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E05484: Writing in Latin in 451 in Chalcedon (north-west Asia Minor, near Constantinople), the delegates of the Council of Chalcedon congratulate Leo for defending orthodoxy as the representative of the Apostle *Peter (S00036). They also present *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017) as a defender of Orthodoxy.

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posted on 2018-05-21, 00:00 authored by frances
Letter from the Council of Chalcedon to Pope Leo (= Leo, Letter 98)


The delegates congratulate Leo on defending the faith in his letter to the Council (Letter 93, see E05482). In this context, they refer to him as the ‘’voice of the blessed Peter’ (vox beati Petri). Later in the letter, the bishops refer to Euphemia, stating that she oversaw this meeting:

Deus enim operabatur, et quae conventum thalami coronabat venerabilis Euphemia, quae sicut propriam confessionem fidei a nobis suscipiens definitionem, suo sponso per piissimum principem et amatricem Dei imperatricem obtulit, omnem quidem adversariorum perturbationem sepiens, veritatis autem ut amicam confessionem confirmans, et manu et lingua omnium sententis assignans ad manifestationem

'For it was God who worked, and the triumphant Euphemia who crowned the meeting as for a bridal, and who, taking our definition of the Faith as her own confession, presented it to her Bridegroom by our most religious Emperor and Christ-loving Empress, appeasing all the tumult of opponents and establishing our confession of the Truth as acceptable to Him, and with hand and tongue setting her seal to the votes of us all in proclamation thereof.'

Text: Patrologia Latina 54. Translation: Lett Feltoe 1895.
Summary: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Euphemia, martyr of Chalcedon : S00017

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Euphemia

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Chalcedon Rome

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Chalcedon Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


A letter from the delegates of the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Leo the Great. This letter was transmitted as part of Leo the Great's letter collection as Letter 98.


Although Leo was not present at the Council of Chalcedon, he played a prominent role from afar: he petitioned to have the council held, he wrote to the council and sent his representatives. This council was called in response to the second Council of Ephesus, convened in 449. At Ephesus, the delegates absolved Eutyches – an advocate of the docetist theory that the body of Christ was not made of human flesh – from heresy and deposed Flavian, the bishop of Constantinople. These decisions were overturned at Chalcedon two years later. Leo was a strong opponent of Eutyches and supporter of Flavian (see e.g. E05480). The Council of Chalcedon was convened in the church of the martyr Euphemia, who thereby acquired a reputation as a defender of Orthodoxy. See also E05462. To an even greater extent than earlier popes, Leo regularly invoked Peter’s authority to assert the primacy of the Roman see and the duty of its bishop to speak out against heresy. See E05482 and E05494.


Text: Leo the Great, Epistolae, Patrologia Latina 54. Translation: Lett Feltoe, C., Leo the Great. Gregory the Great (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 12; New York, 1895). Further Reading: Demacopoulos, G.E., The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia, 2013). Price, Richard, and Whitby, Mary (eds.), Chalcedon in Context: Church Councils 400-700 (Liverpool, 2009). Wessel, S., Leo the Great and the Spiritual Rebuilding of Rome (Leiden, 2008).

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