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Saint Pulcheria the Empress



She was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius(395-408), and core gent and adviser of her brother Theodosius the Younger (408-450). She vowed to remain a virgin for life, and, as a sign of this vow, she had an altar of gold and precious stones built in the cathedral church. She reigned with her brother, Theodosius the Younger. Pulcheria was a great zealot for the Orthodox Faith. At her insistence, the Third Ecumenical Council, which condemned the Nestorian heresy, was convened in Ephesus. She built the famous Church of the Holy Theotokos of Blachernae in Constantinople. Following the death of Theodosius, she married Marcian, the emperor-elect, but lived with him as with a brother. She discovered the relics of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Throughout her life St Pulcheria defended the Orthodox Faith against various heresies. After giving away her wealth to the poor and to the Church, she died peacefully at the age of fifty-four in the year 453.







Ivory plaque, showing the translation of some relics to a church in Constantinople; two bishops are welcomed by Theodosius II and Pulcheria. Copy in the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz from an original in Trier.