ABSTRACT. The writings of the Holy Fathers, whose guidance we will hereby approach, dedicate memorable pages to the act of forgiving (viz. “forgiving one’s neighbour.” Gr. “áfesin ton plésion”), thus proving the fundamental importance of this issue. These Fathers were religious leaders of Christians, who have transmitted the beliefs and practices of the Church, during a difficult time, characterised by Judaic opposition, the appearance of heresies through pagan philosophy, persecution, all these adding to the existence of a decadent pagan background, in which Christianity developed. Being another generation of Christians, without having Christ among them, physically speaking, nor the apostles, the task of preserving and transmitting an authentic form of Christianity fell upon these holy men. The Holy Fathers underline the fact that, as Christians, we are exhorted to pray for those who denigrate and humiliate us, and not to take revenge for vitriolic and untrue assertions of any kind, because these are occasions when we can become worthy of redemptory humility and love, thus becoming followers of Christ and His saints. Unless we forgive, there is more than one bad person, there are two of us. pp. 3–10

Keywords: forgiving; neighbour; Holy Fathers; love / agápē; exhortation; effort

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Dumitru Stăniloae Faculty of Orthodox Theology,
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași, Romania

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