VENERABLE THEOPHANES THE CONFESSOR

March 12

From the Prologue

Theophanes is called the Sygrian [Sigrian] because of Sygriana [Sigriana], the place of his birth. He was a kinsman of the Emperor Leo Isaurian and his son Copronymos. He possessed great wealth and splendor. But all of this lost its worth for Theophanes when the Lord Christ began to reign in his soul. He resisted his own marriage and, when he was compelled to marry, succeeded in counseling his bride to live together in chastity, as brother and sister. As soon as his parents died, his wife entered a convent and he, a monastery. His monastery was located in the Sygrian Mountains in the Province of Cyzicus. The one-time glorious and wealthy Theophanes lived in this monastery as the least of the poor. All were amazed at the change in him. Having become renown because of his strong faith, abstinence, and wisdom, he was summoned to the Seventh Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 783 A.D.]where the veneration of icons was confirmed. Because of his purity and chastity, God bestowed upon him the gift of performing miracles, by which he cured all diseases, especially maniacal disorders and insanity. He prayed to God for all the sick and the unfortunate and, through his prayers, helped them. Only when he became ill and his illness lingered for a while, did he refuse to pray to God for the restoration of his own health but endured his illness with gratitude. When the Iconoclastic persecution resumed again under the wicked Leo the Armenian, Theophanes was brought to Constantinople and cast into prison, where he languished for two years in hardships, pain and humiliation. Then the emperor banished him into exile to the island of Samothrace, which he had earlier foreseen in his spirit and had mentioned it to his jailers. After he arrived at Samothrace, he lived for twenty-three days and appeared before His Lord and Creator to receive his merited wreath of glory.





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