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Saint Maximus the Confessor. The Venerable Saint Maximus

Our Saviour Jesus Christ became incarnate, taught us, and sacrificed Himself for us to deliver us from sin. But so that our salvation might also be assured after His departure from us, through His ascension to heaven. He established His Church (Matthew XVI, 18; Acts XX, 28) to distribute saving grace through it. All who believe and are baptized in Him and follow Him in the right faith belong to the Church.

Saint Maximus the Confessor, also known as Saint Maxim is honored every year on 21 January. Saint Maxim the Confessor was born into an aristocratic family around the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire around 580. During the reign of Emperor Heraclius (610-641) in 610, he served for three years as secretary to the imperial court, and around 614 he left the imperial court and entered the Chrysopolis Monastery near Constantinople.

Because of the Persian invasion of 614, he went to Africa, where he met Sophronius, the future Patriarch of Jerusalem, who had begun in Carthage the struggle against the monotheistic and mono-energetic heresies that had been emerging in the Empire for some time. During this period, St Maxim studied and deepened his theological knowledge, reading the Christological works of St Gregory the Theologian or St Dionysius Pseudo-Areopagite.

Biography of Saint Maximus the Confessor

Full name:St. Maximus the Confessor
Year of birth:c. 0580 AD
Year of death:August 13, 0662 AD
Place of birth:Istanbul, Turkey
Nationality:Turkish
Death cause:Martyrdom.

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Why do we honor the Saints?

Because all the Christians who make up the Church stand in close connection. Not only with each other, the living but also with the dead. They all form a living communion as an organism as St. Paul teaches us and they all help each other. Even the living communicate and help each other with the dead through prayer. The living pray for the forgiveness of the sins of the dead. And the dead, the well-pleasing to God the saints pray, intercede to the Saviour for the living.

In the Church, we honor the saints because they have cooperated with God by His grace and have lived virtuous lives. The saints are known as God’s friends/ And his housewives. So that you are no longer strangers and temporary inhabitants. But are with the saints and housewives of God.

For the reasons given, Christians honor the saints and offer prayers to them. However, worship, prayer, has two forms: worship or prayer to God: “To the Lord your God, worship.” Is perfect, absolute worship; worship or honoring of the saints is relative worship. That we address to the saints called “Julie” because they are marginal beings like us. The gesture is the same: when we worship God. And when we pray to the saints, but the inner feeling is different.

What kind of teaching clarification did Maxim the Confessor make?

After rejecting with new reflections the Nestorian heresy which weakened the union of humanity with the Godhead in Christ and monophysitism which panentheistically annulled the distinction between humanity and Godhead, and thus between the uncreated and the created in Him, Saint Maxim became, with the advent of monotheism, which reduced the humanity assumed by the Son of God to a passive entity, incapable of a true and worthy relationship with God.

Saint Maximus the Confessor brought the final clarification to the teaching about the fullness of humanity assumed by the Son of God through the Incarnation, to restore it from the weakness and inner brokenness into which it had fallen through the sin of separation from God.

Saint Maxim’s specification of the humanity assumed by the Son of God as humanity endowed with will is not only an emphasis on the greatness of humanity but also the greatness of God.

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Key Verse related to Saint Maximus the Confessor

Food is not evil, but gluttony is. Childbearing is not evil, but fornication is. Money is not evil, but avarice is. Glory is not evil, but vainglory is. Indeed, there is no evil in existing things, but only in their misuse.

Saint Maximus the Confessor

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What did Saint Maximus do?

Saint Maxim the Confessor, one of the greatest theologians and mystical writers of the Orthodox Church. Was born around 580 in Constantinople, in an aristocratic family. At the age of nine, orphaned by both parents. He was taken into the care of a monastery in Palestine. Which took care to give him a select education from the greatest and wisest teachers of the time.

Saint Maximus the Confessor retired to the monastery of Hrisopolis (Shkodra) where he became a monk. Here he remained until 624 or 625 when he took refuge because of the Persian threat at the monastery of St. George of Cyzic in Asia Minor. In 626, new Persian incursions caused the dispersion of all the traitors from this monastery.

