Paul I of Constantinople

Paul I or Paulus I or Saint Paul the Confessor (died c. 350), was the sixth bishop of Constantinople, elected first in 337 AD. Paul became involved in the Arian controversy which drew in the Emperor of the West, Constans, and his counterpart in the East, his brother Constantius II. Paul was installed and deposed three times from the See of Constantinople between 337 and 351. He was murdered by strangulation during his third and final exile in Cappadocia. His feast day is on November 6.

Paul I of Constantinople
Archbishop of Constantinople
Term ended350
Personal details
DenominationEarly Church


He was a native of Thessalonica, a presbyter of Constantinople, and secretary to the aged bishop Alexander of Constantinople, his predecessor in the see. Both the city and its inhabitants suffered much during the Arian controversies. No sooner had Alexander breathed his last than the Arian and Orthodox parties came into open conflict. The Orthodox party prevailed; in 337 Paul was elected and consecrated by bishops who happened to be at Constantinople in the Church of Peace, close to what was afterwards the Hagia Sophia.[1]

First exile

The Emperor Constantius II had been away during these events. On his return he was angry at not having been consulted. He summoned a synod of Arian bishops, declared Paul quite unfit for the bishopric, banished him, and transported Eusebius of Nicomedia to Constantinople. This is thought to have been around 339. Paul, seeing himself rendered useless to his flock, while Arianism reigned in the East under the protection of Constantius, took shelter in the West, in the dominions of Constans. He went to Rome where he met Athanasius, who also had been expelled from his see.[2]

Athanasius of Alexandria was then in exile from Alexandria, Marcellus from Ancyra, and Asclepas from Gaza; with them Paul betook himself to Rome and consulted Pope Julius I, who examined their cases severally, found them all staunch to the creed of Nicaea, admitted them to communion, espoused their cause, and wrote strongly to the bishops of the East. Athanasius and Paul recovered their sees; the Eastern bishops replied to Pope Julius altogether declining to act on his advice.[1]

Second exile

Paul returned to Constantinople. Eusebius died in 341, and Paul was reinstated as bishop.[3] The Arians seized the occasion; Theognis of Nicaea, Theodorus of Heraclea, and other heterodox bishops, consecrated bishop Macedonius in the church of St. Paul; and again the city became the prey of a civil war.[1]

The Emperor Constantius was at Antioch when he heard of this, where he ordered Hermogenes, his general of cavalry, to see that Paul was again expelled. The people would not hear of violence being done to their bishop; they rushed upon the house where the general was, set fire to it, killed him on the spot, tied a rope round his feet, pulled him out from the burning building, and dragged him in triumph round the city.[1] Constantius was not likely to pass over this rebellion against his authority. He rode on horseback at full speed to Constantinople, determined to make the people suffer heavily for their revolt. They met him, however, on their knees with tears and entreaties, and he contented himself with depriving them of half their allowance of corn, but ordered Paul to be driven from the city.[1]

Third exile

Paul seems to have retired to Triers, but returned to Constantinople in 344, with letters of recommendation from Constans, the emperor of the West, who wrote to Constantius, that should Paul not receive his patriarchal see, he would attack him. Constantius only allowed Paul's re-establishment for fear of his brother's arms, and the saint's situation in the East continued very uneasy, for he had much to suffer from the power and malice of the Arian party.[3]

Constans died in 350. Constantius, in Antioch, ordered Philippus, prefect of the East, to once more expel Paul and to put Macedonius in his place. At a public bath called Zeuxippus, adjoining a palace by the shore of the Bosphorus, Philippus asked bishop Paul to meet him, as if to discuss some public business. When Paul arrived, he showed him the emperor's letter, and ordered him to be quietly taken through the palace to the waterside, placed on board ship, and carried off to Thessalonica, his native town. Philippus allowed him to visit Illyricum and the remote provinces, but forbade him to set foot again in the East.[1]

Paul was later loaded with chains and taken to Singara in Mesopotamia, then to Emesa, and finally to Cucusus in Cappadocia.[1] Here he was confined in a close, dark place, and left to starve to death. After he had passed six days without food, he was, to the great disappointment of his enemies, found alive. Upon which they strangled him, and gave out that he died after a short sickness.

The body of St. Paul was brought to Ancyra in Galatia, and, by the order of Theodosius the Great, was thence translated to Constantinople in 381, about thirty years after his death. It was buried there in the great church built by Macedonius, which from that time was known by no other name than that of St. Paul. His remains were removed to Venice in 1226, where they are kept with great respect in the church of St. Laurence.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sinclair 1911.
  2. ^ "Paul I", The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Butler, Alban. The Lives of the Saints, Vol. VI, (1886)
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinclair, W. M. "Paulus I, bishop of Constantinople" . In Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C. (eds.). Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (3rd ed.). London: John Murray. sources used by Sinclair:
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Archbishop of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Macedonius I
Preceded by
Macedonius I
Archbishop of Constantinople

Year 350 (CCCL) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sergius and Nigrinianus (or, less frequently, year 1103 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 350 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Agabus (Greek: Ἄγαβος) was an early follower of Christianity mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as a prophet. He is traditionally remembered as one of the Seventy Disciples described in Luke 10:1-24.

Athleta Christi

"Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ") was a class of Early Christian soldier martyrs, of whom the most familiar example is one such "military saint," Saint Sebastian.

