Paul IV of Constantinople

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Our father among the saints Paul IV of Constantinople, known also as Paul the New was Patriarch of Constantinople during the late eighth century, from 780 to 784. He advocated convening an ecumenical council to ban iconoclasm. His feast day is celebrated on August 30.


Paul was born on the island of Cyprus. Little else is known of his early life. He became the Patriarch of Constantinople at an advanced age during the reign of the Iconoclast emperor Leo IV the Khazar. He was virtuous and pious, yet a timid man. Although having once opposed the veneration of icons, he repented his iconoclasm. Having seen the martyrdom that the Orthodox endured for the holy icons, Patr. Paul concealed his Orthodoxy and but continued to associate with the iconoclasts.

After the death, in 780, of the emperor Leo, Patr. Paul wanted to restore veneration of icons but, due to old age and illness, he did not have the will to accomplish this, as iconoclasts still held powerful positions. He realized that it was not in his power to guide his flock. In 784, he resigned from the patriarchal throne and went secretly to the monastery of St. Florus, where he took the schema. When the empress Irene and her son Constantine came to him for advice concerning the succession in the patriarchate, Paul advised them that his most worthy successor would be Tarasius. He repented his silence and association with the iconoclasts and spoke of the need for convening an ecumenical council to condemn the Iconoclast heresy. Upon his advice, Tarasius was chosen as his successor to the patriarchal throne, and the ecumenical council was held in 787.

Patr. Paul the New reposed as a schemamonk in the year 804.


  • The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, J. M. Hussey, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1986.
Succession box:
Paul IV of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Nicetas I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
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