St Paul the Confessor was born in Thessalonica c. A.D. 300. He was ordained deacon and priest by St Alexander, Archbishop of Constantinople, and was consecrated his successor as archbishop of the city in 340. Like St Alexander, he was a defender of the creed proclaimed by the 1st Œcumenical Council and earned the title of confessor by suffering for his faith at the hands of the authorities.
The Emperor Constantius (second son of St Constantine the Great, who reigned 337–361, first as Augustus in the East, then as sole ruler) was a supporter of Arianism and deposed Paul from his see immediately. St Paul took refuge in Rome, where St Athanasius of Alexandria was also in exile. With the support of the pope, Julius I, and the Augustus of the West, Constans, St Constantine the Great’s third son, both saints were restored to their archdioceses, although not for long.
With the death in 350 of Constans, who had been a defender of Nicene orthodoxy, Constantius once again unleashed his wrath on St Paul, banishing him to Lesser Armenia. There at some time between 351 and 357 he was killed by an Arian mob as he celebrated the Liturgy, thus adding the title Martyr to that of Confessor.
Occasional comments by a convert to Orthodoxy.