Above: Egypt and Palestine in the Roman Empire, 395 C.E.
Image in the Public Domain
SAINT SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM (DIED CIRCA 638)
Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem
Born at Damascus, Syria, St. Sophronius became a monk in 580. He traversed Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor with John Moschus, a fellow hermit, for decades. They spent one of those decades in Alexandria, under St. John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria. The two also made a pilgrimage to Rome, where Moschus died in 620. After this St. Sophronius returned to Jerusalem, where he became Patriarch in 634. As Patriarch he condemned the heresy called Monothelitism. According to the 1962 Encyclopedia Americana, Monothelitism
maintained that though Christ had two natures coexisting distinctly in the unity of the person, yet these natures possessed or acted by but a single will, the divine, which so predominated over or absorbed the human as to deprive it of all action or efficiency.
The Council of Constantinople of 680 condemned (wisely) this proposition as a heresy, siding with St. Sophronius and his partisans.
The saint had to flee Jerusalem in 638, due to a Saracen attack on the city. He died shortly thereafter, in either Jerusalem or Alexandria. (Sources contradict each other on where he died.)
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
DECEMBER 13, 2011 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCY OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR
you raised up faithful bishops of your church,
including your servant Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Revised on December 24, 2016