translation of the description of each homily from the edition by James of Edessa. (I will add the P.O. Volume details to each homily in due course).
This is the first discourse given by Saint Severus, after he had been ordained Archbishop of the Church of the city of Antioch; and which he pronounced again, two days later, in the sanctuary of the holy martyr Romanos, at the request of a large number of people who could not hear him because of the tumult and the clamour of the large crowd which had met on the day it was ordained, on the 21st of the month of Choyak, at the time of the 6th year of the cycle.
By Saint Mar Severus, on the intelligence of the listeners and on the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel, which he made to the Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary, and against those who divide Emmanuel into two natures after the union.
[On the trial of Jonah] (gap)
On the fact that, before the feast of the Nativity, one reads, according to custom, the beginning of the Gospel of Luke; and, according to the verses of the Gospel, on the dogma of divine humanation and the “ethical” teaching, that is to say relating to the way of life, which teaches how we must prepare ourselves before the feast.
Since in fact the side of the first man formed (of the earth), Adam, that is to say Eve, has become for us the origin of evil, for having welcomed the serpent’s fraud, hence it is that Emmanuel, the one who for us received the title of second Adam, after (his voluntary death) on the cross, has the side pierced by the soldier’s lance, restoring (thus) the woman who had been formed from there, making her to pass from softness to a virile courage and to the struggle for piety and to participate in her own firmness, and from it giving us the first fruits of immortality: indeed, after his last breath and his death according to the flesh, death by which he killed death, he accepted that his side was wounded and (from) this caused this extraordinary flow of blood and water to flow out which gives us incorruptibility, showing (thereby) that where death had taken its origin, there even flourished immortality.
The beginning of this ascetic life is the meditation on death and the departure of the soul from the body.
From the Patriarch Saint Severus, a homily on the Nativity, that is to say the Manifestation. It then speaks of the commemoration of Mar Stephen: this is why the end of the homily also deals with the martyr.
Translation of the 8th of the Cathedral Homilies, on the children who were massacred by Herod in Bethlehem, of Saint Mar Severus, Patriarch.
On Basil and Gregory, bishops. It was pronounced in the sanctuary of Saint Ignatius.
On the Epiphany
On the holy martyr Babylas.
On the munificence of the gift of the pious emperor (Anastasius), who had remitted some remaining contributions and taxes from the Public Treasury.
Pronounced in memory of the Holy Mother of God and always Virgin Mary.
On the Forty Day fast. It was pronounced the previous Friday in the church of Cassien.
On the reason why we read the Book of Genesis during these forty days of fasting, that is to say of the creation of the world, on decency in our songs and on chaste and honest dress. It was pronounced in the great church.
He who rejoices unceasingly because of Christ is not subject to this curse, and, what is the summit, the Word of God who for us was made flesh and became man unchanged, when he walked of his own accord towards the salutary cross, showed us the reason why he voluntarily endures the Passion in his flesh, accepting to be crowned with thorns, crying out, so to speak, by the facts themselves that it is with the will to erase the sentence (brought) against our race that it came, in order to blunt in some way the point of thorns, that is to say the sting of death, this why he wore them on his head.
From the same Saint Severus: In what way was the ordinance established by the holy canons prescribing that at the holy fast of the Forty Days we must remember the holy martyrs; and about the forty holy martyrs. It was pronounced on the day of Saturday.
On the drought that has taken place, that is, on the lack of rains, and how we have to be prepared in such circumstances.
On the meeting with our Saviour, that is to say on the feast of the Hosannas and on the (words): He is blessed.
Catechesis, which was pronounced, as usual, on the Wednesday of the great week of Easter, that is to say of the Passion, to those who were to be deemed worthy of holy baptism.
On this (word): My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and on what was said by Our Lord to the thief: In truth, I say it to you, today, you will be with me in paradise.
Given in the Great Church. On this (word): The Word has “become” flesh and he has lived among us. And that we must be concerned about the poor, and during our life, and when we dictate our last wills.
On the Ascension of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ and on the purple mantle which was given by our pious emperor Anastasius.
On the Pentecost
Warning on the horses shows, the first which took place after spring, so that we flee from harmful entertainment and the evils that flow from it, and on the holy martyr Theodore.
