Our Holy Father Theophanes the Confessor.

Commemorated March 12 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Named 'the Sygrian' from his birthplace, Sygriane, he was a kinsman of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-41) and his son Copronvmos (741-75). He had enormous wealth and lived in great splendour. But all this lost its value for Theophanes when he enthroned Christ the Lord in his soul. Then he was hindered by a marriage which he was obliged to make. He succeeded, though, in persuading his bride that they should live as brother and sister in chastity, and, as soon as his parents died, his wife went to one monastery and he to another. His monastery was in the Syrian mountains in the Cyzicus region. The splendid and wealthy Theophanes lived for some timeinthe monastery as the poorest wretch. And all marvelled at the great change in him. Then, because he had become so known for his firm faith, abstinence and wisdom, he was invited to the 7th Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 787, at which the veneration of icons was upheld. Because of his great purity and chastity, God gave him the gift of wonder-working and he was able to heal all manner of illness, especially mania and madness. He prayed to God for all the sick and distressed and helped them by his prayers. Only when he himself fell ill and was sick for a long time did he refuse to pray for his own healing but endured it with thanksgiving. When another iconoclast period arose under the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian, Theophanes was taken to Constantinople and thrown into prison, where he spent two years in discomfort, pain and humiliation. The Emperor then sent him into exile on the island of Samothrace, an exile which he had forseen in his spirit and foretold to the prison warders. When he arrived on Samothrace, he lived for only twenty-three days, then went to his Lord and Creator to receive the deserved wreath of glory.

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

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