The Third Œcumenical Council
The Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431 was the first of three councils that would address a new question that was dividing the Church. The councils of Nicæa in 325 and Constantinople in 381 had decided the question of how the three Persons of the Trinity are related. The issue now was how the human and the divine are united in Christ. This was a question that would perplex the Church for more than a century.
Icon of the 3rd Œcumenical Council. The Emperor Theodosius (who summoned the council although he did not actually attend in person) is enthroned in the centre, flanked by the bishops of the council. Among them on the left are St Cyril of Alexandria, St Memnon of Ephesus and St Juvenal of Jerusalem. Among those on the right are Pope Celestine of Rome (who was represented by legates at the council) and John of Antioch. Cowering at the Emperor’s feet are two heretical archbishops of Constantinople. Nestorius, who was deposed at the council, is on the right while Macedonius, an Arian deposed 70 years earlier, is on the left.