Severus of Antioch

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'''Severus of Antioch''' was one of the ancient dissident bishops in the [[Church of Antioch (Syriac)|Church of Antioch]]. He was the most prominent theologian associated with the opposition to [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] and played a central role in defending the phraseology of [[Dioscorus of Alexandria]] preserved by Chalcedon's opponents.
 
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Patriarch St. '''Severus of Antioch''' is one of the great fathers of the [[Church of Antioch (Syriac)|Church of Antioch]], known in Syriac as the 'Togho d'Suryoye' or 'Crown of the Syrians.' He was the most prominent Orthodox Christian theologian associated with the opposition to the compromises with [[Nestorianism]] made at the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] and played a central role in defending the [[Christology]] of St. [[Cyril of Alexandria]] preserved by Chalcedon's opponents.
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==Early Life==
 
==Early Life==
St. Severus was born around 459 in Sozopolis, Pisidia (modern day Turkey). His paternal grandfather, also named Severus, was Metropolitan of Sozopolis and in that capacity attended the [[Third Ecumenical Council|Council of Ephesus]] in 431. Before St. Severus' birth his grandfather had a vision in which he was told that his grandson would strengthen Orthodoxy.
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Severus was born around 459 in Sozopolis, Pisidia (modern day Turkey). His paternal grandfather, also named Severus, was [[Metropolitan]] of Sozopolis and in that capacity attended the [[Third Ecumenical Council|Council of Ephesus]] in 431.  
  
Following the death of his father, a senator in Sozopolis, St. Severus left Pisidia for Egypt, where he studied grammar and rhetoric together with the Greek and Latin languages in Alexandria. It was in Alexandria that he was introduced to and fell in love with the writings of Sts. [[Basil the Great]] and [[Gregory of Nazianzus]]. In 486 St. Severus moved to Beirut to study philosophy and Roman jurisprudence and in 488 he was baptized in nearby Tripoli, having not been previously baptized as it was a custom in Pisidia at that time not to baptize boys until they had at least come of age.
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Following the death of his father, a senator in Sozopolis, Severus left Pisidia for Egypt, where he studied grammar and rhetoric together with the Greek and Latin languages in Alexandria. It was in Alexandria that he was introduced to the writings of Ss. [[Basil the Great]] and [[Gregory of Nazianzus]]. In 486 Severus moved to Beirut to study philosophy and Roman jurisprudence and in 488 he was baptized in nearby Tripoli, having not been previously baptized as it was a custom in Pisidia at that time not to baptize boys until they had at least come of age.
  
 
==Life as a Monk==
 
==Life as a Monk==
After his baptism St. Severus became increasingly ascetic in his daily life, eventually becoming a monk at St. Romanus' Monastery in Maiuma, Palestine. He later retreated into the desert near Eleutheropolis before founding a monastery for his disciples in Maiuma. The Saint lived there in peace until the coming of Nephalius to Gaza in 508. Nephalius had previously led a faction of the Eutychian heretics before accepting Chalcedon and promptly began attacking St. Severus after his arrival in the area, eventually securing the expulsion of the Saint and his followers from their monasteries.
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After his [[baptism]] Severus became increasingly [[asceticism|ascetic]] in his daily life, eventually becoming a [[monk]] at St. Romanus' Monastery in Maiuma, Palestine. He later retreated into the desert near Eleutheropolis before founding a [[monastery]] for his [[disciple]]s in Maiuma. Severus lived there until the coming of Nephalius to Gaza in 508. Nephalius had previously led a faction of the Eutychian [[heresy|heretics]] before renouncing his heresies and accepting Chalcedon. Severus insisted that Dioscorus' terminological rigidity be preserved, refused to acknowledge the later Cyrilline and Chalcedonian formula, and was therefore expelled.  
  
Following his expulsion from his monastery St. Severus together with 200 monks from the area around Gaza left for the imperial capital of Constantinople, where they remained for 3 years seeking to obtain the favor of Emperor Anastasius. When Patriarch Macedonius of Constantinople died in 511 he was considered for the patriarchate, but Patriarch Timothy, who also opposed Chalcedon, was enthroned instead and St. Severus was able to return to Palestine with his disciples.  
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Following his expulsion from his monastery Severus together with 200 monks from the area around Gaza left for the imperial capital of Constantinople, where they remained for 3 years seeking to obtain the favor of Emperor Anastasius. When Patriarch [[Macedonius II of Constantinople|Macedonius of Constantinople]] was [[deposition|deposed]] in 511 he was considered for the patriarchate, but Patriarch Timothy, who also opposed Chalcedon, was enthroned instead and Severus was able to return to Palestine with his disciples.  
  
