Juvenal of Jerusalem

Saint Juvenal
Patriarch of Jerusalem
Died 458
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church; Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 2
Controversy Christology

Saint Juvenal (Greek: Άγιος Ιουβενάλιος) was a bishop of Jerusalem from about 422. In 451, on the see of Jerusalem being recognised as a Patriarchate by the Council of Chalcedon, he became the first Patriarch of Jerusalem, an office he occupied until his death in 458.


After the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70 the city had been left in ruins, and after Hadrian's visit to the site in 135, a new Roman city was built, called Ælia Capitolina (Ælia was Hadrian's family nomen). Ælia was a town of little importance in the empire; the governor of the province resided at Caesarea. Caesarea became the metropolitan see; the Bishop of Ælia (Jerusalem) was merely one of its suffragans.[1]


Juvenal wanted to make Jerusalem into a Patriarchate, but Cyril and Pope Leo I opposed the separation of Jerusalem from Cæsarea and Antioch.[2]

In 431, Juvenal sided with Saint Cyril against Nestorius at the First Council of Ephesus.[3] When, later, Dioscorus was tried for violation of canonical law at the Council of Chalcedon, Juvenal voted for his condemnation. Juvenal was one of the leaders of the Second Council of Ephesus.

In 451, the Fourth Ecumenical Council met in the city of Chalcedon. It condemned the Monophysite heresy, which taught that the human nature in Christ was totally absorbed by the divine nature. Juvenal was among those who condemned the heresy and affirmed the Orthodox doctrine of the union of two natures in Jesus Christ, the divine and the human, without separation and without mixture.[3] The attenders of the fourth council consented to the establishment of the patriarchate of Jerusalem, but when Juvenal returned to his throne, Monophysites drove him from it and installed Theodosius as the patriarch. Imperial troops restored Juvenal in 452, and he served in peace until his death in 458.[2]

He is regarded as a saint in parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church with his feast day celebrated on July 2.[4]


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