« Agapetus Agapios Monachos Agatha, Saint »

Agapios Monachos

AGAPIOS MONACHOS, a-gɑ̄´pi-os mo-nɑ̄´kos (“Agapios the Monk”; Athanasio Lando): Ascetic writer of the Greek Church; b. at Candia, Crete, toward the end of the sixteenth century; d. between 1657 and 1664. After a wandering life he took up his abode in the monastery on Mt. Athos, but he found it hard to submit to the strict discipline there. He is one of the most popular religious writers of the Greeks. By his excellent translations from the Latin, ancient Greek, and Italian into the vernacular he made many devotional works of the nations accessible to his people. He meant to be orthodox, but was influenced by Roman Catholicism, and in his works he unsuspectingly quotes Peter Damian and Albertus Magnus besides Ambrose, Augustine, and others. In penance he distinguishes between the contritio, satisfactio, and confessio; and in the Lord’s Supper he accepts the doctrine of transubstantiation without using that term. The question of his orthodoxy was seriously debated in the seventeenth century by the fathers of Port Royal and representatives of the Reformed Church (cf. J. Aymon, Monumens authentiques de la Religion des Grecs, The Hague, 1708, pp. 475, 599).

The most important of the works of Agapios is the “Salvation of Sinners” (1641), a devotional book for the people. His “Sunday Cycle” (1675), a collection of sermons, was also much prized. His writings went through many editions, especially those containing biographies of the saints; as the “Paradise” (1641), the “New Paradise” (c. 1664), the “Selection” (1644), and the “Summertide” (1656). The first three contain translations from Symeon Metaphrastes.

Philipp Meyer.

Bibliography: Γεδεών, Ὁ Ἄθως, Constantinople, 1855; E. Legrand, Bibliographie Hellénique, 3 vols., Paris, 1895-1903.

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