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Gennadius I, Patriarch of Constantinople, St.


Episcopacy 458 to 471, theologian and exegete; b. place and date unknown; d. Constantinople. In his extant works he opposes Alexandrian Christology and interprets Scripture literally. As a young man he vigorously attacked (431) cyril of alexandria's Twelve Anathemas and in a later work (Ad Parthenium ) accused Cyril of blasphemy. Fragments of his encomium on leo i the great's Ad Flavianum establish his own orthodoxy on the Incarnation. He wrote commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, Psalms, and the Pauline Epistles; surviving fragments show him to have been an exegete of the Antioch school. He became patriarch of Constantinople (458), and he removed the Monophysite bishop of Alexandria, Timothy Aelurus, on the admonition of Leo I (Ep. 170). At a synod (460) called to curb simony in ordinations, he issued an encyclical anathematizing this abuse. He was conspicuous for learning and sanctity, and his power of prayer was a legend in his own lifetime. When an unruly lector heeded neither reprimand nor flogging, Gennadius prayed that he might mend his ways or leave this world; to the terror of all, the lector died the next day. An artist who had presumed to paint Christ as Jupiter found his right hand withered, but at Gennadius's prayer it was restored to use. He administered his see ably and successfully.

Feast: Aug. 25.

Bibliography: Patrologia Graeca 85:16131734. Acta Sanctorum Aug. 5:148155. j. quasten, Patrology 3:525526. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 547.

[p. w. harkins]

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