At the age of thirty, around the year 610, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, seeing the wisdom and the perfect life that Saint Maxim led, brought him to the Emperor’s court and made him the great counselor of the empire, but he did not remain in this position for long.

When was Maximus the Confessor arrested?

After only a year, Maxim was heard again and, as he refused any retraction, he was transferred to Berberis. In 662, Maxim and Anastasius the monk, to whom has added Anastasius the Roman Apocrypha, from whom we have a letter and a collection of anti-monotheistic syllogisms.

In 653 Maximus was arrested. Along with his disciple Anastasius the monk. And brought to Constantinople in the summer of 653. Also in 655, a trial followed. After which Maxim was exiled to Bizya in Thrace. And Anastasius was sent to Berberis.

There is in St. Maxim a cosmic vision of the world which, in terms of method and realization, represents the balance and culmination of Greek thought, theological and philosophical, in its doctrinal synthesis meet Origen and Evagrius.

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What does knowing God mean to Maximus?

The truth was clarified by Palamism, which also marked a new era in Orthodox theology. It deciphered the structure of the Church’s mystical experiences by uncovering the divine realities. That sustain the act of entering into God or participation. The act of union, the crown of the haric experience, is an act of knowledge through transcendence. Made possible by an insight into divinity.

For Saint Maximus the Confessor, the knowledge of God means the epistemology. Which dogmatics deals with, is a problem of theological spirituality, a problem in which the perfection and transcendence of rational fact. The process of knowledge, as an unmediated union between God and the human subject by means of immanent energies. Is in fact the process of our indigenization.

This divine immanence, to which St. Gregory Palamas gave an ontological colouring. Is in fact the basis of God’s knowledge, of our transcendence. Hence the Sophianic interpretation given to the problem of knowledge.

Who was Maximus caught with in Rome?

When the wicked man was being overcome. Those things which were spoken against the innocent and by which the liars wanted to show their injustice. The disciple of this Saint Maximus the Confessor, that is, Anastasius, who was a minister in the Church of Rome, wrote them down in detail.

Saint Maximus the Confessor, with a royal command. Was seized in Rome, with his disciple Anastasius. And taken to Constantinople. And when the curate came to Constantinople by water, the men sent by the emperor came to him. Taking him without shame, being barefooted and unclothed, wearing bonds, dragged him along the street, followed by his disciple. They led him away to a dark dungeon, and there they shut him up. Not allowing his disciple to be with him, but shutting him up separately in the dungeon.

And all the retinue sitting there without the king, when the curate came before them. They all looked at him with evil eyes, showing anger and bitterness. Who knew well how to speak falsehood, and how to turn justice into injustice. And to do violence to the truth, knowing better than all.

Primary Takeaways

  • Patriarch Sergius urged Emperor Heraclius to write the confession of their unjust faith. That full of the heresy of the monotheists, and named that one Emperor Ekthesis.
  • St. Maxim, seeing the disturbance that was being made to the Churches in Constantinople and throughout the East. And the heretics growing stronger and more numerous, and the right faith growing weaker and shaking from the storm of persecution. Was yearning in spirit, weeping and sobbing.
  • But the hard-hearted were not humbled by him, but they made his torment worse. Because they cut out the tongue of God speaking, which poured out rivers of wise teaching and drowned the heretical beliefs. And they cut it out without mercy, wanting to silence the mouth of God speaking.

Conclusion

The great Maximus the Confessor, by name and by life, was born in the great city of Constantinople, of parents of great birth and faithful; and he was brought up in the teaching of the book of enough, because he had completed all philosophy and theology; then he was a man too wise and honoured and in the royal palaces honoured.

St. Maxim does not intervene with the ontological distinctions characteristic of Palamism to bring it so close to it, but his whole system is a distant prelude to a theology of divine energies. Moreover, his teaching was assimilated in its entirety by the later spiritual tradition that took shape and developed in Palamism.

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