March 11 – Saint Sophronius

March 9, 2017

Saint Sophronius

St. Sophronius of Jerusalem

Patriarch of Jerusalem and Greek ecclesiastical writer, b. about 560 at Damascus of noble parentage; d. probably March 11, 638, at Jerusalem. In company with John Moschus he traveled extensively through the East and also went to Rome. He probably became a monk in Egypt about 580 and later removed to Palestine. From the year 633 until his death he was the principal opponent of Monothelitism. Conspicuous for his learning and piety he became in 634 Patriarch of Jerusalem, and sorrowfully witnessed during his reign the conquest of Palestine by the Arabs and their capture of Jerusalem. He must very probably be identified with the Sophronius known as the rhetorician (Greek: sophists), and was the author of biographies, homilies, and hymns. Among the first named are: his Life of John the Almoner, written in collaboration with J. Moschus and only partly preserved in Symeon Metaphrastes; the lives of Sts. Cyrus and John; and probably a Life of St. Mary of Egypt. Ten homilies which have been preserved deal chiefly with ecclesiastical festivals, and are remarkable for their dogmatic contents and oratorical style. Numerous anacreontic odes entitle him to a place among Greek ecclesiastical poets. A large work in which he collected 600 testimonies of the Fathers in favor of the two wills of Christ has perished.

N. A. WEBER (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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