Saint of the Day – 3 July – Saint Anatolius of Constantinople (Died c 458) Bishop of Constantinople from 451 until his death on 3 July 458, Confessor. He died in 458 of unknown causes but it is believed he was martyred by heretics.
Anatolius was born at Alexandria. He was Ordained a Deacon by the great St Cyril of Alexandria and was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in the year 431.
He became Bishop of Constantinople through the influence of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria with Emperor Theodosius II, after the deposition of Flavian by the Second Council of Ephesus. After his Consecration, Anatolius publicly condemned the teachings not only of Eutyches,but also those of Nestorius, subscribing to the letters of St Cyril against Nestorius and of Pope Leo I against Eutyches.
In conjunction with Pope Leo, he requested that the Emperor Marcian summon a general Council against Dioscorus and the Eutychians but the Imperial letter instructing Anatolius in the preparations for the Council of Chalcedon, only mentions Pope Leo. In this Council, Anatolius presided in conjunction with the Roman legates. By the famous 28th Canon, passed at the conclusion of the Council, Constantinople was made equal in dignity with Rome, “second in eminence and power to the Bishop of Rome.” This displaced the traditional order of authority of the much older Sees of Antioch and Alexandria. Hence arose the controversy between Anatolius and the Roman Pontiff. However, the third Canon of the earlier First Council of Constantinople of 381 stated that “The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is New Rome.” The Eastern position could be characterised as being political in nature, as opposed to a doctrinal view.
Leo complained to Marcian and to Pulcheria that Anatolius had over-stepped his jurisdiction by consecrating Maximinus II as Bishop of Antioch.
Following the Council of Chalcedon, Anatolius received a letter signed by several Egyptian Bishops, asking his assistance against Timothy, who was usurping the Bishopric of Alexandria, as a result Anatolius wrote to the Emperor Leo, against Timothy. The circular of the Emperor requesting the advice of Anatolius on the turbulent state of Alexandria is extant.
When he was in danger of death he was restored to health by St Daniel the Stylite, who came to Constantinople to see him.
The followers of Dioscorus are said to have murdered him in 458.