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E02112: The Canons of the Council of Laodicea, of the late 4th c., forbid the worship of angels. Written in Greek at Laodikeia/Laodicea of Phrygia (west central Asia Minor).

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posted on 2016-12-12, 00:00 authored by erizos
Canons of the Council of Laodicea, 35

ΛΕ. Περὶ τοῦ μὴ λατρεύειν ἀγγέλοις
Ὅτι οὐ δεῖ χριστιανοὺς ἐγκαταλιπεῖν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀγγέλους ὀνομάζειν καὶ συνάξεις ποιεῖν, ἅπερ ἀπηγόρευται. Εἴ τις οὖν εὑρεθείη ταύτῃ τῇ κεκερυμμένῃ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ σχολάζων, ἔστω ἀνάθεμα, ὅτι ἐγκατέλιπεν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ προσῆλθεν.

'Canon 35. It is not allowed to worship angels.
Christians must not forsake the worship of God and his church, and invoke angels and hold assemblies, which things are forbidden. If, therefore, someone is found engaged in this covert idolatry, let him be anathema; for he has forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and has gone over to idolatry.'

Text: Ioannou 1962. Translation: E. Rizos


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anonymous angels : S00723


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Laodicea ad Lycum

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Laodicea ad Lycum Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Condemnation/rejection of a specific cultic activity


The Council of Laodicea, the decisions of which are only known through the summary of sixty canons (rulings), is thought to have been convoked in the late 4th century at Laodikeia/Laodicea on the Lycus, in Phrygia Pacatiana.


Canon 35 addresses the development of a special devotion to angels, which seems to have been widely spread in the East, and is evinced to us mainly through inscriptions and amulets. This canon reveals that cultic assemblies of sorts were organised, including the invocation of angels by the calling of their names, which the council renounces as covert idolatry. In central Anatolia, the devotion to angels led to the rise of the highly popular orthodox cult of Michael the Archangel, centring on the shrine of Germia in Galatia.


Text: Joannou, P.-P. Discipline Generale Antique (Ive - Ixe S.). Fonti IX. Vol. I.2, Grottaferrata: Pontificia Commissione per la Redazione del Codice di Diritto Canonico Orientale, 1962, 130-155. English Translation: Percival, H. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 14. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1900. Available online, revised by Kevin Knight: . Further reading: Mango, C. “The Pilgrimage Centre of St. Michael at Germia.” Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 36 (1986): 117-32. Cline, R. Ancient Angels: Conceptualizing Angeloi in the Roman Empire, Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2011, 158 ff.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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