 
==Patriarchate==
 
==Patriarchate==
When Patriarch Flavian II of Antioch was deposed in 512 St. Severus was elected Patriarch of Antioch, being enthroned on 6 November 512. Following the rise to power of Emperor [[Justinian I]] the Saint was summoned to Constantinople, where the emperor attempted to persuade him to accept Chalcedon. When St. Severus refused the emperor ordered him to be killed, but he was saved by St. Theodora, the emperor's wife, who was the daughter of a priest from Syria and an opponent of Chalcedon. At her urging St. Severus fled the capital, after which Emperor Justinian declared him deposed and in 518 placed a supporter of Chalcedon on the patriarchal throne of Antioch.
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When Patriarch Flavian II of Antioch was deposed in 512, Severus was elected Patriarch of Antioch, being [[enthronement|enthroned]] on [[November 6]], 512. Following the rise to power of Emperor [[Justinian I]] Severus was summoned to Constantinople, where the emperor attempted to persuade him to accept [[Chalcedon]]. When Severus refused the emperor ordered him to be killed, but he was saved by St. [[Theodora (wife of Justinian)|Theodora]], the emperor's wife, who was the daughter of a [[priest]] from Syria and an opponent of Chalcedon. At her urging, Severus fled the capital, after which Emperor Justinian declared him [[deposition|deposed]] and in 518 placed a supporter of Chalcedon on the patriarchal throne of Antioch.
  
St. Severus fled Constantinople for Egypt, where he met with Pope Timothy II and took refuge in a number of different monasteries disguised as a simple monk. Throughout his travels in Egypt St. Severus preached the Orthodox Faith and strengthened the faithful in their resistance to Chalcedon and Eutychianism. He also wrote many books and letters against heresies. Although he wrote in Greek his writings have been primarily preserved in Syriac.  
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Severus fled Constantinople for Egypt, where he met with Pope [[Timothy II Aelurus of Alexandria|Timothy II]] and took refuge in a number of different monasteries disguised as a simple monk. Throughout his travels in Egypt Severus preached his anti-Chalcedonian position and strengthened his followers in their resistance to the Fourth Ecumenical Synod. He also wrote many books and letters against heresies. Although he wrote in Greek his writings have been primarily preserved in Syriac.  
  
In 535 St. Severus returned to Constantinople to discuss the reunification of the Church with Emperor Justinian. During his stay in the city he brought Patriarch Anthimus of Constantinople to reject Chalcedon, but the schism as a whole was unable to be healed at that time and in 536 the emperor had St. Severus formally excommunicated by the hierarchs who favored Chalcedon on false charges.  
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In 535 Severus returned to Constantinople to discuss the reunification of the Church with Emperor Justinian. During his stay in the city he brought Patriarch [[Anthimus I of Constantinople|Anthimus]] of Constantinople to reject Chalcedon, but the [[schism]] as a whole was unable to be healed at that time and in 536 the emperor had Severus formally [[excommunication|excommunicated]].
  
Upon returning to Egypt, St. Severus settled in the home of a layman, Dorotheus, in the city of Sakha and continued to teach and work many miracles. On 8 February 538 he fell asleep in the Lord. His relics were then translated to the Monastery of el-Zugag to the west of Alexandria, working many signs and wonders in the process.  
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Upon returning to Egypt, Severus settled in the home of a layman, Dorotheus, in the city of Sakha and continued to teach and purportedly work miracles. He died on [[February 8]], 538.  
  
==Commemoration==
 
St. Severus is commemorated by the Syriac Orthodox Church on 8 February and on the Thursday following the [[Fast of Nineveh]].
 
