Meletius, Saint

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Saint Meletius (mĬlē´shəs), d. 381, Catholic bishop, leader of the Meletian faction in the Antiochene schism. Meletius became (361) Catholic patriarch after the Arians deposed Eustathius. The Eustathians, however, opposed him for his Arian sponsorship and the Arians, who grew unhappy with him, secured his exile. A party of Meletians arose to defend him. Lucifer of Cagliari deepened the schism by uncanonically consecrating Paulinus from the Eustathian ranks, thereby giving Antioch two Catholic bishops. Meletius returned in 378, but Rome favored Paulinus, and the parties would not unite. Meletius died while presiding at the First Council of Constantinople, which sought to end the schism by electing Flavian of Antioch successor to his see. He was the teacher of St. John Chrysostom. Feast: Feb. 12. He is sometimes confused with his contemporary, Meletius of Lycopolis, who organized the widespread Meletian Schism in Egypt, which was aligned with the Arians.