Elias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, St.

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Theological controversialist; b. 430; d. 518. Elias, an Arab by birth, was an anchorite in Egypt who fled to Palestine before the Monophysite persecution of timothy aelurus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and was received by Euthymius in his Laura of Sahel. He was appointed patriarch of Jerusalem in 494. He suffered much for his adherence to the Council of chalcedon. Refusing to communicate with the Monophysite patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria, he entered into communion with the Constantinopolitan patriarchs Euphemius (490496) and Macedonius (496511) but not with Rome as the acacian schism was still in effect. Elias submitted a profession of faith to Emperor anastasius i (c. 509), and when the emperor interpreted it as an anathema against those who professed the two natures in Christ, Elias protested against this false interpretation and sent another profession based on Chalcedon. At the Synod of Sidon in 511 he was summoned to condemn the doctrine of Chalcedon; but Elias won the majority of the bishops to his side and sent a delegation under (St.) Sabas of Constantinople to defend his position in Jerusalem. Upon the deposition of (St.) Flavian, patriarch of Antioch, for his part in the Synod of Sidon, Sabas successfully defended Elias. When severus of antioch (511518), the Monophysite usurper, condemned the Tome of Pope leo i and summoned a synod at Tyre to favor his position, Elias broke communion with him and refused to attend the synod. Emperor Anastasius I sent a force under Olympius, governor of Palestine, who ordered Elias to either sign a Monophysite formula or be exiled. When he refused to sign, Elias was exiled to Aila in 516.

Feast: July 20 (Roman Martyrology with St. Flavian); Feb. 18 (Syriac Church).

Bibliography: v. grumel, Bibliotheca Sanctorum (Rome 1961) 4:105457. Patrologia Graeca, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 185766) 147:163174. Acta Sanctorum July 2:2832. j. j. delaney and j. e. tobin, Dictionary of Catholic Biography (New York 1961) 370. e. honigmann, Évêques et évêches monophysites (Corpus scriptorum Christianorum orientalium 127; 1951). r. janin, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912) 15:189190.

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