St Theophylactus, Bishop of Nicomedia.

Commemorated March 8 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

When the Emperor's chief counsellor, Tarasius, was, while still a layman, chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople, many were then given the monastic habit by him - these being laymen, friends and admirers of Tarasius. Among them was this Theophylactus. Tarasius sent him as bishop to Nicomedia. He was, as a bishop, a good pastor to his flock, and showed a rare compassion towards the poor and wretched. After the death of St Tarasius, Nichephorus succeeded to the patriarchal throne in Constantinople, and, shortly after that, Leo the Armenian came to the imperial throne. This latter was an iconoclast and as such stirred up a veritable storm in the Church of Christ. Although the iconoclast heresy had been proscribed by the Seventh Ecumenical Council, this Emperor restored it and tried to displace Orthodoxy. St Theophylactus withstood the Emperor to his face, and when the latter would not retract, said to him: 'O king, great destruction will come upon you, and you will not find anyone to deliver you from it.' For speaking thus St Theophylactus was, at the Emperor's command, deposed from his seat and sent into exile, where he spent thirty years enduring many difficulties and insults and where he finally gave his soul to the Lord in about 845.

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





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