Elias of Jerusalem
Elias of Jerusalem was a bishop and Patriarch of Jerusalem from 494 until he was deposed by emperor Anastasius I in 516 for supporting the decrees of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. He was the main opponent of the monophysites in the Synod of Tyre. He also founded many monasteries in his patriarchate.
An Arab by birth, Elias was educated in a monastery in Egypt. A defender of the Council of Chalcedon, Elias was driven from Egypt by the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria Timothy II in 457. Traveling to Palestine, Elias founded a laura in Jericho, and soon was ordained a priest by Patr. Anastasius of Jerusalem.
In 494, after the repose of Patr. Sallustius, Elias succeeded him as the Patriarch of Jerusalem. As patriarch, Elias acknowledged Euphemius as the Patriarch of Constantinople, but refused to acknowledge his successor Macedonius II. Elias became involved in the conflicts created by emperor Anastasius' efforts to condemn the Council of Chalcedon. In this he supported Patr. Flavian II of Antioch.
About 509, the Monophysite bishop of Hierapolis Xenaias attempted to make Patr. Elias ascribe to the Monophysite formula. Additionally, the emperor ordered Elias to convene a synod to condemn the Council of Chalcedon. However, Elias refused and in turn sent to the emperor a profession of orthodoxy. This document was carried by followers of the Monophysite Dioscorus and was altered enroute to contain an anathema against those who spoke of two natures in Christ. After Elias found about the falsification, he sent another unaltered copy.
In 512, at a Synod of Sidon, convened by the Monophysites, an attempt was made to condemn Chalcedon and to depose Elias and Flavian. However, largely through his efforts, Elias persuaded the Fathers of the Synod to do neither. The enraged Monophysite party went on to accuse the two of Nestorianism, and got emperor Anastasius to depose them. Flavian was deposed first. He was succeeded by Severus with whom Elias would not have communion. Later, the Count of Palestine, Olympus, confronted Elias with the choice of signing the Monophysite formula or be deposed. Elias refuse, was deposed, and then exiled, in 516, to Aila (near Aqaba in Jordan) on the Red Sea.
He died in exile in 518.
Elias of Jerusalem
|Patriarch of Jerusalem