Augustine Sokolovski

The saint was bishop and patriarch of Jerusalem for nearly forty years. His patriarchate was one of the longest in history. The Church glorified Juvenal among the saints not only for personal piety and holiness, but also for his great services to the Jerusalem Church and orthodox Christianity.

In 422, Juvenal became bishop of Jerusalem. At that time, the local Church was an ordinary diocese. The Bishop of the Holy City was canonically subordinate to the Metropolitan of Caesarea of Palestine. In turn, Palestine was then under the jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch.

In 451, the IV Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon singled out the Church of Jerusalem from Antioch and proclaimed it a patriarchate. St. Juvenal's great merit was in this change. In the canonical sense, he should be considered the first Jerusalem Patriarch in history.

The Lord judged him, this is an almost unique case in history, to become a participant in three Ecumenical Councils: The Third in Ephesus in 431, 20 years later the Fourth in Chalcedon - accepted by the Church, and the Council in Ephesus in 449, which, shortly after its holding, was rejected.

Too little time has passed between the two Ecumenical Councils. It seemed to many in the Church then that the decisions of the Fathers on matters of Christology were mutually opposed. The council at Chalcedon was largely rejected by the Alexandrian Church, which later became Coptic. The Antiochian Church was divided into two parts. The same fate threatened the Church of Jerusalem. However, the wisdom, high authority of Juvenal among his contemporaries, the great ascetics of that time, the monks, and genuine diplomacy in Christ contributed to the fact that the Church of Palestine remained wholly Orthodox.

“And since He himself went through trials, now He can help those who are being tested,” says the Scripture (Heb. 2:18). In our last times, we will call on the Jerusalem pastor with a request for a heavenly intercession for the unity of the Orthodox Churches.