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Pulcheria the Empress

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The holy, right-believing '''Pulcheria the Empress''' (also ''Poulcheria'') was the daughter of [[Arcadius]], the emperor of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, and his wife Aelia Eudoxia. As regent for her younger brother [[Theodosius II ]] and empress in her own name, she strongly influenced the direction of the government in its relations with Christianity, especially during the [[Nestorianism|Nestorian]] controversies in the fifth century. Her [[feast day ]] is [[September 10]]; she also shares a feast day with her husband [[Marcian]] on [[February 17]].
In 441, Pulcheria's influence on her brother began to wain as the eunuch Chrysaphius convinced Theodosius to dismiss his sister. But soon the [[Monophysitism|Monophysite]] controversy was raised by the [[archimandrite]] Eutyches and supported by Theodosius as well as by Cyril's successor as [[Patriarchs of Alexandria|patriarch of Alexandria]], [[Pope Saint Dioscorus I of Alexandria (Coptic POV)|Dioscorus]]. When Eutyches' views were validated at the 'Robber Council' of 449 in Ephesus, [[Leo the Great|Pope Leo I of Rome]] included Pulcheria among those he approached for help in reversing the council's decisions.
On [[July 26]], 450, Theodosius suddenly died, and Pulcheria returned to the court as the wife of the new emperor, Marcian. She agreed to the [[marriage ]] with the understanding that her vow of [[chastity ]] would be honored. In 451, the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]], presided over by Marcian, was convened. It condemned both Nestorianism and the [[Robber Council of 449]] that had supported the Monophysite [[heresy]]. The [[heretic]] Eutyches was deposed and exiled.
Pulcheria died not long afterwards, in July 453. In addition to her defense of Orthodoxy, Pulcheria is remembered for her zeal in promoting other interests of the Church. She had the [[relics]] of St. [[John Chrysostom]] returned from where he had died in exile and buried in the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople on [[January 27]], 438. She had three churches built in Constantinople that honored Mary the Theotokos. She built many hospitals, houses for pilgrims, and bequeathed her wealth to charity.
==External links==
*[ Right-Believing Pulcheria, Byzantine Empress] ([[OCA]])*[[w:Pulcheria|wikipedia:''Pulcheria'' at Wikipedia]]
*[ Catholic Encyclopedia: Pulcheria]
*[ Pulcheria]
[[Category:Roman Emperors]]
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