Feast Day : August 13 (in the West); January 21 and August 12 and 13 (in the East)
Also known as: the Theologian; Maximus the Confessor
Maximus was born in Constantinople to a noble family around 580. He served as the first secretary to Emperor Heraclius, but left the post and went to the monastery at Chrysopolis near Constantinople. He studied a time with St. Sophronius. He defended Pope Honorius (r. 625–638) in a controversy over Monothelitism, but then was charged with treason at the Lateran Council convened in 649 by Pope St. Martin I (r. 649–655). Maximus was exiled for six years to Perberis (Perbera). In 662 he was recalled to Constantinople with two companions, both named Anastasius. They were anathematized along with SS. Martin and Sophronius. They were beaten, had their tongues cut out and their right hands cut off. They were then sent into perpetual exile and imprisonment. Maximus died in 662 after having a vision foretelling his death. Tradition holds that miraculous lights appeared every night at his tomb. Maximus is considered one of the leading theologians of the Greek Church, particularly for his work on the union of God with humanity in the Incarnation. He wrote more than 90 theological, mystical and dogmatic works. His leading mystical works are Mystagogia, which explains ecclesiastical symbolism; Scholia, an examination of the work of Pseudo-Dionysius; and Ambigua, on St. Gregory of Nazianzus.