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ST. MARCIAN, PRIEST, AND TREASURER OF THE CHURCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IN THE FIFTH AGE

WAS born at Constantinople, though of a Roman family related to the imperial house of the Theodosiuses. From his childhood he served God in continual watching, fasting, and prayer, in imitation of St. John the Baptist; and for the relief of the necessitous he gave away immense occult alms. The time which was not employed in these charities, he spent in holy retirement and prayer. In the reign of the emperor Marcian, Anatolius the archbishop, offering violence to the saint’s humility, ordained him priest. In this new state the saint saw himself under a stricter obligation than before of laboring to attain to the summit of Christian perfection; and while he made the instruction of the poor his principal and favorite employment, he redoubled his earnestness in providing for their corporal necessities, and was careful never to relax any part of his austerities. The severity of his morals was made a handle, by those who feared the example of his virtue, as a tacit censure of their sloth, avarice, and irregularities, to fasten upon him a suspicion of Novatianism; but his meekness and silence at length triumphed over the slander. This persecution served more and more to purify his soul, and exceedingly improve his virtue. This shone forth with greater lustre than ever, when the cloud was dispersed; and the patriarch Gennadius, with the great applause of the whole body of the clergy and people, conferred on him the dignity of treasurer, which was the second in that church. St. Marcian built or repaired in a stately manner a great number of churches in Constantinople, confounded the Arians and other heretics, and was famous for miracles both before and after his happy death, which happened towards the end of the fifth century. He is honored both in the Greek Menæa, and Roman Martyrology, on the 10th of January. See his ancient anonymous life in Surius, and Bollandus; also Cedrenus Sozomen, and Theodorus Lector,1. 1. Codinus Orig. Constant. p. 60. See Tillemont, t. 16, p. 161.

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