Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


A learned monk and writer of the Green Church, b. about 1198, at Constantinople; d. 1272. After the establishment of the Latin Empire (1204) his family emigrated to Asia Minor. Blemmida there received a careful training and was soon reputed one of the most learned men of his time. About 1223 he became one of the Byzantine clergy, at that time established in Nicaea. But owing to difficulties and jealousies he renounced all worldly prospects, became a monk, and built a monastery near Ephesus, over which he presided until his death. In this condition he felt free from all entanglements and on various occasions exhibited independence and courage. At one time he dismissed from the church of his monastery the Princess Marcesina, a mistress of the Emperor John Ducas Batatzes (1222-54), and in justification of his conduct wrote an encyclical letter. Again, when the patriarch Joseph of Constantinople (1268-75) sought to obtain recognition against the former Patriarch Arsenius (1255-66), he met with a straight refusal from Blemmida. Nevertheless Blemmida was held in high esteem by the contemporary Greek Emperors. The aforementioned John Ducas, far from venting his wrath on him, accepted the rebuke as well merited. When the Patriarchal See of Constantinople fell vacant, in 1255, it was offered to Blemmida by Emperor Theodore II, Lascaris (1254-58); but he preferred his quiet monastic life.

The reputation of Blemmida was really due to his vast learning. Many a Greek youth of high estate learned from him the beauty of letters, or the secrets of philosophy and theology. Among his pupils were the learned Georgius Acropolites and the royal prince, afterwards emperor, Theodore II, Lascaris. Blemmida was the author of several poems, of letters, of a work on the duties of an emperor, of two autobiographies, of two geographical works, of philosophical writings on logic and physics, and of a rule of life for his monks. Among his theological works may be mentioned a commentary on the Psalms, a discourse on the Trinity and Christ ology, and two orations on the Holy Ghost. One of these orations was addressed to Jacob, Archbishop of Bulgaria ; the other to Theodore Lascaris. In both he proved, from passages of Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria and other Fathers, that the procession of the Holy Ghost from Father and Son, or from the Father through the Son, was genuine Catholic doctrine. In this precisely consists his importance. He was among the few Greek writers who recognized that the Latin church was correct in its belief. This is evident not only from his own writings, but also from the explicit contemporary evidence of such men as Beccus, Pachmeres, and Nicephorus Gregoras. It was through the reading of the works of Blemmida that Beccus was converted to the teaching held by the Latin Church, and induced to write in its defence. Most of the works of Blemmida so far published are found in Migne's "Patrologia Graeca", CXLII (Paris, 1855), or in the 'Bibliotheca Teubneriana" (Leipzig, 1896).

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Who Needs Advent? I do!
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More