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Nicetas of Remesiana

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Nicetas of Remesiana

St.Nicetas of Remesiana
St.Nicetas of Remesiana
Nicetas Dardani
Born 335
Died 414
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Feast 22 June
Major works Te Deum

Nicetas Dardani[1] or Saint Nicetas (Albanian: Niketa) (ca. 335–414) was Bishop of Remesiana, present-day Bela Palanka in the Pirot District of modern Serbia, but which was then in the Roman province of Dacia Mediterranea.[2]

Biography

Nicetas was born an Illyrian[3][4][5] and he promoted Latin sacred music for use during the eucharistic worship and reputedly composed a number of liturgical hymns, among which some twentieth-century scholars number the major Latin Christian hymn of praise, Te Deum, traditionally attributed to Saints Ambrose and Augustine.

Because of his missionary activity, his contemporary and friend, Saint Paulinus of Nola lauded him poetically for instructing in the Gospel barbarians changed by him from wolves to sheep and brought into the fold of peace, and for teaching to sing of Christ with a Roman heart bandits who previously had no such ability.[6] However, it is doubtful, whether these barbarians really were barbarians, or whether their mention is only a poetical topos. Indeed, Paulin, who wrote a quite classical Latin poetry, probably used existing poetical authorities. For Dacia, where Nicetas was from, the poetical authority was Ovid, although the Dacia (probably the province Dacia mediterranea) of that time did not correspond with the Getia where Ovid had been banished to.[7]

Lengthy excerpts survive of his principal doctrinal work, Instructions for Candidates for Baptism, in six books. They show that he stressed the orthodox position in Trinitarian doctrine. They contain the expression "communion of saints" in reference to the belief in a mystical bond uniting both the living and the dead in a confirmed hope and love. No evidence survives of previous use of this expression, which has since played a central role in formulations of the Christian creed.

His feast day as a saint is on 22 June, the day on which Saint Paulinus of Nola also is celebrated.[8]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Letter of Pope John Paul II for the third centenary of the union of the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania with the Church of Rome
  3. ^
  4. ^ Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History 1994
  5. ^
  6. ^ "quod barbaros oves factos Evangelium edocuisset atque in pacis aulam duxisset et quondam inperiti ac latrones Christum corde romano resonare didicisset" (Martyrologium Romanum Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001. ISBN 88-209-7210-7, p. 330).
  7. ^ Philippe Blasen, “Nicetas of Remesiana – A Missionary Bishop in Dacia?” in Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Theologia catholica, 1-2, 2012, 39-49
  8. ^ Martyrologium Romanum. Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001. ISBN 88-209-7210-7; Gross, Ernie. This Day In Religion. New York:Neal-Schuman Publications, 1990. ISBN 1-55570-045-4.

External links

  • Catholic Encyclopedia article
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica article
  • A New Approach to Albanian History
  • Illyricum in christian literature
  • Works by or about Nicetas of Remesiana at Internet Archive
  • Works by Nicetas of Remesiana at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
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