« Paulus Edessenus Paulus, bishop of Emesa Paulus, St. called Thebaeus »

Paulus, bishop of Emesa

Paulus (30), bp. of Emesa, one of the most deservedly respected prelates of the period of the Nestorian controversy, the contemporary of Cyril and John of Antioch, the peacemaker between the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch after the disastrous close of the council of Ephesus, a.d. 431. He reached Ephesus together with John of Antioch and the other Oriental bishops, and joined in the deposition of Cyril and Memnon (Labbe, iii. 597) and in all the proceedings of the Oriental party. He was one of the eight Oriental deputies despatched to the emperor with plenipotentiary powers (ib. 724). His moderation in these difficult and delicate negotiations was condemned by the uncompromising Alexander of Hierapolis as proceeding from a mean desire for reconciliation at the cost of the truth (Baluz. Concil. Nov. Collect. 800). Paul was a sincere lover of peace, and above all things anxious to put an end to the disputes on points of faith, the mutual violence of which was a disgrace to the church, a scandal to the faithful, and a stumbling-block to unbelievers. He was a man of vast experience in ecclesiastical matters, an accomplished theologian, possessed of great tact and courtesy, and one who—for unblemished holiness as well as for his advanced age—enjoyed the confidence and reverence of both parties. Weary of conflict and anxious to obtain peace, John of Antioch despatched Paul as his ambassador to Alexandria to confer with Cyril on the terms of mutual concord, a.d. 432. Paul presented in his own name and John's a confession of faith originally drawn up by Theodoret. The formulary was accepted by Cyril as orthodox, and he exhibited a formulary of faith which Paul approved as consonant with the creed of the Orientals (Labbe, iii. 1090). 819Paul was then received into communion by Cyril on exhibiting a written document acquiescing in the deposition of Nestorius, anathematizing his writings, and recognizing his successor Maximian (Cyrill. Epp. 32, 40, t. ii, pp. 100–102, 152). Paul was invited by Cyril to preach on the Sunday before Christmas Day and on Christmas Day itself. On the festival the chief church of the city was crowded, and Paul, having commenced with the "Gloria in excelsis Deo," passed on to Is. vii. 14, and concluded his exordium with words decisive of the whole controversy, "Mary the mother of God brings forth Emmanuel." The test title was received with loud acclamations by the congregation, "This is the true faith"; "This is the gift of God," which were repeated when he proceeded to enunciate the doctrine of "the combination of two perfect natures in the one Christ," with shouts of "Welcome, orthodox bishop, the worthy to the worthy" (Labbe, iii. 1095). Paul preached a third time the following Sunday, New Year's Day, 433, with equal acceptance. Portions of all these sermons are still extant (ib. 1091, 1095, 1097). To quicken John's delay in accepting the terms of peace proposed by Cyril, Paul accompanied Aristolaus and a deputation of two of Cyril's clergy to Antioch, to lay before John for his signature a document recognizing Nestorius's deposition and the anathematizing of his teaching. This, eventually, was signed by John, and brought back with great joy by Paul to Alexandria (ib. 1091). The happy reunion of the long-divided parties was published by Cyril, in the chief church of Alexandria, Apr. 23, 433. Cyril acknowledged the receipt of John's formulary in a well-known letter—conveyed to him by the aged peace-maker—commencing with the words of Ps. xcvi. 11: "Laetentur caeli," etc., by which it was subsequently known (ib. 1106; Baluz. 786). The time of Paul's death is uncertain. Tillem. Mém. eccl. xiv. (index); Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 419; Coteler. Mon. Eccl. Graec. i. 48; Clinton, Fast. Rom. ii. 240; Migne, Patr. Gk. lxxvii. 1433; Hefele, Hist. of Councils, Clark's trans. iii. 127–137.

[E.V.]

« Paulus Edessenus Paulus, bishop of Emesa Paulus, St. called Thebaeus »
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