Feast of the day

Saint of the Day

2/18/2023 12:00:00 AM

Bishop and Martyr
(+ 449)

        Flavian was elected patriarch of Constantinople in 447. His short, two-year episcopate was a time of conflict and persecution. Chrysaphius, the emperor's favorite, tried extorting a large sum of money from him on the day of his consecration. Bp. Flavian's refusal drew the enmity of one of the empire's most powerful men.

        In 448, Bp. Flavian had to condemn the rising heresy of the monk Eutyches, who obstinately denied that Our Lord has two perfect natures. Eutyches rallied all the bad elements that so early gathered about the Byzantine court. His intrigues were long-baffled by Bp. Flavian's vigilance: until the former obtained the assembly of a council at Ephesus. The assembly (August 449) was presided over by Eutyches' friend, Dioscorus, the patriarch of Alexandria. Eutyches entered into this "robber council" surrounded by soldiers. The Roman legates could not even read the Pope's letters; and at the first sign of resistance, fresh troops entered with drawn swords and terrified most of the bishops into acquiescence.

        The fury of Patr. Dioscorus reached its height when Bp. Flavian appealed to the Holy See. Bp. Flavian was set upon by Patr. Dioscorus and others, thrown down, beaten, kicked and finally carried into banishment. Dying from his wounds and the ensuing maltreatment, Bp. Flavian was martyred. Miracles following Bp. Flavian's death attest to his sanctity and the action of the Holy Spirit.