Proterius, Patriarch of Alexandria, St.
PROTERIUS, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, ST.
Patriarchate 451–57; d. Alexandria, Egypt, March 28, 457. As the archpriest, Proterius was chosen by the nobles of Alexandria at the suggestion of the emperor marcian to replace dioscorus as patriarch after Dioscorus had been deposed by the Council of chalcedon (451). To maintain his position against popular uprisings in favor of Dioscorus stimulated by the Egyptian monks, Proterius had to depend on the imperial soldiery. He attempted to conciliate the monastic leaders timothyaelurus and Peter Mongus, but in 456 he had them exiled from the city. Upon the death of Marcian (Jan. 24,457) Timothy Aelurus returned to Alexandria and had himself consecrated patriarch (March 16, 457) to succeed Dioscorus, who had died in exile (Sept. 4, 454). The imperial governor was unable to prevent the followers of Timothy from invading the city and taking possession of the churches. On March 28 they besieged the church of St. Quirinus, where Proterius was celebrating the Liturgy, assassinated Proterius, dragged his body through the streets, burned it, and scattered the ashes. His name was erased from the diptychs; but he was later accepted by the bishops of Thrace as a martyr.
Feast: Feb. 28.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Feb. 3:735–742. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935–) 4:279–282. j. maspÉro, Histoire des patriarches d'Alexandrie (Paris 1923) 44–45. a. grillmeier and h. bacht, Das Konzil von Chalkedon: Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3v. (Würzburg 1951–54) 2:22–35, 255–257. l. duchesne, Early History of the Christian Church, 3 v. (London 1909–24) 3:329–332, Eng. tr. from 4th Fr. ed.