November 6, 2019 Length: 1:59
A native of Thessalonica, he rose from secretary to Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople (commemorated August 30), to deacon, then succeeded St Alexander as Patriarch around 337. For his virtue and his zeal for Orthodoxy he was hated by the Arians, who were still powerful in the Empire. The Arian Emperor Constantius, learning of Paul's election, exiled him and made the Arian Eusebius Patriarch in his place. St Paul went to Rome, where he joined St Athanasius the Great in exile. Furnished with letters from Pope Julius, he was able to ascend the Patriarchal throne once again upon the death of Eusebius. But once again the Arians were able to put one of their party on the Patriarchal throne: Macedonius, who even went beyond the Arian heresy and denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Once again the legitimate, Orthodox Patriarch found himself in exile in Rome. In succeeding years St Paul stood firm for Orthodoxy while complex political and military intrigues swirled around him, with the Orthodox Constans, Emperor of the West (and Constantius' brother) supporting him while Constantius continued to oppose him. For a time Constans was able to enforce Paul's place on the Patriarchal throne, but when he died, Constantius banished St Paul to Cucusus on the Black Sea. There, while he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the house where he was kept prisoner, the Arians strangled him with his own omophorion. His relics were brought back to Constantinople by the Emperor Theodosius the Great.