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The Arian Emperor and the Crown Prince

Since Christ is the Son of God, divine worship is due to Him. It is well known that in the early ages of Christianity the Arian heresy was widely diffused. The followers of Arius asserted Christ to be the greatest and noblest of created beings, but they denied His divinity. This heresy was condemned by the Council of Nicaea, and the clause (Christ is), consubstantial with the Father, was inserted in the Creed. The Emperor Theodosius favored the Arians; accordingly a certain bishop named Amphilochius went to him with the purpose of demonstrating to him that to deny divine honors to the Son of God is to rob God the Father of glory. The bishop asked to have an audience with the emperor, at which the crown prince should also be present. On entering the royal presence he bowed low and reverently before the emperor, but only nodded to the prince, saying: ‘‘ Good morning, sir.” The emperor was highly incensed, and standing up, he insisted upon proper respect being shown to his son. The bishop speaking with perfect composure, said: “Behold, mighty Emperor, thou wilt not permit thy subjects to refuse to pay thy son the respect which is his due. So likewise, God the Father is displeased when man withholds divine honor from His only begotten Son. Nay, He requires us to pay Him the same homage as we pay His Father.” Thereupon he saluted the imperial prince in the most respectful manner. The good bishop’s words took effect; from that time forth the emperor held the Catholic faith in its integrity.