St Zacharias, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Commemorated February 21 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

The Persian King Chozroes attacked Jerusalem, ransacking the city, in the time of the Greek Emperor Heraclius, in 614. He took the Precious Cross off to Persia and enslaved an enormous number of Christians, including Patriarch Zacharias. The Jews supported him in his wickedness towards the Christians. It is recorded, among further malice on the part of the Jews, that they bought 90,000 Christian slaves from Chozroes and killed them all. The aged Patriarch spent fourteen years in slavery. Many marvels were wrought in Persia by the Precious Cross, and the Persians exclaimed: 'The Christian God has come to Persia!' The Emperor Heraclius later compelled King Chozroes to return the Precious Cross to Jerusalem, together with the Patriarch and the remaining slaves. The Emperor himself carried the Cross into the Holy City on his back. St Zacharias spent his remaining days in peace, and went to the Lord in 632. Patriarch Modestus deputised for him on the patriarchal throne, and after him came St Sophronius (see March 1lth).

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK





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