On the holy martyr, Leontius.
On the descent of Severus to Seleucia on the day of the commemoration of the Apostle Thomas.
Which shows that the fact of anathematizing those who are guilty of having preached a gospel different from the one we have received, frees the city and the Church, that is to say the people, from the curse and the anathema.
On Saint Simon the Stylite
On the dedication of the Holy Cross and on the anniversary of the earthquake that took place.
On John the Baptist
About the man born blind, about whom the disciples asked Our Lord: Rabbi, who sinned, this one, or his parents, that he was born blind?
After it was shown that Vitalian, that infamously named rebel, bowed ignominiously, when the meeting took place on this occasion.
On the fact that, last year, on this very day when he was appointed to the city, he addressed the people; and on the holy martyr Romanos.
On the Nativity according to the flesh of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
On Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian. It was pronounced in the sanctuary of the holy martyr Ignatius.
On the Lights (The Epiphany). This is the second.
On the Fast. This is the second.
It was given inside the Holy Baptistery, on the evening of the beginning of the holy Fast of Forty Days, when we were going to deny ourselves entry to the baptistery which is done every Sunday evening, until the holy Feast of Easter and the Resurrection.
Of the forty holy martyrs. This is the second. It was delivered when the homily, which had been delivered the past year, had been read again to the people, for they had requested it when it had been delivered.
Second Catechetical Homily. It was pronounced on the Wednesday of the great week.
On this verse from John: And of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace; and on the newly baptized.
On the commemoration of the righteous of old, which is celebrated with us after the week of the feast of the adorable Resurrection of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
On this verse written by the apostle to Timothy: Practice godliness; for bodily exercise is useful for little things, but piety is useful for everything, it which has the promise of life, of the life present, and of the life to come. And on what was said by our Saviour to Mary: Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. And on the victory of the pious emperor Anastasius, which has been announced to us.
Why we are having a celebration on the day of mid-Pentecost and on the proper reading of the gospel of John, saying: Here then, when we were already in the middle of the feast of Pentecost, Jesus went up to the temple and he taught, and the rest …
On the Ascencion of the Great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is the second.
On the Pentecost. But it was pronounced the following week on Friday, the fast being announced in advance as usual.
On what the apostle said in the letter to the Romans: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, so death has passed to all men, because all have sinned; for until the law sin was in the world: but sin was not imputed when there was no law. However death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned, in the likeness of the transgression of the commandment of Adam, who is the figure of the one who is to (come). And on what is said in the Epistle to the Corinthians: And when everything has been subject to him, then the Son himself will be subject to him who submitted everything to him, that God may be all in all.
On Saint Leontius, the Martyr.
On the Martyr, Saint Domece.
On the Maccabees.
On the correction, that is to say calamity which, it is reported, was sent by God on Alexandria.
To those who, after prayer, go to the theatre. It is against the law to see these shows. we must prevent by works of repentance the necessity of the wrath which has been established and participate often in the holy and adored mysteries.
Words of farewell, when he is preparing to leave to visit the holy churches of the countryside and towns and the holy monasteries.
About what was remembered by the faithful of Qinnasrin for the commemoration of the Holy Martyr Sergius; and about this martyr and Bacchus who at the same time as Sergius triumphed in the fight.
On his arrival in Qinnasrin and his reception by the faithful of the city. Only beginning of this Homily was preached, when it was interrupted because of a question of municipal affairs and a tumult, and it was suddenly resumed at the end.
On his arrival in the city of Cyr and on the economy of the advent in the flesh of Christ our God.
This Homily was also preached at Cyr, on the economy of the appearing in the flesh of Christ our God, against the blasphemy of Theodoret.
This Homily was preached, when the Christians of Cyr made loud calls for him to stay with them, in order to hear further instruction.
On his return, following the visit to the holy monasteries. This Homily was pronounced on the day of the commemoration of the Holy Forerunner, John the Baptist.
On the crystals that were sent from Palestine, and on the coals which were vomited by the possessed, and which were shown to the holy Church of God of Antioch.
On the Nativity, or the Epiphany.
