Sainted Gennadios, Patriarch of Tsargrad
Commemorated on August 31
Patriarch of Tsargrad, was placed on the throne of the Constantinople
Church in the year 458, during the reign of the holy nobleborn emperor Leo the
Great (457-474). His life is known about from the book "Spiritual
Meadows" in which were inscribed tales of the monks of Salamis monastery
(near Alexandria), – the Monks Sophronios and John. These monks were clergy of
the Constantinople Church under Patriarch Gennadios. Sainted Gennadios was distinguished
for his mildness, tolerance, purity and abstinence. About his power of prayer
one might judge from the following instance: in the church of the holy Martyr
Eleutherios at Constantinople was a disreputable clergyman Charisimos, spending
his life in idleness, impurity and even occupying himself with theft and
sorcery. For a long time Saint Gennadios admonished him with gentleness and
patience, but Charisimos did not change his conduct. The patriarch resorted to
strictness and gave orders to give the disreputable cleric several blows for
comprehension. But even after the punishment he did not straighten out.
Patriarch Gennadios then entrusted his emissary in his name to turn to the holy
Martyr Eleutherios (Comm. 4 August) in whose church Charisimos served. Entering
the temple, the emissary of the patriarch came before the altar, stretched out
his hand to the grave of the martyr and said: "Holy Martyr Eleutherios!
Patriarch Gennadios announces to thee through me a sinner, that the cleric Charisimos,
serving in thy temple, doth do much iniquity and create great scandal;
wherefore do thou either improve him or cut him off from the Church". On
the following morning Charisimos was found dead. Another instance, displaying
the great strength of prayer of Saint Gennadios, occurred with one of the
portrait painters who dared to paint an image of Christ, giving the Saviour the
features of the pagan god Zeus. The hand of the painter, having done such
blasphemy, immediately withered. The repentant painter was brought in the
church and confessed all his sins to the patriarch. Saint Gennadios prayed over
the sinner, and the hand of the painter was healed.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.