During its working session last December, the Holy Synod decided to include Saint Diadochos, Bishop of Photiki, in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church, with commemoration day on March 29.
The Holy Synod also approved the Saint’s service, akathist, synaxarium, and icon.
Saint Diadochos was born around 400 and served as the Bishop of Photiki in Epirus of Northern Greece. In 451, he took part in the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon as Bishop of Photiki and supported Orthodoxy against the Monophysites.
His signature appears in a letter from 458 addressed to Emperor Leo I, in which he mentions the death of Patriarch Proterius of Alexandria, killed by the Monophysites.
Diadochos’ writing and ascetic practice were influenced by Evagrius the Solitary and Saint Macarius the Great, incorporating ideas of hesychia (stillness, rest, quiet), sensible spiritual experience, and the fierceness of the fight against the demons.
His best-known work, On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination (known as the One Hundred Chapters), was written for his monks in reaction to strange doctrines coming from the heretical Messalian sect in Mesopotamia, who taught that each person has a personal demon to be exorcised by constant prayer. He is also thought to be the author of a sermon on the Ascension and dialogue with Saint John the Baptist.
The One Hundred Chapters represent a complete treatise on the spiritual life, the ultimate goal of which is to unite the soul with God through love (chapters 1-2). His writings essentially contain dogmatic teachings and spiritual counsel.
The mystical experience referred to by St. Diadochos is consolidated around prayer, the only one able to drive away evil thoughts. “If then, the mind be found keeping in mind the holy name of the Lord Jesus, and use it as a weapon of that most holy and glorified name, the deceitful deceiver will depart” (ch. 31:32).
The Holy Hierarch Diodochos, Bishop of Photiki, will be celebrated annually on March 29, together with the Holy Martyrs Mark, the Bishop of Arethusa, and Cyril the Deacon.