|Saint Flavian of Constantinople|
|Died||449 AD, Hypaepa, Lydia, Asia Minor|
|Venerated in|| Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Canonized||451 AD by Council of Chalcedon|
|Major shrine||Relics venerated in Italy|
St. 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.
St. 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 Dioscuros violently attacked the archbishop. The council reinstated Eutyches and Flavian died shortly afterwards, on August 11, 449, Flavian died 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 become 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 and canonized Flavian as a martyr.
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.
- Evagrius. ii. 2. etc.
- Facund, Pro Trib. Capit. viii. 5; xii. 5.
- Leo. Mag. Epp. 23, 26, 27, 28, 44.
- Liberatus Diac. Breviar. xi. xii.
- Nicephorus, Constant. xiv. 47.
- Sozomen H. E. ix. 1.
- Theophanes, Chronology pp. 84–88.
- This article uses text from A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies by Henry Wace.
|Patriarch of Constantinople|
| Succeeded by|