(Gk. praying ones). Also called Messalians, after a corresponding Syriac word. Adherents of enthusiastic-spiritualistic movement that originated in Syria ca. 350 and spread to Asia Minor. Their ascetic dualism was probably influenced by Manichaeism.* Held that the devil, still present in the baptized, is to be overcome by prayer, through which grace and mystic union with God are achieved. Depreciated sacraments. Some trace the movement to Eustathius* of Sebaste, others to a Symeon of Mesopotamia. See also Antioch, Synods of; Ephesus, Third Ecumenical Council of.
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