St. Aelia Pulcheria (Greek: Πουλχερία) was the second (and oldest surviving) child of Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius and Empress Aelia Eudoxia.
In 415, the fifteen-year old Pulcheria took over the reigns of government as the guardian of her younger brother Theodosius II and was also proclaimed "Augusta" (Empress). Pulcheria had significant, though changing, political power during her brother's reign. When Theodosius II died on 26 July 450, Pulcheria provided a successor by marrying Marcian on 25 November 450, while simultaneously not violating her vow of virginity. She died three years later, in July 453.
Pulcheria greatly influenced the Christian Church and its theological development by guiding two of the most important ecumenical councils in ecclesiastical history, namely those of Ephesus and Chalcedon, in which the Church ruled on christological issues. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church subsequently recognized her as a saint.