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ST. MAXIMUS, the Confessor

ST. MAXIMUS, the Confessor

1/21/2010 9:04:43 AM

St. Maximus the Confessor was born in Constantinople around 580 and raised in a pious Christian family. He received an excellent education, studying philosophy, grammar, and rhetoric. He was well-read in the authors of antiquity and he also mastered philosophy and theology. When St. Maximus entered into government service, he became first secretary (asekretis) and chief counselor to the emperor Heraklios (611-641), who was impressed by his knowledge and virtuous life.

St. Maximus soon realized that the emperor and many others had been corrupted by the Monothelite heresy, which was spreading rapidly through the East. He resigned from his duties at court, and went to the Chrysopolis monastery (at Skutari on the opposite shore of the Bosphorus), where he received monastic tonsure. Because of his humility and wisdom, he soon won the love of the brethren and was chosen hegumen of the monastery after a few years. Even in this position, he remained a simple monk.

St. Maximus also wrote anthropological works. He deliberates on the nature of the soul and its conscious existence after death. Among his moral compositions, especially important is his "Chapters on Love." St. Maximus the Confessor also wrote three hymns in the finest traditions of orthodox church hymnography.

 

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