Nicetas of Remesiana

Nicetas (c. 335–414) was Bishop of Remesiana, (present-day Bela Palanka, Serbia), which was then in the Roman province of Dacia Mediterranea.[1]


Nicetas of Remesiana
Saint Nicetas Bishop of Remesiana.jpg
St.Nicetas of Remesiana
Nicetas Dardani
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Feast22 June
Major worksTe Deum


Nicetas 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 Ambrose and Augustine. He is presumed to be the missionary to the barbarian Thracian tribe of the Bessi.[2]

Because of his missionary activity, his contemporary and friend, 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 Roman heart bandits, who previously had no such ability.[3] However, it is doubtful whether these barbarians really were barbarians, or whether their mention is only a poetical topos. Indeed, Paulinus, 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.[4]

In 398, Nicetas made a pilgrimage to Nola to visit the grave of Felix of Nola.[5]

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" about the belief in a mystical bond uniting both the living and the dead in a certain 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.[6]


  1. ^ "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".
  2. ^ "1994 | Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History". Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "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).
  4. ^ Philippe Blasen, “Nicetas of Remesiana – A Missionary Bishop in Dacia?” in Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Theologia catholica, 1-2, 2012, 39-49
  5. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Nicetas." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 27 February 2016
  6. ^ 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.

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