The same Gregory Nyssen, in his sermon upon the death of Meletius Bishop of Antioch, preached at Constantinople the same year, A.C. 381, before the Bishops of all the East assembled in the second general Council, spake thus of Meletius. The Bridegroom, saith he, is not taken from us: he stands in the midst of us, though we do not see him: he is a Priest in the most inward places, and face to face intercedes before God for us and the sins of the people. This was no oratorical flourish, but Gregory’s real opinion, as may be understood by what we have cited out of him concerning Ephraem and Theodorus: and as Gregory preached this before the Council of Constantinople, you may thence know, saith Baronius, that he professed what the whole Council, and therewith the whole Church of those parts believed, namely, that the Saints in heaven offer prayers for us before God.
Ephraem Syrus, another eminent Monk, who was contemporary with Basil, and died the same year; in the end of his Encomium or Oration upon Basil then newly dead, invokes him after this manner: Intercede for me, a very miserable man; and recall me by thy intercessions, O father; thou who art strong, pray for me who am weak; thou who art diligent, for me who am negligent; thou who art cheerful, for me who am heavy; thou who art wise, for me who am foolish. Thou who hast treasured up a treasure of all virtues, be a guide to me who am empty of every good work.
In the beginning of this Encomium upon the forty Martyrs, written at the same time, he thus invokes them: Help me therefore, O ye Saints, with your intercession; and O ye beloved, with your holy prayers; that Christ by his grace may direct my tongue to speak, &c.
and afterwards mentioning the mother of one of these forty Martyrs, he concludes the Oration with this prayer: I entreat thee, O holy, faithful, and blessed woman, pray for me to the Saints, saying; Intercede ye that triumph in Christ, for the most little and miserable Ephraem, that he may find mercy, and by the grace of Christ may be saved.