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14 November 2005
  + Justinian +
14 November AD 565

Justinian IJustinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ, was emperor of the East from A.D. 527 to 565, during the time of decline of the Roman Empire. Aided by his beautiful and capable wife, Theodora, he restored majesty to the Byzantine court and is considered by historians to be the last true "Roman" emperor. During his reign the Empire experienced a renaissance, due in large part to his ambition, intelligence, and strong religious convictions.

Justinian also attempted to unite a sharply divided Church and was a champion of orthodox Christianity, seeking agreement among the parties in the Christological controversies of the day who were disputing the relation between the divine and human natures in the Person of Christ. The Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in A.D. 533 was held during his reign and addressed this disagreement. Justinian died in his eighties, without seeing the completion of his desire for a solidly orthodox Christian empire.

He is counted as a saint in the Eastern Church and certainly accomplished much. However, as with many renowned champions of the faith, Justinian also exhibited less than exemplary behavior at times. His "feet of clay" involved his overzealous attempts to forward or defend Christianity by fiat or force of arms. Yet he also supported legitimate missions and thousands were brought to faith in Africa and Asia Minor.
 
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