Anatolius of Constantinople

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St. Anatolius of Constantinople

Our father among the saints, Anatolius of Constantinople was Patriarch of the Church of Constantinople from 449 to 458. Although a member of the Alexandrian school, he condemned the heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus. He is commemorated by the Church on July 3.


Anatolius was born in Alexandria, Egypt. The date of his birth is unknown other than it was in the latter half of the fourth century. He was well educate, having studied philosophy. Anatolius was ordained a deacon by Cyril of Alexandria. Anatolius was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431, during which the holy Fathers condemned the false teaching of Nestorius. After the death of St. Cyril, he remained a deacon at Alexandria when the See of Alexandria was occupied by Pope Dioscorus.

In 449, with the support of the emperor Theodosius II Dioscorus and his followers convened a "Robber Council" at Ephesus, at which the Patriarch of Constantinople Flavian was deposed. Then, with the influence of Dioscorus with the emperor, Anatolius, who had been the apocrisiarius (representative) of Dioscorus, was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople.

Since he had been associated with Dioscorus, Anatolius was under suspicion of favoring Eutychianism (Leo, Epp. ad. Theod. 33 ad Pulch. 35). But, after his consecration Anatolius publicly condemned the teachings not only of Eutyches, but also those of Nestorius. He also subscribed to the letters of Cyril against Nestorius and of Pope Leo I against Eutyches (Leo, Epp. 40, 41, 48). At a local Council in Constantinople in 450 Patr. Anatolius condemned the heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus as he zealously set about restoring the purity of Orthodoxy.

With Pope Leo, he requested the emperor Marcian to summon a general council against Dioscorus and the Eutychians. At the council in Chalcedon in 451, Anatolius presided in conjunction with the Roman legates (Labbe, Conc. Max. iv.; Evagr. H. E. ii. 4, 18; Niceph. H. E. xv. 18). The Fathers of the Chalcedon Council affirmed the dogma about the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, "perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, true God and true man, made known in two natures without mingling, without change, indivisibly, inseparably" (Greek: "asynkhutos, atreptos, adiairetos, akhoristos").

The council also passed the famous 28th canon that affirmed the canon of theSecond Ecumenical Council that placed Constantinople on an equal footing in dignity with Rome (Labbe, iv. 796; Evagr. ii. 18), and that the churches of Asia Minor, Greece, and the Black Sea region, including new churches that might arise in these regions, were placed under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

After a life of constant struggle against heresy and for truth, Patr. Anatolius died on July 3, 458, apparently at the hands of followers of Dioscorus.


Patr. Anatolius made a large contribution to the literary treasury of the Orthodox Church. He composed liturgical hymns for Sundays, for certain Feasts of the Lord (the Nativity and the Theophany of Christ), and for the martyrs: Ss. Panteleimon the Healer, George the Victory-Bearer, and Demetrius of Thessalonica). In the service books they are designated simply as "Anatolian" verses.

Succession box:
Anatolius of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Gennadius I
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