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Juvenalis, Bishop of Jerusalem
Wace's Dictionary of Early Christian Biography
Juvenalis (2) succeeded Praylius as bp. of Jerusalem c. 420. The ruling object of his episcopate was the elevation of the see of Jerusalem from the subordinate position it held in accordance with the seventh of the canons of Nicaea, as suffragan to the metropolitan see of Caesarea, to a primary place in the episcopate. Juvenal coveted not merely metropolitan, but patriarchal rank, and in defiance of all canonical authority claimed jurisdiction over the great see of Antioch, from which he sought to remove Arabia and the two Phoenicias to his own province. Scarcely had he been consecrated bp. of Jerusalem when he proceeded to assert his claims to the metropolitan rank by his acts. A letter of remonstrance against the proceedings of the council of Ephesus, sent to Theodosius by the Oriental party, complains that Juvenal had ordained in provinces over which he had no jurisdiction (Labbe, Concil. iii. 728). Cyril of Alexandria wrote to Leo, then archdeacon of Rome, informing him of this and begging that his unlawful attempts might have no sanction from the apostolic see. Juvenal, however, was far too useful an ally against Nestorius for Cyril lightly to discard. When the council met at Ephesus, Juvenal was allowed to take precedence of his metropolitan of Caesarea and to occupy the position of vice-president of the council, coming next after Cyril himself ( ib. iii. 445), and was regarded in all respects as the second prelate in the assembly. The arrogant assertion of his supremacy over the bp. of Antioch, and his claim to take rank next after Rome as an apostolical see, provoked no open remonstrance. At the "Latrocinium" Juvenal occupied the third place, after Dioscorus and the papal legate, by the special order of Theodosius ( ib. iv. 109). When the council of Chalcedon met, one of the matters before it was the dispute as to priority between Juvenal and Maximus, bp. of Antioch. The contention ended in a compromise agreed on in the Seventh Action. Juvenal surrendered his claim to the two Phoenicias and to Arabia, on condition of being allowed metropolitical jurisdiction over the three Palestines ( ib. iv. 613). The claim to patriarchal authority over the bp. of Antioch put forward at Ephesus was discreetly dropped. The terms arranged between Maximus and Juvenal received the consent of the assembled bishops ( ib. 618). Maximus, however, soon repented his too ready acquiescence in Juvenal's demands, and wrote a letter of complaint to pope Leo, who, replying June 11, 453 upheld the authority of the Nicene canons, and promised to do all he could to maintain the ancient dignity of the see of Antioch (Leo Magn. Ep. ad Maximum , 119 ) No further action, however, seems to have been taken either by Leo or by Maximus. Juvenal was left master of the situation, and the church of Jerusalem from that epoch has peaceably enjoyed the patriarchal dignity.
On the opening of the council at Ephesus, June 22, 431, Juvenal took a prominent part in the condemnation of Nestorius. As one of the eight legates deputed by the council, he aided in the consecration of Maximian in Nestorius's room, Oct. 25, 431 (Labbe, iii. 780; Baluz 571 seq.). In retaliation, John of Antioch and the Orientals on their way back from Ephesus held a synod at Tarsus, which excommunicated Cyril and the deputies of the council, Juvenal at their head (Baluz. 939).
When, in 449, the "Latrocinium" met at Ephesus, Juvenal was the first to sign the instrument of Flavian's deposition (Labbe, iv. 306). The natural consequence of this open patronage of heresy was that the name of Juvenal, together with those of Dioscorus and the other bishops of the "Latrocinium," was removed from the diptychs of Rome and other orthodox churches (Leo Magn. Ep. ad Anatolium , 80 ). This alarmed Juvenal, and he faced completely round at Chalcedon in 451, denouncing the doctrines he had supported two years before at Ephesus. The place he occupied in the council indicated that he had been compelled to abate somewhat of his overweening pretensions. Anatolius of Constantinople and Maximus of Antioch both took precedence of him, as did the Roman legates and Dioscorus (Labbe, iv. 79 et passim ). The proceedings had not advanced far when Juvenal, seeing the course events were taking, rose up with the bishops of Palestine in his train, and crossed over from the right, where he had been sitting with the Alexandrine prelates, to the Orientals on the left amid shouts of "Welcome, orthodox one! It is God Who has brought thee over here" (ib. 178). This desertion of his old friends barely saved him. Evidence being read as to the violence with which Flavian's condemnation had been enforced, and the brutality with which he had been treated, the imperial commissioners proposed Juvenal's deposition, together with that of Dioscorus, Eusebius, and the others who had taken a leading part in these disgraceful transactions ( ib. 323). Juvenal evidently felt that consistency must now be sacrificed to the maintenance of his position, and having given his vote and signature to the deposition of Dioscorus ( ib. 458) and signed the tome of Leo ( ib. 798), the objections of the commissioners were overruled. Juvenal and his four companions were allowed to resume their seats, amid a shout of welcome, "This is the Lord's doing." "Many years to the orthodox! This is the peace of the churches" ( ib. 509). He subsequently took part in drawing up the declaration of faith ( ib. 559â€“562) and signed the letter sent to Leo (Baluz. 1370). We have a Latin translation of a synodical letter written in his own name and that of the bishops of Palestine, A.D. 453, to the archimandrites, presbyters, and monks of the province confirming the decrees of Chalcedon (Labbe, iv. 889).
