Saint Juvenal , Patriarch of Jerusalem, occupied the throne of the
Holy City during the years 420-458. During this period great
luminaries of the Church enlightened the world: Sts Euthymius the
Great (January 20), Simeon the Stylite (September 1), Gerasimus of
Jordan (March 4), and many others.
St Juvenal was a friend and converser with St Euthymius the Great.
During St Juvenal's archpastoral service, the Eastern Church was
troubled by dangerous false teachings, which he opposed with a
pastoral zeal, safeguarding the flock of Christ.
The Third Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Ephesus in
431. It condemned the heresy of Nestorius, which was opposed to the
Orthodox teaching of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. St Cyril of
Alexandria (June 9) presided at this Council, and among his colleagues
was Patriarch Juvenal.
In 451, the Fourth Ecumenical Council met in the city of Chalcedon. It
condemned the Eutchian [Monophysite] heresy, which taught that the
human nature in Christ was totally swallowed up and absorbed by the
divine nature. The holy Fathers, among them St Juvenal, condemned the
heresy of Eutychius and affirmed the Orthodox doctrine of the union of
two natures in the Lord Jesus Christ, the divine and the human,
without separation and without mixture. The heretics, however,
continued to confuse the minds of Christians.
At the head of the heretics stood Theodosius, who had won over to his
side the widow of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (+ 450), named
Eudokia, who lived at Jerusalem. He demanded that Patriarch Juvenal
repudiate the Council of Chalcedon, that is, that he should renounce
the Orthodox dogma of the two natures in Christ.
St Juvenal would not agree to embrace falsehood, and bravely confessed
the Chalcedon doctrine before the heretics. Theodosius and his
adherents then deposed Patriarch Juvenal from the patriarchal throne.
The saint withdrew to Constantinople, to Patriarch Anatolius (July 3)
and the emperor Marcian. The heretic Theodosius, under the patronage
of Eudokia, occupied the patriarchal throne in Palestine, but only for
twenty months. Emperor Marcian, holding St Juvenal in high esteem,
placed him on the patriarchal throne once more, and so the holy
confessor returned to Jerusalem.
The saint made many efforts to restore Church peace. At the suggestion
of St Simeon the Stylite, the empress Eudokia repented before St
Juvenal and returned to communion with the Orthodox. A large part of
the Jerusalem flock, who had been led astray by the heretics, followed
her. Having defeated the pernicious heresies, and having established
oneness of mind and propriety, Patriarch Juvenal died peacefully among
his faithful flock, after serving as a bishop for thirty-eight years.