Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Gennadius I

Article

Patriarch of Constantinople (458-471), has left scarcely any writings. Facundus states that he wrote against Saint Cyril of Alexandria, probably in 431-2, and quotes a passage to show that his work was more violent even than the letter of Ibas. If Saint Cyril’s letter of 434 is to the same Gennadius, they were friends in that year. Gennadius succeeded Anatolius as Bishop of Constantinople in 458. On 17 June 460, Saint Leo wrote to him warning him against Timothy Aelurus, the Monophysite who had made himself Patriarch of Alexandria. Not later, it seems, than 459 Saint Gennadius celebrated a great council of eighty-one bishops, many of whom were from the East and even from Egypt, including those who had been dispossessed of their sees by Aelurus. The letter of this council against simony is still preserved. About the same time Saint Daniel the Stylite began to live on a column near Constantinople, apparently without the Patriarch’s leave, and certainly without the permission of Gelasius, the owner of the property where the pillar stood, who strongly objected to this strange invasion of his land. The Emperor Leo protected the ascetic, and some time later sent Saint Gennadius to ordain him priest, which he is said to have done standing at the foot of the column, since Saint Daniel objected to being ordained, and refused to let the bishop mount the ladder. At the end of the rite, however, the patriarch ascended to give Holy Communion to the stylite and to receive it from him. Whether he then imposed his hands on him is not said. Possibly he considered it sufficient to extend them from below towards the saint. According to Theodorus Lector, Gennadius would allow no one to become a cleric unless he had learned the Psalter by heart. He made Saint Marcian oeconomus of the Church of Constantinople.

Saint Gennadius is said by Joannes Moschus to have been very mild and of great purity. We are told by Gennadius of Marseilles that he was lingua nitidus et ingenio acer, and so rich in knowledge of the ancients that he composed a commentary on the whole Book of Daniel. The continuation of Saint Jerome’s Chronicle by Marcellinus Comes tells us (according to some manuscripts) that Gennadius commented on all Saint Paul’s Epistles. Some fragments are collected in Migne, chiefly from the two catenae of Cramer on Romans; a few passages are found in the catena of Oecumenius, and a few in the Vienna manuscript gr. 166. Some fragments in the catenae of Niceohorus show that Gennadius also commented on Genesis. He is seen to have been a learned writer, who followed the Antiochene school of literal exegesis. He is celebrated in the Greek Menaea on 25 August and 17 November, and on the former day in the Roman-Martyrology.

MLA Citation

  • John Chapman. “Saint Gennadius I”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 July 2013. Web. 27 August 2014. <>