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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Severus, Patriarch of Aquileia

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Severus (31), patriarch of Aquileia, succeeding Elias c. 586. Like his predecessors, he was a strenuous champion of the Three Chapters. Soon after his consecration the exarch Smaragdus seized him in his basilica at Grado, where the bishops of Aquileia had taken refuge, and carried him off to Ravenna with three other bishops—Severus of Trieste, John of Parenzo, and Videmius of Ceneda. There he was imprisoned a whole year and subjected to personal ill-treatment till he consented with those three suffragans, and two others, to communicate with John, archbp. of Ravenna. He was then allowed to return to Grado, but the people refused to communicate with him till he had acknowledged his fault in communicating with those who condemned the Three Chapters and had been received by a synod of ten bishops at Marano, c. 589 (Paulus Diac. Hist. Lang. iii. 26).

Gregory the Great, at the end of 590 or beginning of 591, wrote to him expressing his regret at his relapse into schism, and summoning him by the emperor's orders to Rome, with his followers, that a synod might decide the matter (Epp. i. and. ix. 317 in Migne, Patr. Lat. lxxvii. 461). Three separate appeals were presented to the emperor Maurice, the third (and only one extant) being by the bishops of the continental part which was in the hands of the Lombards. In it the bishops urge the injustice of the pope, from whose communion they had separated, being judge in his own cause. They profess willingness, when peace is restored, to attend and accept the decisions of a free council at Constantinople, and point out that the clergy and people of the suffragans of Aquileia are so zealous for the Three Chapters that, if the patriarch is compelled to submit by force, when future vacancies occur among his suffragans the new bishops would be compelled to seek consecration from the bishops of Gaul, and the province of Aquileia would thus be broken up (Mansi, x. 463). Maurice accordingly directed the pope to leave Severus and his suffragans alone for the present. Gregory submitting, Severus maintained his position through Gregory's life, and died in 606 or 607 (Paulus Diac. iv. 33), after an episcopate of 21 years and a month. He bequeathed all his property to his cathedral at Grado ( Chr. Patr. Grad. in Script. Rer. Lang. 394).

[F.D.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Severus, Patriarch of Aquileia'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/s/severus-patriarch-of-aquileia.html. 1911.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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