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Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople


Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople

Sergius I (d. 9 December 638 in Constantinople) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638.

In 626 during the absence of Emperor Heraclius on campaign against Sassanid Persia, the Avars laid siege to Constantinople. Along with the magister militum Bonus, he had been named regent and was in charge of the city's defense. He led a litany to Panagia Hodegetria just before the final attack of the Avars, and right after completing it a huge storm crushed the invading fleet, saving Constantinople. The storm was credited as a miracle of the Virgin Mary.

Sergius I promulgated the belief that Jesus Christ had two natures but one will (Monothelitism). To this end, Sergius sent his archdeacon Peter to a synod in Cyprus in 634, hosted by Archbishop Arkadios II and with additional representatives from Pope Honorius. The anti-Monothelite side in Jerusalem, championed by Maximus the Confessor and Sophronius, sent to this synod Anastasius Apocrisiarius pupil of Maximus, George of Resh'aina pupil of Sophronius and two of George's own pupils, and also eight bishops from Palestine. When the two sides were presented to the emperor, the emperor persisted with Monothelitism and so with Sergius.[1]

The Ecthesis of 638 AD was issued by emperor Heraclius with the agreement of Sergius. This document defined monotheletism as the official imperial form of Christianity, and proved to be very controversial.

Monothelitism was declared a heresy at the Third Council of Constantinople (the Sixth Ecumenical Council), AD 680-681.


See also

Type of Constans

Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Pyrrhus I

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