As the faithful have requested that the Homily given at Cyr against the blasphemies of Theodoretbe repeated, this latest homily was added, after the beginning has been adapted to the commemoration celebrated of the children killed by Herod, and after some additions had been made. It was pronounced in the church, that is to say, “which is in the new City”, where these foxes of the Nestorian heresy slipped in.
On Saint Basil and Saint Gregory. We record also, near the end of the Homily, some short words about Ignatius, clad with God.
On the Epiphany.
On Mary, Holy Mother of God and Ever Virgin.
On the duty of young people. This Homily was given at the beginning of the Holy Fast of Lent.
On preparation for entry into the Baptistery, which is usually after the holy Feast of the Resurrection. This Homily was given on the evening of the beginning of the Fast, when the holy place of the Baptistery was closed.
This is the third Catechesis. This Homily was given, according to custom, on Wednesday of Holy Pascha or Passion Week.
On the Ascension of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
On the deposition of the sacred bodies of the holy martyrs Procope and Phocas in the church called that of Michael.
On the holy martyr Barlaha.
This homily was given on the Friday of the week following Pentecost, where there was a fast according to custom, on the reading from Acts in which it is said: Peter and Joh went up to the Temple at the time of prayer of the ninth hour, and a man, lame from his mother’s breast, was carried; and on the rest.
On the holy martyr Julian.
When we celebrated, according to custom, remembrance and supplication for all the poor and strangers who were buried in the places called πανδέκτασ, that is to say, those who receive all, and are buried in it. As a very large number of the faithful were not present, the Homily was given later.
A Homily of Severus, Archbishop of Antioch. That the Evangelists did not contradict each other in any way when they told the facts in different ways relating to the resurrection of Christ, our God and our Saviour, facts which we read on the night of every Sunday.
On the holy martyrs Tarachos, Probos and Andronicos.
On the word said by our Saviour in the Gospels to the Pharisees and the Scribes: but you say: the one who will tell his father or his mother: what you could benefit from me is corban, this does not honour his father or her mother, and how should we understand this word: it isn’t what goes into the mouth that corrupts a man, but it is what comes out of the mouth? – against those on whom hanged the objects called amulets.
On the day he was places at the head of the city and by a sign of God received the laying on of hands. This homily was given in the oratory of the holy martyr Romanos at the beginning of the fourth year. This is the first homily of this year.
On what is written in the Gospel of Matthew: when the disciples arrived in Capharnaum, those levied the tax approach Peter and say to him: doesn’t your master give it? and the rest.
On the words of the Gospel following those that were first examined in the previous homily: on this day the disciples approach Jesus, saying: who therefore is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? and on the rest.
On the Nativity or Epiphany. This is the fourth Homily. it was given within the oratory of the Virgin Mary, Holy and Mother of God, after it had been enlarged, during the restoration thanks to the munificence of the pious Emperor Anastasius.
On Basil the Great and on Gregory the Theologian. This Homily was given according to the custom inside the oratory of the martyr Ignatius clothed with God (θεοφόρος).
On the Epiphany.
On Saint Anthony who was the first initiator of the solitary and hermit life in Egypt and became the leader.
On Lent, which is the fourth on this subject.
On the customary preparation for entering the baptistery.
On the parable reported in the holy Gospel of Luke, the aim of which is: A man was coming down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers. And there is a reproach addressed to those who, as is the habit in the midst of the Fast, would not throw pieces of cloth to heal those who are tormented by ulcers from leprosy or from some other affliction.
Catechesis which was pronounced according to the custom for those who were to be baptized on the very glorious day of Easter and of the Resurrection, when they were gathered in very large numbers. This is the fourth catechesis.
On Athanasius the Great, confessor, Bishop of the great city of Alexandria, and against those who love the shows of the Olympic games.
On the ninth hour of Friday after Pentecost.
This homily was given when the synodic letters of the pious Dioscorus, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria were to be read.
To those who had doubts, after reading the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, on genealogy and generation according to the flesh of Our Lord, our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
On the division and the apparent disagreement between Matthew and Luke, about the genealogy according to the flesh of Our Lord, our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. And, in the end, against those who had gone up to Daphne according to the pagan way.
