Germanus I, Patriarch of Constantinople, St.
GERMANUS I, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ST.
Patriarchate 715–730, Mariologist and controversialist; b. Constantinople, c. 634. His father, Justinian, of a noble family, was a favorite of Emperor heraclius (610–641) but lost favor with succeeding emperors and was executed for conspiracy in 668. Germanus was made an eunuch and forced to join the clergy of hagia sophia, where he gradually rose to a leading position. He exercised great influence on the Emperor constantine iv in the convocation of the Ecumenical Council of constantinople iii (681), which condemned monothelitism.
Germanus was appointed to the metropolitan See of Cyzicus c. 706, but was accused of yielding to the threats of Emperor Philippicus and of signing the Monothelite decrees of a synod in 712. He was made patriarch of Constantinople on Aug. 11, 715, by the Orthodox Emperor Anastasius II and in the same year rejected Monothelitism in a local synod. Germanus was deposed c. 730 for his opposition to Emperor Leo III's (the Isaurian) edict favoring iconoclasm. He later wrote his only extant historical work (many of his works were destroyed by iconoclastic emperors), De haeresibus et synodis, treating of the major heresies from Simon Magus to the iconoclasm of his own day. He was posthumously condemned by the iconoclastic synod of 754, and his name was erased from the diptychs, but it was finally reinstated by the seventh ecumenical council (787). Three of his "dogmatic" letters controvert iconoclasm and are cited in the decrees of the eighth ecumenical council; the fourth letter, Ad Armenos, defends the Council of chalcedon. He is credited with nine homilies, seven witnessing the development of Marian doctrines.
Feast: May 12.
Bibliography: Germano di Capua: ambasciatore ecumenico a Costantinopoli e modello di santit per il Cassinate (Venafro, Isernia 1999). l. lamza, Patriarch Germanos I. von Konstantinopel (Wörzburg 1975). Patrologia Graeca 98:39–454. f. cayrÉ, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 1903–50) 6.2:1300–09. b. altaner, Patrology (New York 1960) 634–635. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 552.
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