Sainted Anatolios, Patriarch of Constantinople

Commemorated on July 3

      Sainted Anatolios, Patriarch of Constantinople, was born at Alexandria in the 2nd half of the IV Century during a time, when many representatives of illustrious Byzantine families awakened ardently in the faith and in the armament of Greek philosophic wisdom they strove to serve the Church of Christ. Having received a philosophic education, Saint Anatolios accepted the priestly dignity as deacon under Sainted Cyril of Alexandria (account is under 18 January). Together with Saint Cyril, Anatolios was present at the Third OEcumenical Council at Ephesus in the year 431 (Comm. 9 September), at which the holy fathers condemned the false-teaching of Nestorius.
      Saint Anatolios remained a deacon at Alexandria and after the death of Saint Cyril (+ 444), when the cathedra-seat of the archbishop of Constantinople was occupied by Dioskoros, who supported another heresy being spread by Eutykhios, affirming that the Divine nature in Christ had fully swallowed up and absorbed His human nature, leaving nothing of it behind. This false teaching undermined the very basis of the Church's teaching about the salvation and redemption of humankind [trans. note: since "what is not assumed upon is not saved", if Christ be by nature Divine only and not human by nature, then Christ-God will have died and risen in vain for the salvation of humankind in its human nature, and even the Incarnation of Christ would be rendered heretically docetic]. In the year 449 Dioskoros with his adherents convened at Ephesus an heretical "Robbers Council", having received also the support of the emperor. The advocate of Orthodoxy, Saint Flavian, the Patriarch of Constantinople, was deposed and deprived of dignity.
      Chosen then to the Constantinople cathedra-seat, Saint Anatolios zealously set about the restoration of the purity of Orthodoxy. Saint Anatolios already in the year 450 at the Local Council in Constantinople ventured a condemnation of the heresy of Eutykhios and Dioskoros. Having died in exile, the Patriarch-confessor Flavian was enumerated into the ranks of the Saints and his relics transferred to the capital.
      In the following year, 451, with the active participation of Patriarch Anatolios, the Fourth OEcumenical Council was convened at Chalcedon. The fathers of the Chalcedon Council affirmed the dogma about the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, "perfect in Divinity and perfect in humanity, true God and true man, made known in two natures without mingling, without change, indivisibly, inseparably" (Greek: "asugkhutos, atreptos, adiairetos, akhoristos"; Slavonic: "neslitno, neizmenno, nerazdel'no, nerazluchno").
      But heresies still long vexed the ecclesial world. In incessant struggle with false‑teachings and ardent for truth, Patriarch Anatolios died in the year 458.
      From the canon-rule actions taken, there was elaborated for the sainted-hierarch the 28th Canon of the Fourth OEcumenical Council about the equal-honour of the Constantinople patriarchal throne to that of the throne of Old Rome, and likewise a statement of this Canon to Saint Leo, Pope of Rome (440-461). Within the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in accord with the 28th Canon, was put the Churches of Asia Minor, Greece and the Black Sea region, and likewise all new Churches, that might arise among the nations of these regions. And by this also the Russian Church was deliberately included into the ecclesial enumeration of the Orthodox Churches.
      Saint Anatolios likewise made a large contribution to the literary treasury of the Orthodox Church. By his prayerful inspiration and theological profundity there are in Divine-services stikhi-verses for Sundays, for certain feastdays of the Lord (the Nativity and the Theophany of Christ), and martyr-days (to Saint Panteleimon the Healer, to Saint George the Victory-Bearer, to Saint Demetrios of Thessalonika). In the Divine-service books they are designated simply as "Anatoliev" verses.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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Sainted Anatolios,
Patriarch of Constantinople

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