Messalians

From an Aramaic word meaning “praying folk.” Also known as Euchites and by other names, they were a heretical sect originating in Mesopotamia about 360, spreading to Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. The so-called Christian Messalians were vagrant Quietists, ignored the sacraments, and wandered about sleeping in the streets. They feigned orthodox practice to avoid persecution; prayer was their only occupation, and they claimed to see the Trinity as well as evil spirits. They emphasized the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, saying that every man including Christ was possessed of demons. Although they survived until the seventh century, attempts to suppress them were many-by Flavian of Antioch, the Synod of Side (388-90), Nestorians in Syria, decrees in Armenia (mid-fifth century), and the councils of Constantinople (426) and Ephesus (431) where their Asceticus was called a filthy book of heresy. They were accused of immorality and their monasteries were burned. They were scarcely known in the West. The later Bogomiles* are a derivative.