His enjoyment of his newly acquired dignity was speedily disturbed. The decrees of Chalcedon were not at all acceptable to a large number of the archimandrites and monks of Palestine, who generally held Eutychian views, and they, in 452, addressed letters to Marcian and to Pulcheria against the conduct of their bishop. The emperor and empress administered severe rebukes to the remonstrants (ib. 874, 879). The imperial displeasure, however, failed to repress the turbulence of the malcontents, and under the leadership of Theodosius, a fanatical Monophysite monk, patronized by the empress-dowager Eudocia, who had made Jerusalem her home, they threw the whole province into confusion. Juvenal's life was threatened. The walls and gates were guarded to prevent his escape. But he concealed himself, and together with Domnus made his way to the desert, whence he fled to Constantinople and laid his complaints against Theodosius and his partisans before the emperor ( ib. 858; Cyrill. Scythop. Euthym. Vit. 82; Evagr. H. E. ii. 5; Theophan. p. 92). Marcian took decided measures to restore order. After holding possession for two years, Theodosius was expelled from Jerusalem, 453, and Juvenal was restored. Eudocia returned to Jerusalem, and renewed communion with Juvenal, her example proving influential to bring back the large majority both of monks and laity to the cathedral church ( Euthym. Vit. 86). One of Juvenal's first acts on his restoration was to hold a council which issued a synodical letter to the two Palestines, declaring the perfect orthodoxy of the decrees of Chalcedon and denying that anything had there been altered in, or added to, the Nicene faith (Labbe, iv. 889). Mutual ill-will and suspicion still embittered the relations of Juvenal to his province, and Evagrius complains of the evils which had followed his return (Evagr. H. E. ii. 5). Leo (Sept. 4, 454) offered congratulations on his restoration, but told him plainly that he had brought his troubles on himself by his condemnation of Flavian and admission of the errors of Eutyches, and that having favoured heretics he cannot now blame them. Leo expressed his satisfaction that he had come to a better mind, and advised him to study his tome to confirm him in the faith (Leo Magn Ep. 139 ). In 457 Leo addressed Juvenal among the metropolitans of the East, with reference to the troubles at Alexandria, urging him to defend the faith as declared at Chalcedon ( Ep. 150 ).
The statement of Basil of Seleucia that Juvenal first "began to celebrate the glorious and adorable salvation-bringing nativity of the Lord" (Patr. Gk. lxxxv. 469) must be interpreted to mean that he separated the celebration of the Nativity and the Epiphany, which, till then, had been kept on the same day, Jan. 6. We may gather from a letter professing to be addressed by the bp. of Jerusalem to the bp. of Rome that this change was in accordance with the Western practice. Basil of Seleucia, being a contemporary of Juvenal and associated with him in his public acts, may be regarded as trustworthy evidence for the fact. According to Basil, Juvenal built a basilica in honour of St. Stephen on the site of his martyrdom, for which the empress Eudocia furnished the funds. The death of Juvenal probably occurred in 458 (cf. Tillem. Note sur Juvenal , xv. 867). He was succeeded by Anastasius. Tillem. MÃ©m. eccl. xv.; Ceillier, xiii. 247; Cave, Script. Eccl. i. 419; Oudin, i. 1270.)
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Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Juvenalis, Bishop of Jerusalem'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hwd/​j/juvenalis-bishop-of-jerusalem.html. 1911.