July 25, 2019

Saint Elias, Archbishop of Thessaloniki

St. Elias of Thessaloniki (Feast Day - July 25)

Archbishop Elias of Thessaloniki played an active role in the ecclesiastical events that preceded the Fifth Ecumenical Synod.

On January 6, 553 he signed with Apollinaris of Alexandria and Domninus of Antioch the letter sent by Patriarch Eutychios of Constantinople, who took the initiative to convene the Synod, addresses to Pope Vigilius. This letter emphasized the urgent need to maintain ecclesiastical unity, and contained the confession of faith of the four Ecumenical Synods that had preceded as well as the papal letters.

For unknown reason, Archbishop Elias was absent from the proceedings of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod that same year (May 5 - June 2, 553), for which reason he was represented by the titulas bishop Benignus of Heraclea in Macedonia, who signed the acts of the Synod in Latin: "Benignus misericordia Dei episcopus Heracleotanae civitatis, quae est primae Macedoniae, agens vicem Elia sanctissimi archiepiscopi Thessalonicensium civitatis, tam pro illo etiam pro me." It is noteworthy that the catalogue of Bishops the absent Archbishop Elias was seventh place, immediately after the six patriarchs.