Religion Wiki
Saint Maximus of Jerusalem
Bishop of Jerusalem
Born unknown
Died ca. 350
Feast May 5

Saint Maximus of Jerusalem (Maximus III of Jerusalem) was an early Christian saint and bishop of Jerusalem from roughly 333 A.D. to his death in roughly 350 A.D. He was the third bishop of Jerusalem named Maximus, the other two being in the latter half of the second century.[1]

During one of the persecutions of his era he was tortured for his Christian faith, and thus became known as a confessor, although modern sources disagree as to whether this happened in the reign of Galerius Maximianus or the reign co-emperors Diocletian and Maximian. He was a priest in Jerusalem, and it is said by Sozomen that he was so popular among the people for good character and for being a confessor that that when Saint Macarius attempted to appoint him as bishop of Lydda (also known as Diospolis) the populace insisted upon his retention in Jerusalem. Upon Macarius' death Maximus became bishop of Jerusalem, and was present in 335 at the first synod of Tyre, and signed that council's condemnation of Athanasius. During Athanasius' return from exile, circa 346, Maximus convoked a synod in Jerusalem of sixteen Palestinian bishops that welcomed Athanasius. Socrates Scholasticus recorded that Maximus "restored communion and rank" to Athanasius, Athanasius receiving support against the Arians and Maximus advancing the desire of the bishops of Jerusalem to have their see be equal in status to the metropolitan see of Caesarea, a desire later achieved in 451 A.D.[1][2][3][4][5]

Maximus was succeeded as bishop of Jerusalem by saint Cyril, though the process is unclear. Sozomen and Socrates say that Maximus had been deposed in favor of Cyril by Acacius of Caesarea and Patrophilus of Scythopolis, both Arians. Theodoret does not include this story, yet does say that Maximus had intended a different successor. Jerome says instead that Maximus' intended successor was Heraclius, whom Maximus had named upon his death bed, but that Acacius and Cyril deposed Heraclius and made Cyril bishop. Regardless of how the succession came about, Cyril and Acacius would become bitter enemies during the next few years, disagreeing both in the Arian controversy and in terms of the precedence and rights of each see.[6][7][1]

The Roman Catholic Church marks his feast day on May 5.[8]

Preceded by
Bishop of Jerusalem
Succeeded by


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 McClintock, John; Strong, James (1891). Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 5. Harper & brothers. p. 919. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  2. Farmer, David Hugh; Burns, Paul (1996). Butler's Lives of the Saints: New Full Edition. Butler, Alban. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 29. ISBN 9780860122548. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  3. Wirgman, A. Theodore (2008). The Constitutional Authority of Bishops in the Catholic Church: Illustrated by the History and Canon Law of the Undivided Church from the Apostolic Age to the Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. Fisher Press. p. 219. ISBN 9781409701118.,M1. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  4. Bright, William (1903). The Age of the Fathers: Being Chapters in the History of the Church During the Fourth and Fifth Centuries. Longmans, Green. p. 199.,M1. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  5. "Father Ryder and Dr. Littledale". The Church Quarterly Review (London) XII (VVIV): 551. 1881. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  6. Hanson, Richard Patrick Crosland (2005). The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy 318-381 AD. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 399–400. ISBN 9780567030924.,M1. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  7. Yarnold, Edward (2000). Cyril of Jerusalem. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 9780415199032.,M1. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  8. "St. Maximus of Jerusalem". Catholic Online. Retrieved 10 April 2009.