At the beginning of the homily, praise of the listeners, and then discussion, examination and solution on the last part of the doubts, which arose about the genealogy and about generation according to the flesh of Our Lord, our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
On Thecla, the first of the martyrs.
On the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah, which was brought by Matthew: Behold my servant, in whom my soul is delighted, and the other words which come after. And on what was said by our Saviour: All sin and all blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy that is against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks a word against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in the age to come.
On the anniversary of the day in which, by the grace of God, he, Severus, received ordination and was promoted to the episcopate.
On the martyrdom of Saint Drosis. At the end of the homily is a call according to which each one must offer what he can to complete the covering, the ciborium, of the holy altar.
On the Nativity or the Epiphany, which is the fifth on this subject.
On the great doctor of truth Basil, and Gregory the Theologian.
On Epiphany, which is the fifth on this subject.
On the verse, which is in the Gospel of Matthew, which says: Then, after having gone away, the Pharisees took counsel concerning him, how they would take him in the fault of his word. And they sent their disciples to him with the Herodians. And on the rest. And that, those who announced another Gospel than what we have received, they must be anathematized, according to the rule of the Apostle, even though they would be in great number.
On the Holy Fast of Lent, which is the fifth on this subject. It was pronounced in the Great Church.
On preparation for entry into the baptistery as usual.
It was preached during the Fast, in response to some doubts relating to the Scriptures, which had been addressed and presented to Severus. The first is: “What then does mean that which is said by the prophet Isaiah? On that day there will be five cities in Egypt which will speak in the language of Canaan, and they will swear by the name of the Lord. Of these, one city will be called the city of Asedek. It is concerning this doubt that the whole homily was pronounced, and because of its length Severus could not touch the others.
On the other questions that had been proposed, which the homily itself will make clear to future readers.
Or fifth catechesis which was pronounced according to custom on the Wednesday of the week of the holy passion.
On the holy martyr Thallelaios. It was improvised, without having been prepared in advance, in the city of Egee, in its oratory.
This homily was also given in Egee. It concerns the subject on which it was also preached, when, in response to a question, it was improvised, without having been written in advance.
On the dedication of the Great Church, when the synodic letters of Saint Timothy, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria were to be read.
On the verse, which is in the Gospel of Luke, which says: Blessed are you who are poor, because the kingdom of God belongs to you. Happy are you who are crying now, because you will laugh. And: You, rich people, woe to you, because you have received your consolation; and again: You, woe to you who laugh now, because you will be in affliction and you will cry.
On the Holy Martyr Drosis, and on those who suffered martyrdom with her; and an exhortation for a collection in view of what is lacking in the work which is above the holy altar.
On the Nativity or the Epiphany, that is to say the appearance of God.
On Saint Basil and Gregory the Theologian.
On the Epiphany.
On the woman of bad, that is to say sinful, life recorded in Luke.
On the wedding feast recorded by the Evangelist John, which took place at Cana in Galilee, where Christ, after having also been invited, changed the water into wine. And that marriage is honourable. And to the address of a certain Romanos, who in a blasphemous and contradictory way changed by a different interpretation the word of the holy Gospels put before us.
On the beginning of the Fast, and on the appropriate reading taken from the Holy Gospels, which the Homily itself indicates, going forward, when it makes a modest commentary on it.
On preparation and readiness for entry into the baptistery, as usual.
Exhortation on the usual donation of pieces of cloth for those who suffer from leprosy or are otherwise sick.
Catechetical homily, which takes for its object and subject matter the confession of the Orthodox faith; but above all it touches on the abominable impiety of the Manicheans and in advance warns that no one falls into the nets of these, because some had even experienced such a pernicious error.
On the subject of the honourable and secret name, which, among the Hebrews, occurs in the Holy Books, which have been translated from Greek into Syriac – which is called among the Jews “separate name”.
On the verse found in Matthew: Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am? and on the rest. And that the Orthodoxy of the faith must be characterized and tested, not by the places or by the authorities, but by a healthy and Apostolic confession.
On the Doxology: “Holy, God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, you who were crucified for us, have mercy on us.”
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