The Orthodox Church today honors the memory of Athanasius the Great. The holiday is called Atanasovden by the people.
St. Athanasius is a great confessor and teacher of the Church, a great defender of the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. He was born in 295 AD in the Egyptian capital Alexandria. The son of poor Christians, Athanasius was well educated but diligently studied the Scriptures. At the age of 24, he was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Alexander of Alexandria.
St. Athanasius of Alexandria participated in the First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea) in 325 and was one of the Fathers of the Church, who then proved to be zealous defenders of Christian teaching.
Mostly because of his open struggle against the priest Arius, who believed that Christ was inferior to God the Father. Thanks to Athanasius, Arius was excommunicated.
The council not only condemned the teachings of Arius but also devised a religious formula that, supplemented by the Second Ecumenical Council, convened in 381, remains in use to this day, known as the "Nicene Creed."
The whole life of St. Athanasius of Alexandria is filled with the struggle against Arianism, because many years after the council it disturbed the life of the Church, especially in the East. In 328 he was elected Archbishop of Alexandria. Although sent into exile several times, he remained archbishop of the city for forty-five years, until his death on May 2, 373.
In Bulgarian folk beliefs, St. Athanasius is represented as the lord of snow and ice. It is believed that from this day on, winter begins to go away. Dressed in a silk shirt, he goes to the mountains on his white horse and shouts: "Go, winter, come summer!" That is why the holiday is known as "In the middle of winter."
Name day celebrate: Atanas, Atanaska, Nasko, Nasya, Asya, Nastya, Tanyo, Zhivko, Zhivka, Tina, Nancy, Tanko, Tanka, Anya, Trayan
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