Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople

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Saint Flavian of Constantinople
San Flaviano incisione.jpg
Saint Flavian
Patriarch of Constantinople, Martyr
Died 449
Hypaepa, Lydia, Asia Minor
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Canonized 451 by Council of Chalcedon
Major shrine Relics venerated in Italy
Feast February 18

Flavian (Latin: Flavianus; Greek: Φλαβιανος, Phlabianos; d. 11 August 449), sometimes Flavian I, was Archbishop of Constantinople from 446 to 449. He is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Flavian was the guardian of the sacred vessels of the great Church of Constantinople and, according to Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos, was reputed to lead a saintly life, when he was chosen to become Archbishop of Constantinople.

During his consecration, Roman Emperor Theodosius II was staying at Chalcedon. His eunuch Chrysaphius attempted to extort a present of gold to the Emperor but as he was unsuccessful, he began to plot against the new Archbishop by supporting the archimandrite Eutyches in his dispute with Flavian.

Flavian presided at a council of forty bishops at Constantinople on November 8, 448, to resolve a dispute between the metropolitan bishop of Sardis and two bishops of his province. Eusebius, bishop of Dorylaeum, presented his indictment against Eutyches. The speech of Flavian remains, concluding with this appeal to the bishop of Dorylaeum: "Let your reverence condescend to visit him and argue with him about the true faith, and if he shall be found in very truth to err, then he shall be called to our holy assembly, and shall answer for himself." Eventually the synod deposed Eutyches.

However, as Eutyches protested against this verdict and received the support of Dioscorus I of Alexandria, the Emperor convoked another Council to Ephesus. At this council, which assembled on August 8, 449, Eutyches and Dioscorus violently attacked the archbishop. The council reinstated Eutyches and Flavian died shortly afterwards, on August 11, 449, at Hypaepa in Lydia, Asia Minor from the injuries he received from this attack and was buried obscurely.


Pope Leo I, whose legates had been ignored at the council, protested, first calling the council a "robber synod", and declared its decisions void.

After Theodosius II died in 450, his sister Pulcheria returned to power, marrying the officer Marcian, who became Emperor. The new Imperial couple had Flavian's remains brought to Constantinople in a way that, in the words of a chronicler, more resembled "a triumph .. than a funeral procession". The Council of Chalcedon, called in 451, condemned Eutyches, confirmed Pope Leo's Tome (letter 28[1] and canonized Flavian as a martyr.

In the Roman Catholic Church St. Flavian is commemorated on February 18, the date assigned to him in the Roman Martyrology. Flavian of Ricina is sometimes identified with him.[2][3]

See also


  1. Pope Leo I. "Letter 28 - The Tome". New Advent. Retrieved 2011-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. [1], Retrieved on August 6, 2008
  3. Among the documents which touch on the career of Flavian are the reply of Petrus Chrysologus, archbishop of Ravenna, to a circular appeal of Eutyches, and various letters of Theodoret. Pope Leo I wrote Flavian a beautiful letter before hearing that he was dead.

External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Archbishop of Constantinople
Succeeded by