Mennas of Constantinople

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Our Father among the saints Menas of Constantinople, (also Mennas) was the Patriarch of the Church of Constantinople from 536 to 552. His feast day is August 25.


Little is known of the early life of Patr. Menas. During the early part of the reign of emperor Justinian he was a presbyter at Constantinople and supervisor of the Home of St. Sampson the Hospitable for the poor and needy.

In 535, Anthimus I became patriarch of Constantinople through the influence of empress Theodora over the objections of the clergy of Constantinople. During a visit to Constantinople by Agapitus I, Pope of Rome, in early 536, the true position was revealed of Patr. Anthimus as an advocate of Monophysitism which resulted in his deposition under the leadership of Pope Agapitus as a heretic.

Having had established a standard of profound virtue and a firm confession of Orthodoxy, Fr. Menas was elected Patriarch of Constantinople and consecrated with the participation of Pope Agapitus I.

Patr. Menas occupied the patriarchal throne for 16 years and six months. It was during his patriarchate that emperor Justinian's church of Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Wisdom of God, was consecrated. Also, during his patriarchate, in 451, the Fifth Ecumenical Council was held at Chalcedon.

Following the council at Chalcedon, attempts by emperor Justinian, in early 544, to maneuver reconciliation between the Chalcedonians and Non-chalcedonians surfaced the rift concerning the teachings of Origen during which Patr. Menas took a position against Origen. The Origenists issue merged into the controversy concerning the Three Chapters into an era of intrigue, condemnations, coercion, and ignorance of the Greek language by the Latins.

In 547, during the controversies, Pope Vigilius arrived at Constantinople. As the issues were confronted, Patr. Menas was excommunicated by Vigilius for four months. Menas responded by striking Vigilius' name off the diptychs. They soon reconciled, but in 551 Mennas was again excommunicated by Pope Vigilius. However, in both cases reconciliations were reached and the excommunications were lifted quickly. It was during the patriarchate of Menas that the extent of papal influence in Constantinople was the greatest.

Patr. Menas died peacefully in the year 552.

Succession box:
Mennas of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Anthimus I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
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