  
 
==External Links and Sources==
 
==External Links and Sources==
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*[http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_0_eintro.htm A Collection of Letters of Severus of Antioch]
 
*[http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_0_eintro.htm A Collection of Letters of Severus of Antioch]
 
*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/severus_coll_0_eintro.htm Letters of Patriarch Severus of Antioch]
 
*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/severus_coll_0_eintro.htm Letters of Patriarch Severus of Antioch]
*[http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/farrington-severus.shtml Orthodox Christology of St. Severus of Antioch]
 
*[http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/6_9.html Departure of St. Severus] (Synaxarium)
 
*[http://www.soc-wus.org/ourchurch/St.%20Severus,%20Patriarch%20of%20Antioch.htm St. Severus] (Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Vicariate of the Western United States)
 
*[http://sor.cua.edu/Personage/Qadishe/MSeveriusAntioch.html Mor Severius of Antioch] (Syriac Orthodox Resources)
 
  
 
[[Category: Bishops]]
 
[[Category: Bishops]]
[[Category: Church Fathers]]
 
 
[[Category:Monastics]]
 
[[Category:Monastics]]
 
[[Category:Non-Chalcedonian Saints]]
 
[[Category:Non-Chalcedonian Saints]]
[[Category: Oriental Orthodoxy]]
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[[Category: Oriental Orthodox]]
 
[[Category: Patriarchs of Antioch]]
 
[[Category: Patriarchs of Antioch]]
[[Category: Syrian Saints]]
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[[Category:6th-century bishops]]

Latest revision as of 20:30, June 2, 2012

Severus of Antioch was one of the ancient dissident bishops in the Church of Antioch. He was the most prominent theologian associated with the opposition to Council of Chalcedon and played a central role in defending the phraseology of Dioscorus of Alexandria preserved by Chalcedon's opponents.

Contents

Early Life

Severus was born around 459 in Sozopolis, Pisidia (modern day Turkey). His paternal grandfather, also named Severus, was Metropolitan of Sozopolis and in that capacity attended the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Following the death of his father, a senator in Sozopolis, Severus left Pisidia for Egypt, where he studied grammar and rhetoric together with the Greek and Latin languages in Alexandria. It was in Alexandria that he was introduced to the writings of Ss. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus. In 486 Severus moved to Beirut to study philosophy and Roman jurisprudence and in 488 he was baptized in nearby Tripoli, having not been previously baptized as it was a custom in Pisidia at that time not to baptize boys until they had at least come of age.

Life as a Monk

After his baptism Severus became increasingly ascetic in his daily life, eventually becoming a monk at St. Romanus' Monastery in Maiuma, Palestine. He later retreated into the desert near Eleutheropolis before founding a monastery for his disciples in Maiuma. Severus lived there until the coming of Nephalius to Gaza in 508. Nephalius had previously led a faction of the Eutychian heretics before renouncing his heresies and accepting Chalcedon. Severus insisted that Dioscorus' terminological rigidity be preserved, refused to acknowledge the later Cyrilline and Chalcedonian formula, and was therefore expelled.

Following his expulsion from his monastery Severus together with 200 monks from the area around Gaza left for the imperial capital of Constantinople, where they remained for 3 years seeking to obtain the favor of Emperor Anastasius. When Patriarch Macedonius of Constantinople was deposed in 511 he was considered for the patriarchate, but Patriarch Timothy, who also opposed Chalcedon, was enthroned instead and Severus was able to return to Palestine with his disciples.

Patriarchate

When Patriarch Flavian II of Antioch was deposed in 512, Severus was elected Patriarch of Antioch, being enthroned on November 6, 512. Following the rise to power of Emperor Justinian I Severus was summoned to Constantinople, where the emperor attempted to persuade him to accept Chalcedon. When Severus refused the emperor ordered him to be killed, but he was saved by St. Theodora, the emperor's wife, who was the daughter of a priest from Syria and an opponent of Chalcedon. At her urging, Severus fled the capital, after which Emperor Justinian declared him deposed and in 518 placed a supporter of Chalcedon on the patriarchal throne of Antioch.

Severus fled Constantinople for Egypt, where he met with Pope Timothy II and took refuge in a number of different monasteries disguised as a simple monk. Throughout his travels in Egypt Severus preached his anti-Chalcedonian position and strengthened his followers in their resistance to the Fourth Ecumenical Synod. He also wrote many books and letters against heresies. Although he wrote in Greek his writings have been primarily preserved in Syriac.

In 535 Severus returned to Constantinople to discuss the reunification of the Church with Emperor Justinian. During his stay in the city he brought Patriarch Anthimus of Constantinople to reject Chalcedon, but the schism as a whole was unable to be healed at that time and in 536 the emperor had Severus formally excommunicated.

Upon returning to Egypt, Severus settled in the home of a layman, Dorotheus, in the city of Sakha and continued to teach and purportedly work miracles. He died on February 8, 538.


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