Commemorated on February 28
PriestMartyr Proterias, Patriarch of Alexandria, and those suffering with him:
During the time of the patriarchal tenure of Dioskoros (444-451), who was an
adherent of the Monophysite false-teaching of Eutykhios, – at Alexandria there
lived the presbyter Proterias, who fearlessly denounced the heretics and
confessed the Orthodox faith. In the year 451 at the Fourth OEcumenical Council
at Chalcedon, the heresy of Eutykhios was condemned and the definition
established, by which Christ is confessed to be Perfect God and Perfect Man,
existing in these two natures "unconfusedly" and "indivisibly"
[and "immutably" and "inseparably"]. The heretic Dioskoros
was deposed and exiled, and upon the Alexandria patriarchal throne was elevated
Proterias, distinguished for his strict and virtuous life.
many supporters of Dioskoros remained in Alexandria, and rebelling against the
choice of Proterias, they rioted and burned the soldiers, sent out to pacify
them. The pious emperor Marcian (450-457) deprived the Alexandrians of all the
privileges they were accustomed to, and dispatched new and re-inforced detachments
of soldiers. The inhabitants of the city then quieted down and besought
Patriarch Proterias to intercede before the emperor to restore them their
former privileges. The kindly saint consented and readily gained the request.
the death of Marcian the heretics again raised their heads. Presbyter Timothy,
himself striving for the patriarchal dignity, and taking advantage of the
absence of the governor of the city, came forth at the head of the rioters.
Saint Proterias decided to leave Alexandria, but that night he saw in a dream
the holy Prophet Isaiah, who said to him: "Return to the city, and there I
shalt await thee". The saint realised that this – was a premonition about
his martyr's end. He returned to Alexandria and concealed himself in a baptistry.
rioting heretics broke into this refuge and killed the patriarch and six men
who were with him. It did not even stop them, that this occurred during the
Canon of Pascha – on Holy Saturday. In their raging they went so far, that
they tied a rope to the body of the murdered patriarch, and they dragged it on
the street, struck at and lacerated it, and finally they burnt it, and
scattered the ashes to the wind (+ 457).
Orthodox reported about this to the holy Emperor Leo (457-474) and Saint
Anatolios, Patriarch of Constantinople (449-458). An army arrived at
Alexandria, the rebellion was crushed, and Timothy brought to trial and exiled.
the death of the PriestMartyr Proterias, four Thracian bishops of his time
wrote: "We do consider His Holiness Proterias in the ranks and choir of
the Saints, and we beseech God to be compassionate and merciful to us through
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.