FLAVIAN I. (d. 404), bishop or patriarch of Antioch, was born about 320, most probably in Antioch. He inherited great wealth, but resolved to devote his riches and his talents to the service of the church. In association with Diodorus, afterwards bishop of Tarsus, he supported the Catholic faith against the Arian Leontius, who had succeeded Eustathius as bishop of Antioch. The two friends assembled their adherents outside the city walls for the observance of the exercises of religion; and, according to Theodoret, it was in these meetings that the practice of antiphonal singing was first introduced in the services of the church. When Meletius was appointed bishop of Antioch in 361 he raised Flavian to the priesthood, and on the death of Meletius in 381 Flavian was chosen to succeed him. The schism between the two parties was, however, far from being healed; the bishop of Rome and the bishops of Egypt refused to acknowledge Flavian, and Paulinus, who by the extreme Eustathians had been elected bishop in opposition to Meletius, still exercised authority over a portion of the church. On the death of Paulinus in 383, Evagrius was chosen as his successor, but after the death of Evagrius (c. 393) Flavian succeeded in preventing his receiving a successor, though the Eustathians still continued to hold separate meetings. Through the intervention of Chrysostom, soon after his elevation to the patriarchate of Constantinople (398), and the influence of the emperor Theodosius, Flavian was acknowledged in 399 as legitimate bishop of Antioch by the Church of Rome; but the Eustathian schism was not finally healed till 415. Flavian, who died in February 404, is venerated in both the Western and Eastern churches as a saint.
See also the article Meletius of Antioch, and the article “Flavianus von Antiochien” by Loofs in Herzog-Hauck’s Real-encyklop. (ed. 3). For the Meletian schism see also A. Harnack’s, Hist. of Dogma, iv. 95.