Sainted Juvenal (Iuvenalios), Patriarch of Jerusalem

Commemorated on July 2

      Sainted Juvenal (Iuvenalios), Patriarch of Jerusalem, occupied the throne of the Holy City during the years 420-458. During this period great luminaries of the Church enlightened the world: the Monks Euthymios the Great (+ 473, account about him is under 20 January), Simeon the Pillar-Dweller (+ 459, account 1 September), Gerasimos of Jordan (+ 475, account 4 March), and many others.
      Saint Juvenal was a friend and conversant with the Monk Eythymios the Great. During the time of the arch-hierarchical service of holy Patriarch Juvenal, the Eastern Church was troubled by dangerous false-teachings, which he stood up against with a pastoral zeal, safekeeping the flock of Christ. In the year 431, the Third OEcumenical Council was convened in the city of Ephesus: it condemned the heresy of Nestorius, which had arisen against the Orthodox confession of the Divine nature of Jesus Christ. At this Council presided Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ 444, Comm. 9 June), and in the number of his like-minded colleagues was Patriarch Juvenal. In the year 451, the Fourth OEcumenical Council was convened in the city of Chalcedon: it condemned a new heresy the Eutykhian (Monophysite), which taught, that the human nature in Christ was totally swallowed up and absorbed by the Divine nature. The holy fathers, among whom also was Sainted Juvenal, condemned the heresy of Eutykhios and affirmed the Orthodox confession about the conjoining in the Lord Jesus Christ of both natures the Divine and the human without separation and without mixture. The heretics however continued to confuse the minds of Christians. At the head of the heretics stood Theodosios, who had won over to his side the widow of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (+ 450), named Eudocia, living at Jerusalem. He demanded that Patriarch Juvenal repudiate the position of the Chalcedon Council, that is, that he should renounce the Orthodox dogma about the two natures in Christ. His Holiness Juvenal would not consent to a betrayal of Truth, and indeed bravely confessed the Chalcedon dogma afront the heretics. Theodosios and his adherents deposed Patriarch Juvenal from the patriarchal throne. The saint withdrew to an outpost of Orthodoxy Constantinople, to Patriarch Anatolios (449-458, Comm. 3 July) and the emperor Marcian. The heretic Theodosios, under the patronage of Eudocia, occupied the patriarchal throne in Palestine, but only for 20 months. Emperor Marcian, holding Saint Juvenal in high esteem, brought about his restoration to the patriarchal throne, and so the Patriarch-confessor returned to Jerusalem.
      The saint made many an effort for the restoration of Church peace. At the suggestion of the Monk Simeon the Pillar-Dweller, the empress Eudocia made repentance before Saint Juvenal and returned into communion with the Orthodox. After her followed in large part the Jerusalem flock led astray by the heretics. Having set aright the contentious heresies, and having established churchly oneness of mind and propriety, Patriarch Juvenal died peacefully amidst the faithful flock, having toiled in the hierarchical dignity for 38 years.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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