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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Proclus, Saint

Patriarch of Constantinople, d. 446 or 447

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Proclus, Saint, Patriarch of Constantinople, d. 446 or 447. Proclus came to the fore in the time of Atticus, the Patriarch of Constantinople who succeeded (406) Arsacius who had been intruded upon the patriarchal throne after the violent deposition of St. John Chrysostom (404). "Proclus was a Lector at a very early age, and, assiduously frequenting the Schools, became devoted to the study of rhetoric. On attaining manhood he was in the habit of constant intercourse with Atticus, having been constituted his secretary" (Socrates, "H. E.11, VII, xl). From Atticus he received the diaconate and priesthood (ibid.). When Atticus died (425), there was a strong party in favor of Proclus, but Sissinius was eventually chosen as his successor. Sissinius appointed him Archbishop of Cyzicus; but the Cyzicans chose a bishop of their own, and no attempt was made to force Proclus upon a reluctant people. Sissinius died at the end of 427, and again Proclus was likely to be appointed to the patriarchate, but eventually Nestorius was chosen. Nestorius was deposed at the Council of Ephesus (431) and Proclus was on the point of being made patriarch, but "some influential persons interfered on the ground of its being forbidden by the ecclesiastical canon that a person nominated to one bishopric should be translated to another" (Soc., VII, xxxv). In consequence a priest, Maximian, was appointed, upon whose death (424) Proclus succeeded. "The Emperor Theodosius wishing to prevent the disturbances which usually attend the election of a bishop, directed the bishops who were then in the city to place Proclus in the episcopal chair before the body of Maximian was interred, for he had received letters from Celestine, Bishop of Rome, approving of this election" (Soc., VII, xl). In 438 Proclus brought the body of St. John Chrysostom to Constantinople and placed it in the church of the Apostles. In 436 some bishops of Armenia consulted him about some propositions attributed to Theodore of Mopsuestia which were being put forward by the Nestorians. Proclus replied in an epistle (often called the "Tome of St. Proclus"), in which he required the propositions to be condemned. Here a difficulty arose. People were ready to condemn the propositions but not the memory of Theodore. Proclus met this difficulty by disclaiming any intention of attributing the propositions to Theodore. Volusianus, the uncle of Melania the Younger, was converted and baptized by him. The writings of Proclus, consisting chiefly of homilies and epistles, were first printed by Ricardus (Rome, 1630), reprinted in Gallandi, IX; also in P.G., LXV, 651. For Proclus and the Trisagion, see Trisagion.

F. J. BACCHUS


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