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Menas was originally from Alexandria, and was appointed by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I as patriarch of Constantinople in 536 AD. He was consecrated by the Pope of Rome Agapetus I to succeed Bishop Anthimus, who was a monophysite. His patriarchy lasted for 16 years and six months. During his patriarchy, the 5th Ecumenical Council was held. He was excommunicated twice for taking positions counter to those held by the Pope. However, in both cases the sentence of excommunication was lifted quickly. The patriarchy of Menas represents the greatest extent of papal influence in Constantinople.

He is considered a Church Saint; his feast day is August 25.