Saint Of The Day

Saints Elias and Flavian

A n Arab by birth, Elias was an anchorite in Egypt who fled to Palestine in 457, before the Monophysite persecution of Timothy the Cat, the patriarch of Alexandria. Given shelter by Euthymus in his Laura of Shael, he founded a community at Jericho. Appointed patriarch of Jerusalem in 494, he met Flavian, a Syrian heiromonk who was also a delegate to the imperial court at Constantinople and succeeded him to the See of Antioch in 498. Elias suffered much for his adherence to the Council of Chalcedon. He entered into communion with Euphemius and Macedonius, the Constantinopolitan patriarchs, and refused to communicate with the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch and Alexandria. He submitted a profession of faith to Emperor Anastasius I; but the Emperor interpreted it as anathema to the reality of the two natures in Christ. Elias protested against this interpretation and sent another profession of faith based on Chalcedon. He was summoned to condemn the doctrine of Chalcedon in 511 at the Synod of Sidon, but he won over the majority of the Bishops and sent a delegation under Saint Sebas to Jerusalem to defend his position. Both Elias and Flavian were orthodox at heart and they were eventually driven from their Sees for their refusal to cooperate with the imperial support of Monophysitism. Flavian died in exile at Petra in Arabia and Elias at Aila and are named together in the Roman Martyrology. Reflection: “The more we conquer ourselves the more he gives us of his grace; and if today we have had power to overcome our difficulty, tomorrow and the day after we shall be able to surmount others that are much greater and more distressing” (Saint Vincent De Paul).