Held in Nicea, Asia Minor in 325 Under Emperor Constantine
the Great. 318 Bishops were present.
The Arian Controversy
Arius denied the divinity of Christ. If Jesus was
born, then there was time when He did not exist. If He became God, then there
was time when He was not. The Council declared Arius'
teaching a heresy, unacceptable to the Church and decreed that Christ is God.
He is of the same essence homoousios with God
The first part of the seven articles of the Creed were ratified at the First Ecumenical Council. The
text reads as follows:
We believe in one God. The Father Almighty. Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, begotten of
the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten not
made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us
men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy
Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under
Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right
hand of the Father; and he shall come again with glory to judge the living and
the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.
Defenders of Orthodoxy
St. Athanasios the Great (297-373)
Fearless champion of Orthodoxy;
spent sixteen of his forty-five years as Bishop of Alexandria in exile; one of
the most profound theologians; Father of the Church
St. Basil the Great (330-379)
A natural leader and organizer; spoke and wrote against Arianism; Founded hospitals,
orphanages, welfare agencies; revised and updated the Divine Liturgy; made a
great contribution to Monasticism (East and West); one of the famous
Cappadocian Fathers (together with St. Gregory of Nyssa;
his younger brother and St. Gregory of
Nazianzus the Theologian; his close friend). The
Cappadocians, along with St. Athanasius
the Great, laid the pattern for formulating the doctrines related to the
mystery of the Holy Trinity. St. Basil the Great, along with St. Gregory of
Nazianzus (the Theologian) and St. John Chrysostom
are called the Three Hieararchs.