Sergius I of Constantinople

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Sergius I was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638. In an attempt to form a compromise with the followers of the Monophysite heresy Sergius adopted the formula of mia thelesis that taught the two natures in Jesus Christ but also that he had only one will or mode of activity. This formula, known as Monothelitism, was found heretical by the Sixth Ecumenical Council of 680.


Little is known of the life of Sergius before he became patriarch. Two events standout concerning Sergius during his tenure as patriarch. In 626, during an absence of the Emperor Heraclius from Constantinople, a force of Avars laid siege to the city. As the Avars prepared for their final attack, Sergius, with the Magistrate Bonus who was charged with the defense of the city, conducted a service before the image of Panagia Odigitra, during which they petitioned the Theotokos for help before the coming battle. After the service a great storm arose that caused great damage to the invading fleet, causing the Avars to withdraw from Constantinople. The withdrawal of the attackers was credited as a miracle of the Theotokos.

The outcome of the other event caused the anathematization of Sergius. In an attempt by Emperor Heraclius to find a compromise with the heretical Monophysite followers, Sergius adopting a term "one will" (mia thelesis) used by Pope Honorius in an earlier letter to him. This Monothelite formula was used in the Ecthesis drawn up by Sergius and promulgated by Heraclius in 638. Initially accepted by the bishops in Constantinople, it fell into disfavor with the rejection of formula by the papal successors of Honorius. This compromise remained an issue through the reigns of Heraclius' successors and was finally settled by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680 which declared the Monothelite formula heretical. The decision of the Council anathematized the leaders of Monothelitism, including the dead Sergius and Pope Honorius, and reaffirmed the Chalcedonian definition.

Sergius reposed on December 9, 638 in Constantinople.

Succession box:
Sergius I of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Thomas I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Pyrrhus I
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