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.