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Maximinus of Trier

Our father among the saints Maximinus of Trier was the bishop of Trier during the exiles of St Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople during the mid-third century. He was an ardent and courageous opponent of Arianism. [1] His feast day is May 29.


Maximinus was born at Silly near Poitiers in what is now France. The date of his birth is not known. He was from a family of nobles. His brother Maxentius was the bishop of Poitiers before St. Hilary. Maximinus was drawn to Trier by the piety of St. Agritius, Bishop of Trier, through whom he received his education and later by whom he also was ordained a priest. Maximinus also became a strong advocate and defender of the Orthodox faith as it was defined at the First Ecumenical Council. After the repose of St. Agritius, Maximinus was appointed bishop of Triers at an uncertain date between 332 and 335.

At the time of Maximinus' episcopate, Trier was the government center for the emperor of the Western Roman Empire. In that atmosphere Maximinus developed a close relationship with the Roman emperors Constantine II and Constans. When St. Athanasius was exiled from Alexandria to Trier by Emperor Constantine I for two years in 336, Bp. Maximinus welcomed him as an honored guest. In 341, Maximinus also welcomed Paul of Constantinople who was banished to Trier by the emperor Constantius II, an Arian supporter. In 342, Maximinus refused to receive four Arian bishops who had come to Trier in hope of winning over the western emperor Constans. Further, Maximinus was able to convince the emperor to reject their proposals. Maximinus proved to be one of the Arians' main opponents as he was condemned by name, along with that of St. Athanasius, at their heretical synod at Philippopolis in 343. [2]

Maximinus remained active in the defense against the Arian foes. He participated in the Councils in Sardica ca. 342 and Milan in 345 and presided at the council held in Cologne in 346, during which the Bishop of Cologne, Euphratas was deposed for advocating Arianism. In addition to his defense of Orthodoxy, Maximinus backed missionary efforts into the valleys of the Mosel and Lahn rivers.

The date of his death is believed to be September 12, 346 in Poitiers, although 349 is also mentioned. He is said to have died while visiting relatives in the area of his birth. Initially, buried in Poitiers, his relics were moved to the Church of St. John the Evangelist near Trier in 353. [3]


  1. Athanasius , Epistolae Aeg. 8.336f.
  2. Mans, "Sacrorum Conc. nova et ampl. Coll.", III, 136 sq.
  3. Gregory, De gloria confessorum, xciii, published in Patrologia Latina lxii, cc, 898ff, noted by Warren Sanderson, "The Early Mediaeval Crypts of Saint Maximin at Trier", The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 24.4 (December 1965:03-310) p.305, note 11.
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Maximinus of Trier
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Bishop of Trier
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