Cappadocian Fathers

The Cappadocian Fathers, also traditionally known as the Three Cappadocians, are Basil the Great (330–379), who was bishop of Caesarea; Basil's younger brother Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395), who was bishop of Nyssa; and a close friend, Gregory of Nazianzus (329–389), who became Patriarch of Constantinople. The Cappadocia region, in modern-day Turkey, was an early site of Christian activity, with several missions by Paul in this region.

The Cappadocians advanced the development of early Christian theology, for example the doctrine of the Trinity, and are highly respected as saints in both Western and Eastern churches.

Confessor of the Faith

The title Confessor, the short form of Confessor of the Faith, is a title given by the Christian Church to a type of saint.

Dalua of Tibradden

Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.

Four Evangelists

In Christian tradition, the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament that bear the following titles: Gospel according to Matthew; Gospel according to Mark; Gospel according to Luke and Gospel according to John.

Great martyr

Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek: μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.

Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).

Judas Barsabbas

Judas Barsabbas was a New Testament prophet and one of the 'leading men' in the early Christian community in Jerusalem at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in around 50 A.D.

Maximin of Trier

Saint Maximin (born at Silly near Poitiers; — Poitiers 12 September 346) was the fifth bishop of Trier, according to the list provided by the diocese's website, taking his seat in 341/342. Maximin was an opponent of Arianism, and was supported by the courts of Constantine II and Constans, who harboured as an honored guest Athanasius twice during his exile from Alexandria, in 336-37, before he was bishop, and again in 343. In the Arian controversy he had begun in the party of Paul I of Constantinople; however, he took part in the synod of Sardica convoked by Pope Julius I (ca. 342), and when four Arian bishops consequently came from Antioch to Trier with the purpose of winning Emperor Constans to their side, Maximinus refused to receive them and induced the emperor to reject their proposals.

Melchior (magus)

Saint Melchior, or Melichior, was purportedly one of the Biblical Magi along with Caspar and Balthazar who visited the infant Jesus after he was born. Melchior was often referred to as the oldest member of the Magi. He was traditionally called the King of Persia and brought the gift of gold to Jesus. In the Western Christian church, he is regarded as a saint (as are the other two Magi).

Michael of Synnada

Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.

Military saint

The military saints or warrior saints (also called soldier saints) of the Early Christian Church are

Christian saints who were soldiers in the Roman Army during the persecution of Christians, especially the Diocletian persecution of AD 303–313.

Most were soldiers of the Empire who had become Christian and, after refusing to participate in rituals of loyalty to the Emperor (see Imperial cult), were subjected to corporal punishment including torture and martyrdom.

Veneration of these saints, most notably of Saint George, was reinforced in Western tradition during the time of the Crusades.

The title of "champion of Christ" (athleta Christi) was originally used for these saints, but in the late medieval period also conferred on contemporary rulers by the Pope.

Patriarch Paul I

Patriarch Paul I may refer to:

Paul I of Constantinople, Patriarch in 337–339, 341–342 and 346–350

Paul I, Serbian Patriarch, Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch c. 1530 to 1541

Paul Peter Massad, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in 1854–1890

Pavle, Serbian Patriarch, 44th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in 1990–2009

Paul I

Paul I may refer to:

Paul of Samosata (200–275), 16th bishop of Antioch

Paul I of Constantinople (died c. 350), sixth bishop of Constantinople

Pope Paul I (700–767)

Paul I, Serbian Patriarch, Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch (c. 1530–1541)

Paul I of Russia (1754–1801), Emperor of Russia

Paul Peter Massad, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in 1854–1890

Paul of Greece (1901–1964), King of Greece

Pavle, Serbian Patriarch, 44th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in 1990–2009

Paulus I

Paulus I may refer to:

Paul I of Constantinople (died ca. 350)

Pope Paul I (700–767)


Silas or Silvanus (; Greek: Σίλας/Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.

Virgin (title)

The title Virgin (Latin Virgo, Greek Παρθένος) is an honorific bestowed on female saints and blesseds in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Chastity is one of the seven virtues in Christian tradition, listed by Pope Gregory I at the end of the 6th century. In 1 Corinthians, Saint Paul suggests a special role for virgins or unmarried women (ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος ἡ ἄγαμος) as more suitable for "the things of the Lord" (μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κυρίου).

In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul alludes to the metaphor of the Church as Bride of Christ by addressing the congregation

"I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ".

In the theology of the Church Fathers, the prototype of the sacred virgin is Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated by the Holy Spirit at Annunciation.

Although not stated in the gospels, the perpetual virginity of Mary was widely upheld as a dogma by the Church Fathers from the 4th century.

Zechariah (Hebrew prophet)

Zechariah was a person in the Hebrew Bible and traditionally considered the author of the Book of Zechariah, the eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, and, like the prophet Ezekiel, was of priestly extraction.

Bishops of Heraclea/Byzantium
Roman period (38-330 AD)
Archbishops of Constantinople
Roman period (330–451 AD)
Patriarchs of Constantinople
Byzantine period
(451–1453 AD)
Patriarchs of Constantinople
Ottoman period
(1453–1923 AD)
Patriarchs of Constantinople
Turkish period (since 1923 AD)
Virgin Mary
See also

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