Nicholas I of Alexandria

Nicholas I Of Alexandria, an eminent prelate of the Eastern Church, flourished near the opening of the 13th century. He was patriarch of Alexandria at a time when the Greek Church was as low as it ever fell, and when Alexandria alone stood forth the worthy representative of orthodox Christianity in the East. Constantinople was in the hands of the Crusaders, Jerusalem under Mohammedan rule, and therefore Alexandria alone was the prop of the Greek Church at this time. Yet even Alexandria's independence from Rome waned under Nicholas I, who was inclined to acknowledge the authority of the all-powerful pope Innocent III, "that mighty pontiff who raised the authority of St. Peter's chair to its highest pitch." Nicholas, indeed, was once thanked by Innocent for "seeking to console both himself (i.e. Nicholas) and those who were suffering captivity (Crusaders) for the name of Christ, by the comforts of the Holy Roman Church." A.D. 1212, when Innocent called the fourth: Lateran Council, and Nicholas found it impossible to attend, he sent a deacon named Germanus as his legate to that Western assembly (Innocent, Epp. 15, 34). After the death of Innocent III, Nicholas continued his close relation with Rome under Honorius, notwithstanding the erection of a Latin archbishopric within the Alexandrian patriarchate. Nicholas died about 1228. See — Neale, History of the Eastern Church, Patriarchate of Alexandria, 2:278 sq., 294 sq. (J. H. W.)

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