Maximus, Saint

Maximus, Saint,

c.580–662, Greek theologian. He was secretary to Emperor HeracliusHeraclius
, c.575–641, Byzantine emperor (610–41). The son of a governor of Africa, he succeeded the tyrant Phocas, whom he deposed and had executed. In the early years of his reign Avars and Bulgars threatened, attacking even Constantinople, and the Persians
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 and subsequently abbot at the monastery of Chrysopolis. To curb MonotheletismMonotheletism
or Monothelitism
[Gr.,=one will], 7th-century opinion condemned as heretical by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 (see Constantinople, Third Council of).
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 he went to Rome and persuaded Pope St. Martin IMartin I, Saint,
d. 655?, pope (649–55?), an Italian, b. Todi; successor of Theodore I. On his accession he summoned a great council at the Lateran, as St. Maximus had urged, to deal with Monotheletism, discussion of which had been forbidden by Byzantine Emperor Constans
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 to convene the synod of 649, which denounced as heretical the Typus of Emperor Constans. Back at Constantinople, Maximus demanded that the decrees of the synod be accepted. He was imprisoned (653–62) by imperial order, mutilated, then exiled. He is important in the history of Byzantine mysticism. St. Maximus leaned much upon the Pseudo-Dionysius (see Dionysius the Areopagite, SaintDionysius the Areopagite, Saint
, fl. 1st cent. A.D., Athenian Christian, converted by St. Paul. Acts 17.34. Tradition has made him a martyr and the first bishop of Athens. He has been confused with St. Denis.
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). St. Maximus' works influenced Eriugena, who translated them into Latin. Feast: Aug. 13.
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