Sisinnius I, Patriarch of Constantinople

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Episcopacy: 426 to 427, saint; d. Constantinople, Dec. 24, 427. Sisinnius, a priest working in the suburb of Elaia in Constantinople, was selected patriarch on Feb. 26, 426 by popular acclamation. The people recognized his piety and love for the poor, and preferred him to the clergy's candidates, Proclus, secretary of the deceased Patriarch Atticus, and Philip, presbyter of Side, who later criticized Sisinnius in his Christian History. In a synod held soon after his consecration, Sisinnius condemned the lax discipline with which the Messalians were treated by Beronicianus of Perga. He also vindicated the reputation of Proclus by selecting him as bishop of Cyzicus, but the people of Cyzicus claimed the right to elect their own bishop and chose Dalmatius instead. Upon Sisinnius' sudden death, at a time when the Church was divided over the nature of Christ, the bishops, clergy and monks could not decide on a successor. The decision was left to the Emperor Theodosius II, who selected the Antiochian priest Nestorius. Pope Celestine I praised Sisinnius' simple faith and orthodoxy.

Feast: Oct. 11.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sedis 627629. socrates scholasticus, Historia ecclesiastica (Patrologia Graeca 67) 7:2628; tr. a. c. zenos (A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2.2; 1890) 1178. marcellinus comes, The Chronicle of Marcellinus, tr. b. croke (Sydney 1995) 14, 77. theodore lector, Theodore Anagnostes, Kirchengeschichte, ed. g.c. hansen (Berlin 1971) 324326. theophanes, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, tr. c. mango and r. scott (Oxford 1997) 136137. l. dindorf, ed., Zonaras (Leipzig 186875), 13.22. g. bardy, Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours, ed. a. fliche and v. martin (Paris 1935) 4:161162. g. dagron, Naissance d'une capitale, Constantinople et ses institutions de 370 à 451, (Paris 1974) 470, 492. a. di berardino, ed. Encyclopedia of the Early Church, tr. a. walford (Cambridge 1992).

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